Seven glass houses to let in the light

The converted greenhouse in Darlington

Ask any house hunter what features they're looking for in their new home, and the odds are that a light, bright interior will feature in their top ten.

Most of us dream of big windows that let the sunshine stream in - and in these dark January days, you need to make the most of every bit of light you can get.

When you're buying a house with lots of glass, make sure you do your research. South-facing windows can make a room unbearably hot, so check to see whether it has heat-reflective glass.

Conversely, windows can leak heat, so make sure the insulation is sound and that the building as a whole is energy-efficient.

You might also want to consider how you're going to keep it all clean.

But if you're desperate for a little more light in your life, here's our pick of the best glass houses on the market right now.

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The converted greenhouse in Darlington

If you really want a glass house, then you can't do much better than, well, a glasshouse. This Victorian building stands in walled gardens and has been transformed into a stunning home.

There's a beautiful orangery and two other reception rooms, as well as a kitchen/diner and utility room. The three bedrooms share a bathroom and shower room.

The greenhouse was built in 1875 and originally formed part of the grounds of Walworth Castle - and all that glass means stunning views of the castle itself. It's hugely energy efficient, and solar panels actually produce a profit.

The house is available through agents Purple Bricks for £699,949.

Clerkenwell, London EC1

The Clerkenwell penthouse

Designed by the Stirling Prize-winning architect David Chipperfield, this three-bedroom penthouse is more window than wall. On the upper floor, there's a stunning 50-foot kitchen/living/dining room, with three bedrooms, one en suite, and another bedroom below.

The upper floor is fitted with granite flooring, a bespoke granite kitchen counter, under-floor heating and a programmable Lutron lighting system.

There's a wrap-around roof terrace, and a garage as well as an off-street parking space. The flat costs £3,250,000 through agent The Modern House.

Caldy, Merseyside

The Caldy house

Described by agents Savills as 'a modernist masterpiece', Tyneham House boasts huge expanses of glass that give it lovely views over its woodland site - and the trees, incidentally, provide some privacy.

The three-bedroom house has a wonderful 'great room', with a high ceiling and an open fire. Two walls of the dining room are made completely of glass, and the kitchen has huge bifold doors.

Outside, a formal area leads on to a woodland garden that's been opened to the public once a year. The price is available on application.

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The converted stable in Richmond

It's hard to tell what's indoors and what's outside with this stunning four-bedroom house, built around the remains of a Victorian stable. Kew House consists of two gabled living wings based around a central courtyard and connected by a glazed block with a dramatic steel staircase. Skylights let even more light flood in.

The spaces are all enormous - as evidenced by the fact that a room measuring 23 by 17 feet is described as a 'snug'. There's a basement playroom accessed by a slide, and other rooms are linked by bridges.

The house costs £3,800,000 through agents The Modern House.

Poole, Dorset

The Poole new-build

Named, for some reason, Vanquish, this five-bedroom new-build house sits on the water's edge in pricey Poole Harbour, with its acres of glass giving panoramic views towards Sandbanks Peninsula and Brownsea Island.

It has an enormous hall - complete with bar and snooker area - along with several other reception rooms. As well as a kitchen, there's a 'preparation kitchen', presumably so that all that actual cooking doesn't mess the place up. There's a gym and indoor swimming pool, as well as a boathouse, jetty and slipway.

But all this doesn't come cheap: the house costs £7,500,000 through agents Tailor Made.

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Bishopstrow, Wiltshire

The Bishopstrow house

This steel-and-glass pavilion near Warminster sits by the River Wylye and is is surrounded by landscaped gardens and mature trees. It's been designed to catch as much sunlight as possible, with strategic shade provided by roof hangings and louvres.

There are currently three bedrooms, although plans to add a fourth have been drawn up and the agents suggest that the garage could be converted to an annex. Outside, a wooden deck leads to a swimming pool.

Agents The Modern House are asking £850,000.

Barnsbury, London N1

The glass block in Barnsbury

This brand-new block on London's Barnsbury Square probably isn't the right place for shy and retiring types. The huge windows give views over the square and catch the evening sun, but leave little to the imagination.

This flat, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom ground floor apartment measures an impressive approximately 2,605 square feet, and has two balconies. It's yours for £3,200,000 through agent The Moderon House.

Most viewed property of the year
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Most viewed property of the year
This unassuming three-bedroom detached house in Martins Heron in Berkshire doesn’t immediately look like the kind of property to draw the crowds. However, the fact it was used as Harry Potter’s home in the first of the films means we were intrigued to see inside this £475,000 property that was ideal for commuting.
This was an impressive seven-bedroom home in Upper Denby, on the market for £1.3 million - with plenty of rustic charm and a wood-burning stove. However, we all know the real reason this made it to the list of the most-viewed properties: it’s the enormous play area complete with pirate ship that you can just catch sight of through the lounge window.
This five bedroom relatively newly-built mansion has every whistle and bell you could wish for - from a cinema and games room to a gym, swimming pool, and a dining room that’s big enough for a grand piano in the corner. It’s still on the market for £1.05 million, and is right next to Lincoln Golf course if you fancy playing a round.
Unsurprisingly, this development project on Chadwick Road in East London has been snapped up. At just £1 million you got 13 rooms over four floors - with off-street parking for three cars. No wonder it was the seventh most popular home for us to look at, and dream that with a bit of elbow grease we could have a huge London property... and we could finally park somewhere near it too.

This is a home that comes with a dream lifestyle. For just £1.4 million, you can get an incredibly swanky five-bedroom farmhouse in seven acres of lovely Welsh countryside. You also get a two-bedroom barn conversion - either to house visiting family, or to run as a holiday letting business. The house is still in the market - so that dream could still be yours.

Ever fancy your own posh lakeside hideaway with its own jetty just over an hour from London - for just £2.8 million?

Quite a few people did, judging by the fact that this new development in Cirencester was the 5th most viewed house of the year.

For just £545,000, this 6-bedroom house in Donaghadee could be yours. The property itself is very recently developed in an elegantly rustic New England style. There's plenty of room, and a dream bathroom. But possibly the reason it features so high up the list of most-viewed houses is that it comes with a paddock and stable - perfect for anyone with horsey aspirations.
It’s easy to see why this pretty £375,000 cottage is in such high demand. First is the fact it has been rebuilt from reclaimed stone, so combines old world charm with handy modern features (like a good-sized kitchen and fancy bathroom). Then there’s the location - right in the centre of the village of Holmfirth - best-known as the setting of Last of the Summer Wine.

This impressive house in Bromley in Kent has footballer written all over it. From the pale grey colour scheme, to the acres of space, and the enormous patio for entertaining, there's plenty for a footballer to love. At just £1.7 million it’s pocket-change for them too. For the rest of us, there’s the chance to dream of a mansion within commuting distance of London for the price of a flat in Notting Hill.

There was a time when a semi-detached five-bedroom home in Hampstead Garden Suburb was the sort of thing that ordinary families could aspire to. Now it's the kind of thing we spend our time daydreaming over on property websites: marveling at a 90 foot garden and the fact it has a garage. The price tag of £2.25 million means it's the kind of house we can only ever afford to look at online - which is probably why it's the most viewed property of the year.
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