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
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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Whether you’re Gryffindor or Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, here’s a master class in loft living you won’t want to skip.

Flint-House-Faversham-Living-Room-Window
Constructed in the mid nineteenth century, this Grade II Listed gothic style building of flint and stone was once the William Gibb Grammar School. More recently it was converted into residential accommodation and is now a cluster of exceedingly fine lofts.

Flint-house-Faversham-Front

This one sits proudly in the middle and extends to 2600 sq ft of resourcefully utilised space where the entire first floor is given over to an incredible open plan living space. On the ground floor are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a wonderful double height entrance hall.

Flint-House-Faversham-Living-Room
Outside is a low-maintenance and nicely screened patio garden with a south-westerly aspect, and there’s also plenty of private parking beyond the front gates.

Flint-House-Faversham-Garden
All this, for £600,000.

Now, it’s not really sounding like the sort of loft apartment you’ve got used to settling for in London, is it? Well, that’s because it isn’t.

Just over an hour by train from St Pancras and 2 minutes from the M2 motorway, the thriving market town of Faversham in Kent offers a cultural and culinary alternative to the capital with an active local scene of comedy, film and theatre garnished with a healthy helping of restaurants.

Dating back to pre-Roman times and mentioned in the Domesday Book, Faversham is one of England’s oldest towns and home to more than 500 listed historical buildings. You’ll also find some of the best walking in the country here with many marked paths across the South Downs.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a complete escape, but not at the expense of a lofty home and neighbourhood lifestyle, hop on a high-speed Javelin train and grab yourself an education.

Flint-House-Faversham-kitchen

Click here for full details.

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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.

Kirkwood-Road-Living-Room-1

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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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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