Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 30th November 2018

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Traditional Houses, Luxury Style

Beautiful thatched cottages, rustic barn conversions, characterful old rectories. Many buyers looking for a home in the countryside, who in the past would have had a rambling country pile at the top of their wish list, have responded to the rise in Stamp Duty by opting for relatively modest types of properties like these.

The money saved in tax is then invested in high end interior design.  Pretty period cottages and traditional manor houses increasingly boast the sort of features you'd expect to find if you were staying at a swanky London apartment or a boutique hotel in the country.

At Michael Graham the barn conversions we are selling now are a perfect example of this trend. Vaulted ceilings and a vast open plan layout create an entertaining space that easily seats 10-12 guests at a dining table just off the kitchen. A fully fitted kitchen/breakfast/dining area with underfloor heating is a number one requirement for a new generation of buyers who don’t want a separate formal dining room. Luxury is the name of the game and no-expense-spared, contemporary designer bathrooms are non-negotiable with their double rain water showers and claw-footed baths promising a daily spa experience. The master bedroom has an ensuite and a separate dressing room, however small, and ever more buyers want ensuite bathrooms for every bedroom - a far cry from expectations a decade ago. Gym rooms are also creeping up the list of requirements too as are wine cellars and boiler taps in the kitchen.

The pace of life is slower in the country compared to the city but if time-consuming commuting is still on the agenda then low-maintenance gardens are the ideal, with an emphasis on outdoor entertaining space. In an ideal world the landscaped garden should have several different sized terraces for alfresco entertaining: bi-folding doors from the house to a dining area for meals with family and friends, a larger terrace for parties and a ‘cocktail corner’ of the garden as a dedicated spot for watching the sun go down on a summer’s evening. Add an outdoor pizza oven and a summer house with a log burner and you need never make a hotel booking again.

What are your country house must-haves? We’d love to hear from you. And for a selection of Michael Graham town and country properties to buy or to rent, browse our sales and lettings pages.

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