Seven glass houses to let in the light

Just don't go throwing any stones...

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.

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