10 Ways to use Classic Blue – Pantone’s 2020 Colour of the Year

classic blue colour of the year

Rich, deep and oh-so soothing, blues certainly won't be banished this season. Gabrielle Fagan shows how to add a splash of Classic Blue.

Big up the blues at home this year, if you want to be on trend. Pantone, the global authority on colour, has declared ‘Classic Blue’ its Colour of the Year for 2020, which it describes as a “timeless and enduring hue”, and “elegant in its simplicity”.

This bold but calming deep cobalt ushers in a fresh decade on the colour charts, and you’ll definitely be seeing it everywhere as designers and decor companies rush to get on board with blues.

It’s a complete contrast to last year’s choice – a peachy ‘Living Coral’ – but, in reaction to the turbulent times we’ve been living in, this year’s shade is apparently designed to bring “a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge”.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute, who says the shade is “suggestive of a sky at dusk”, explains: “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith.

“It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on.”

We’ve found 10 ways to give your home a beautiful blue injection, to take it from dull to dazzling in 2020 and beyond…

classic blue colour of the year

1. Splash out on a statement seat

“The popularity of blue is down to its versatility. Blues are easy to live with and simple to pair with other colours,” says Charlie Marshall, founder of furniture company, Loaf. “Plus they don’t really ever go out of style, unlike some bolder, fleeting of-the-moment shades.

“If you want to make a real statement, then a sofa or love seat in a blue fabric will add real wow-factor to a sitting room.”

If you’re baffled by blues and its many hues, Marshall advises checking out blue interiors on Pinterest and Instagram. “It will help inspire you and show you how the colour works,” he adds. “Experiment first, before you invest in a large item, by updating inexpensive, smaller accessories like cushions and throws, or introducing an artwork that features a blue palette.”

classic blue colour of the year

2. Take flight with blue

“Classic Blue is a strong, honest colour that gives you a feeling of being anchored when you look at it,” declares Anna Jacobs, one of many designers inspired by this year’s blue palette.

“There’s nothing frivolous about blue,” she adds. “This timeless colour will outlast through multiple trends. It also makes a fantastic base colour for many colour schemes, as it will support and enhance bright colours, while enlivening neutrals.”

classic blue colour of the year

3. Go grand with majestic blue

Bold decorative designs in rich dark blues will add a touch of grandeur that could turn your home into a little palace. “Although it may be considered a bold choice for walls, Classic Blue is surprisingly versatile,” points out Alex Whitecroft, head of design at I Want Wallpaper.

“It can be styled in many ways to achieve different looks. Deeper shades of blue can look regal, so add a splash of opulence to your living space with a quirky feature wall, such as one papered with a Rasch Portfolio Peacock Print.”

Alternatively, for a contemporary vibe, he advises geometric prints with metallic detailing.

classic blue colour of the year

4. Think blue & take two

Splashing out on the home, particularly after Christmas, may not be on the agenda – but you can easily add a fashionable dash of blue by styling up with a couple of affordable accessories.

Give a sofa a smart, new look with a cosy throw, and invest in that most useful of occasional seats – a plush pouffe.

classic blue colour of the year

5. Dream in blue

Colour blocking is another chic way to introduce Classic Blue while creating visual interest, enthuses Rebecca Snowden, interiors style adviser, Furniture Choice.

“Painting a blue band on the lower half of a wall, and having the upper half ivory or white, is super effective” she says. “Take the colour up to less than half the height of the room and paint the larger proportion in ivory or white. This will make the wall appear higher and is ideal for making smaller, low-ceiling rooms look airy and more spacious.”

Blues are perfect for rocking a coastal vibe, she points out. To channel this look, Snowden suggests pairing the shade with light wood and natural materials like rattan or jute, and completing the effect with sea-inspired artwork.

classic blue colour of the year

6. Feast on blue

A deep blue tone brings a summer vibe to any room, which is calming, relaxing and ideal for an eating area.

Combine fresh white and blue with a pared-back contemporary interior, free of clutter, and let the colour sing in the space.

classic blue colour of the year

7. Transform a tabletop

A successful table setting is one which is a visual feast for the eyes, but doesn’t compete or clash with colourful food, allowing the meal to star.

Serve up delicious shades of cool blue in tableware and contrast with a pure white tablecloth, or for a more rustic feel, display on a richly grained wooden table.

classic blue colour of the year

8. Guarantee a blue skies outlook

Add drama and luxury to a room by dressing windows with new curtains in a deep blue shade, reminiscent of velvety blue skies.

“It’s amazing how blue can transform a home, and a sophisticated, deep, dark blue for curtains and Roman blinds will not only be dramatic and striking but will ramp up a feeling of cossetting comfort,” says Susan White, group marketing director for blinds and shutters specialists, Hillarys.

Their Onyx Magma curtain and Roman blind range, in a blue-toned marble effect print, starts from £276, Hillarys.

classic blue colour of the year

9. Make an open & shut case

“Brightly coloured shutters make for a fantastic alternative to a feature wall,” says Chrissie Harper, customer experience manager at California Shutters.

“Full height or solid shutters work particularly well painted in a bold shade, instantly creating a major statement. Classic Blue is striking but not anchored to a season, so the shade will make your home feel cosy during the colder months but bright and open when days are lighter and longer,” she adds.

The company has a colour-matching service, which gives you the option to match your shutters to your wall so you can achieve an impressive all-over look for a room.

classic blue colour of the year

10. Quick step into blues

Interior designers always plan the floor before the walls, because they know the impact it can have on a space. Carpet or flooring in a deep, rich hue could lead your scheme and make your wall colour choice easy, as it should merely complement the floor.

“Carefully considered flooring is the perfect way to introduce blue in a subtle yet stylish way,” says Anna Del-Molino, buyer at Carpetright.

“Using a deep shade of blue on floors, curtains and walls adds depth and interest to a space. To keep the shade from overwhelming your room, complement with pops of softer colours, such as dusky pink, grey, or rich oranges, and reflect the light with gleaming metallics.”

5 Clever Time-Saving Tips for Busy Gardeners

garden tips to save time

Back to work? So when are you going to find time to get all those gardening jobs done to make sure your plot looks pretty?

garden tips to save time

Well, you can save hours later on in the year by making a few changes now to give you that time back when you most need it.

Here are five ideas to give you a head start on maintaining your garden when others will be digging, mowing, watering and weeding every chance they get…

garden tips to save time

1. Use permanent plantings in containers

Plant containers with evergreens, shrubs or perennials that will come back year after year, to save time having to replant annuals with every change of season.

Lavender is a good stalwart, or you could also choose patio roses, which make a good low-maintenance alternative to summer bedding, with a long flowering season. Plant them in a big enough container and they can stay there for several years.

garden tips to save time

2. Consider automatic irrigation

Installing an automatic watering system in your garden will save you hours in the summer months. You can introduce seep hoses into borders and subtle irrigation systems to take care of patio plants.

It may involve some effort initially to get to grips with the timers and securing the hoses where you want them, but it will be worth the effort. Some systems have sensors that are placed in the soil, which can assess how dry it is and adjust watering accordingly.

garden tips to save time

3. Stop weeds before they start

You can save hours of weeding by spreading a thick mulch over your beds and borders, which not only suppresses weeds but will also help retain moisture. Loose mulches such as cocoa shells and compost will provide nutrients to the soil, while bark chippings and gravel will be long-lasting.

Mulches should really be applied annually and should be at least 5cm (2in) thick to be effective. If you’re a busy gardener, a thicker mulch of 7.5cm (3in) of good quality bark chippings should last up to three years, and can be applied at any time, although it’s better to mulch in late spring when the soil is moist and warm but before the weeds emerge.

garden tips to save time

4. Create no-dig vegetable beds

Save time in the long-run by making a no-dig raised bed with room to walk in-between. The soil won’t become compacted because no-one will be walking on it and will negate the need to dig. Make each bed between 1-1.5m (3-5ft) wide, so you can reach to the centre from the path.

The depth of the raised bed depends on which crops you are growing, so if it’s root vegetables you will need to make it deeper, while shallow-rooted crops such as lettuces will thrive in shallower beds.

garden tips to save time

5. Go for a natural lawn

Keeping a lawn looking pristine can be extremely time-consuming, as annual jobs include removing moss and thatch, reseeding bare patches, feeding, getting rid of lumps and bumps and regular mowing during the growing season. So, go for something that will take up less time.

Create a clover lawn for a longer, more natural look. It will need much less maintenance than a grass lawn, needs no feeding and only has to be mown once to remove dead flowerheads. Clover is also a magnet for bees.

Alternatively, go for a herb lawn with a mixture of creeping thymes or non-flowering chamomile, although these won’t stand hard wear, so you may need to cut a path if you’re going to walk through your herb lawn regularly.

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Money in 2020

money 2020

Brushing up your money habits this month could make a big difference to your finances in 2020 and beyond.

money 2020

The new year often means a fresh start – and for some, 2020 could mean turning over a new leaf when it comes to their finances. But don’t be put off by the idea of having to grapple with big numbers, as large gestures aren’t always what’s needed.

You may find small actions taken now could go a long way towards improving your financial prospects, whether it’s cutting down on daily treats or trying out online tools to help you manage your money better.

“In 2020, investing a little more time managing our money could be the best investment we make,” says Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva.

Here, he shares 10 top tips for better money management in 2020…

money 2020

1. Don’t just focus on your big financial commitments – small ones can also add up

For example, did you know that over a working life of 40 years, we could spend more than £25,000 on daily coffees? Reducing this to one takeaway coffee every other day could save more than £10,000.

In 2020, it would be a good idea to think about where you spend your money and what little savings could be made.

2. Make the most of free help

Many of us are not confident when it comes to managing our money – but there are many free services to help us along the way, such as the independent Money Advice Service website.

3. Shop around

Many people don’t shop around when making financial decisions. This could be costly. A different bank account, a different pension, or a different mortgage could save you a lot of money.

money 2020

4. Understand your state pension

The state pension represents the biggest source of income for most people in retirement. But it is also complicated. In 2020, it would be a good idea to get a free state pension forecast from the government to understand how much state pension you could be entitled to, and from when. More information is available at gov.uk/check-state-pension.

5. Take control of your workplace pension

Record numbers of people have been saving into private workplace pensions. This can make a big difference to your retirement wellbeing. In 2020, it would be a good idea to understand your workplace pension, to ensure you are maximising the benefits.

6. Hunt down lost savings

It’s been estimated that more than £20 billion of people’s private pension money could have been misplaced over the years. In 2020, you could use the Government’s free pension tracing service to track down any pensions you may have lost. Go to gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.

money 2020

7. Use your retirement freedoms

This year marks five years since the freedoms launched. More than one million people have since taken advantage, seizing greater private pension flexibility from age 55. If you are aged over-50, the Government’s free Pension Wise Service (pensionwise.gov.uk/en) can help you understand your options.

8. Make the most of online tools to help you manage your money

Many banks and pension and investment providers offer free online services to help you make the most of your money, whenever and wherever you want.

9. Keep calm during volatility

Continuing economic and political uncertainty may cause investment volatility in the year ahead. In 2020, it would be a good idea to ease your nerves by reminding yourself that the value of your investments can go up as well as down, and many investments are designed for the long term. Try to avoid short-term panic.

10. Keep fit

Last year saw the number of people in work over the age of 50 reach a record 10 million. Working longer is a very powerful way of paying for our longer lives in retirement. Keeping fit and healthy will help us do this.

money 2020

7 New Homes For Sale Hartley Wintney

Hartley-Wintney-Property-For-Sale-Shapley-Grange-header-image

Shapley Grange is an exclusive development of seven 3 and 4 bedroom homes, built to a high specification by Sunningdale House Deevelopments, on a small site in a prime location less than a mile from the village of Hartley Wintney.

Hartley Wintney high street is full of individual shops, a renowned cricket green, a golf club and a lovely village pond. The thriving town of Reading is about 14 miles away, Wokingham about 11 miles and Basingstoke 10 miles. .

Great Hartley Wintney Location

For the commuter, the closest railway station are Winchfield (1 mile) and Hook (2 miles), providing travel in approximately 50 minutes to London Waterloo.

Motorway access is via the M3 at nearby Hook (j5), and the M4 at Reading (j11). Central London is about 41 miles and Heathrow Airport 32 miles.

For those seeking a quality new home in a sought after location with excellent road and rail access, Shapley Grange is a must to view.

Location-Image-Hartley-Wintney-Property-For-Sale-McCarthy-Holden

Plots two and four, are substantial detached four bedroom houses providing just over 2,100 square feet of living space. Prices start from £980,000.

On the ground floor there is a reception hall, cloakroom, a living room, separate dining room, a study, a splendid kitchen dining family room, and a utility room.

There is also a double garage.

On the first floor there is a landing, a splendid master bedroom with en-suite dressing room and an en-suite bathroom and shower, bedroom two features an en-suite. There are four bedrooms in total plus a family bathroom and two en-suites

Plots one and three, are detached four bedroom houses providing almost 1,900 square feet of living space. Prices start from £880,000.

On the ground floor there is a fine reception hall, a cloakroom, living room, study, a vast kitchen dining family room, and a utility room.

On the first floor there is a landing, a generous master bedroom with an en-suite, and there are four bedrooms in total plus a family bathroom.

Plots five, six and seven, are character terrace houses providing just around 1,000 square feet of living space. Prices start from £470,000.

On the ground floor there is a reception hall, a cloakroom, living dining room, and a splendid kitchen breakfast room.

On the first floor there is a landing, a master bedroom with en-suite dressing room. There are three bedrooms in total plus a family bathroom and an en-suite.

To arrange a site visit and view these wonderful new homes, contact our Hartley Wintney branch on 01252 842100.

Next re-open days for McCarthy Holden after Christmas are Friday 27th and Saturday 28th (both 10-2)

 

Virginia Water New Homes Sales Uptake

VIRGINIA-WATER-FOR-SALE-PROPERTY-HANNOVER-header-image

Hannover House is an exclusive development of exquisite one and two bedroom apartments, in the heart of Virginia Water which is a most sought after area in Surrey.

Created by Sunningdale House Developments, this impressive development benefits from secure gated under-croft parking, lifts to each core and full height windows which maximise the light inside the luxurious apartments.

Hannover House is conveniently located a short walk away from Virginia Water train station providing quick and easy access into London.

Near TASIS and trains to Waterloo

Hannover House is conveniently located a short walk away from Virginia Water train station providing quick and easy access into London, and TASIS (The American International School in England) is nearby.

Show home now reserved

The show apartment has just been reserved, so if you want to see how you could furnish and add interior design flair to your chosen apartment, then view the show apartment in January 2020.

VIRGINIA-WATER-FOR-SALE-PROPERTY-HANNOVER 1

Selected apartments feature terraces or juliet balconies and each home has been designed with meticulous attention to detail.

The show apartment is featured in this brochure, and potential buyers are welcome to arrange a viewing with the selling agents. Floor plans and a guide to sizes of individual apartments are shown on pages 13 to 28 of the pdf brochure.

VIRGINIA-WATER-FOR-SALE-PROPERTY-HANNOVER-2

Virginia Water has excellent shops for day to day needs, restaurants and mainline railway station with a fast service of trains to Waterloo in approximately 43 minutes.

Neighbouring towns such as Ascot, Windsor Weybridge and Chobham are within easy reach , and central London is about 30 miles. Junction 13 of the M25 is just 3.5 miles away giving access to London, Heathrow and the motorway network.

Country clubs in the area include world-renowned Wentworth Club, Foxhills, Queenwood, Sunningdale and the Royal Berkshire. Walks can be enjoyed around Virginia Water Lake which leads up to the Polo fields at Smiths Lawn and is adjacent to Savill Gardens and Windsor Great Park beyond for riding.

The area is well catered for by a choice of private prep schools, as well as two international schools, ACS in Egham and TASIS in Thorpe which is less than 3 miles away. Heathrow Airport is about 13 miles.

7 Remaining For Sale - Arrange a Viewing

With the sale uptake in December 2019, we highly recommend early viewing in 2020, so please contact our Hartley Wintney branch or telephone 01252 842100 to arrange to view Hannover House.

Next re-open days for McCarthy Holden after Christmas are Friday 27th and Saturday 28th (both 10-2)

Apartment Three Details – Guide £400,000

Apartment Eight Details – Guide £425,000

Apartment Five Details – Guide £550,000

Apartment Seven Details – Guide £550,000

Apartment Four Details – Guide £575,000

Apartment Six Details – Guide £595,000

Apartment Ten Details – Guide £595,000

Apartment Fourteen Details – Guide £795,000

Highly Individual Newly Crafted House Conversion £450,000

Plot 1 Castlebridge header image

As the centrepiece of the new T A Fisher Castlebrook development, they have converted the Edwardian and spacious Jolly Miller village pub into four beautiful and very different new homes with all the passion and care they are renowned for.

This lovely building has a wonderful heritage. It was designed by architect Arthur J Steadman, who was commissioned by Alton -based brewery Crowley’s in 1908. So successful was his distinctive design it was replicated in a number of hostelries across north Hampshire. Sadly, although many survive none are today used as pubs.  However, every improvement we’ve made has been in keeping with Arthur’s original vision, the character of this spacious and unique building and its colourful history.

So behind the carefully restored and characterful facade, you’ll discover every conceivable contemporary convenience and the high-quality specification you expect to make the very most of today’s busy lifestyles.

When you deserve something special

If you’re seeking a different two-double bedroomed home with en-suite, integrated wardrobes and so much more, look no further than this stylish conversion.

From its own entrance hall, open plan living/dining room and fully integrated kitchen to the family bathroom and ever-handy downstairs cloakroom, this property has it all.

The living space is greatly enhanced by the French doors from the living room to the rear garden, which really help to bring the great outdoors in.

We think it’s perfect for the downsizers or professional couples who like to entertain and would love a home that’s just that little more special.

floor plans plot one Castlebrook McCarthy Holden estate agency

Take a look at the download brochure to see floor plans and specification.

To arrange to view 5 Castlebrook, and the show house at 6 Castlebrook early in the New Year telephone our Odiham branch on 01256 704851

Next re-open days for McCarthy Holden after Christmas are Friday 27th and Saturday 28th (both 10-2)

New Homes For Sale Boxing Day

Plot 5 Castlebridge Header Image

T A Fisher will be releasing for sale two new properties at Castlebrook, their small quality development in North Warnborough, near Odiham in Hampshire.

Number 5 Castlebrook will be selling at a guide of £540,000 and we are delighted to provide this news item early.

5 Casltebrook - For sale at £540,000

There are only 11 homes being created at Castlebrook, and at our 23rd November preview event plots 6 and 11 were reserved, so a flying start and the sale of these fine properties which haven’t yet been seen on property portals such as Rightmove.

5 Castlebrook is an end-terraced house, providing around 1,200 sq. ft. of space. The floor plans are shown below and the master bedroom with en-suite shower room and dressing room is an outstanding feature.

floor plans 5 6 and 7 Castlebrook

The above video tour will tell you about the area and showcase plot 6, a mid-terrace house providing around 1,200 sq ft of superb space. We think you’ll be impressed.

Architectural Detail

We have been impressed with many aspects of the T A Fisher new homes, and we were most impressed with the architectural detail of the terraced properties plots 5, 6 and 7. Some of the eye catching features are shown below – 1. Distinctive plinth brick course. 2. The soldier course brick detail to window surround 3. The elegant front doors 4. The substantial porch 4. The wealth of attractive tile hanging to the front and side elevations.

Such attention to detail and styling is to be applauded.

Castlebrook site plan McCarthy Holden estate agents

5 Castlebrook will be available from Boxing Day, and you can take a look at a download pdf brochure.

To arrange to view 5 Castlebrook, and the show house at 6 Castlebrrok early in the New Year telephone our Odiham branch on 01256 704851.

Next re-open days for McCarthy Holden after Christmas are Friday 27th and Saturday 28th (both 10-2)

Property Lifestyle and Boxing Day Event

Boxing Day property event McCarthy Holden estate agents

Find out about the next big property event on Boxing Day, an take a look at our Pre-Christmas edition of the magazine In The Country & Town, which sets out to showcase some of the most exquisite homes, as well as deliver engaging editorial content and of course comment on the house market.

In addition to some amazing properties, our editorial features includes Cocktails at Downton, Go Anywhere with Land Rover and the new film release The Aeronauts.

Just click on the image below to open a new tab and view the magazine page by page and indulge in some wonderful online reading.

Click the above image to view the full magazine

There are some fabulous properties being showcased in this magazine, in areas such as The Ridges Finchampstead and the Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water

Also of note is a £1.315m. guided Georgian Farmhouse and a £660,000 guided elegant town house in Winchfield, Hampshire.

Our new homes feature runs from page 32 to page 48, and is full of amazing new homes from diverse and individual developers, with prices from around £450,000 to £1.850m.

It’s been nearly five years since The Theory Of Everything co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones appeared on screen together – and now they’re teaming up once again for biographical adventure, The Aeronauts.

The epic – directed by Tom Harper and co-written by Harper and Jack Thorne – tells the tale of two high-flying balloonists, pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher and daredevil pilot Amelia Wren, united in a record-breaking voyage in Victorian England. And nothing says ‘reunion’ quite like filming 70% of your scenes in a confined basket, reveals the British duo.

The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book celebrates this sumptuous costume drama and golden age of mixed drinks.

As fans of Downton will know, the Crawleys’ love of cocktails is well storied. But it wasn’t until season two and three – when Robert asks his mother, Violet: “Can I tempt you to one of these new cocktails?” – that the family adopts the 1920s American customs of an aperitif before dinner, and hosting cocktail parties at home. Now, the Downton Abbey Cocktail Book means viewers can recreate these tipples at their own soirees.

Embracing the adventurous spirit that has defined the Discovery family for the past 30 years, the new Discovery Sport is a striking evolution of the original that does not compromise capability……. new electrified engines include a 48-volt mild hybrid from launch to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption.

If you are planning a house sale or let and would like your property showcased in the New Year edition of In The Country & Town, contact your nearest McCarthy Holden branch and ask for details.

The Next Big Property Event - Boxing Day

Boxing Day property event McCarthy Holden estate agents

Boxing Day – The Perfect Time To Put a House Up For Sale!

According to Rightmove there is a massive spike in online buyer search traffic, between Boxing Day and early January, suggesting an uplift in house buyer searches online on Boxing Day. This is why McCarthy Holden are offering a special incentive to join the next big event in property, the Boxing Day Go Event.

During November and December all a would-be house seller has to do is instruct McCarthy Holden to offer their property for sale from Boxing Day.

You can indulge in all of the traditional Boxing Day activities, happy in the knowledge that house buyers are tapping on mobile devices searching for the right property and, who knows, your house could be top of their list for viewing in the New Year.

Many of our clients have already asked to go live on the Boxing Day Go property launch, so if you are contemplating a house move in 2020 then go to our home page and click on valuation, for a free property appraisal and discover the benefits of being part of the no sale no fee and no obligation Boxing Day Go property event.

New Homes Preview Event Hampshire

new homes from Mccarthy Holden estate agents Hampshire

The T A Fisher new homes in North Warnborough will be previewed for the second time on Saturday 23rd November, so if you are in the market for a new home around £500,000 to £550,000 then take a look at the quality build available at their Castlebrook site.

The above video tour will tell you about the area and showcase plot 6, a mid-terrace house providing around 1,200 sq ft of superb space. We think you’ll be impressed.

Plot 6 Castlebrook McCarthy Holden estate agents Hampshire

The first plot was sold / reserved following our preview event on 5th October, and we haven’t even showcased these fine homes on Rightmove or any other property portal yet. So if you are in the market to buy, then take advantage of these early preview days.

Plot 6 Castlebrook McCarthy Holden estate agents Hampshire

We enjoyed helping T A Fisher at the 5th October preview event, with visitors / house buyers giving their immediate reviews to camera.

There are only 11 homes being built at Castlebrook, and prices are estimated to be in the sector from £475,000 to £750,000. To arrange to see the show house at the preview event on 23rd November, please telephone 01256 704851.

Full Time Career Opportunities In Estate Agency

career icon photo at mccarthy holden

Start a new career as a property negotiator / property consultant in 2020, by joining McCarthy Holden at either their Fleet or Hartley Wintney branches in Hampshire.

Positions are available at both of these branches, for either individuals already working in estate agency as an experienced negotiator, or for individuals who are currently in a career sector such as the service industry.

If you are an estate agency negotiation with around two years experience we would welcome the opportunity to meet you and explore the career opportunities at McCarthy Holden. We find negotiators who join us with this kind of experience stay with us, many now for 10 to 20 years so we hope this indicates that the real skill of negotiating is something that is highly valued, as opposed to relying on algorithms and online property portals.

For those of you not currently working in estate agency, the refreshing news is that some of our most successful property consultants moved from careers such in the hospitality, retail and wider services business sectors. A couple of examples are shown below.

Victoria at McCarthy Holden estate agents
Victoria - Fleet branch

Victoria joined McCarthy Holden in 2010, when she left a career in the hospitality industry. She has forged a very successful career at McCarthy Holden and is highly respected by customers and colleagues alike.

Matthew at McCarthy Holden estate agents
Matthew - Fleet branch

Matthew left British Rail in 2015, to pursue a negotiating and client management career at McCarthy Holden. His career in estate agency is now firmly established and just like Victoria he is much respected by customers and colleagues.

We are looking for people with a healthy work ethic, who in return for high property sales performance will bring high salary rewards, and yes there are long working days, with frequent out of hours needs of customers to be dealth with.

At McCarthy Holden we won’t crush your spirit with targets for selling financial services, but instead allow you to care for obtaining the best possible price for our vendors by applying negotiating skills and following though with managing the sale process from start to finish.

Every day will be varied and different, but one thing that will not change is our desire to deliver our services with traditional values of trust, honesty and respect for our customers and colleagues. These values are very important, so only candidates that who can truly deliver on these essential traits should apply.

Excellent communications skills are essential.

Because we are looking for both experiences and career change candidates, the salary / rewards scales are varied so please apply in the knowledge that we aim to match or exceed the market levels in the area of salary rewards.

email sholden@mccarthyholden.co.uk with your cv to apply

Saturday Job Opportunity In Estate Agency

Hartley Wintney Cricket Green McCarthy Holden estate agents

Working in your local community is such a rewarding job, and Saturday work at McCarthy Holden results in a part time job that provides a great mix of meeting customers in the branch and viewings at properties, so the day is varied.

We have several part time positions at both our Hartley Wintney and Odiham branches, so if you are looking for a part time Saturday cover career as a property negotiator in 2020 then please get in touch.

At McCarthy Holden we care for obtaining the best possible price for our vendors by applying negotiating skills as opposed to relying on algorithms and online property portals, so excellent communication skills are essential.

Every day will be varied and different, but one thing that will not change is our desire to deliver our services with traditional values of trust, honesty and respect for our customers and colleagues. These values are very important, so only candidates that who can truly deliver on these essential traits should apply.

Hours are 9am to 6.00pm Saturdays.

email sholden@mccarthyholden.co.uk with your cv to apply.

Hartley Wintney hight street mccarthy holden estate agents
Saturday Job vacancy Hartley Wintney - photo by johnjoe.co.uk copyright
Odiham hight street mccarthy holden estate agents
Saturday Job vacancy Odiham - photo by johnjoe.co.uk copyright

6 Ways to Prevent Condensation in Your Home

prevent condensation in your home

Lisa Salmon speaks to a property expert to find out the best ways to avoid the moisture menace which can lead to damp.

Condensation is something none of us want in our homes, as it’s the most common cause of damp problems.

It’s actually a very common issue, affecting one in five homes – and it can be found in properties of any age, size or design. It occurs when humid warm air comes into contact with a cold surface. Warm air can hold a lot more water vapour than cold air, so when it’s rapidly cooled by a cold surface, it can quickly form into the water droplets typical of condensation. Everyday activities, such as cooking, boiling the kettle, using hot water in the shower or bath, or drying clothes inside, can contribute to condensation forming inside a property.

Richard Walker, national technical and development manager at property preservation experts Peter Cox (petercox.com), explains: “Condensation is the visible consequence of the production of moisture within a building, and most commonly occurs between October and April. On average, a family of four produces 14 litres (24 pints) of water vapour each day, so keeping a house correctly heated and well ventilated is an important part of preventing condensation. If left unaddressed, mould and damp can also begin to form, which is not only unsightly, but may create health risks for the occupants.”

Here, Walker suggests six ways to help address a condensation issue, but points out that if it persists or deteriorates despite trying everything, homeowners should consider contacting an accredited surveyor to investigate the cause and suggest a solution.

prevent condensation in your home

1. Ventilate your house

Where possible, ventilate the house to let the build-up of water vapour escape, particularly if you’re drying clothing indoors. If you have double glazing, then keep the trickle vents open. When cooking or boiling a kettle in the kitchen, or using hot water in the bathroom, close the doors and put the extractor fan on to prevent the moisture from escaping to colder rooms and collecting on the walls.

2. Consistent central heating

When you turn the central heating on, heat the whole property on a low heat, rather than leaving some rooms cooler and susceptible to condensation. ‘Yo-yo’ heating doesn’t warm the fabric of the building and unnecessarily increases the risk of condensation forming.

3. Avoid dehumidifiers

Despite their popularity, dehumidifiers merely mask the condensation problem and don’t address the real cause. They can require frequent emptying and will stop once the collector unit is full. Moreover, they’re noisy and can be costly to buy and run.

4. Don’t let condensation settle

If you spot condensation forming in the home, it’s always advisable to wipe damp surfaces down, rather than letting it settle. Remember to wring the cloth out in a sink, rather than letting it dry in the room. When condensation is allowed to settle on a surface for more than six hours, it creates the conditions for mould to form, which in some cases, can damage surfaces by staining.

5. Regular maintenance and expert advice

Regular maintenance is key to preventing ongoing issues. Identify any problem areas as they occur and seek professional advice to address them immediately. Every case is different, and property care specialists are trained to evaluate the specific causes of condensation issues and advise homeowners on how to prevent any reoccurrence.

6. Consider installing a Positive Input Ventilation system

Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) units are sophisticated ventilation and condensation control units to aerate entire homes. Property surveyors may recommend the installation of a PIV system to help to ventilate a building, by diluting and displacing any damp air. From installation, the unit gently ventilates the home with fresh air, which is pushed back down into the house and redistributed. Such systems tend to cost around £250-£400.

How to Work Colour in your Home – According to the Interior Design Addicts behind Rockett St George

Rockett st George book

The duo behind destination decor brand Rockett St George have delved into colour in their new book. Gabrielle Fagan takes a look.

Rockett st George book

Colour has well and truly invaded our homes. In fact, no interiors scheme is complete these days without at least a dash of a punchy shade!

That might sound pretty scary, though, if you’re still clinging to neutrals and quaking at the thought of plunging into the dizzy array of colours on offer.

Step forward self-confessed colour-addicts Lucy St George and Jane Rockett, the duo behind chic interiors destination, Rockett St George. They’re on a mission to help us transform our homes with a host of hues, and reveal their secrets and personal inspirations in their new book, Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors In Colour.

Rockett st George book

Colour is emotional, says the pair – “Think peaceful pastels, and sexy reds, creative greens and happy yellows” – and it’s important to consider the meaning of colour and how it affects your emotions, if you want to create a home that feels right for you and harbours the right mood.

Rockett and St George visited homes around the world bursting with bright, bold and brilliant ideas, and looked at the colour rules – and how to break them! – for conjuring successful schemes.

Check out their guide to four of the most fashionable shades for rooms…

Rockett st George book

Let the sunshine in

“A splash of yellow will catch the eye, set the heart racing and make you smile”, declare the pair. “Yellow’s associated with feelings of joy, optimism, happiness and warmth. It can lift your spirits like a sudden ray of sunshine and is believed to promote clear thinking and quick decision-making.”

Their own favourite shade on the yellow spectrum is mustard, which they describe as “an earthy hue that’s both sophisticated and a wonderful way to inject an uplifting spirit into your home”.

Work the colour: Black can make a perfect neutral backdrop for strong colours like yellow or orange. “It makes them pop and allows furniture, textiles and artwork to shine through and become the stars of the show,” they explain.

If bold sunny shades seem too vibrant and make you want to reach for your sunglasses, consider opting for more subtle sandy-yellow shades as an alternative to creams.

Considering the effect of light on colour is also key, they caution. For instance, a cool-toned lemon yellow can feel hard and unwelcoming in the colder light of a north-facing room, making it more suitable for south-facing rooms.

Lighten the mood with a flash of yellow

Yellow accessories pack a punch, and Rockett and St George note how a yellow chair or piece of art “brings energy to a room without overwhelming it”.

Rockett st George book

Seduce with pink

Pinks are enjoying huge popularity in decor right now – particularly the soft, pale tones. “The gentler shades of pink encourage calmness and love, while stronger shades, such as hot pink, go hand in hand with feelings of joyfulness and creativity,” enthuse the duo.

Our passion for pink is nothing new, they point out, as the shade has been a constant favourite as a decorative choice throughout the decades, from ice-cream pastel pinks in the Fifties, to the hot pinks of the Eighties.

Rockett and St George took inspiration from earthy pinks characteristic of Moroccan homes for the pink shades in their paint collection for Craig & Rose. Their nude/pink shades include Broderie, Gladstone Grey and Bohemia (Chalky Emulsion Paint, £35 for 2.5L).

Work the colour: For living rooms and bedrooms, the duo recommend “nude and pale pinks with warm undertones to make you feel nurtured and safe”. Work or studio spaces, meanwhile, are the perfect place to experiment with “brighter pinks, which are flamboyant and expressive, ideal for creating impact”.

Sizzle with pops of pink

Declare your passion for the colour with the prettiest pink pieces that will take you from hot to blushing…

Rockett st George book

Go green and gorgeous

“Green is fabulously versatile. Whether you prefer soft sage, rich emerald or deep forest green, this crowd-pleaser of a colour can be adapted to suit just about any style of interior,” the decor-lovers declare.

Green is said to evoke feelings of balance, tranquillity and renewal, and studies have shown that it’s the most restful colour for the human eye. It’s totally synonymous with the ‘green’ movement and eco initiatives that are on the rise right now too.

Work the colour: Dark greens work wonders in living rooms and bedrooms, or anywhere else in the home where you want to relax and have “a little respite”, advise the colour gurus. “Brighter punchier greens are perfect for energising a busy area such as the kitchen or hallway,” they also suggest. “Green accents in the shape of plants or cacti will bring your decor to life and – added bonus – act as a natural air-refresher for the home.”

Bring on the balance with a touch of green

Green accessories can add a sophisticated touch and enhance those soothing vibes…

Rockett st George book

Dive into blue

“Blue is the coolest of all the colours in the spectrum and conjures up feelings of reliability and stability,” says Rockett. “Due to its associations with nature – think of clear summer skies and turquoise ocean – blue can also inspire feelings of serenity and contentment.”

Blue, she points out, is a stress-busting colour with a masculine edge (a recent study found that 42% of men chose blue as their favourite colour), but that doesn’t mean blue is just for boys, of course!

Work the colour: Bold blues, the pair suggest, particularly suit home offices, children’s playrooms, hallways and bathrooms. Darker blues project a sense of sophistication and tranquillity, and can work as the perfect backdrop for art collections and decorative displays.

Splash out on blue details

Give your space a stress-busting edge with one or two blue buys…

Extracted from Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors In Colour by Jane Rockett and Lucy St George, photography by Catherine Gratwicke, published by Ryland Peters & Small, priced £19.99. Available now.

5 Things to Consider if You’re Thinking of Relocating for Work

relocating for work

From hidden costs to settling into a new community, there's lots to think about, says Vicky Shaw.

Would you up sticks and move away from your area if you were offered better career prospects or a bigger salary? The dilemma of whether to relocate for work or stay put can be tricky to answer – particularly for those who already have strong ties with their local community.

Among employees who have never relocated, 59% of men and 65% of women say the desire to stay near family is the primary reason they’ve stayed put, according to a new survey by jobs website Indeed.co.uk.

On the one hand, there may be the chance of new opportunities opening up, the chance of a pay-boost and better living standards. But on the other, families also need to weigh up how other members of the household may settle into a new life – and how this may also have an impact on the household budget.

Here are some factors you may want to consider when weighing up whether it’s worth relocating for work or not…

relocating for work

1. Can you afford the moving costs?

The cost of moving home can quickly add up to thousands of pounds.

According to research from Lloyds Bank, home movers across the UK may typically need to budget around £12,000 just to cover moving costs.

If you plan to buy a new home, there are expenses to consider such as stamp duty, or in Scotland the land and buildings transaction tax, or in Wales the land transaction tax. There are also estate agent and legal fees to consider, as well as the cost of a removal firm. And if you’re renting, you may need to consider pulling together a bigger deposit.

2. Can you afford the house prices or rents in the area you are thinking of moving to?

You may be getting a pay rise if you relocate, but consider whether this will be swallowed up by a higher mortgage or rental bill every month. If you’re moving to a bigger town or city, the housing costs may be higher if there is stronger demand for properties in these areas.

It may be possible to find cheaper accommodation by finding somewhere to live slightly further afield, but in popular commuting towns property prices may also be high, and the cost of your journey into work could also be higher.

3. What about schools and childcare costs?

Childcare costs can vary hugely depending on where you live. And if you’re currently close to grandparents who are currently helping out with unpaid childcare, the expenses could increase quite dramatically by moving far away. If you or your partner will be getting a bigger salary by moving, the extra childcare costs may be balanced out.

Also bear in mind that house prices in locations near popular and highly-rated schools can often be significantly higher than those in their surrounding areas. For example, recent research from audit firm PwC found that houses within the catchments of the top 10% of England’s primary schools can cost around £27,000 more than those in the wider postcode districts.

relocating for work

4. Will your employer provide you with a relocation package?

Whether it’s your existing employer who is asking you to relocate, or you’re considering going to a new company, you may be able to negotiate a relocation package, particularly if the firm thinks it may help sway your decision in favour of moving.

Ask the company’s HR department whether they can help with expenses such as moving costs, transport and any temporary accommodation you may need.

5. Is working remotely an option?

New technology means it’s easier for many people to work from home at least some of the time now, although this will very much depend on what your job involves.

It may also be possible to stay living where you are but have a longer commute to work. Three-fifths (60%) of men and 59% of women say they are willing to travel for 30-60 minutes to work, if it meant they could avoid relocating, Indeed’s survey also found. But when it came to longer journey times, men were around a third more likely than women to say they would commute for 60-120 minutes in order to avoid relocating.

Want to Measure Up in the Style Stakes? 10 Ways to Embrace this Season’s Geometric Trend

geometric styling

Gabrielle Fagan reveals simple ways to do the decor maths and ensure your rooms have all the right angles.

geometric styling

Shape up if you want stylish rooms this Autumn. Geometrics are figuring on designs for everything from wallpaper to carpets right now, and set to be the most fashionable way of bringing pattern into rooms this season.

You can be playful and introduce bold and stimulating colourful shapes – take your pick from triangles to eight-sided octagons – or keep it elegant, with just a few touches sporting the barest hint of the pattern.

“Geometric pattern came to prominence in the 1920s and became synonymous with the Art Deco movement,” explains Tom White, design director, Parker Knoll. “In a decade renowned for its opulent and sophisticated style, geometrics challenged traditional design, with sleek and elegant motifs which came to symbolise wealth and status.”

Now they’re back, thanks to our renewed passion for pattern and more decoration in our homes. “Geometrics boast a breadth of choice in shape, colour and scale, so can be adapted to suit a vast range of tastes and styles,” promises White.

Here’s 10 ways to do your decor sums and ensure your home measures up in the style stakes…

geometric styling

1. Check out all the angles

“For me, geometric shapes will always have a universal and timeless appeal,” enthuses Martha Coates, surface and pattern designer for Habitat.

“I don’t think they’ve ever really gone out of fashion, as many pattern stories tend to do,” she points out. “I love that the geometric designs created and popularised over 100 years ago by the iconic Bauhaus movement still feel relevant in our modern interiors. They sit seamlessly alongside the contemporary and colourful designs in our ranges.”

Coates pays tribute to the versatility of geometric pattern. “Minimalist, contemporary and familiar in their structure, they’ll complement existing lines and shapes within the architecture of practically any room,” she says. “Their structured balance will allow you the freedom to be braver with colour and texture.”

geometric styling

2. Divide and rule on the wall

Get creative and paint your own geometric shapes on a wall. Simply stick strips of masking tape to the surface to create triangle, trapezoid and rhombus shapes (look them up if that’s already confused you!).

The more tape you crisscross, the more shapes you’ll create. If you paint the entire wall with the tape in place, you’ll have stripes between the shapes when you remove the tape.

If that feels too brain-bending, Wallsauce has a brilliant selection of made-to-measure geometric-style wall murals, ranging from in-your-face colourful to the more subtle, starting from £32 per square metre.

geometric styling

3. Make a party point

Join the geometrics party by investing in an Art Deco-style drinks trolley or drinks cabinet. Both items have enjoyed a revival in homeware, as they add a sense of occasion to entertaining. A sound style move.

geometric styling

4. Statement equals style

You don’t have to overdose on this look – just estimate how much you need to add to make an impact and burnish your style credentials. Give one punchy piece some space and a plain backdrop and it will undoubtedly become a star talking point.

geometric styling

5. Measure up with metallics

Pair a classic geometric design with metallics (gold and copper are hot choices) to play the glamour card. This combo won’t just add a winning touch of opulence, but a repeating angular pattern is easy on the eye and helps create a visual sense of order. The effect is particularly good for spaces where we want to rest and relax, like a bedroom or chill-out lounge.

One word of advice: Make sure the size of the pattern you choose works with the size of the room. Generally, large-scale patterns are more suited to big expanses of wall, so you have the room to stand back and appreciate their impact. Smaller repeating patterns suit smaller walls.

The only exception is if you opt for a statement wall of pattern, where you could be bolder and size up. For inspiration, take a look the super range of geometric papers, including Prism Geometric Wallpaper, £15.99 a roll, at Cult Furniture.

geometric styling

6. Break the rules

Sometimes, you can throw caution to the wind, ignore the ‘less is more rule’ and indulge in a pattern-fest. Just make sure you balance more decorative geometric repeating patterns with other simpler designs. This will prevent the whole effect from being overpowering, and punchy injections of colour (we’re big fans of pink and green right now) are all that’s needed to make a scheme sing.

Another way of approaching this look is sticking to a colour palette of no more than two shades, which will allow the detail to shine.

geometric styling

7. Step up to the style

Style alert: Back away from the bland! A striking geometric carpet runner can transform a staircase into an eye-catching feature. Playing up the angles with an above-the-skirting stripe in a complementary shade is a master stroke in this hallway.

geometric styling

8. Pattern to the power of two

“Boasting timeless allure and contemporary flair, geometric designs work well in period and modern homes alike,” says Parker Knoll’s Tom White. “For those looking to emulate the exciting and influential 1920s – the inspiration for the look – pair geometric patterns with luxurious gold accents, rich tones and spherical accessories.”

geometric styling

9. Make it monochrome

“Typically considered an intimidating option, a bold geometric floor can add an element of design to a space and is a surprisingly versatile option,” says Anna Del-Molino, buyer, Carpetright.

“Before selecting your style, take into consideration the size of your space, alongside the colours and scales that will work within it. A larger print, in muted shades, is often better suited to smaller rooms, as intricate patterns can feel too busy in compact areas.

“Larger spaces allow for more experimentation and for a truly daring look, consider a style with multiple colours. Geometric patterns don’t need to be solely linear shapes,” she adds. “Look for florals and patterns which repeat without being too overbearing.”

geometric styling

10. Arty calculation

Make those shapes work on the wall with colourful geometric artwork that will show you know a right-angle from a rhombus.