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Snapshots: Matt Gibberd

Meet Matt Gibberd, co-founder of The Modern House (surely everyone's favourite Instagram snoop); architecture writer; Hampshire resident; friend of the shop and latterly author of 'A Modern Way to Live', a beautiful interiors book centred on the five guiding principles of a happy home. Matt takes us on an Instagram tour of his very modern life.

Shop The Modern Way to Live Book

►See Matt Gibberd's Instagram

An image of Matt Gibberd's Modern Way to Live book.

A Modern Way to Live brings together everything I’ve learned about the home, from my early days as a writer at The World of Interiors to the hundreds of flats, townhouses and country piles that I have been lucky enough to visit with The Modern House. What I have discovered is that the most successful and beautiful living spaces have the same design principles in common, such as clever layouts, tactile materials, a connection to nature, and so on. The purpose of the book is to show what these are and how they can be applied to any home at any scale.

An image of Matt Gibberd writing at his desk.

This is a publicity photograph of me at home, pretending to write, which we used to launch the book. What you can’t see, out of shot, are the endless piles of cardboard boxes, children’s toys, tools, and decorators in paint-spattered overalls chewing Hobnobs.

A photograph of the River Itchen on a hazy sunny morning.

I’m slightly obsessed with running, and spend a lot of time cantering along the banks of the River Itchen. I see swans canoodling, trout flipping out of the shallows, and the occasional iridescent flash of a kingfisher.

The inside of an East london Victorian Townhouse.

One of the most gratifying things about owning an estate agency is being able to help family and friends with their house sales. We sold this converted Victorian townhouse in east London for my sister-in-law, Erica Toogood, and her husband, Thomas Downes.

Matt Gibbers children inspecting a burnt-out van.

My family and I go for long walks in the countryside, especially around the South Downs. One Sunday, we came across a burnt-out van, and our three daughters were transfixed by it. As you can see, the curly-hair gene is strong.

A graphic image for The Modern House podcast.

I really enjoy presenting The Modern House podcast. Each guest picks their three favourite living spaces from anywhere in the world, and we discuss what makes them successful. It’s a bit like Desert Island Discs for design lovers, but without the music (or the gravitas). Guests range from architects like John Pawson to musicians such as Paloma Faith.

A photograph of a shower room from The Modern Way to Live book.

This is one of the photographs from my book. The fossilised stone was salvaged from the original terminal at Heathrow Airport, which was designed by my grandfather, Sir Frederick Gibberd.

A photography of Faye Toogood in a potting shed at home.

This is my wife, Faye Toogood, wafting around in her potting shed at home. She’s wearing a coat from her fashion label, Toogood, which is made from artist’s canvas, and sandals that she designed for Birkenstock.

A photograph of Matt's bathroom at home in London.

The bathroom in our old house in London was very small, so Faye and I came up with this space-saving solution... we bought a vintage campaign sink, had it plumbed in, and found a pivoting tap that was small enough to fit inside. After you washed your hands, you would fold the tap to the side, tip up the basin and close the box. It was a bit ridiculous, and people thought it was some kind of niche urinal, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

A photograph of a house marketed on The Modern House platform.

One of the things I’m most proud of is that The Modern House has pioneered a new marketplace for the best architecture built over the past hundred years or so. Houses like this one, which is a Grade II-listed Modernist masterpiece in Hertfordshire, were previously seen as outliers that were difficult to sell.

Inigo is a sister brand to The Modern House, which we launched a year ago. Named after Inigo Jones, it celebrates and sells the best historical homes in the country, from Georgian rectories to Victorian workers’ cottages.

A photograph of Matt Gibberd, styled by Margaret Howell.

I was really pleased when the Financial Times asked me to take part in a feature about the fashion designer Margaret Howell, who recently celebrated her 50th anniversary. I was photographed in some of her clothes, and interviewed about her enduring legacy. The purity of her work is something that I greatly admire, and we share an obsession with the English countryside.