Three-Storey Living
Still in Vogue...

The stylish town house has a long and eminent history, seducing the gentry with its charm, flexibility and status.

Modern versions are springing up on new developments all the time, aspiring to be in the same league, but do they live up their older counterparts? Coveted certainly and elegant they may be, but it seems we will never tire of this fashionable design.

So is there substance to its flirty charm? History tells us that the Regency architecture spans the first thirty years of the 19 th Century. There were two major styles, one of medieval or gothic revival, and one of a more popular classic nature. This typical Regency upper-middle class house was built in brick covered in stucco or painted plaster. Fluted Greek columns, painted and carefully molded cornices and other decorative touches, were all reproduced in cheap stucco. The key words to describe the overall effect are ‘refined elegance’.

There are many famous examples of Regency architecture in our cities that are still surviving today. The Royal Crescent in Bath is one of the most notable. These houses were designed to the individual requirements of wealthy and distinguished visitors to Bath and master craftsmen were responsible for the interior decoration, using designs drawn from the many pattern books published at the time.

So, what else does this architectural triumph have to offer apart from its fascinating façade? The interior layout of the townhouse lends itself perfectly to today’s modern buyer, accommodating both the discerning investor and the busy family looking for a multi-functional home. They offer flexible room layout, with the opportunity to incorporate casual dining, home working and additional bedrooms.

Advantages also include the fact that having a neighbour’s home attached to yours may bring a higher level of security; there may be less exterior maintenance and repairs to be responsible for and you may benefit from central amenities such as leisure / sports etc.

On the downside however, you give up privacy when compared to a single family home, and your options for changing the exterior of your property are restricted. You may also be limited on outside space (which is why many new developer’s include a roof terrace or garden); and there may be inadequate parking and garage space.

There are still many original and beautiful town houses available across the country, however if you wish to stamp your personality on a blank canvas then take note of the growing trend of new town houses being built by housing developers.

Popular because they offer the buyer considerably more square footage than a traditional two storey design, they also appeal to the builders because, quite simply, they take up less land.

As one national housebuilder quoted: “We are including more and more town houses into our new developments as they appeal to a vast range of buyers, together with meeting the demand for new homes, without compromising on land availability.”

“Customers are bowled over by the new town house designs – particularly the new four bedroom model - because they offer adaptable accommodation that is surprisingly spacious and give a tremendous amount of flexibility over three floors. They suit many different lifestyles, from families who wish to utilize all of the three bedrooms, to professional couples who have the option to turn one room into a study or a home office.”

Thankfully most builders also include the labour saving devices now expected in a traditional kitchen, combining historical elegance with modern convenience.

So don’t be afraid to take this distinguished design and turn it into a modern home fit for a king…

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