It could be argued that, with the exception of boring boxy new builds stacked identically on top of each other, pretty much every home is unique. Might be the kitchen, or the bathroom, the built in wardrobes, the fireplace, perhaps the garden or, gasp, the wallpaper. If they’re not all present in their exact form in an identical property, then surely the one they are in is unique?
Most genuine lofts are unique; every one-off designed house is unique; and we can take it as read that any space converted from a former commercial, industrial or agricultural use into a stonking residential pad is very likely to be unique as well.
But what about when people set about altering a standard Victorian terrace, or a 1930s semi, or even a 1960s townhouse? How much work would it take to push one of those beyond the confines of ‘modernised’ or ‘interesting’ and firmly into the territories of ‘unusual’ or ‘unique’?
We agree that a designer kitchen made especially for one particular home would deliver an exceptional attribute, but on its own it would not change the overall nature of the property. It is not particularly outlandish to replace a kitchen, to do some decorating, or jazz up the garden. Interesting yes, but not unusual or unique.
We’d be looking for more. A lot more.
We’re talking about a serious investment of time, imagination and, most likely, cash: take out the floor between a living room and the bedroom above it to create a mezzanine and double-height void; remove all the walls between rooms and hallways to forge an entirely open-plan living zone; push the ground floor accommodation out into the garden by adding a futuristic glass cube; lose the ceiling between bedrooms and attics to deliver cavernous, cathedral-like spaces with wooden rafters and beams.
To be unusual or unique requires a radical transformation from the original qualities and envisaged use of a property into a wholly different animal; this is how people achieve extraordinary prices for what, on the outside, can seem like the most formulaic of homes. It’s one of the things that makes our particular marketplace so interesting; you really cannot tell how anything is going to look like on the inside, simply by looking at the outside. It’s always a complete surprise.
And who doesn’t love those?