There’s nothing like a high ceiling to lift the weight off your shoulders, and nothing like some chunky beams, roof voids and mezzanines to take a room to new heights.

We’re quite partial to a bit of double height, so we’ve put together a capacious collection of lofty, err, lofts to share the peak of perfection when it comes to these voluminous spaces. Call it touching the void, call it ceiling the deal, call it the enheightenment… however you prefer it, here’s a short story, about tall storeys.
 
 
The Paragon, Searles Road SE1
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This classic loft on the fourth floor of a Victorian school conversion in Bermondsey has two mezzanine bedrooms with lovely parquet floors that overlook the double-height living room with a gorgeous pair of magnificent schoolhouse windows that flood the space with light and look out towards the City. For sale at £699,995 – click here for details
 
 
Port East, Hertsmere Road E14
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One of the first developments from Manhattan Loft Corporation is home to this warm, inviting and achingly authentic one-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a converted spice warehouse in one of the best locations in Canary Wharf, right on West India Quay with a waterside strip of restaurants and bars on the ground floor. For sale at £725,000 – click here for details
 
 
Kirkwood Road SE15
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This former hosepipe factory in Peckham is now one of the most extraordinary houses we’ve seen with incredible beam work and vaulted ceilings inset with plentiful skylights to produce an arresting and quite beautiful property. There’s almost 3,000ft2 of living space along with a detached office/studio of 400ft2 at the end of the private garden. For sale at £2,295,000 – click here for details
 
 
Henry Tate Mews SW16
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Tucked away in Streatham in the grounds of Henry Tate’s former personal home is a disarmingly charming collection of town houses set in 6 acres. This three-bedroom property has a double height living space on its first floor and a mezzanine master bedroom above it with a timber vaulted ceiling. For rent at £575 per week – click here for details
 
 
These are four of our current favourites but the list of lofts, factory and warehouse apartments, schoolhouse conversions and other alternative living spaces for sale and for rent is a forever changing one. Do drop us a line if you are looking to buy, sell or rent an interesting, unusual or unique property.

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Colina-House-before-and-after-LOW-RES
Under usual circumstances, whenever we get to market a property again after selling it first time round, while the place might look different through its furnishings and accessories, the overall change is, on the whole, fairly slight. So it’s a real pleasure to get to see a major transformation of a space that really hits all the right notes.

When we sold this 1,700ft2 warehouse conversion (and former Majestic Wine store) back in the 1990s, the sell was the rough-n-ready nature of the interior that dated back to its original conversion. While hardly fitted out to its full potential, it was a truly authentic space. So we’ll admit to a certain level of apprehension on hearing of the subsequent refurbishment.

(As loft living has moved into the mainstream, we’ve noticed a tendency to over-glamorise the apartments to a somewhat unnecessary level, seemingly inspired by business hotels in Asia. Essentially stripped of their essence and given the air of a new build in Knightsbridge, we’ve been left wondering why some people buy a loft in the first place. If you want a new build, buy a new build – please.)

However, any concerns we had on that front drifted swiftly away as we stepped over the threshold at Colina House, tucked away in Haringey. What we were presented with was a thoroughly appropriate and beautiful reimagining of the interior that honours all the good lofty bits while delivering a 21st century specification where it’s needed.

Let’s be honest, if you’re going to spend a million, you want a decent kitchen and bathroom. That doesn’t mean you want gold taps and Egyptian styling, but you do want comfort, convenience and quality. In fact you want that throughout your home, but not at the expense of everything else.

We think the owners have achieved a beautiful balance here, combining high quality materials with the original aesthetic. The combination of woodblock and marble worktops is a perfect example, introducing a lavish flourish afforded by marble without getting carried away.

Elsewhere, the (mostly) bright white paint job –including the splendid rafters in the arching roof void– gives the interior a fresh breeziness, and the use of engineered walnut planks has delivered a sleek richness that flows through the apartment in a nod to the original timber floors.

In short, this is how it should be done!

The apartment is for sale at £1.1million and you can read full details here.

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union-jack
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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Imagine keeping your work and home life separate without the commute, balanced with an urban London lifestyle and regularly getting away from it all, without ever having to go anywhere. If that sounds like the stuff of dreams, stand by for a reality check.

Standing on Kirkwood Road in SE15, there is little clue to what lays behind an unassuming gate in a typical Victorian terrace, least of all a gasp-worthy pair of houses created from a former hosepipe factory.

Kirkwood-Road-exterior

The conversion was completed in 2006 after the old industrial building had lain empty for some years. When open, the factory was the home of W. Greenwood & Sons Co. Ltd who operated here as “oil resisting hose pipe manufacturers” between about 1950 and 1980.

Many years later, an enterprising developer and architect saw a new future of residential use. Initially gaining consent for a mews of three, they were subsequently given permission to take that number down to two having decided a pair of larger houses would be rather more exciting. At 3,349ft2 this one is the bigger brother and is available for the first time since its initial sale.

Packed to the rafters with exposed timberwork, the house emits a convincing barn-like quality that immediately captured the current owner: at the time, a move to a converted farm building in the countryside was seriously on the cards. Already living a loft life in a nearby converted school, moving here delivered the desired domestic setting while retaining an urban existence.

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Inside, the sense of light grabs you at once. As well as large skylights, a double height glass atrium reaches into the roof’s apex and forms the end piece to the dining kitchen and, above it, the vast living room (where you’ll find a real log burner for winter cosiness). 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a chill-out room – of course! – and a surprisingly secluded garden complete a unique property, described by the owner as “very much a comfortable and functional home”.

Kirkwood-Road-Atrium

The cherry on the cake is the detached workshop at the end of the garden, now renovated into a wonderful studio space for running a business – a major improvement on using the spare bedroom!

Kirkwood-Road-studio-space

As one of London’s most vibrant and eclectic neighbourhoods, Peckham has recently added a slew of fun cafés and bars to an already lively high street and market. The town is home to Peckhamplex, London’s most successful independent cinema, as well as the summertime Rooftop Film Club. Wander past numerous places to eat and some great local pubs to eventually end up at Peckham Rye Park & Common, where you can walk off any calories accumulated along the way.

Should you wish to leave the neighbourhood, London Overground and Southern trains stop at nearby Queens Road Peckham station, with direct services to, among others, London Bridge (7 mins) and Shoreditch High Street (17 mins).

The house is for sale at £2,295,000. Click here for more information.

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