One in five house hunters are looking for a home with ‘originality’ – with must-have period features

The study, which surveyed 2,000 adults aged 25-60 looking for a new home, found that 12% were looking at properties with non-traditional and renovated spaces in the home, such as stables, churches or even windmills.

And hidden rooms or built-in herb gardens are also on the checklist for one in ten.

Another 17% want an office in their garden, while more than one in ten are looking for houses with basements.

The study, commissioned by internet service provider TalkTalk, also revealed why people are looking for something more unique, with 58% wanting their living space to express their personal style.

While nearly two-fifths want their property to stand out from the rest.

It also emerged that more than a third (37%) prefer more original homes, with 29% saying they already live in a house they would describe as ‘unusual’.

Consumer champion and interior design presenter, Anna Richardson, who partnered with TalkTalk, said: “When it comes to interior design, I’ve always loved the extraordinary – it’s the bold features , unconventional and unique that make a home a person for me.

“While aesthetics are important, I often use multiple devices while my home oscillates between a workspace, a hangout for friends and family, and a cozy lair to catch up on my favorite shows.”

In a video, Anna Richardson visits two of the UK’s most unusual properties: The Cube and The Chapel.

She describes the quirky features of each location and explores the rise of non-traditional features and unusual layouts, while sharing her top tips for revamping conventional spaces.

The study also found that the pandemic has changed what 20% of respondents are looking for in a new property.

But 65% are still looking for accommodation with more space and almost two-fifths are looking for houses close to their place of work.

A further 45% said that a fast and reliable internet connection in the area was essential when looking for a new place to live.

And while homes with unusual layouts are appealing to potential buyers, they can also pose challenges – as almost a fifth are concerned about Wi-Fi connectivity in a home with a quirky layout.

Jonathan Kini, Managing Director of TalkTalk Consumer and Direct Business, said: “Many of us are looking to expand our homes or use less conventional living spaces.

“Our Total Home Wi-Fi plans speed up UK Wi-Fi.”


  1. Characteristics of the period
  2. Garden office
  3. lean-to
  4. Underground levels, i.e. a basement
  5. Non-traditional, renovated space in the house
  6. Hidden Chambers
  7. Built-in herb garden
  8. Unusual layout i.e. unconventional floor plan, stairs in the middle of a room


  1. Recycle the ordinary to make it extraordinary. Reusing to your liking can be fun, thrifty and good for the planet – and you’ll end up with a unique piece of furniture as well. A suitcase can turn into an elegant table, a steel trash can can become an abstract work of art – the only limit is your imagination.
  2. The bolder, the better. Whether it’s pops of bright color, statement pieces or strong textures, transforming your home starts with boldness. Even repainting an old piece of furniture can add drama to a room and help bring several quirky spaces together with a cohesive theme.
  3. Don’t break the bank. If social media has taught us anything, it’s that Do It Yourself saves more than pennies. Some things are too complex, but with time and determination to learn new tricks, you can do wonders. Reusing or salvaging materials can also help save money and can add originality if you find a hidden gem.
  4. Use your own experiences. Having an original house means above all expressing your own personality. I love researching family memories that have been passed down from generation to generation. I have exhibited my father’s vintage crystal glasses, as well as my grandfather’s opera glasses – mixing modern and vintage is my personal style. Being unique comes from within, don’t let your home restrict the way you would like to live. So while inspiration can come from anywhere, don’t forget to add some of your own personality to it.
  5. Invest in fast, reliable connectivity. Many factors can affect a good Wi-Fi connection and, unfortunately, living in a quirky home where the layout or design is unusual can be one of them.

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