How does design add value to your home? The Modern House discusses

On Wednesday 18th July, The Modern House’s doors were opened to our subscribers for an event dedicated to exploring the value of good design.

Arriving to a drinks reception, attendees chatted to The Modern House staff before taking to their seats for a panel discussion with our co-founder Albert Hill, architect and founder of Archmongers Margaret Bursa, design editor and writer Hugo Macdonald and creative consultant Morgwn Rimel.

Up for discussion was a report commissioned by The Modern House earlier this year, for which we tasked research consultancy firm Dataloft to measure in quantitative terms something we have always instinctively know: that investing in good design not only pays dividends on a personal and emotional level, but also a financial one.

By looking at over 14,000 property transactions in over 100 London postcodes and comparing them, on a price per square foot basis, to a sample of London sales that The Modern House has overseen over the past three years, Dataloft arrived at a conclusion: ‘There is a weighted average price premium of +12% for design-led homes sold through The Modern House.’

Of course, there are nuances and complexities to this figure, and the 45-minute panel discussion looked to explore some of them, such as what exactly constitutes a well-designed home?

As an architect, Margaret Bursa explained how her worst nightmare would be to see one of her projects ‘in the skip’ upon completion, ripped out to be started again from scratch.

“We think about the long-term life of a project, from the materials we use to how the space might need to change over time,” said Margaret, reflecting on an important point: that good design is not about making a quick buck, but rather about implementing the fundamental principles of good architecture – natural light, durability, versatility, beauty and functionality – to create meaningful spaces.

“People think that design equates to luxury, but it doesn’t,” explained Morgwn Rimel, adding that “what I love about The Modern House is that whether they are selling a £20m mansion or a studio flat, all of the homes on their website deploy those fundamental principles that form a well-designed space.”

Another question that was raised was if design is about trends? “More and more, people are recognising that trends come and go,” noted Morgwn. “The trick is to figure out what feels of the moment but isn’t confined to this moment, so that whatever interventions you make have a timelessness, are sustainable and endure beyond whatever is fashionable now,” she said.

The Modern House co-founder Albert Hill picked up on Morgwn’s point that people are becoming more design-literate, saying that he hoped The Modern House has had a small part to play in that. “Ultimately, what we want is for there to be as many people living in well-designed homes as possible,” he added.

With the talk wrapped up, audience members proposed questions on the importance of exterior spaces, lighting design and the benefit of living in a space before making any changes to it.

After an insightful hour of conversation, we took stock over drinks in the main space of our new office, which we’ll have more on in the coming weeks.

An audio recording of the discussion is available here.

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