Country Homes: New Trends vs Old Traditions

Our Country House Manager, Claire Carter, shares a glimpse into what's ‘in’ and what's ‘out’ in the latest update on countryside living.

The charm of country living in the UK is evolving, with homeowners opting for trends that align with both functionality and the picturesque appeal of rural landscapes.

From heating solutions to architectural transformations, the country living experience is undergoing a refreshing makeover. With sustainability, functionality, and cost-effectiveness at the forefront, the countryside is proving to be a dynamic canvas for new home trends.

Our Country House Manager, Claire Carter, shares a glimpse into what's ‘in’ and what's ‘out’ in the latest update on countryside living.

OUT with air source heat pumps, IN with log burners

Air source heat pumps, once considered an eco-friendly solution, are now falling out of favour among country homeowners. Many have reported exorbitant costs and inefficiency, especially in less-than-adequately insulated houses. Instead, the focus has shifted towards the comforting allure of log burners and open fireplaces. Contrary to their reputation in urban areas, log burners are making a resurgence in the countryside, adding a touch of romance to the country dream. Sustainable wood from local sources is a preference, and wood burning fans are becoming a popular addition, turning sitting rooms into cosy sanctuaries.

The evolution of agas

Traditional Agas are losing their appeal, getting labelled as expensive ‘bum warmers’. However, electric Agas are gaining traction in the market. The convenience of turning them on and off instantly, along with the ability to control temperature, has made them more attractive. Particularly popular among younger, first-time country house buyers, electric Agas offer a modern twist to the classic aesthetic without the need for extensive training, a drawback associated with their traditional counterparts.

OUT with granny Annexes, IN with party barns

In a significant shift, granny annexes are losing their popularity, making way for the rise of party barns. This is a trend where many are converting garages into versatile spaces for entertaining. While garage conversions traditionally served as additional accommodation or granny annexes, the current preference leans towards creating vibrant party barns.

This shift is attributed to the post-Covid era, where people are choosing to entertain at home rather than going out, leading to a surge in demand for multifunctional spaces. These party barns may include cooking areas, seating arrangements, and even bedrooms, making them ideal for hosting events and weddings – a cost-effective alternative to external venues.

Our John D Wood & Co. Country House Department takes pride in arranging the sale and letting of fine country homes and estates in Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.


Claire Carter 
Country House Sales Manager