Property in Kensington: stylish houses and apartments

Monday, June 22, 2009 by Douglas And Gordon

Property in Kensington is some of the most sort-after (and pricey) in the world. But if you know what you’re looking for, you can land yourself a well-located gem with great views and plenty of space and light. Built in the extravagant Georgian and Victorian eras, these quintessential English homes offer the resident a sense of history. The changes in the last 200 years, while subtle, have allowed property in Kensington to be modernised just enough to be ideal for the twenty-first century city dweller.

Terrace Houses

Terrace houses characterise property in Kensington. The uniformity of these old-fashioned houses lends a certain atmosphere of order and opulence to the area. Most deluxe property in Kensington was built in the Georgian era (which spanned the 18th century) when terrace houses became popular. Georgian houses are characterised by their decorative facades which are stuccoed and boast white pillars and ornate moldings.

Originally, the second or third floors was where the owners and guests slept, while children and servants slept on the narrower top floor, and the ground floor and basement made up the family rooms and kitchens. These former luxurious houses have been converted into smaller apartments to a large extent.

Penthouses

Since the second or third floors have always contained the larger bedrooms and afford the best views, many of these have been converted into Penthouse luxury apartments.  Modern interior decorators have added extra touches of elegance and comfort making most penthouses airy, inviting and some of the most sought after property for sale in Kensington.

Loft apartments

While the Penthouses are the most magnificent, the loft apartments, on the very top floor are cosy and packed with character and charm. Single people often prefer the size and privacy of lofts in Kensington and they are also considerably cheaper. You can expect a loft apartment in Kensington to have the latest modern conveniences with all the original features intact.

Victorian houses

You can recognise the Victorian properties in Kensington by their rich red face brick facades. Victorian property in Kensington, much of which is available to rent, is either built in rows or facing onto squares (like Grosvenor square). The houses don’t usually have large gardens, although some late Victorian houses have hidden gardens at the back with a rear access. The largest property in South Kensington, the spectacular Victoria and Albert museum, is a prime example of Victorian architecture in all its glory.

Mews

More modestly designed properties in Kensington are the converted stables, more commonly known as mews houses, which despite their humble appearances fetch good prices when for sale. Ironically, mews houses are now for the more well-to-do, as each house only houses one family, instead of being broken up into different apartments like the terrace houses (which were the ‘real’ houses of the Victorian era). The facades are much the same as they were one hundred years ago but the interiors have been radically overhauled.

Property in Kensington is fairly versatile and cosmopolitan; the area houses oil magnates and rich celebs, as well as ordinary bachelors, small families and students. Aside from Kensington’s awe-inspiring architecture, its success as a residential area is probably a result of the balance it maintains between vitality and peacefulness.

Contact your Kensington estate agent for more information on  South Kensington property.