Angel Strawbridge: ‘Your Home is a Place to have Fun, Explore and be creative’

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

As she launches her Sainsbury's Home range, Gabrielle Fagan talks to Escape To The Chateau's Angel Strawbridge about style, dreams and finding joy.

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

Meeting Angel Strawbridge – unmistakable with her bright red hair and trademark mega-watt smile – is like encountering a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm.

She and her husband, Dick, have found fame as the eccentric and totally irresistible couple on Channel 4’s popular series, Escape To The Chateau.

Viewers have been enthralled by their challenging journey renovating and transforming the dilapidated 19th century Chateau-de- la-Motte-Husson in France into a stunning family home and wedding venue, where they live with their children, Arthur, six, and Dorothy, five.

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

Their love for each other is as much a part of the show’s success as their love for the chateau. Dick, as cheery as he appears on screen, keeps a vigilant eye out for Angel’s pet dread – spiders – whenever they crop up.

“That’s so lovely but the only trouble is he often mistakes my false eye lashes for spiders and throws them away too,” says Angel, 41, giggling affectionately.

“But ours truly is a big, fat love story. It was love at first sight when Dick and I met. My heart literally was fluttering and pounding when I saw him. After our first date, we both knew we didn’t ever want to leave each other.

“Then we moved to France and I had another love-at-first-sight moment, when I saw a picture of the chateau online. I really trust my instinct and would have bought it without visiting, but Dick sensibly insisted we check it out first!”

That life-changing moment came in 2015, just after they’d traded in their two-bedroom flat in Essex to move to France – and has undoubtedly paid dividends. They paid just £280,000 for the 45-room property and endless grounds, but it’s now a hugely successful enterprise.

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

They’re just about to embark on a nationwide UK tour (Feb 23-March 23) talking about their adventures – and Angel’s launched her own home accessories and fragrance range, The Chateau by Angel Strawbridge, for Sainsbury’s Home.

The pair seem perfectly matched in skills as well as outlook. A former Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, engineer and chef Dick has a wealth of TV experience – appearing on Scrapheap Challenge, It’s Not Easy Being Green, and Celebrity MasterChef.

Angel is an entrepreneur, designer, author of The Vintage Tea Party book series, and a successful Dragons’ Den contestant.

“We’re both genuine grafters, who aren’t afraid of hard work,” says Angel. “Dick’s a brilliant troubleshooter and totally practical. His favourite expression is: ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get’.

“I have the view that if you just have the courage to give something a go, you can achieve anything you want, so we’re a good combination. We didn’t want to just dream about a fantastic life in France, we wanted to create it.”

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

What does the chateau mean to you?

“We’ve given this our all but it’s been a real bonding experience too. It’s definitely our forever home. The work transforming it has felt relentless at times but so enjoyable.

“We’re both so proud of it – when we first moved here in the middle of winter there was no running water, heating or electricity, bats in the bedrooms and the only sanitation was the moat surrounding the property. You had to love the place, otherwise you’d have given up.

“For me, it’s a brilliant combination – a truly beautiful home, where we can raise our kids and run our weddings business. I’m a total wedding junkie and would carry on doing them even if I ever became a millionaire.”

How would you describe your style?

“Eclectic, whimsical and always vintage, because that’s the underpinning of everything I do. I’ve been a fan from five-years old and spent my pocket money collecting Fifties’ trinkets and tea sets from car-boot sales and second-hand shops, then moved onto clothes as a teenager.

“My mega collection of tea sets and British and royalist memorabilia is brilliant for curated displays. I can never resist a little bit of fantasy, like one wall decorated with 3D butterflies, and the kids’ playroom with its vintage helter-skelter.

“I’m always using foliage from our garden to bring nature into the rooms. In my book, you can create anything you want in your home – it’s a place to have fun, explore and be creative.”

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

Where do you get your inspiration?

“I have a very open mind, partly because I’m dyslexic – I didn’t learn to read until I was 11. In a way, it was brilliant because I never had my brain swamped by academics, which allowed my creative side to flourish. I was always good at business though, I’m a qualified accountant, and the two skills are a great blend.

“Often, something inspires me when Dick and I go ‘thrifting’ – one of our favourites outings – when we browse French second-hand markets and antique shops for everything from linens, china and glasses through to taxidermy.

“The children love it too. Dorothy’s inherited my passion for tea sets. She’ll squeal with excitement and say, ‘Mum, you will love this!’, if she spots something.”

What’s your colour palette?

“When I was living in London, it was very much red, white and blue and a little bit of Victorian darkness. But now the house reflects a brighter kind of French Provincial style, with loads of ochre, dusty pink, lavender, and greens.

“I’ve used the same soft colour palette for my new Escape To The Chateau fragrance range for Sainsbury’s, and the scents are inspired by the plants and flowers that surround the house.

“I rely a lot on my sixth sense, my intuition, and I’ll just shut my eyes and think, ‘Will this look or that colour look right?’, and make my decision based on that. It usually works.”

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

Do you and Dick agree on all the decor decisions?

“Dick pretty well allows me a free rein. We never fall out but we have passionate discussions – if you’re madly in love like we are, those are just fluff around the outside. We’re not arguing about values – just the little details.

“He has one rule that we’re not allowed to redo decorating while we’re still finishing the chateau. But I’m naughty and can’t resist adding new details and changes here and there while Dick’s away! It’s a bit of a joke between us.”

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

How do you feel about this time in your life?

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. There’s never enough hours in the day – I often get up at 2am so I can get a head-start on work before the kids rampage into our room. This year, we both want to focus on a bit of ‘me’ time – the nearest I get is half an hour soaking in a bath!

“But it’s wonderful being together as a family – my parents live in a converted outhouse next door and are a great support. Although people may recognise us from the TV when we go back to London, in France we’re just ‘the people who do weddings and live in the chateau’.

“It’s wonderful watching the kids grow up here and they’re involved with everything we do, helping with the cooking and chores.

“You can have a really tough day but when they get home from school, we spend time with them, no computers or phones on, and it’s like a natural medicine. Any problems melt away.”

Angel Strawbridge decorate your home

What’s your ambition for the future?

“We are literally in this whirlwind of amazing-ness and it’s been such a journey, with ups and downs and huge highs. We’re always just trying to be better at doing what we do, and be a great example for the kids.

“But really we don’t look too far ahead, because what we’re really good at is enjoying every moment and never taking anything for granted.”

Valentine’s Day Decor: set the Scene at Home with these Heartfelt Touches

valentines day home decor

Planning a romantic night in this Valentine's Day? Gabrielle Fagan reveals her top picks for February 14.

valentines day home decor

Love can, of course, be shown with just a look, a touch or a few words… but woe betide if you don’t pull out all the stops on Valentine’s Day!

Face it, even the most unromantic soul will appreciate a small gesture that marks the event and shows you care – and if you’re courting, wooing or planning to propose, setting the scene is key.

So show your home some love with flirty, fun or down-right romantic touches that could reveal your feelings, celebrate what you share, or simply make rooms more ‘love-ly! Here’s our top picks…

Pick an ever-lasting bouquet

A bouquet of roses is a classic Valentine’s gift but those blooms soon wilt. Instead, spoil a wall with a rose-print wallpaper – digital techniques are now so good, they look freshly picked – which will transform a bedroom into a feminine, sensual boudoir.

Flirt with fun details

Keep it subtle and follow a soft pink theme – rather than full-on red – and use just a few pretty accessories to show you care. They’ll be perfect for that Insta-moment too!

valentines day home decor

Serve up sweet somethings

Avoid PDAs (Public Displays of Affection) by creating the perfect setting for that romantic meal at home. Follow a hearts and roses theme, with a red table runner, heart scatter, and napkin tied with ribbon adorned with a single rose.

Make a loving statement

Inject colour and passion into a room, with saucy accessories that could signal your intentions.

valentines day home decor

Romance the room

The colour red is traditionally associated with feelings of love, passion and desire, and a dramatic red roses backdrop will leave a partner in no doubt about your feelings.

A garland or a balloon (follow the ‘less is more’ rule here for best effect) could be just enough to set a heart fluttering.

Shine a loving light

If all those hearts and flowers make you cringe, make a witty, playful statement with funky, quirky accessories instead. Neon’s bang on trend, and a Neon Heart Light or ‘Hello Gorgeous’ Neon Palm Print (£36.95, unframed) from Audenza, could be just the thing to float your rebellious decor boat.

valentines day home decor

Look out for love

Turn away from the predictable and keep it subtle with monochrome. A window blind design that celebrates hearts could ensure a romantic outlook throughout the year.

Spell out your desire

If long declarations of love aren’t your style, keep it short and sweet with a few accessories that tell all.

Toast your love

Special occasions require a toast. Do it in style, with beautiful glasses that could become treasured mementos.

valentines day home decor

Let it glow

Candlelight’s not the only ingredient for an intimate setting. A string of heart-shaped lights, hung in a hallway or arranged on a mantel, could be a surprising but effective touch.

Tempt with a treat

Little gestures mean so much. Breakfast in bed will be extra special if it’s served on a tray with Valentine-themed tableware.

valentines day home decor

10 On-Trend Ways to Transform your Home in 2020

on trend home 2020

Glamour, fun and feathers all feature in this year's hottest looks - but first and foremost, individual style rules.

If you want your interiors to look fashionable and Instagrammable, then you need to know what’s hot for the home this year.

There’s full-on colour, as well as more pared-back looks with natural materials (rattan’s ruling currently), alongside some key must-haves – love seats, dressing tables, and glamorous headboards. In other words, plenty of trends and stylish items to choose from.

But what’s emerging most strongly is that this decade, there’s no need to follow the crowd.

Trends should be followed selectively rather than religiously. A successful home is where your taste rules (we’re all becoming much more informed and confident about expressing it, thanks to inspiration-filled sites like Instagram and Pinterest).

We’ve chosen some best buys (including high-street bargains) and brilliant looks to help you create your own perfect, personally-tailored space….

on trend home 2020

1. Feel the love

We’re embracing curves and cushioning in seating, as we hanker after homes which cosset and comfort us, and the love seat has become a must-have.

“Love seats are the ultimate giant armchair for those who love to stretch out and get comfy, or if you’re feeling romantic you can snuggle up together,” says Claire Wilks, from the Sofa.com design team.

“They’re also a great space-saving size for those who are tight on room. Velvet, so practical now with protective finishes, are one of the most popular upholstery choices and they ramp up the luxe effect. “

on trend home 2020

2. Turn to table-scaping

Table-scaping is the new on-trend description for creatively decorating tables. So stand down your boring workaday china and go all out with fancy cutlery, table linen and snazzy plates. It’s all about dressing to impress. For inspiration, trying searching #tabledecor and #tablesetting on Instagram.

3. Rule with ribbing

Grooved, ribbed textures are riding high this year, and the effect can be seen in upholstery, wood, and glass. We love this stripe-effect, ribbed cabinet.

4. Explore wild style

If you’re over that hot, steamy jungle look – all palm prints and tropical colours – the latest, more pared-back desert look could be just for you.

Bold tribal prints, an earthy palette, natural materials and vibrant animal prints are combined in the new George Home collection, which is so well-priced you can afford to experiment. But beware: it could inspire some serious summer wanderlust…

on trend home 2020

6. Pamper and pose

Special stand-out pieces make a room. Think cocktail cabinets which add glamour as well as holding all those drinks and glasses. Dressing tables are now vying for attention too – there’s a brilliant array of slim, handsome examples suitable for compact rooms. And by clearing all that cosmetic clutter, you’ll be well on your way to a peaceful space.

7. Let your heart rule your head

“Just as fashion trends have shifted to celebrate individuality and personal style, so have interiors,” says Lucy St George, co-founder of uber cool interiors destination, Rockett St George.

“I’m always a fan of throwing away the rule book – taste is often overrated – and I believe if you love it and it makes you smile, then it deserves to be celebrated in your room.”

Take inspiration from trends and the world around you, she says, but always make your home a reflection of you and what you like. “Go to town with all your favourite things and curate displays around your home that express your individuality – so that ‘you do you’!”

on trend home 2020

8. Go green or go home

The colour – and its association with eco-friendly living – has been strong for a while and shows no sign of waning. A wall painted in a deep shade of green will ground a space, and other vibrant colours for furniture and accessories will ‘pop’.

John Lewis’ ‘Eclectics’ theme for spring/summer is a stylish blend of zingy colour and stand-out designs. Inject punchy shades with contemporary wall prints, jewel-colour lamps and cushions.

If you’re feeling flush, invest in an elegant Refine 3 Seater Sofa in a glowing Elegant Velvet Mustard, £1,299, and a Lounge Chair in a brilliant pink, blue and orange Ampana Print, £499, both John Lewis.

9. Go for gold

How to instantly add character to a room? A couple of stand-out pieces featuring that winning metallic shimmer should do the trick.

10. Bring Eastern drama to the boudoir

Staying home is the new going out, and JOMO (the ‘joy of missing out’) is a buzzword – which means spaces need spoiling with luxury touches and details.

“We’re predicting a rise in Eastern influences across interiors this year,” says Jane Rockett. “Inspired by increased global travel and our adventures around the world, trends are set to celebrate unique pieces collected or inspired by past travels, that bring back memories and create a unique and personal interior.”

The style-aware should look out for decadent dark wood, woven cane textures, oriental prints and structure furniture, adds Rockett.

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.”

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)

 

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.

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.

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.

Want to Turn your Home into a Botanical Bolthole? Here’s how 3 Plant Experts Transformed a Hotel

botanical hotel into your home

As the UK's first 'jungle hotel suites' are opened, Hannah Stephenson finds out how to turn your own living spaces into leafy havens.

Three designers have come together to show how people can create a horticultural haven in their homes, using tropical flora and fauna.

Award-winning biophilic designer and architect Oliver Heath, This Morning’s ‘Mr Plant Geek’ Michael Perry and Nik Southern, creative designer and founder of innovative plant and florist shop Grace & Thorn, have transformed three hotel suites into urban jungles where guests can stay, in an initiative from the The Joy Of Plants (thejoyofplants.co.uk) and Leman Locke hotel in London.

The buzzword is ‘biophilia’ – the technique of incorporating plants and other natural elements in our homes to reconnect with nature. Each of the suites has been adorned with carefully selected houseplants to help boost productivity, ignite passion, and bring peace and tranquillity.

So, what can we do to create our own biophilic design at home?

botanical hotel into your home

Perk up your productive space

Heath has created a productivity suite adorned with Boston ferns, peace lilies and snake plants – all renowned for their productivity-inducing properties.

Feathery-leaved Boston ferns create a natural jungle look and inject instant energy with their powerful air-purifying properties, while snake plants, native to tropical West Africa, produce sword-like foliage bringing a raw edginess to any environment.

Their distinctive leaves are said to provide protective energies to shield negative Chi, while they also have air-purifying properties. Studies have found they can also help remove toxins such as formaldehyde from the environment.

Heath says: “Research suggests that a combination of sheltered spaces, access to nature and species-rich spaces will create the most restorative environment for a stressed individual, so the tucked-away sofa with a lot of plant fringing is the perfect opportunity for relaxation. Boston ferns and dwarf mountain palms introduce lots of natural movement, which has been shown to help us relax and restore focus.”

botanical hotel into your home

Create a cascading canopy in the bedroom

Southern has created a botanical canopy over the bed, in a heady romantic respite. Imagine enjoying the intimacy that will cocoon you and your partner in a lush green blend of cascading plants.

Signature bedroom plants she uses include Anthurium ‘Black Love’ (Anthurium hybrid), a black-to-dark chocolate-flowering variety which is low-maintenance, and Epipremnum ‘Marble Queen’, an easy-care variety with green and white marbled trailing foliage which creates a romantic vibe.

Southern says: “It might seem ambitious to create a canopy in your own home but there are plenty of hacks to make something similar. You could hang a traditional pulley clothes airer to the ceiling and attach plants with vines such as devil’s ivy and strings of hearts to create a dramatic canopy. Make sure you choose the right planters that will prevent water leaking below.”

Alternatively, create a living love seat in her design in your sofa area, using banana plants and rubber tree plants to create a cosy, intimate area in an open-plan room, she suggests.

botanical hotel into your home

Escape to your urban jungle spa room

Perry, aka Mr Plant Geek, has packed his suite with tropical plants, creating an oasis of calm in the city, showing that people can enjoy a forest-bathing experience at home.

His design features houseplants such as bromeliads and a variety of monsteras (Swiss cheese plant), from deliciosa to obliqua, while in the bathroom there’s a dedicated plant meditation space and a clean sleep zone containing the world’s most air-purifying plants.

He says to create a spa room, ideally you want to have the feeling of being completely surrounded by plants. Calming ferns, helxine and fittonia offer jungle vibes while bromeliads punctuate the setting with colour.

Perry says: “Suction pots allow you to easily hang plants from wall surfaces, without creating any fixings and are incredibly versatile. Bromeliads are used to rainforest conditions and thrive in bathroom environments – a quick spritz of water every few days is all the moisture they need.”

He also advises using ferns in low light level rooms but avoid using succulents and cacti in spa rooms, as they prefer a drier environment.

And don’t forget that any potted plants will need drainage, so put in a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot and keep a check on watering.

The indoor plant jungle hotel will be open for bookings until November 10, 2019. To book your stay, email thejoyofplants@lockeliving.com.

botanical hotel into your home

Flights of Fancy: How to Make the Most of your Staircases, Without Compromising on Safety

stunning stairs without compromising safety

The aesthetic qualities of the humble staircase are too often underrated, says Luke Rix-Standing.

stunning stairs without compromising safety

Something of a no-man’s land within the home, it’s easy to see why staircases are so often overlooked on the interior style front. Rarely more than a means of getting from A to B, why would you choose to spend time and money on stairs, when it could instead be spent on key living spaces elsewhere?

But these thoroughfares inevitably see high footfall and are important for safety as well as style – and even if it’s not your first thought when planning your decor, they do have a big visual impact too.

So, with this in mind, apartment dwellers and bungalow owners look away now – here’s how to make sure your stairs work well for both eyes and feet…

stunning stairs without compromising safety

Safety first

First things first, it’s important to keep in mind that the run-of-the-mill staircase can be one of the most dangerous obstacles you negotiate during your day. According to statistics, there is a fall on Britain’s staircases approximately every 90 seconds, while staircase-related incidents account for roughly 250,000 trips to A&E every year.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a checklist of conditions to help you practice safe stairs, asserting that they should be well-lit, have handrails at appropriate heights, have good ‘slip resistance properties’, and be free of trip hazards.

The ‘nosing’ of a step (aka the edge), should be well-defined and ideally square, to stop the stairs blurring into one. Just as important is consistency, as research has shown that even small variations in angle or distance between steps can cause a topple.

Those with small children face an obvious extra risk, and baby gates are a must for both the top and bottom. Do not attempt to vault the gate out of laziness – it’s ironically common for adults to injure themselves by misusing gates put in place to protect their kids.

Of course, structural changes only go so far, and human factors play a determining role in most stair-related incidents. Residents are far more at risk if they’re rushing, distracted, or carrying heavy loads without a free hand to grab the rail or banister.

stunning stairs without compromising safety

Step up the style

Now that we’ve got function and safety out of the way, we can turn our attentions to fashion. The staircase may not seem a natural place for prize pieces of art, but, like your bathroom or loo, it’s a quick way of making sure everybody sees your carefully-chosen pieces. Try to limit yourself to small decorations like miniature frames or photos, and line them up gallery-style at the same gradient as the stairs.

As with all constricted areas, your biggest challenge is creating a sense of space. Avoid claustrophobic dark colours where possible, and use a lighter shade on walls and ceilings to help draw the eye upwards.

As with any space, mirrors provide the illusion of depth, and don’t be afraid to go big on the lighting. Utilise ‘accent’ lighting – focused light sources creating contrast – rather than a solitary overhead bulb (just remember those safety rules!). The result should be less subterranean tunnel, more breezy indoor boulevard.

As for the stairs themselves, your main allies are the risers – the vertical slats between each step. You can apply wallpaper, paint them to match the walls, or pattern them to match your lower floor.

For those wedded to quirk, you can fashion your steps as piano keys, book spines, or bands of the rainbow. Just be sure to consider the look from every angle before laying down your first brushstroke – no one wants a staircase that looks like a work of art from the ground floor, and a cubist mess from the first.

Otherwise, carpets remains the most popular add-on. Option number one is full carpeting: 100% coverage of a stairway that can obscure unsightly surfaces but can be comparatively complex and costly to install.

Option number two is to use carpet runners – a wide strip of carpet running down the centre of the stairs, held in place with slim poles affixed to the join between riser and tread. Cheaper and simpler than full carpeting, generally speaking, the different textures can fit really well into a broader aesthetic.

stunning stairs without compromising safety

Starting from scratch

Of course, if you’re overseeing major structural renovations, you may have the chance to design your staircases anew. We’re not going to delve into the engineering – that depends entirely on the specs of your dwelling – but there are a few styles finding particular prominence in modern homes.

For space-starved householders, consider the spiral staircase – an aesthetic, self-contained unit that can easily be erected in the corner of the room. So-called ‘floating staircases’ are increasingly popular in modern minimalist homes – isolated blocks without risers protruding straight out of the wall. They’re obviously not as stable as their banister-ed cousins, and are not for those with uncertain step (i.e. large swathes of the population).

We can’t imagine many houses will have room for grand medieval stairwells, but you can still channel a country house aesthetic with elaborate hand rails and metalwork panelling.

For the very chicest in staircase design, consider installing light sources – under-lit bulbs that emit a warm glow from beneath the tread. These not only look lovely during the long winter evenings, they may also stop you coming a cropper when you get up to go to the loo.

Outstanding Selection Of New Homes Property For 2020

new homes 2020 form McCarthy Holden Estate Agents Hampshire

As we prepare for 2020, McCarthy Holden are pleased to be offering our best selection of new homes in amazing locations form rural Eversley in Hampshire, to Virginia Water in Surrey.

The developers we will be representing in 2020 are as diverse in size and their personal history as you can imagine, but they all share the same passion for creating beautiful homes and leaving a legacy to their brand and reputation.

Finding Best Buyer Engagement

Key to our agency appointments, is the delivery of property marketing with professional video content which increases the level of buyer engagement online.

From short video PR following an open day event, through to a comprehensive video tour with a presenter the outcome for the developer is outstanding marketing and PR as can be seen in the samples below.

Another key aspect of our agency appointment is of course the fact we supply experienced personnel to manage and service the needs of our new homes clients.

Delivering Engaging Video Content

Our marketing for developers is enhanced by quality video production from johnjoe.co.uk who are leading the way in property video marketing, with added benefits from voice over artist Drew Campbell.

New Homes Developments

Some of the sites to be offered in the year ahead include….

Virginia Water, Surrey – Perfectly located for train travel to London and not far from TASIS the American school in England, these high end apartments are simply stunning. Prices range from £425,000 to £1.25m.(enquiries 01252 842100)

Bagshot, Surrey – The first of these new homes will be available to view soon, and prices range from around £450,000. (enquiries 01252 842100).

Eversley, Hampshire – A small select development of 6 luxury homes by Aspire. Plot 5 is shown below and is on the market at £1.125m.

North Warnborough, Hampshire – You can’t help fall in love with this area, steeped in history with beautiful old historic buildings and places of interest such as King John’s Castle and a lovely pub and restaurant which was a watermill just across the road from this site
Castlebrook.

This is a small select development of 11 homes, 7 of which are new build and 4 highly individual and intriguing conversions. Prices yet to be release, so for now a broad guide is that buyers looking from say £500,000 to £750,000 should consider registering interest in these new homes by contacting the selling agents on 01256 704851

Wrecclesham, Near Farnham, Surrey – An outstanding high specification property in an exclusive development of just twelve new homes located on the outskirts of the historic town of Farnham. Prices from £475,000.

Hook, Hampshire – With 5 new builds and a character house conversion, the new homes at this site will follow on from the success of the T A Fisher site at Castlebrook in North Warnborough.

Acorn House Hook Plan McCarthy Holden Estate Agents Hampshire

Hartley Wintney, Hampshire – Shapley Grange is an exclusive development of 3 and 4 bedroom homes, built to a high specification on a small site of only seven houses in a prime location less than a mile from the village of Hartley Wintney. Prices range for around £470,000 to £1.0m.

Winchfield, Hampshire – Winchfield Lodge is a unique refurbishment majestically situated in the centre of a development of new-build houses. A total of four 3 and 4 bedroom homes have been superbly modelled inside the existing shell of The Lodge House, reportedly designed and built by the Victorian Architect William Burges.

Winchfield View, Hampshire – Winchfield View is a select development of stunning high specification new homes by Sunningdale House Developments, in a fine location with pleasing views situated about two miles from the village of Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. Prices from around £575,000 to £1.7m., but nearly all sold as we close 2019.

Contact the McCarthy Holden new homes department at our Hartley Wintney branch for information about land and new homes – 01252 842100.

7 of the Hottest Homeware and Interior Design Trends of 2020

interior trends 2020

From gleaming metals and rich opulence, to unfussy, functional pieces, the dawn of a new decade has something for everyone, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

It may only be autumn, but interior designers are already predicting how we’re going to be dressing our homes in 2020.

So, how’s it looking? To find out, we’ve gone behind the scenes at Top Drawer, the UK’s leading design-led trade event, where Louise Healy-Adonis – trend forecaster and senior strategist at Flamingo – shares her insider insights for the coming seasons.

These items aren’t available to buy yet – but keep an eye out for designs inspired by these themes in stores and online throughout 2020.

From the finest fabrics to brilliant basics, here, Healy-Adonis reveals the key features of 2020’s hottest-tipped interior design and homeware trends, and how we can get the look…

interior trends 2020

1. Modern Relics

A contrast of delicate and strong shapes and details, with mixed textures. The idea of unearthed antiques interplays with modern materials to create future heirlooms.

“This trend sees classic shapes given a contemporary look through new digital techniques and traditional etched surfaces. Rich textures and luxe gleaming metals add sumptuous elements to rough and irregular black surfaces of unearthed pasts. Add finishing touches to the home to complement the trend such as cushions, glassware or vases,” suggests Healy-Adonis.

interior trends 2020

2. Introspection

This trend sees muted, multiple inputs from our surroundings, dialled down into introspective subdued colours and calm tonal blocking. This is not stark minimalism – think meditative and calming with multi textures.

“Soft winter pales and warm neutrals create meditative, clean palettes that are grounded in natural materials,” says Healy-Adonis. “Mixed textures and serene scenes are seen in calm tonal blocking. Colours to invest in include whites, softened teals and olives, dusky pinks and light grey.”

interior trends 2020

3. Grounded Rituals

This one’s all about a natural autumnal, earthy, tactile vibe that’s tied to nature and wellbeing. These everyday items are elevated through the craft of honest materials and the uniqueness of nature. Answering the need for quiet restorative rituals.

“This trend brings the grounding of nature into the home through raw materials and handmade pieces. One-of-a-kind products are formed in metal accents, woven textiles and tactile wood. This restrained detailing and pared-back palette will enhance the sanctuary of the home,” Healy-Adonis notes.

interior trends 2020

4. Soft Assembly

The retro modern feel combines reassuring nostalgia with playful rounded shapes and graphic prints. Imperfect outlines are key in mid-tone brights, anchored in rich navy and coffee tones.

“Irregular graphics and mid-tone brights will add the modern retro feel to the home. Look out for organic shapes with a sophisticated crafty feel. This will be seen through dining wear, throws and cushions, and decorative items,” explains Healy-Adonis.

interior trends 2020

5. Bio Flux

This trend speaks to the mix of organic and hyper-real, where natural looks sci-fi and bio-design is the future, today.

Healy-Adonis says: “This scientific and sterile trend sees a mix of organic shell-like dark tones and iridescence modernise ombre styles. The unique and free-form nature of the materials offer interesting overlays of organic colours.”

interior trends 2020

6. Sublime Opulence

Maximalism is muted with a restrained palette of deep blues and yellow golds. Plush velvets and textured metallics reference historical detailing and add a luxurious serenity.

“Tonal blues are still a key trend for 2020, moving into a more yellow tone, adding warmth, calmness yet opulence to the home,” explains Healy-Adonis. “Historical detailing stylised with modern twists including gold-edged art prints, this is a key trend which is staying around for another season.”

interior trends 2020

7. Industrial Organics

This trend speaks to the in-between space of man-made and organic, of the chunkiness of old machinery, but with the ease and simplicity needed for an uncomplicated life.

“With the focus on unfussy functional pieces, this trend includes asymmetric bold shapes contrasted with soft tones. Pale dusty pinks and mints, rust, ochre and blues are grounded by warm naturals and stark black,” suggests Healy-Adonis.

Instant Customer Reviews at Odiham New Homes Event

Castlebrook North Farnborough McCarthy Holden Estate Agents

New T A Fisher Homes At Castlebrook

The preview event at Castlebrook this weekend was really successful, with visitors / house buyers giving their immediate reviews to camera.

We enjoyed helping T A Fisher at the preview event of their new homes at Castlebrook in North Warnborough Hampshire this weekend, with visitors / house buyers giving their immediate reviews to camera.

Contact McCarthy Holden on 01256 704851 about the next open day event at Castlebrook in North Warnborough Hampshire.

As Grand Designs Turns 20 Kevin McCloud Shares his Favouite Simple Builds

grand design favourite builds

From an underground bolthole in Peckham, to an eco-build on the Isle of Skye, Luke Rix-Standing discovers them all.

Television isn’t famous for job security, unless, that is, your name is Kevin McCloud. The veteran presenter has fronted Channel 4 property programme Grand Designs since its inception in 1999, and he has no intention of quitting anytime soon. “It’s become me,” he says, “I don’t even question it.”

In 20 years, McCloud has seen plenty of structural success stories, but also his fair share of domestic duds. “The real horror shows are the ones that never make it to the screen,” he says, “out of the 200 or so projects we’ve filmed, there have been maybe eight or 10 that we’ve had to abandon after one day of filming, after investing so much time and money.”

With more projects under his belt than most architects, McCloud knows a thing or two, because he’s seen a thing or two. “People fall down because they fail to prepare,” he says. “The design, the detail, the fine drawing – all that stuff needs to be done before it touches the sides.

To celebrate two decades of Grand Designs, here’s McCloud’s favourite simple builds from his time on the show…

grand design favourite builds

Lucie Fairweather – Suffolk, Season 10

Lucie and her partner Nat McBride bought this plot in Woodbridge in 2006, and were granted planning permission in 2007. Nat was diagnosed with cancer and passed away a year later, but Lucie saw through their shared vision of building a house that was as aesthetically attractive as it was environmentally sustainable.

Kevin says: “I’m really fond of these small, inexpensive projects – they’re more important as Grand Designs, than the big, show-off things people often think of. It’s here that the innovation happens, when people push with small budgets to deliver great experiences.”

“Lucie’s was just fantastic. It was a wonderful story about redemption, and about her taking her late husband’s vision and building a house for her small children. It was tinged with tragedy and sadness, but also with the tremendous friendship of Jerry Tate, a great friend of her and her husband’s. He not only designed the home for her, but held her hand through the whole process.

“It was an exemplary, three bedroom suburban home, but Lucie is a primary school teacher and she didn’t have a lot of money. The takeaway is that it’s not about buying stuff – if she can do it, anyone can.”

grand design favourite builds

Rebecca and Indi Waterstone – Isle of Skye, Season 12

An ultra energy-efficient, 90 sqm home of the Hebridean island of Skye, residents Rebecca and Indi pay just £50 a year in bills, despite the exposed location and the bitter winters. An exceptionally well-organised project, it took them 10 years to fund and just nine months to build.

Kevin says: “I loved this project for a lot of reasons. The Isle of Skye is just beautiful, and when we filmed it, the island was basking in sunshine while the rest of the country spent a summer in the rain. I could drink whiskey, have fantastic food, and see fantastic wildlife – whales, sea eagles, skuas…

“In the midst of it all was this tiny little jewel – an example of how to be sensitive to beautiful landscape, but contemporary as well. It goes to show that if you go somewhere and invest in it – build a house, live there, and make a contribution to the local economy – people respect you for it.

“The Isle of Skye is full of holiday lets owned by people that don’t live there, but Indi and Rebecca moved to live there all year round. Objections to their planning application were from people that didn’t live there, who wanted the place to remain populated by picturesque crofters’ cottages. Anyone who lived on the island loved what they were trying to do.”

grand design favourite builds

Monty Ravenscroft – Peckham, Season 5

A £220,000 home in South London with a sub-subterranean floor, this inventive build features a 10 sqm retractable glass roof, an LED light fitting that doubles as a shower, and a bed that slides away, revealing a bath. Construction wasn’t quick, but planning permission took two and a half years.

Kevin says: “Monty’s an actor and musician, so he’s a bit of a Renaissance man, and he built this very cheap house in South London for himself and his wife Claire. It was a long time ago now – during filming Claire was expecting a baby who’s now a young man.

“It’s a great project about one guy experimenting with all the ideas he’s ever had, with so much excitement. Monty was such a bundle of energy and so lovely to be around. He collaborated with an architect called Richard Paxton, himself a great inventor and a very inspirational man. He sadly passed away, so whenever I think about Monty’s project, I think about him.

“It’s a highly personal project for me, and it demonstrated that you don’t need much money. You need a bit of guts and an inventive mind, and if you haven’t got an inventive mind, find a mate who has. It’s not about reaching for the chequebook to solve a problem, it’s about reaching for the pencil and figuring problems out.”

grand design favourite builds

Theo and Elaine Leijser – Stirling, Season 6

A cedar-clad home in central Scotland overlooking the picturesque Campsie Fells, Theo and Elaine used clever design to funnel all the views from their house onto the fells, and away from a nearby main road.

Kevin says: “This project was all about delivering the experience of big, expensive architecture at a small scale. It was a beautiful, quick-to-put-up little box built onto a hill, and it had this amazing gallery above the ground floor.

“Whenever you were at the front of the house, you saw this fantastic arrangement of landscape and nature, because of the way the building was organised. It had this lovely little corridor from the kitchen that was low, narrow and compressed, and then suddenly the living room released you.

“It comes back to that point about shopping – it’s to do with the building organising your life and your daily activities in a way that brings you joy.”

Kevin McCloud will be appearing at Grand Designs Live at The NEC, from October 9-13, 2019. For more information and tickets visit www.granddesignslive.com