…a Georgian/Queen Anne façade
The façade is almost the most important element of a country house, and it must be Georgian or Queen Anne. Even if the property was actually an old farmhouse with a later addition of a beautiful façade, it is this crucial first impression on the approach that delivers the ‘wow factor’.
Charlie Wells, Prime Purchase
…an attic floor
I’d love a top-floor attic dormitory-cum-playroom to allow the children to run riot. I once viewed a house that had a fireman’s pole from the attic to the ground floor with a landing pad. That was pretty cool.’
Edward Sugden, Property Vision
…a master bedroom
with wonderful views
The main bedroom of Mapperton House in Dorset (sold this year through Savills) is wonderfully cheerful-I can’t think of anywhere nicer to wake up in bed and enjoy a cup of tea while admiring the fabulous views.
Philip Gould, Prime Purchase
…a party barn
I’ve got three boys so my party barn would be a place where you can do things inside that you can’t do in the main house. There’d be no knick-knacks so we could play ball games and it wouldn’t be cluttered with furniture. We’d have a scooter track, as scooter racing, in my sons’ view, should be an Olympic sport. Lots of oversize furniture, a big American fridge that’s only allowed to have drink in it, top-of the-range sound-proofing so music can be played so loud it almost takes the roof off and a massive screen to watch the sport on.
Crispin Holborow, Savills
…a kitchen garden
A kitchen garden provides something really wholesome for the family to get involved in together. People tend to want to start with something manageable that they can build up themselves.
Richard Girdwood, Strutt & Parker
…a dining room
Some say it’s the Downton factor, but it’s probably due to tight economic times and the inclination to be less showy with cash than before, but dining rooms are back.
James Grillo, Chesterton Humberts
…a kitchen/breakfast room
My perfect kitchen is a family space at the back of the house combining sitting, dining and cooking areas with views out to the garden so you can keep an eye on the children. A farmhouse feel is preferable, and it would have to have an Aga; all the fixtures and fittings for cooks need to be bang up to date, but invisible.
Robin Gould, Prime Purchase
In a particular market-above £3 million-a house needs to have certain things, including accommodation for staff. I often think that when a kitchen is so large that it has not one but two islands, you definitely need a cottage.
Tom Hudson, Middleton Partners
…a large reception hall
A big welcoming space. For me, it’d have to have enough height for a 20ft Christmas tree and a roaring log fire.
Edward Sugden, Property Vision
…a tennis court/pool/fishing/ponies
I’d love a house with a bit of fishing at the bottom of the garden. Most families are looking for some form of healthy outdoors entertaining and for the family, whether it’s tennis, swimming, ponies or fishing.
James Crawford, Knight Frank
…a tree-lined driveway
A beautiful tree-lined driveway with painted wrought-iron gates, or wooden gates hung properly, and edged grass along the smooth driveway sets the right tone.
Dawn Carritt, Jackson Stops & Staff
…peace and quiet
On everyone’s wishlist is a country house in an elevated position with lovely views and no noise pollution from nearby roads..
Alastair Gravensted, Hamptons International