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a life in architecture kate kellaway

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Meditating on three domestic buildings, journalist and writer Kate Kellaway suggests that taste is often unconsciously shaped by homes one has lived in. 'A house takes on a different charge as you get to know it - rather like a person's name.'

She lived with her parents at 2 Grove Terrace, London NW5, until her early 20s.'It was a Regency house.Expansive - like a person with an uncommonly generous spirit. It made me feel very partisan about Regency domestic architecture. I particularly remember the beautiful blue fanlight.'

The second house was 'another version of home'- a country cottage called Waveney Rising in south Norfolk where Kellaway spent her family holidays.'It was thatched, like a nest, and as satisfying - rather like wearing a hat yourself.'She recalls the very low doors which looked 'homemade, like badly cut pastry'.

Tara Lodge, where Kellaway lives today, is a double-fronted, detached Victorian villa in Barnet, north London.'A tremendous horizontal space.When we moved in I was very aware that the house was exceptionally beautiful. It was like trying on a beautiful dress and worrying about spilling something on it.Now it no longer seems alien, it has become a repository of memories.'

She cites the conservatory as 'almost my favourite room in the whole world.There is a ceiling of vine leaves so that when you look up you don't know whether you're inside or outside.'

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