- June 11, 2013
Time at the bar
Whilst few of us will remember a pub called The Dependant, plenty of us will remember the Public House Book Store. It was a rather marvellous and very ‘Brighton’ shop in a converted pub, painted chrome yellow and specialising in tomes on North American Indians. For many years it was one of the few reasons anyone would venture down Little Preston Street, a place of pilgrimage.
Latest Homes finds a Brighton gem down Little Preston Street, for sale with Brices Estate Agents
Some years back the current owners spotted that it was on the market. Initially they ran it as a gallery, living above the shop. But after a prolonged application to change its use to residential they were finally able to convert the entire building into a family home. This they have done, but with a remarkably sympathetic eye. They have retained as many of the original features as possible and have even found reclaimed material to add to the overall look. It’s a hugely successful job, one that is full of detail and a sense of history that not only reflects the buildings origins as a back street public hose but also its later use as factory making anodised aluminium corkscrews. To say this home has history would be understating the case.
“This really is a piece of Brighton history. It screams Graham Greene; you can almost sense Pinky standing at the bar with a glass of orange squash”
And this really is a piece of Brighton history. It screams Graham Greene; you can almost sense Pinky standing at the bar with a glass of orange squash. However, history – charming as it might be – would not be enough. Most importantly the owners have created a beautiful and comfortable home. A home that has heritage but not at the expense of modern comforts and facilities.
Arranged over four floors the ground floor and original bar is the main reception. Spacious and light it still has some of the original etched glass and the addition of an extra etched glass window has created a clever and compact home office space.
Stairs lead both up and down. Beneath the former pub cellar is now a spacious kitchen and dining room. It’s a real family space and one in which the custom-made kitchen is clearly the heart of the home. The owners have filled it with an eclectic collection of objects and kitchenware that go to increase that sense of cosy domestic history. It’s easy to envisage nights around the table with family and friends.
On the first floor you find a family bathroom, modern fittings cunningly built into the quirky structure to great effect, and again the juxtaposition of old and new works so well. To the front is the first of the two bedrooms, a large space, bright with light from the large west-facing window and currently occupied by their young child who is surrounded once again by childhood memorabilia old and new.
Stairs lead up to the top floor from the landing and master en-suite, not a term that would have been in use when the property was first built and not one that you can easily see on arrival. The pretty bedroom, again bathed in lights from the west-facing window, has plenty of space and along one wall a run of fabulous vintage doors, salvaged from a skip outside Brighton Dome and
featuring the iconic onion shaped panels. Wardrobes and storage you might think, but cleverly they also
open onto the en-suite facilities. No space in this extraordinary home has been squandered and attention to detail has been lavished upon it.
When it comes to location things are equally good; the position is a moment from the seafront from and local shops, bars and restaurants. Conversely it is tucked away in a quiet street that sees very little footfall or traffic, a safe haven from the bustle of Brighton when it becomes a busy seaside resort.
This charmingly quirky home has real appeal, history, period character and authentic details. It has suited the current owners well over the years and they are sad to be leaving but their needs have grown with a growing family. If they could lift it and move it somewhere with outdoor space and room to expand they would, but for now they are looking for a similarly unusual property on which they can work the same magic and create another delightful home.