19 Jan What’s the big draw of a Georgian property?
A few weeks back I read an article in The Daily Telegraph which talked of the enduring appeal of Georgian architecture and Georgian property interior design. The classical style in which Georgian homes were built has outlasted trends and fashions from the Victorian and post-war era’s and the fads of the 50’s, 60s and beyond.
Testament to the popularity of the Georgian aesthetic is the number of new buildings being built in the Georgian style. Whilst some suffer from a lack of authenticity there are many that are rightly winning awards for their meticulous attention to detail and quality with the help of expert Georgian interior design.
Speaking to clients of ours about why they bought a Georgian home and what they like about it, I encountered the following responses:
“We didn’t set out to buy a Georgian house but in hindsight what we wanted was most likely to be provided by a Georgian house. What we wanted was the sense, peace and tranquility provided by well ordered spaces, lots of light, harmonious proportions and natural materials.”
That theme is repeated time and again with another client commenting:
“The best things about living in a Georgian house are the high ceilings, large windows and symmetry. Neither of us can come up with a down side”
Whilst another mused “Condensation on the single glazed windows is a small price to pay for all the plus points.”
Since I’m beginning to sound a little like an estate agent, extolling the virtues of a Georgian designed house, I thought I’d consult with a real expert. Christine Penny is a high end property broker covering the Bath area. She deals predominantly with Georgian properties in Bath, often securing them for her clients before they come onto the market. So I dropped her a line to find out whether she feels that her clients have a romantic notion of Georgian homes and if so, what is it that they hold so dear?
“Honestly? Bath was discovered by the Romans and has been a destination playground ever since. Architecturally it has the most evolutionary architectural land mark footprint with Georgian Architecture reigning supreme in the central and iconic locations. In my opinion, (and I agree with all the previous comments) never underestimate location! The Georgians knew what they were doing. Romantic about Georgian? That’s simply the bonus you get when you realize the Georgians knew what they were doing when it came to the building and design of houses. “
Christine also explained that the types of clientele have shifted over the last 5-10 years with more “considered, educated, and modern house hunters” looking to buy a Georgian property than previously. “Mainly because it’s hard to emulate perfection and, you can’t repeat it, therefore, what we have is what we will always have as far as Georgian Architecture is concerned. The good news is, these properties, because of their symmetry and design, can lend themselves to even the most modern contemporary interior design.”
The Telegraph also cites that Georgian properties are likely to sell for 10% more than their equivalent from other periods so it would seem that people’s appreciation of good design and Georgian interior design does have a value.
On that note I’d like to propose that a sensitive, well-designed interior would equally add value to a Georgian property when a renovation is undertaken.
Try to understand what the original intention of the builder or architect was for the house and work with that in mind when making any structural changes. Use furniture and lighting that complement the scale and proportions of a room and ensure that the character is retained even if you are adding a more contemporary style within.
I believe that our appreciation for Georgian homes and specialist Georgian interior design will continue on and on. Those of you lucky enough to own such a property might find it helpful to view themselves less as an owner and more of a custodian. Preserving the genius of Georgian design, updating it for modern use and preparing to pass it on, in all its glory, for generations to come.