Ray-Ban wall mirrors, Jean Cocteau-inspired bookshelves, Land Registry market data and the best 30 architectural documentaries: what connects these seemingly disparate topics and thingummies?

 

 

The Unique Property Company facebook page, that’s what. When it comes to property and design, if you’re in the market for being in the know, you could do a whole lot worse than liking us on facebook.

 

 

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93-exterior-smallIt’s BRIT award overload recently with many of the recent winners contacting us for living spaces to reflect their pop star success. In some cases the contacts are new, in others some old names are upping their budgets inline with their increased record sales. 

It’s the usual drill – something urban, gritty, industrial, big, bright, open… and downright fabulous – with the usual problem: not enough to go round. Poor little icons: millions of fans across the globe; worldwide music domination; overflowing royalties, but nowhere to call home.

 

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Would like to help a distressed, successful and wealthy singer or songwriter? Can you spare a suitably glamorous apartment to sell them? Will you move home to make them happy? Will you?

 

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When Mark bought this apartment in Gallery Lofts, SE1 in 1999, he had a couple of dreams to realise (circular shower cubicle, porthole door) and not much else.

The apartment was sold as a shell and, not knowing any architects himself, Mark decided to use one who’d already worked on some other projects in the development. This gave him the opportunity to see the architect’s work first-hand, without having to leave the building, and to steal some ideas.

 

Alongside a bit of architectural pilfery, there is much originality. The zinc breakfast bar, for instance, that lines up perfectly with the view of St Paul’s, reaching towards the river in seriously sexy style. “I also wanted as few barriers as possible to the open plan feel” says Mark, “so the architect suggested glass balustrades to the stairs and mezzanine”.  You hardly notice them. In fact you don’t notice much, because so much is hidden away: “The only way you can live minimally is by having masses of storage”, so masses of storage it has.64-bathroom-window-small

 

Living back then in an 1850s terraced cottage in Richmond, Mark worked out that moving to Bankside would save him “about 10 days commuting every year”, transforming a journey from crushingly full rush-hour trains, to a gentle amble across The Thames. But his life indoors has radically changed as well: “Open plan living has delivered more than I initially thought. It’s a very sociable and exciting space.”

 

Bankside’s coming of age as a prime residential and cultural quarter has blown Mark away – “There was nothing here 15 years ago, but the area is now much more than I could have ever expected” – and the addition of a southern entrance to Blackfriars station just a few hundred meters away has added another welcome surprise, with direct trains to Gatwick & Luton Airports, Brighton and St Pancras International less than 5 minutes walk away.

 

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Marks’ apartment is available for £1.3million

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Over the last few months, we’ve sold three apartments at The Canal Building, close to the City Road, between Islington & Shoreditch. We’ve not had much involvement with the building before, but having been called in three times recently – to apartments that were inexplicably not selling ­­– it’s rapidly become something of a favourite for us.

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Originally sold as shells in 2001, the building is made up of entirely original apartments, each designed to the owner’s specification at the time. They were lucky people; the building has all that a loft-lover wants including massive windows overlooking the water, steel girders, high ceilings, fantastic exposed concrete ceilings and plenty of art deco flavour.

 

But it’s not the character that struck us most; it’s the horrific undervaluing by local agents. The Canal Building is far from being typical Islington stock, and we have to question whether the guys on the high street are wondering how on earth to value – or present – it amongst their mountain of Georgian villas. As an example, an agent (who shall remain nameless) had one of these apartments on for 6 months, during which time they had 30 viewings, not a single offer, and had begun badgering the owner to reduce the price. We sold the apartment within 24 hours of being asked to take over, and to someone we’d had on our books for over 6 months and who couldn’t find anything. 50-reception-main-small

 

So it’s true then; we do have a unique audience of people who simply cannot be fussed with trawling through local agents listings. A rugged’n’raw loft apartment is not high on the shopping lists of those wandering the estate agency streets of Islington.

 

If you want your loft to sell for the top price to the right audience – call us. Those seeking a loft, certainly do………….in their droves.

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