Eco-friendly and simple with plenty of storage: the UK’s ideal home revealed

Two fifths of us covet a custom-built house, but what would it look like? GoCompare Mortgages has revealed the features most in demand for ‘Britain’s ideal home’.*

Working with Marc Sawan, an architect from eye-kon, a visual creation studio, we have designed and built the UK’s ideal home, using CGI.


There’s no place like home and for more than half (52%) it’s a place to seek solace away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with a third (33%) placing their ideal home in a village and one in five (19%) in a small town.

While most desire a slower pace of life, for Londoners, staying connected to city life was important with 70% saying they’d need to live within commuting distance of a big city.

Interior design and style

Although a modern, simply designed sustainable home was favoured by more than a quarter (28%), a more traditional route was taken when picking interiors. Over half (52%) selected either a traditional (26%) or a country house style (26%) for their interior.

The traditional and country house style interiors are the embodiment of elegance and comfort. Both styles are quite versatile in that they can be combined with other interior design elements without becoming confused.

Instead, a wonderful layering effect of designs is created with changes made over time by different generations adding in fashionable features and fabrics. When done well these styles strike the perfect balance between grand design and lived-in comfort.


Along with a traditional interior design, a conventional layout is preferred with 55% opting for communal rooms, such as the kitchen and living room, downstairs and bedrooms upstairs.

Scottish homeowners were more open to breaking with tradition, with a third (33%) picking a mixture of rooms across both floors. Meanwhile, more than 14% of Londoners pushed traditional boundaries even further opting for communal rooms upstairs and bedrooms downstairs.


We’re all guilty of keeping clothing that no longer fits, just in case.

So naturally storage was an important factor when designing the ideal home. When it came to selecting additional rooms, the three most sought-after spaces were a garage (46%) a conservatory (40%) and a utility room (36%).

The need for storage wasn’t just limited to the house, nearly two thirds (63%) selected the option for a storage shed in the garden.


Overall, a fuss-free garden was favoured, with a quarter (24%) opting for simplicity. Yorkshire and the Humber proved the biggest nature lovers with 27% saying they’d want a wildlife-friendly garden, followed by the North East (24%) and Scotland (23%)

Being near or around water can have a positive impact on a person’s mood, health and well-being so it’s understandable why water features proved popular outdoor additions. More than a third (35%) wanted a water feature, a quarter (25%) craved a pond and 24% splashed out on a hot tub.

Eco-friendly additions

Awareness of global warming and climate change seems to be taking effect, with the majority (90%) choosing to include eco-friendly features in their ideal home.

Solar panels proved the most popular eco-feature with 59% including them in their ideal home, people from Wales (71%), the South West (68%) and the North West (63%) were most likely to use them.

Large proportions of respondents also said they’d include rainwater harvesting features (50%) and eco-friendly lighting (46%).

So how much is the house worth?

We spoke to CPS Homes and here’s what they had to say; “It’s all about location really and the demand for certain areas is what really influences prices.”

What is it about certain areas that drives up the price?

“Factors which largely increase demand include school catchment areas, good transport links, the health service provisions available, employment opportunities as well as areas of natural beauty.”

How would you go about building this house?

Building your own home is something lots of people dream about doing. But, there’s a huge amount to consider from the location to plots of land available, builders and getting relevant insurance.

Land isn’t cheap, especially when planning permission has already been granted. Be wary of plots that seem too good to be true, make sure you’re buying land that has planning permission already granted or there’s a dwelling there to replace.

Study the planning permission carefully, as Marc Sawan of eye-kon explains: “This project was unlike most projects - normally the design of an individual home would take shape around a client's needs and desires. These needs would also be constrained by the plot, the area and the budget.”

“The 3D fly-though we produced for this project is a crucial tool to 'visit' the house from the front door to the last bedroom, passing by all the key spaces. The still 3D visuals are useful to inform on the proportions of a space, the locations of openings and the potential for furnishing the space. If you were to build your own home, both of these assets are invaluable and cost-effective design tools for an architect and a prospective home owner to refine the design before it's turned into reality.”

*On 20 July 2017, 4media Group conducted an online survey among 2,005 randomly selected UK adults (aged 18 and over). The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.