Stream­ing ser­vices, with a twist

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

sign­ers of the RIBA North build­ing on Liver­pool’s wa­ter­front.

And at Ca­nary Wharf ’s Pan Penin­sula, where prices start from £365,000 for a stu­dio, the en­trance hall fea­tures a silent wa­ter­fall. “Po­ten­tial buy­ers and ten­ants ex­pect to see ul­tra-mod­ern in­te­ri­ors and quirky fea­tures that add an el­e­ment of per­son­al­i­sa­tion to a devel­op­ment,” says Chris Os­mond, di­rec­tor at Johns & Co, the sell­ing agent for the devel­op­ment. “The concierge area is where vis­i­tors form their first im­pres­sions, so it is es­sen­tial to cre­ate an en­trance that is unique and mem­o­rable.”

Viki Lan­der, cre­ative di­rec­tor at En­soul In­te­rior Ar­chi­tec­ture, says that wa­ter fea­tures are calm­ing, at­trac­tive and of­ten stim­u­lat­ing ad­di­tions to the home. “In­door wa­ter­falls and ponds re­quire their me­chan­ics to be hid­den so that you only see the beau­ti­ful ef­fect,” she says. “Use nat­u­ral stone with cav­i­ties to house wa­ter­falls. If you can dig down you can make ponds flush with your floor fin­ish which can look stun­ning, or you can build up walls to form a seat­ing area.”

Any in­stal­la­tions should be done by pro­fes­sion­als who can wa­ter­proof the ar­eas to avoid leaks. As wa­ter is heavy, you may need to con­sider the struc­tural im­pact so that the fea­ture and any­thing around it will not col­lapse. Par­tic­u­lar care should al­ways be taken if there are chil­dren or el­derly peo­ple liv­ing in the home to avoid ac­ci­dents.

Of course, many of us al­ready have wa­ter fea­tures in­side our home: aquar­i­ums are the most ac­ces­si­ble and pop­u­lar in­door wa­ter fea­ture, ac­cord­ing to the home de­sign web­site Houzz. Lan­der po­si­tioned a large aquar­ium on the ground floor of one client’s open- plan town­house to blur the lines be­tween the con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior and park­land out­side – and to add an el­e­ment of pri­vacy. “It’s a fresh­wa­ter aquar­ium and fea­tures a mul­ti­tude of plants and fish, cho­sen to look nat­u­ral in the sur­round­ings,” she says. “It also fits per­fectly with the in­te­rior scheme of green and orange, and pre­vents vis­i­bil­ity of the whole house when the front door is opened.”

The cost was around £8,000 (plus £2,000 for the fish) and it re­quires a main­te­nance visit from a spe­cial­ist every two weeks. Fil­ters, lights, plants and fish need to be re­plen­ished or re­placed from time to time. Lan­der ad­vises check­ing the on­go­ing costs of any wa­ter in­stal­la­tion be­fore com­mit­ting. Not only can some wa­ter fea­tures be cum­ber­some to main­tain but they can even re­duce the prop­erty’s value if they are left to de­te­ri­o­rate.

They must also fit with the style of the room. “Con­tem­po­rary homes or ex­ten­sions are most suited to the more dra­matic wa­ter fea­tures,” says Athina Bluff from the vir­tual in­te­rior de­sign service Topol­ogy Lon­don. “While be­spoke de­signs can cost thou­sands, it’s pos­si­ble to buy much cheaper op­tions for a few hun­dred pounds – but make sure de­signs are in pro­por­tion to the room and materials com­pat­i­ble with the cho­sen decor.”

There are plenty of ready-made op­tions on the mar­ket. Vic­to­ria Har­ri­son, an edi­tor at Houzz, says she has seen cre­ative de­signs on the web­site in­clud­ing “wa­ter­falls, wa­ter sculp­tures and even mini moats that bridge the gap be­tween in­door and out­door liv­ing”.

If your bud­get is slightly larger, take in­spi­ra­tion from In­fin­ity House, a Ge­or­gian prop­erty in Lon­don where no ex­pense has been spared. It has a three-floor rear ex­ten­sion with a clev­erly ex­ca­vated base­ment that re­veals its pièce de ré­sis­tance, a swim­ming pool with glass sides. This is even more spec­tac­u­lar when viewed from above through a sky­light that dou­bles as a glass floor in the kitchen. (For pri­vacy, this can be frosted at the touch of a smart­phone.) The six-bed­room home is on the mar­ket with Hamp­tons In­ter­na­tional for £6,999,950. Talk about splash­ing the cash.

Colos­sus wall

A func­tional fish tank de­signed by En­soul In­te­rior Ar­chi­tec­ture, main; a glass pool is vis­i­ble through a sky­light at In­fin­ity House, be­low; the wa­ter wall at Chelsea Creek, be­low left

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