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By Emma Hooton

How to Increase the Value of Your Country Home

Unexpected ways to add value to a country home. 

A walk-in wardrobe, a bespoke kitchen, a hallway that doesn’t scrimp on style. While some features are expected in the upmarket country home, other less obvious ones are rising up the property wishlist. We asked country home and estate specialist, George Clarendon of Knight Frank Winchester, for his thoughts on some of the more unexpected ways you can improve a country home.

9 Value-boosting Tips

Covid and climate change are having a big impact on the way we live our lives. While home upgrades such as a new kitchen or bathroom often score high when adding value to a home, homeowners and buyers are increasingly interested in homes that enhance their lifestyle. Here are a few other ways homeowners can boost their home’s value and desirability.

1) Natural swimming pools

Natural pools are an increasingly fashionable, attractive, wildlife-friendly alternative to the classic chlorinated pool. Relying on the organic properties of plants to keep the water clean and healthy, natural pools are free from chemicals and good for biodiversity. They can be heated to a sensible level with air or ground source heat pumps.

2) Luxury spa room

At-home wellbeing has become even more important since the pandemic and rise in WFH. Saunas, steam rooms and thermal suites designed with care can add significant wow factor to a property, while giving you access to luxury spa experiences on demand.

Studio Hooton: Read our interior design guide to Creating a Luxury Spa Room at Home.

contemporary home sauna

3) Treehouses

A treehouse can be a fun place for kids to hang out if you have a mature slow growing hardwood tree such as an oak or beech. Add underfloor heating or a woodburner and the treehouse could even double as a guest room, meditation room, office or generate income as a romantic B&B.

4) Home sport courts

A pool, tennis court, cricket pitch or multi sports court can deliver extra home entertainment, as well as give kids somewhere to engage in healthy activities away from the screen. An outdoor kitchen close to a pool can also be a great place to socialise on a warm summer’s day.

5) Office pods

A dedicated home work space can help you foster a better work-home life and engage in deep work. It can also give you an extra room if needed when guests stay. That said, creating a hybrid space, a room that doubles as both a guest room and office, can work just as well if the interior is designed well.

Studio Hooton: Look out for our interior design feature with Tielle Love Luxury with top tips on creating a dreamy hybrid room.

6) Multi-use barn

A party barn, games room, somewhere to store your car collection? A beautifully bespoke multi-use barn can give you much valued entertainment and living space. With the addition of a kitchen and shower, a multi-use barn can also function as a gym.

7) Spiral cellars

Spiral wine cellars have grown in popularity as interest in wine collecting has grown (they can also be used to store large shoe collections). Sitting 2-3m in the ground often in kitchens to enable easy access to wine, spiral cellars have a certain bond-esque charm that can’t fail to wow guests.

Studio Hooton: Read our interview with Lucy Hargreaves, MD, Spiral Cellars for more on the benefits of spiral cellars.

8) Productive garden

A vegetable garden, some fruit trees or fruit cages – very a la mode – can be a wonderful way to enrich your home life while adding value to your home. Where possible, go green by growing organically, making your own compost and harvesting rainwater. A green roof on your greenhouse or office pod will further encourage biodiversity.

Studio Hooton: Read our guide to making more of the outside in our interview with Charlotte Murrell, Taylor Tripp Landscape Design.

9) EPC improvements

Buyers are becoming far more environmentally conscious and anything that improves a property’s energy efficiency rating (EPC) will probably add value to a home. Try and make home energy improvements with achieving net zero in mind, whether that’s by adding air source heat pumps, solar panels, high performance doors and windows, or more efficient lighting.

Finally, I always recommend where possible that homeowners bottle their excitement when moving into a new home. As tempting as it is to start renovating as soon as you get the keys, living in a house for six-twelve months first will help you see how you use it and where you could improve it. Taking this approach will lead to better decisions, and help you get more enjoyment from your country home.

Learn more about transforming your home:

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