DBPR asked property experts Adam Buxton and Simon Barnes if, for the very high-end prospective buyer, the need for large-scale entertainment space often features
Adam Buxton of Middleton Advisors: “It is quite a common request by purchasers as to where they might entertain if it is not obvious initially on viewing. It comes down to each individual client’s specific requirements and very dependent on what type of entertaining they are doing, whether large kitchen suppers, formal drinks parties or even large dinners involving dancing.
Existing homes with some of the country’s best addresses – prime central London, and the Surrey private estates, for example – were not originally designed with large entertainment space but have been reconfigured by buyers in more recent times. It is, therefore, essential for us to point out to clients those areas that might not be otherwise obvious when viewing a house for the first time or areas but that could be brought together to meet their needs and requirements. Simple scribbles on floor plans is a good start to demonstrate improved circulation, flow and configuration from layouts.
Sometimes, if a house has an exceptional ‘party’ or entertainment space, this can limit its potential buying audience when it goes to the market. It all depends on how specific the space is. For example if it is a dedicated party space and set up with a stage, screens and sound systems, it may well limit it. However, if however it is a clear, open flexible space that could be used for say a children’s ping pong table or indoor cricket net, then this is less limiting and won’t put many buyers off.
While home cinemas and ‘leisure complexes’ are common practice now, the more unusual include the ability to have three hot tubs, when one is not enough! The bowling alley and fully kitted out night club including a multi coloured dance floor was one of the more unusual.”
Simon Barnes of H. Barnes & Co: “Depending on whether it’s a London prime property or a country residence, the style and configuration of entertainment space should reflect the property.
In London, buyers will expect a more formal space with a grand dining room rather than a basement kitchen; they want this to be enhanced with impressive period features and well-proportioned rooms. In the country, it’s likely to be a generous kitchen and open plan entertaining space. Good natural light, volume and configuration with space that is well designed and flows are important criteria for all buyers.
In Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge houses tend to be tall and narrow, lacking in lateral space, which means restricted entertaining space unless several rooms are knocked through. Lateral space whether in an apartment or house is harder to come by in super prime parts of London. No one admits to having no friends or being unsociable, so whether the entertaining space is used regularly or rarely, having the perfect space it is important.”