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Having agreed two sales outside of London last month – one not so far away in Faversham in Kent, the other somewhat further afield in Matlock, Lancashire – our experiment with selling unusual living spaces in other UK locations appears to have worked. And so from 2017 we’ll be making a thing of spreading the word about Unique Property Company to other UK locations.

Both sales were agreed to people who currently live in London and who simply don’t want or need to be in the city all the time anymore. What become clear during the marketing process is that people living in London who are looking to buy a property elsewhere in the UK would much rather deal with an agent in London if at all possible. But when it comes to alternative living spaces, that option hasn’t really been available.

There is something of a shared mentality with people who work and live in the capital. Perhaps it’s to do with similar interests or a similar working environment, but there is clearly an understanding of the lifestyle that Londoners lead. And that common experience can help to inform the sort of domestic or cultural requirements someone might have when buying a property in another UK city or indeed rural location.

As we’ve discovered with lofts and alternative living spaces in London, people tend to search outside the parameters of Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation. Instead, they look for a specific type of space, or an agent that deals with it, rather than having to select “2 bed flat” in the hope of locating a loft, converted church, former foundry or other weird and wonderful space. They tend to like a chat, or at least a lengthy email correspondence, because their search is far more personal and particular than a regular buyer looking for a regular property.

Britain is full of unique homes. In fact, most of them exist outside of London and in some incredible buildings that reflect the agricultural, industrial, educational and religious heritage of the nation. London has certainly led the way in converting them into extraordinary houses, apartments and indefinable living spaces, but the rest of the country has caught on through television shows like Grand Designs, property supplements in national newspapers and of course the creative folk who turn up somewhere and create an interesting something-or-other from a former something else.

The distinctive profile of the Unique Property Company audience and the particular profile of our company give us access to people who don’t turn to property portals as their first action in searching for a new home. So if you or someone you know has a unique, unusual or alternative living space anywhere in the UK, let’s talk!

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Fickle beasts that we are, our list of most-wanted living rooms changes almost with the wind – and certainly with our latest listings – but here’s a selection of our current favourites, two of which are available and two of which have gone. We’ve gone for variety, with lofts converted from a former library, college, workshop and factory. Read on, and enjoy!

 

Bolton Road, Willesden NW10
Bolton-Road
There’s something almost Parisian about this huge living room in Willesden. Converted from a Victorian warehouse behind a very unassuming façade, there really is little clue from the street elevation as to what lies beyond the front door. Normally with a warehouse or a factory you kinda know what you’re going to get, but this place is different. Triple width French doors lead out to the roof terrace and are accompanied by two sets of large casement windows and those double doors over in the corner leading to the rest of the accommodation add yet more to the European air. The rest of the accommodation includes 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 additional WCs, a kitchen/breakfast room, sauna and garage. £1,895,000

More details at: http://uniquepropertycompany.co.uk/property/end-of-terrace-house-3060690/

 

Cormont Road, Camberwell SE5
Cormont-Road
It’s that aged, rustic feeling that we love about this loft that reaches up into the eaves of a converted teaching college. “Timber festooned” is how we described it and we weren’t joking: not only are there chunky beams arching overhead, but the underside of the pitched roof has also been exposed adding a rarely seen quality. Obviously anything double height always feels at least a little bit special but this room does have a certain something that makes you want to spend time here. Metal trusses are strung between the walls and a high level bank of windows across an entire wall encourages light into the room from above. There’s also acres of brickwork, three double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a mezzanine. £825,000

More details at: http://uniquepropertycompany.co.uk/property/flat-3575461/

 

Battersea High Street SW11
Battersea-High-Street
This one kinda screams ‘rockstar’! Three sets of floor-to-ceiling French windows accentuate the loftiness and lead out to a large patio and lawned rear garden. But it’s the pure whiteness of the space – not just walls and ceiling but also the white porcelain floor tiles – that delivers the almost heavenly atmosphere, while an extraordinary bespoke staircase by the designer Philip Watts evokes the lengthy backbone of a dinosaur:  timber open treads supported on a sculpted metal spine lead up to the mezzanine which holds a master bedroom that is nothing short of swanky, with an entire wall of mirrors behind the bed and an entire wall of concealed wardrobe space. There are plenty of curves too, softening the edges and lending a certain fluidity when moving from one zone to the next. GONE.

More details at: http://uniquepropertycompany.co.uk/property/apartment-240225/

 

New Inn Yard Shoreditch EC2
New-Inn-Yard
A pitched bank of slender panes forms a full width bank of glass across the entire north-facing wall, allowing extra light in from above and changing the fortunes of what is normally a dark and moody direction. In fact the whole feel of this open plan live/work Shoreditch penthouse is of light coming in from all angles, with big industrial windows running down the west and southern sides. This apartment harks back to before lofts hit the mainstream, with zero partitions between living area, kitchen/dining area and bedroom, merely simple zoning and a bit of hiding around corners. Challenging for some, perhaps, but a testament to how life doesn’t have to be a series of compartments and, with clever use of space, can offer a perfectly private environment. Absolutely lovely. But GONE.

More details at: http://uniquepropertycompany.co.uk/property/flat-238485/

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After a little while working on it and a lot of background research, we’ve now launched the London Loft Apartments website, a tribute to some of our favourite living spaces in the capital.
London-Loft-Apartments-Homepage

London has a rich and formidable collection of formerly commercial buildings that have leant themselves considerably well to a new urban lifestyle: from tannery to telephone exchange, orphanage to office and bath house to synagogue, these new-era living spaces turned the property market on its head and changed the way we live.

Divided into North, East, South and West London, the website aims to catalogue the very best of loft living in London. We see it as a working document that we’ll be continually adding to and editing.
London-Loft-Apartments-Lofts-in-East-London

Alongside the collection of converted schools, factories, warehouses that make up the foundation of London’s loft contingent, we’ve also included some of the most memorable one-off dwellings we’ve encountered along the Unique Property Company journey.

A former chapel, a rescued church tower and a repurposed stable block are just some of the extraordinary rarities we’ve seen; these are joined by a few choice newly built houses and apartments whose certain savoire faire elevates them from boring and boxy to lofty and lovely.

London-Loft-Apartments-The-Bath-House
Whether it’s a raw and gritty warehouse or a smooth and slick glass box, our love of loft apartments, lifestyle and indeed mentality knows no bounds. But what do you think? Do you have a favourite loft building you’d like us to include? Or do you live in one of our favourites and absolutely love it to death?

Enjoy the new website and do keep coming back for more!

www.londonloftapartments.co.uk

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UMM-November-2015
Our big news this month is that we’re seriously stepping up our social media presence. We’ve been running a Facebook page for some time but we’d really like to connect more with people across every aspect of our business.

We’re tasking ourselves with creating a content rich grouping of social media channels that, together, will make essential viewing for anyone interested in unique property, cutting-edge design and the best of modern architecture.

We’d love you to follow us, so we’ll give you a quick bit of detail here about what to expect from each channel.

Our Facebook page includes our latest blog articles, stories from the UK property market and updates on new properties for sale and for rent. We’re actively promoting our posts which are now regularly reaching over 5,000 people.

Twitter will be our place to offer comments and advice on current trends, property news and how to best manage your move, along with links to our latest blog articles and newsletter. You can follow us at: twitter.com/UPCLondon.

Instagram is set to be pure property fun, with our favourite photos from both our own listings and of inspiring and unique homes and buildings around the globe – eye candy for property and architecture fans worldwide. Find us at: instagram.com/uniquepropertycompany

Hopefully you’ll be interested in all three, but we’d be glad to see you anywhere.

Elsewhere, our new website is almost done and is looking incredible.This is the best and most comprehensive upgrade we’ve ever had and we’re very excited about seeing the final site go live. Watch this space, and our social media channels, where we’re very likely to be shouting about it very soon.

And with that, we’re off! See you next month.

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The short answer to this would be yes, but, as ever in life, there are some exceptions.

Almost overnight in the mid 1990s, as contemporary urban living emerged as the lifestyle of choice for modern city folk, carpets found themselves on the end of a bad rap. They were declared as universally naff and suburban by London’s new loft dwellers, causing a massive drop in carpet sales (you might say the market went through the floor) and a huge rise in real wood, laminate and other hard floorings.

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A dog day for floors: please don’t carpet your loft apartment living room like this.

However, as with all extreme views, opinion has softened over time and there are certainly carpets that do ‘go’ in the sleeping areas of urban living spaces. Manufacturers, rather than go out of business, turned their efforts to merging suburban comfort with inner city cool to create soft floor coverings that work in any sort of space without screaming footballers wives. The result is an upgrade of suburbia, and the softening of city living.

So, with today’s history lesson over, let’s start with the living room. Frankly, if you want a carpeted living room then you don’t really sound like a likely loft candidate. The whole idea of loft living is to expose and highlight the original aesthetic of a space. Not many warehouses, factories or schools came with carpet and there’s a jolly good reason for that. So, to retain an authentic vibe to the main living space, no carpet please. Rugs are a different matter, and we’ll touch on those later.

Kitchens & bathrooms: no carpets, end of.

Bedrooms and studies are where flexibility makes its appearance. If we’re being purists – and we mainly are – fitted carpets do not strictly adhere to the loft code of ethics. However, who can argue with the soft underfoot toastiness of an 80/20 Berber twist when getting up or going to bed?

Plain, uncomplicated designs in neutral tones are the way to go: think of the carpet as an inconspicuous treat for your loft-dwelling feet, rather than a full-on design statement. When it comes to carpeting a loft, think background, background, background. And no rouched blinds!

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Who can resist a berber twist? A good example of the way to go with bedroom carpet in loft apartments.

While carpets are confined to bedrooms, it doesn’t mean the floor has to remain devoid of pattern. Often a building’s original floors offer plenty of personality – whether timber, concrete or tile – but rugs are more than acceptable as a way of drawing attention to your urban style savvy. In fact, we’d go so far as to say there are no rules when it comes to these furry islands on your floor, so go have some fun.

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Who needs rules? When it comes to rugs in your loft apartment, go Moroccan, go Turkish, go Conran, go your own way. 

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