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Homes & Gardens What’s Inside

At home with Kirstie Allsopp

Get the shabby chic look Going Green Your guide to eco heating

and much more...

Quality Carpets and Flooring

Furnishing the discerning

01271 323322 12 Bear Street, Barnstaple, EX32 7BU

Location, Location, Location,

Is buying the next logical step for you? Can you afford to make that step onto the property ladder? In association with Zoopla., TV’s property expert Phil Spencer is here to guide you through five essential starting points:

Buying Vs renting

Do your research Making an offer

Before contemplating whether to buy or rent a property, it is vital to do as much research as possible and consider whether the long-term financial commitment of homeownership is for you, or whether renting would better suit your lifestyle.

Get to know the geographic areas you’re looking at like the back of your hand. Visit them at different times of the day and week. Zoopla can help you make sense of the local property market and check out the local info, area stats, maps and nearby services. Look at what has previously sold in the area or on specific streets. All this information is free, will help your search and ensure that you are well informed in any decision-making process.

If you own your home and have a repayment mortgage, rather than an interest-only mortgage, you are investing in your future and creating a valuable asset. Your monthly repayments aren’t going to a landlord and creating ‘dead money’ for you. However, whilst the value of your home may go up as well as down, at the end of the term of the mortgage you will own the property outright.

Work out what you can afford

If you have done your research and planning you should have a good idea of what has sold in the area recently, and what else is on the market that is similar. Zoopla has information on average asking prices and average prices per square foot, which can also be useful. Use all of this information to determine what the fair value for the property is, before you make an offer.

Do you know what Ongoing you’re looking for? communication

If you have a good idea of what you’re looking for from the start then you can save time on pointless viewings. This will help an estate agent narrow down your search by location and property type and help you when searching online. Perhaps you’re looking for a You need to have an idea of your budget project which requires some work, or maybe so that you can start a realistic property you want somewhere that you can move in search. Start by speaking to your bank or an and is ready to go? The more specific you can independent mortgage or financial adviser who be, the easier you will make it for the agent. will be able to talk you through the process Bear in mind, though, that finding the right and give you an idea of what price range you property often involves compromise at some can afford. There are many types of mortgage point, so be prepared to be flexible… unless deals, so it’s important that you chose a deal you have very deep pockets! that suits your lifestyle and budget.

If your offer is accepted, it’s vital to keep those important lines of communication open. Make sure you’re in regular contact with the selling agent and that your solicitor keeps you regularly informed on how the purchase is progressing.

Homes& Gardens

furnishing the

discerning Suites • Dining Furniture Beds & Mattresses Carpets & Flooring • Lamps Soft Furnishings • Mirrors

01271 323322 12 Bear Street, Barnstaple, North Devon EX32 7BU

Features writer Eleanor Joslin Advertising Fiona Clarke: 01271 347400 Hannah Clark: 01271 347418 Lisa Whitrow: 01271 347410 Sarah Hughes: 01271 347405 Design Cornwall & Devon Creative Hub

Contents Page 5 - 9 Page 10 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 -19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26

Must-Have Trends Through the Keyhole Boutique Bathrooms High Street Hero At Home with Kirstie Allsopp Homemade Homes The Eco Energy Guide Stay Warm & Add Value Restoration is Like a Jigsaw Flooring: The Fifth Element Home Improvement Crafty Courses Homes on a Shoestring Gardening in October

Your guide to homes Page 4 Page 6 Page 11 Page 14 Page 16 Page 27

Barn Conversions with Marsdens Holiday Cottages In the Country with Bushnell & Green Lord of the Manor with Collyers Through the Keyhole with taylor underwood Popular Properties with Keenors Garden Envy with Bond Oxborough Phillips

Martin Dorey cooking with the Limbrick family

“There’s no reason why a professional service can’t be personal too,” explains Gloria O’Connell, Business Development Manager at Marsdens. “Our success is based on the simple premise that we offer great service and unrivalled experience to both owners and holidaymakers.”

Barn conversions are prime holidays lets With a little imagination and hard work, that run-down old barn in the corner of the yard could become a lucrative holiday let. Barn conversions have never been more popular. Not only are they attractive and full of character features, but they’re a great investment opportunity catering to North Devon’s thriving tourist trade and sought-after ‘staycation’ appeal.

Using old stone, lime rendering and oak beams, the cottages at Marwood Farm in Bampton, on the edge of Exmoor, stay true to their rural surroundings and heritage. The Gearing and Workshop sleep two, while Cider Pound sleeps four and Threshing Barn accommodates up to six people. Marsdens Cottage Holidays in Braunton can testify to the success of such ventures. Since Inside, the properties have oak furniture, Aubrey Cummings converted a dilapidated comfy sofas, modern bathrooms and wellthreshing barn into four beautiful properties, equipped kitchens. There’s also underfloor Marsdens Cottage Holidays has kept them fully heating, a Jacuzzi and WiFi for a truly relaxing booked, and secured repeat bookings. Has holiday that the whole family can enjoy – pets kept them fully booked and secured repeat are welcome too! bookings for next year. Mr Cummings says: “We are delighted with the service and professionalism we have experienced since letting our properties through Marsdens Cottage Holidays. All of their staff are courteous, efficient and knowledgeable, and are always willing to go that extra mile.”

Winners of the best

North Devon Tourism Business Award 2012

“Would not hesitate to return and recommend, a perfect home from home, it exceeded all our expectations.”

Back home, Toby emailed Marsdens Cottage Holidays thanking them for such a wonderful This is not just a phrase for Marsdens Cottage holiday. “The barbeque was a highlight of our Holidays, but something they put into practice. week and something we will remember for a long time,” he wrote. “Martin produced Giving one lucky family a truly unforgettable wonderful food and wine and was a great host, experience, the company ran a competition he got the boys involved and gave us some top with a sizzling prize: a summer barbecue tips for days out and things to do.” hosted by TV chef Martin Dorey

Going the extra mile

The winners, Toby and Nicola Limbrick and their young sons, William and Max, had a holiday to remember when they stayed at Rockpool, a modern coastal retreat with stunning views of Croyde beach. The campervan chef taught them how to prepare a mouth-watering feast using local produce. He showed them how to smoke oysters caught from the River Torridge, and the kids made their own beef burgers and smashed up the Eton Mess!

Letting your holiday home? Trust the local experts. • Professional, personal and friendly service from our local team • Easy to use website with a top ranking web presence • All our properties are VisitEngland graded, giving our customers confidence when booking • Devon based company with 40 years experience of letting holiday cottages

Entrusting your holiday home to an agent is a big decision. Here at Marsdens we understand, which is why we like to go that little bit further.

Call on 01271 813777 to find out more or visit 4

For more information and to book, please call Marsdens Cottage Holidays on 01271 813777 or email

must-have trends Pip Studio at Daisy Park, South Molton (right & middle)

Indian Summer Draw out the last warm rays of summer with bright prints and elegant outdoor lighting. Try an assortment of Bollywood colours to keep the summer vibe going, such as analogous colour pairings – fuchsia, purple, fire-truck red, turquoise and sea-blue hues. Bright colours don’t just lift the spirits and inject feel-good factor, they can evoke subtle nuances of nostalgia and rippling waves of relaxation, helping us to remember the summer sun for a little longer yet.

Play around with bright botanical motifs, Aztec prints, patchwork throws and colourful cushions. Keeping up with seasonal trends needn’t break the bank, and this look can easily be achieved with a mismatch of things you already have: melamine picnic plates and tumblers, coloured glassware, candle holders, old cushions (revived with a floral brooch or buttons), soft throws and jam jars filled with flowers from the garden. A soft twilight glow will ooze comfort in the late afternoon. Simply scatter candles, tea lights, lanterns and fairy lights – why not dig out your Christmas tree lights and wrap them around hanging boughs and trellises. When it gets too chilly, drape them around the fireplace mantel.


In th e Co untr y Photo: Devonshire Pine

Buy the Look “The joy of oak is that is suits any home, from modern newbuilds to traditional country houses. And because it’s such a natural material it is also extremely versatile when it comes to trends and colour matching.” Bring the outdoors in and create a country-style home with light woods, soft wools, earthy tones and wildlife motifs. Natural alpine tones form a down-to-earth trend for AW 2013/14 with a refreshing palette of browns, creams and white inspiring a calm aesthetic. Woodland greens and welcoming tones of red and yellow inject warmth. The summer’s rich Botanical look continues to influence homeware by weaving its way in with images of autumnal fauna, butterflies and woodland animals.

Use natural textures to create a soft and tactile look in your home, with light wood furniture, woollen throws, copper bowls and ceramics in your living room or bedroom. Trelawney Garden Centre in Ashford has a versatile range of oak furniture that complements the natural, country aesthetic of this cosy autumn trend.

Tarka Painted bedroom furniture: from £89 Single mirror: £99 Dressing table stool: £89 From Devonshire Pine, Bideford: 01237 427935

General manager Caroline Howell-Williams says: “Oak furniture is a classic; it’s warm and homely and perfect for winter.” Stay true to the trend by supporting local, Devon-based manufacturers of wooden furniture, like Devonshire Pine. All their pine furniture is manufactured and assembled in Bideford using kiln-dried Scandinavian Redwood.

Through the Keyhole with

Bushnell & Green If you look at interior trends in magazines and think, “I can’t achieve that,” then think again. In the Country is the easiest trend to emulate because, as its name suggests, it has an effortless style which is second nature to homes in North Devon. Natural materials such as oak, maple and pine wood, and soft colours like grey, cream and white create a warm and inherently organic feel. Furthermore, it’s the perfect countrykitchen look, affecting a bucolic charm that suits the rural homes much associated with the South West.


And you can customise the look to suit your own tastes too. Lakeside Barn, a three-bedroom barn conversion on the Higher Beers estate in Warkleigh, infuses the look with a modern twist: bold purple and black textiles in the dining area and sharp lines in the flooring and kitchen units create a contemporary look, while the light oak wood maintains a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Higher Beers (comprising of a four-bedroom farmhouse, two-bedroom cottage, a barn conversion holiday let and nine acres) has been refurbished sympathetically, retaining character features such as ceiling beams, original fireplaces and exposed timbers.

Layers of woollen throws, floral cushions, lush green plants and emblems of country life – stags, rabbits and woodland – would depict In the Country perfectly here. This idyllic retreat is part of three luxury twobedroom holiday lodges at South Trew, which combines a successful holiday lettings business with a residential five-bedroom bungalow, stabling facilities and 11 acres. Go for a soft, feminine look that oozes innocence and warmth, as seen as in the timber holiday lodges at South Trew near Highampton. The décor is simple yet effective, with white bed linen and loose, flowing posterbed drapes appearing ultra soft and tactile against the timber bed frame and walls.

View the properties through Bushnell & Green estate agent East Street, South Molton Call Sue Bushnell on 01769 574363 or visit the website

Recreate the Look

Bring the adventure home with these pioneering products Pioneer...

a global style

Fill your home with the adventures, eccentricities and treasures of an intrepid Victorian traveller and create a classic look that’s rich and enigmatic.

Tell tales of industrious escapades with globes, compasses, brass lanterns, leatherbound books and vintage clocks. Use rattan baskets and Victorian trunks to hoard away the relics of the everyday; display precious The brooding colours and enigmatic look is plunder on cube units and heavy desks. The perfect for a bachelor pad or even a barn latter gives the look a more contemporary conversion holiday let – exposed brickwork edge for modern apartments, conversions and stone walls will add to the rustic nature of and holiday lodges. the drifting traveller. Weary wanderers can rest like captains of the For a softer look, diffuse dark masculine hues colonial pioneers, with dark, wooden chairs with light browns and beiges, and decorate and timeless leather upholstery. Team with with pretty shells, butterflies, bell jars, map original ceiling beams, an exposed inglenook motifs and the blooms of fresh flowers and fireplace and crackling flames for a warm and lush, green houseplants. welcoming place to relax.

If you’ve had all your holidays for 2013, the high street is a treasure trove of exotic ornaments, antique accessories and nineteenth-century furniture.

See the look in our reader’s very own clubroom, on page 10.

Unique Como bedroom furniture

Stonyhurst coffee table

Frank Hudson Safari Bed Prices vary, from Barrow Clark, Barnstaple: 01271 323322

Buy the Look

Shabby Chic The feminine, innocent and slightly rustic feel of shabby chic décor has long been a staple home interior trend, whatever the season. There’s an edgier side to shabby chic this autumn/winter, as we see it embracing upcycled wood, distressed furniture, crackedeffect paint and personalised touches. Frame your childhood ballet pumps, drape dressing tables with jewellery, and revive cushions with spare buttons and tassels. Or use your walls as a colourful canvas with floral wallpapers from Cotton Duck in Holsworthy, and team with pale vintage furniture from Country Interiors. The inspirational duo share a showroom of shabby chic furniture, feminine fabrics and cute cushions, stylised and curated by Deborah Mills of Cotton Duck and Billy Clay from Country Interiors. “Sanderson is a well known and popular name in the world of fabric and wallpapers,” says Deborah. “Susie Watson, Peony and Sage, Kate Forman and Clarke and Clarke (left) are more unique, with a feminine and vintage style,” she suggests. Delicate designs of floral clusters with pale pink petals flutter across their soft furnishings and wallpapers. Deborah tailor-makes matching cushions and lampshades too – an ideal Christmas gift.


Clarke and Clarke Delphine wallpaper in raspberry, from Cotton Duck, Holsworthy: 01409 254800

Be inspired by this moodboard

Simply Chic Source for the Goose goes back to the very roots of ‘chic’, with French furniture evoking a stylish and elegant yet understated feel. “I think people love Shabby Chic because they are comfortable with it,” reflects owner Patricia Campbell, from her boutique in South Molton. “It is a soft, natural and quite traditional look, in some ways. Textures and layering is important as they give a sense of style and sumptuousness. So is marrying old and new – people’s homes aren’t full of just old things or just new.”

The feminine curves, delicate details and light paintwork of French furniture go hand in hand with shabby chic, especially with the distressed style of paintwork which has surged in popularity. It lends itself very well to being painted, says fellow French furniture stockist Bill Clay, who makes monthly buying trips to France. “It’s a quick, easy and affordable way to introduce colour and change the look and feel of a room,” he explains.

“The distressed look is very popular too, but with furniture that is still high quality and well made.”

Through the Keyhole

Fowlers Villavin

Lesley lives with her husband and three cats at Fowlers Villavin on the outskirts of Roborough village. They moved from a two-bed Victorian terrace in London to a tucked-away house with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, four reception rooms and an acre of garden.

“For two years we have decorated and thought of nothing else!” laughs Lesley. “We brought very little down with us from London, just a few pieces from Harrods upholstered in Collin and Hayes which Barrow Clark has been able to match. They sell such a diverse range and I’ve bought furniture, mirrors, art and ornaments from them to create the different looks I wanted.” The family-run home furnishings store in Barnstaple really came to the rescue, admits Lesley. She’s also mixed and matched pieces from TK Max, Laura Ashley, the Barnstaple boutique Cool Calm Collected and local artists. “I prefer shopping in Barnstaple over Exeter because the independent shops are lovely,” she adds. The original part of the house, built in the 1700s, has been decorated sympathetically, with a French-style guest bedroom and a shabby chic bathroom upstairs and a rich, leatherbound gentleman’s clubroom downstairs. The extension was built in 1981 and has a more contemporary feel.

The Clubroom

Cambridge leather armchair

Buy the Clubroom Look

The original wooden ceiling beams, falured walls, inglenook fireplace, leather armchairs, stags heads and tartan cushions pull together to create a rich, sumptuous and masculine room. The wooden coffee table twists to reveal a hidden cocktail cabinet inside – perfect for a poker night. Little quirks provide a touch of humour too, such as the ghostly witch hunched over in the bread oven.

The Master Bedroom Habufa York TV console

Halo Union Jack trunk

There is a ‘his and hers’ attitude in the bedroom. Much of the dark, nibbed oak furniture stands to the left while on the right there are softer lilac tones in the linen drapes and upholstered occasional chair. “This is the adult bedroom – and it’s the bling room too,” she explains. “My husband liked the dark bedroom furniture and I’ve tried to find things that are feminine to soften it, such as the throw over the mirror and the American-crystal lamp bases and drawer knobs.”

The African Room

Downing Chair Adam Carpets Fine Worchester Twist

Lesley’s banking career took her all over the world and her travels really shine through in the flamboyant African room, a sun room cum feline snug for her pets. Leopard-print throws cover wicker chairs, giraffes stand sentry by a South African ostrich egg, wild cats from Colorado peer from the walls and African tribal masks guard the doorway.

The French Guestroom

Habufa York coffee table


All from Barrow Clark 12 Bear Street, Barnstaple: 01271 323322

“My French friend said that rooms are decorated like this in the south of France,” comments Lesley. “I was influenced by a bouquet of white and lilac hydrangeas as I just loved the colours. The room is overdressed and over-designed with lots of cushions and layers, but this creates the feminine look I wanted and matches the shabby chic bathroom next door.”

Be Lord of the Manor at Foxdown Manor Cottages Take a trip back in time with a holiday at Foxdown Manor, a five-star Victorian manor house with self-catering country cottages nestled within eight acres of gardens, woodland and wildlife.

The morning room has a traditional feel, with comfortable sofas facing a stone fireplace and chimney breast. Next door, the library is a relaxing retreat, with leather armchairs and books lining the wall.

The detached Manor House at Horns Cross, near Bideford, sleeps 14 people in nine bespoke bedrooms. Five four-star cottages sleep between two and seven. Christine Collyer and her husband bought the former hotel and cottages in 2001 and decided to restore its grandeur and sparkle. This was a mammoth task, remembers Christine, who spent nine years refurbishing the property. They initially turned the manor house into a family home, after moving to Devon from London. But, with children flying the nest, they now let it to holidaymakers – including dogs, who are welcome to stay too.

“The décor was very dated when we bought it,” she recalls. “There was green stripy wallpaper and fussy carpets; the kitchen had no light; and the dining room was so cold.”

“I love this room, it’s well used. It’s a cosy place where you can quietly read a book.” The Collyers relocated the original dark kitchen to where the boiler room and toilets were. Now the kitchen is stunning, with space, vaulted and beamed ceilings and a moderncountry design. Exposed A-frames, flagstone flooring, wooden worktops and a large red Aga with a black mosaic-tiled splashback exude farmhouse-chic.

“We wanted a country-cottage look to suit the rest of the house, and we wanted the Aga to be the heart of the kitchen, It’s now a functional yet warm and welcoming room.”

Upstairs, the bedrooms are individually designed to appeal to different guests. Christine’s son Adam designed the monochrome bedroom, with a flocked Now spacious rooms, oak flooring, period feature chimney breast. features, underfloor heating and a heated swimming pool add to the comfort and luxury The merlot-red room is fit for a queen, with that holidaymakers can enjoy here. a pretty bedstead, sumptuous bedding, a feature fireplace, an ornate gold mirror and An elegant reception hall greets guests and leads them towards a grand piano, resplendent floral curtains. in the centre of a comfortable sitting room, After a long day soaking up the beautiful one of five reception rooms. countryside and coastline in North Devon, feel pampered in the huge, modern “The dining room is now lovely,” adds Christine, remembering the 1970s décor and bathrooms. Three bedrooms are en suite and one even has a dressing room for a true fiveleaking roof. “The original dining table, big mirror and open fireplace were still perfect for star experience. the room and in good condition. The five stone-built cottages (Alladyce, Raleigh, Frobisher, Gilbert and Drake) “We replaced the damaged mouldings and were originally converted from stables and cornicing, and decorated with stags that outbuildings. They have a cosy home-fromwe’ve collected, an elegant chandelier and traditional Georgian and Victorian furniture.” home feel, with ceiling beams, stone fireplaces and lawn gardens. Since 2001 the Collyers have fitted new kitchens and bathrooms, redecorated and bought new furniture.

“Foxdown Manor was a lovely place to live, with lots of space, comfortable rooms and a swimming pool,” says Christine. “Now it’s nice that other people can enjoy it too and have a lovely holiday in North Devon with all their family and friends.”

Christine Collyer, Director of Collyers Estate Agents Property sales, lettings and management services Collyers, 43 Bear Street, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7DB

Tel: 01271 377237

Follow Collyers on facebook


Boutique Bathrooms: Get the hotel look at home We’ve all done it – had a blue Monday at Wet rooms are functional but very work and ‘researched’ beautiful boutique flexible with styles and designs tailored hotel breaks and drooled over the luxurious to your décor. pictures: king-size beds, surround-sound TVs, soft towelling robes and huge walk-in showers. Why not bring the boutique bathroom look home, and feel pampered every day?

“Contemporary chrome fixtures and a single glass screen is popular, while the rest of the shower space is left open for people to walk in behind.”

Contemporary, walk-in wetrooms have become the popular way to bathe, making baths and shower cubicles seem boring and cramped. “Boutique hotels don’t tend to have bathrooms anymore but wetrooms off to the side of the bedroom, continuing the contemporary look and the open and spacious It is important to have wetrooms fitted feel of the room,” comments Sue Mills, marketing manager at Living Needs Solutions by a reputable company warns Sue, who has seen shoddy drainage flows go under in Barnstaple. bathroom doors. “It is a specialist job,” she says. “We fit them and create a gradient, “A level-access wetroom can create this luxurious look at home, with a lovely drench and install a tray former under the floor which controls the drainage.” showerhead and drainage trays hidden away underneath tiled floors to give a sleek and stylish feel.”

Drench shower heads and glass screens are a contemporary choice

Did you know? A five-minute shower saves 110 litres of water compared to filling a bath, saving £194 each year.

Padfields celebrates 80 years A new showroom, seasonal trends and contemporary collections keep Padfields young at heart, as they celebrate 80 years as a family-run business in Barnstaple. The independent furniture store was established in 1933 and has since grown to become well known as a stockist of stylish brands at competitive prices. The showroom in Mermaids Walk has expanded along the way, with four floors offering a wide range of home furniture, soft furnishings and flooring. This year the showroom has been refurbished to mark the company’s landmark birthday. Top names such as Stressless, Parker Knoll, G Plan and Duresta recline in the new-look display areas.

High Street Hero Autumn / Winter 2013 / 14 Upstairs in the upholstery department, Sanderson, William Morris and Villa Nova can be found amongst the swathes of beautiful samples and swatches. Padfields’ interiors guru Helen Bowden has a favourite feature wallpaper: Walk in the Park by Prestigious Textiles. Dog walkers stroll between clusters of urban parks, tinted with either the twilight tones of mulberry or autumn green.

Prestigious Textiles’ Art & Soul collection: Walk in the Park Autumn

Have a Contemporary Christmas “In the run up to Christmas chairs and upholstery are popular as people furnish their homes ready for the influx of visitors.”

“Feature wallpapers are still a great way to update a room without being expensive,” suggests Hannah. “People love this Prestigious wallpaper from the Art & Soul collection, and our window display draws a lot of comments.” In the first floor sales department Liz Mills highlights autumn and winter as a very busy time of year at Padfields. “With the colder weather people naturally tend to spend more time thinking about their homes rather than their gardens,” she explains.

If you’ve got the new in-laws coming round and you need more space around the table, impress them with Willis & Gambier’s Escana Light dining range from Padfields.

“Willis & Gambier is a respected and traditional name in home furnishings,” says marketing manager Nick Smith. “With the Escana range traditional meets contemporary, with a crisp, linear design that will appeal to a modern family.” The Escana Light table sits between six and eight people. The light, honey tones in the solid oak are warm and inviting, and the small imperfections in the grain and knotting, which occur in the forest naturally, gives the wood authentic character.

Escana dining range

Buy the Look

Willis & Gambier Escana Light dining range Willis & Gambier Fletton Stripe Dining Chair Georgia sofa


At home with Kirstie Allsopp The writing really is on the wall: WOW says it all. The big gold letters in Kirstie Allsopp’s country kitchen aptly describe the transformation of Meadowgate, a derelict property she salvaged from the rubble. The five-bed farmhouse in Welcombe had been lying derelict for 37 years before our favourite domestic goddess waved her wand and transformed it into a sought-after holiday home. With just a shoestring budget to work with, she scoured local markets, antique fairs, salvage yards and second-hand shops looking for bargains and ‘preloved’ furniture. All told, refurbishing cost just £23,000. “I’ve no doubt you all thought I was barking mad to take on a huge project, but Meadowgate wasn’t just any other house,” she says.

“What I saw was an opportunity, not just to restore a beautiful, old cottage but to do it in a way that would demonstrate my passion for the skills and talents of our own British craftspeople, and my love of antiques and second-hand bargains that can be found in markets, auctions, reclamation yards and antique shops up and down the country.” Her patience, keen eye and upcycling skills ended up creating a comfy, cute, rustic and real-life Homemade Home - which starred in the first series of her hit Channel 4 show. It must have been no mean feat, with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, two sitting rooms, a large kitchen and a utility room in the main house, plus a one-bedroom annexe and landscaped gardens.

She describes the large kitchen, with its farmhouse table and Aga, as a fantastic family room that acts as a real hub of the home. The sitting room is effortlessly country-chic, with its open fireplace, worn plaid chair, mismatched sofas and feminine curtains. The master bedroom and en suite bathroom is open-plan, showing her sense of adventure while creating a luxurious, relaxing retreat in which to soak the day away.

Not only has Kirstie opened up the doors of Meadowgate to the North Devon Journal, but it’s also available for short breaks in the autumn, winter and spring. It sleeps 14 (dogs are welcome) and is priced from £1,285.20 per week. Call Classic Cottages on 01326 555555 to make a reservation.

“Meadowgate was my chance to tempt everyone away from the same, old, flat-pack furniture and fittings I see in houses all over the country and to try and encourage everyone to do something different with their own homes,” she explains. “To have the confidence to buy things they’ll love and cherish for years to come, rather than the cheap stuff that’s continually chucked away.”

“Fig Tree Farm offers a wonderful mix of character period features and modern, 21st century living. The beautiful, mature, lawned gardens are a ‘gardener’s delight’ and as a family home offer a great environment for children.” Jane Taylor, director of taylor underwood

Through the Keyhole at Fig Tree Farm Outside, there is a games room and garage, together with ample parking. The gardens are another stunning asset to Fig Tree Farm, and add to the rural idyll. Lush green lawns stretch away from the house and slope down towards a babbling stream.

With a name taken straight from an Enid Blyton book, Fig Tree Farm in Croyde conjures up images of pastoral bliss, roaring open fires, oak beams, fruit-laden orchards and babbling brooks.

White walls, high-gloss monochrome units, expansive windows and a large breakfast area create a spacious room for the family to enjoy. Sunshine pours in through bi-fold doors that open up onto a patio garden and seating feature.

The thatched farmhouse is true to character, but with a 21st century twist. The fourbedroom property has been sympathetically modernised over the years and the most recent addition is a stunning contemporary kitchen.

This kitchen is certainly the ‘hub of the house’. Garden seats soak up the watery view; tall trees create shady spaces; pretty flowers From here you can access the three original border the lawn; and patios form the perfect reception rooms and the former annexe. stage for al fresco dining and barbeques. The living room, dining room and sitting room step back into a more traditional time with exposed ceiling beams, stone fireplaces, wooden lintels and bread ovens creating a rustic look.

The former annexe has two ground-floor bedrooms, an office, shower room and utility room. Upstairs, there are two luxurious, spacious bedrooms with scenic countryside views. Adding a touch of luxury, the master en suite also has a large dressing room and a sleek shower room with ‘his and hers’ sinks.

Fig Tree Farm is just a short walk away from Croyde’s famous surfing beach and the well known pubs and local shops in the heart of the seaside village.

You don’t have to settle for the keyhole tour – Fig Tree Farm is for sale through taylor underwood coastal property specialists, with a price guide of £1,250,000. To arrange a viewing, call 01271 323290.

“Standard lamps will be popular and we have a seamstress on hand making bespoke lampshades to meet demand. Thinking outside of the box, using an old umbrella as a lampshade is quirky, retro, and recycles.”

Homemade Homes: Make do and mend in the modern day Kirstie may be the undisputed Queen of Craft on TV, but there’s an antique expert closer to home with an eye for in restoration, upcycling and customising.

Sue Wade owns Old Bridge Antiques in Bideford, an Aladdin’s cave of precious pieces, vintage trinkets, rare curio and pretty ornaments that whisper stories of lives well lived. “I think Kirstie realises that trends evolve and revolve, and that the need to save money has renewed public interest for antiques, upcycling, restoration and architectural salvage,” says Sue, who has appeared in Storage Hoarders and Antiques Road Trip.

“The same thing happened after World War Two, when people recycled everything out of necessity. Make do and mend is the old phrase and upcycling is simply the modern equivalent.”

Waste not, want not

The upcycle cycle

“It is so important to use the materials you have rather than let them rust or throw them onto the skip,” advises Sue, who is qualified in Environmental Design. “Materials are expensive so you should make do and mend, save money and get satisfaction from making something yourself that is practical.”

Old Bridge Antiques, in Market Place, provides a complete ‘make do and mend’ package. Sue’s upcycling journey starts with conducting valuations at house clearances. From here she will restore the items she buys, using local traders. If a customer buys a fireplace, for example, from Old Bridge Antiques, she will also highlight suitable period furniture and lights to complement the purchase, and recommend an electrician to wire and install them. “I offer an interior design service for each individual person, to help them create the look they want.”

Sue has used a few of Kirstie’s ideas to create new homeware out of old – like her pretty, three-tiered cake stands made out of mismatched tea plates. Customers can ask her to drill the holes and supply the fittings, or they can do it themselves, mixing and matching plates for a vintage tea party look.

A/W 2013 / 14 Cosy lighting is back, says Sue. Oil, paraffin and standard lamps are set to be popular this autumn/winter, and the cold winter will feed into the cosy look thrown by the glow of these lamps. “Lighting will be a key trend for winter and this kind of atmospheric lighting is perfect for the country cottages in North Devon,” she explains.

“A lot of people are jazzing up paintings by embellishing thin frames with ornate plaster mouldings and paint,” she adds. “If you frame a painting well it will really lift the room.” Sue offers this bespoke service tailored to your requirements.

Find us on

Kitchenalia E S T 19 8 6

de ma me es Ho om H

01237 420909

A Real Aladdin’s Cave From the weird & wonderful to the practical & collectable, Old Bridge Antiques Centre has it all. Our stock is ever changing and very competitively priced. Situated opposite the Pannier Market entrance (off the High Street), we are easy to find with street parking outside the shop.

Furniture & Interiors

Get ready for winter with our cast iron fires, fireside items & cosy lighting.

Antiques & Collectables


Old Bridge Antiques Centre 19 & 25 Market Place, Bideford EX39 2DR

selected items in store with this advert

“Many people couldn’t aff ord £10,000 to install external wall insulation, but the Green Deal spreads the cost over the lifetime guarantee of that measure. For insulation, the cost could be spread over 25 years, and for a boiler it could be repaid over 10 years, with new homeowners taking it on if a house is sold.”

Going green and saving money Going green has become a huge Government concern – with wind turbines popping up here, there and everywhere despite local petitions. However, there are many energy-efficient systems that fit neat and tidily in our homes with clear financial benefits. The coalition’s Green Deal, which launched in January through the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), is designed to encourage businesses and homeowners to install and use more ecofriendly technologies.

Who can apply?

The plan is very cost-efficient as there are no upfront installation costs and repayments are made through electricity bills over a substantial period of time. And because the products installed are designed to be energy-efficient, the cost of repayments will be no more than the original energy bill.

“The Green Deal is all about helping people who can’t afford the expensive upfront costs of installation,” says Brendan Ashford, managing director of approved assessor Ampere Green Deal. The family-run business in Barnstaple is at the forefront of the initiative and they have already conducted over 2,400 assessments across the country, including 800 in Devon.

Furthermore, unlike a conventional loan, the bill stays with the property to benefit future homeowners and tenants.

He highlights external wall insulation, loft insulation, boilers, solar PV and air-source Before any funding is allocated, your property heat pumps as beneficial measures for homes will be evaluated by an approved assessor. This in North Devon. There are many other ensures that technologies will only be installed recommended measures, including underfoor heating, draught proofing, light fittings, door in properties that will benefit financially from glazing and biomass boilers. the scheme. “We assess a customer’s home for all measures available,” he adds. “Unlike other companies, all of our assessors are independent and impartial so we’re not tied down to one specific area but can assess your home for every measure available under the Green Deal, and install according to the report,” he adds. “It’s about what is best for the customer.”

Popular properties:

Three-bedroom houses are in high demand Many rooms enjoy views of the garden and leafy village. Bi-fold patio doors in the sitting room floods the room with natural light and affects an alpine disposition, with views of the treetops nearby. The grounds outside are a real asset to Meadowside. The bungalow is approached from a quiet country lane which leads to a turning area and a single garage. From here With a guide price in excess of £150,000, a series of paths head to the pretty garden Meadowside in Hollocombe could prove to be where there are walled flower beds, patio the perfect property for a first-time buyer. areas, a pergola with climbing vines, wildlife The detached chalet-style bungalow was built ponds and garden sheds. in the 1960s and is quite unique, with timber Beechleigh in Chulmleigh is an eight-acre walls creating a warm and welcoming skismallholding on the market with a guide price lodge look. of £550,000. It is an ideal choice for a family There are three double bedrooms and two with equestrian interests. There are stables, bathrooms, a good-size sitting room/dining tack rooms, pony boxes, loose boxes and room, a fitted kitchen, a separate utility room storage barns plus a sand school and four and a scenic conservatory. fenced paddocks. Detached three-bedroom properties are the most sought-after homes for families wanting to move or upsize, but with demand consistently high they can be hard to find. Keenors Estate Agents, based in Chulmleigh, has two distinct properties at different ends of the market, each with three double bedrooms and substantial gardens.


The attractive period house was built in 1928 and retains many traditional features, including original doors, exposed floorboards, feature fireplaces and sash windows. In addition to three double bedrooms, there is a family bathroom and cloakroom on the first floor. Two reception rooms, a country kitchen, a separate breakfast room and a boot room are situated downstairs and provide well presented and good size rooms. Gardens lie to the front and back of the house and have wonderful, uninterrupted views across open farmland. The property is quite private, with its own driveway turning off Leigh Road and opening up into a large turning area in front of the house. To arrange a viewing, please call Keenors Estate Agents on 01769 580666 or email

The Green Deal Made Easy What is the Green Deal? The Green Deal is a Government Initiative to help home owners, tenants and businesses to reduce energy consumption, save money and cut their carbon emissions. The Green Deal enables property owners to install energy saving and renewable energy measures on their home and business premises and is funded with a low interest rate loan which is attached to your electricity meter. If you move out of the property the loan stays with that property.

Step by Step 1. We will send an impartial energy assessor to visit your property to carry out a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR). Inside the GDAR you will have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which rates your property’s energy efficiency from A to G compared to other properties. The EPC will also give you a list of recommended measures that could be suitable to reduce your energy consumption and an indication of future possible ratings. Also within the GDAR is a Bespoke Occupancy Assessment (BOA) which takes the recommended measures from the EPC and works out which measures would most benefit you and your property.

2. From the GDAR we will be able to form a quotation for carrying out the installation of the Green Deal measures. If you accept our quote we will then install the measures using our network of accredited Green Deal installers. 3. On completion of the works your electricity provider will be informed and the Green Deal Daily Charge will be added to your bill. You can now start enjoying your new energy efficient property.

Green Deal Measures Green Deal Finance is only available for accredited Green Deal measures. The most popular are: ● Boilers and Heating Systems ● Insulation (External, Internal, Loft, Cavity) ● Double Glazing ● Solar PV & Solar Thermal ● Ground & Air Source Heat Pumps In some instances, customers may need to make a top-up payment if the Green Deal Finance does not cover 100% of the measures. Ampere GDP will be here to help from the very beginning of the assessment procedure all the way through to installation of measures and ongoing aftercare. 01271 323052

Your local independent energy assessment company. Assessments from £120 for a 4 or less bedroom property.

Renewable energy systems: Biomass boilers explained What is biomass? Modern biomass systems make use of wood from sustainably managed sources and waste from wood processing industries in the form of untreated logs, chips and pellets. This ‘carbon lean’ fuel produces a fraction of the emissions of traditional fossil fuels and can be sourced locally. This means that it can be considerably cheaper than traditional heating fuels – costs can be up to 25 per cent less than gas and 50 per cent less than oil.

How can RES (Devon) Ltd help? Based in Barnstaple, RES (Devon) Ltd is a multiple-technology and fully certified installation business focusing on heat pump, biomass, solar-thermal and photo-voltaic installations throughout the South West.

Furthermore, the company is an approved installer for the Froling range The installation of domestic biomass systems of leading biomass boilers. Froling, based in Austria, has manufactured biomass currently attract a Government grant of £2,000 towards the cost of installation (via the boilers for over fifty years, combined Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme), with a continued development of highly also due to be included in the Renewable Heat efficient and reliable boilers. Incentive payments which will start in spring “We offer design and consultancy services 2014. These incentives make biomass heating at architect and specifier levels, as well more affordable than ever. A biomass solution as installation, commissioning and aftermay offer an effective and economic heating sales service all from under one roof,” says solution for your commercial property. service administrator Dean Siford. “Now in our seventh year of trading, we have been providing specialist renewable energy installations to a wide range of customers, including schools, social housing, private endusers, landlords and developers.

“Our vision for paving the way to massmarket generation lies with providing integrated systems to maximise the benefits of the technologies, such as biomass and solar-thermal – the ideal combination for larger off-grid properties. “We can offer impartial advice on a wide range of renewable technologies and will be pleased to provide a quotation based around your requirements.”

Call 01271 323207 to find out more.

The Experts in Delivering Renewable Energy Solutions for Your Home or Business 01271 346632

BIOMASS BOILERS Low Carbon Sustainable Fuel Source Logs, Pellets or Chips Dual Fuel Log/Pellet Combinations Sizes from 7kw to 250kw Ideal for Retrofit Containerised Solutions for Larger Properties Reduce Fuel Bills by up to 50% Government Funding Available E: 18


Going green and staying warm

Which system is right for you?

While the summer’s balmy nights have warmed up our homes for free, it’s now time to rely on radiators and stoves, and cope with rising fuel costs. One cost-effective solution is going eco. Renewable energy systems (such as solar panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers) can reduce running costs and lower carbon emissions too. Saving money, and the planet, in one go!

Richard Hopkins, director of South West Heat Pumps in Great Torrington, says air, ground and water-source heat pumps are all cheaper than oil and gas-fired central heating systems. “Air-source heat pumps have the lowest capital cost to install and can be fitted to most properties,” he explains. “However, they are marginally less efficient than ground or watersource pumps – say 300 per cent efficient rather than 400 per cent. “Ground and water-source pumps need land or a borehole, which can make the installation more costly although, with the increased efficiencies and government subsidies, they can offer a good return on the investment in a reasonable amount of time.”

Staying warm and adding value Having a conservatory fitted may not seem like the obvious way to save money on heating bills, but there are many benefits to having this kind of extension. As modifications go, a conservatory is a relatively simple addition to a property and can add significantly to the value of your home when it’s time to sell, by as much as five per cent. A conservatory not only has the advantage of raising value, it also adds other selling points to a house. Not only does it create another room inside the house, but it creates an extra space in which to enjoy the outside.

Conservatories are hugely versatile too, morphing from a sun room in the summer to a snug in the winter; from a useful dining space when guests come to stay, to a hobby room when you’re on your own. You’re well prepared to enjoy Indian summers, cool autumn twilights, the first frosts of winters, and even magical snowfalls, without feeling the chill. The garden is there to enjoy all year round, as you sit comfortably behind a warm wall of glass. And it is this wall of glass that will save you money. A double glazed conservatory will insulate heat, enabling you to turn down your boiler more frequently and, in turn, save on your energy bills. “Conservatories may seem like a luxury item but they can add value, create extra space, provide lovely views of the garden and help lower the thermostat in the winter,” agrees Pete Fieldsend, director of Tarka Home Improvements, a supplier of UPVC windows, doors and conservatories in Barnstaple. He highlights Blue Pilkington Activ as a popular glass for conservatory roofs, as it’s a selfcleaning glass with solar control.

“Customers like the Dwarf wall model too, as it creates a small wall on the inside of the room for plants to soak up the light,” he adds. “We offer a bespoke service, to meet the needs of every customer. We will tailor a conservatory to fit your space and suit your requirements, and do the job from start to finish; from the foundations to the tiny details, which make the job complete.”

Restoration is like a jigsaw... .... it just needs putting back together

I grew up in a house where we lived by the principle, “don’t throw anything away”, remembers Eleanor Joslin. Every New Year’s Eve costume was easily homemade; the dining room chairs have been upholstered (twice); the old sofa cushion is now the dog’s bed; and grandma still collects jars of used teabags. Some of it makes sense, and some of it doesn’t. The point is, nothing is ever useless.

“You can restore anything and give it a new life,” says Darren Prendergast, project upholsterer at The Jigsaw Project in Barnstaple. “Upholstery is a 250-year-old tradition, and a highly skilled job which can revive your furniture rather than see it chucked on a landfill.” Darren has 38 years of experience with famous retailers such as Harrods and, more recently, with The Jigsaw Project. The initiative is part of Community Projects North Devon, a charitable organisation which helps vulnerable people learn core work and social skills.

While Darren and his team of expert upholsterers restore, repair and polish for private and commercial clients, they create a working environment where people can gain the experience which will help move them onto employment and further training. “We specialise in both traditional and modern upholstery,” he adds. “From Victorian hand-sprung furniture with horse hair to more technical upholstery required from modern furniture.

“Sometimes furniture just needs a little care and attention to revive it and get it back in full working order, in both homes and commercial premises, big jobs and small.”

Don’t waste it, recycle What can you do with household items that can’t be restored, such as DIY materials? Recycle them, of course! Scrap metal, glass, paper, cardboard, plastics and construction waste can be reprocessed to make new products, rather than adding to unsightly landfills.

By 2015, Devon as a whole is aiming to recycle 60 per cent of household waste, increasing to 65 per cent by 2025. South West Metals, the largest independent waste management company in the area, supports this objective and has extended operations at their Waste Transfer Station in South Molton and invested in equipment and processes designed to take more recyclable content out of collected waste streams. So, whether you’re changing a light bulb, sawing off table legs or knocking down a wall, recycle the waste materials and help make Devon a greener place to live.

Did you know? All of the newsprint manufactured in the UK is now made from 100 per cent recycled paper – including the very page you’re reading right now.

skips & skip bags

great service excellent prices


building & construction waste asbestos, general waste plasterboard, etc Garden waste

To order: 01271 378198 RECYCLING YOUR WASTE FOR OUR FUTURE Total Waste Management

Metal Recycling

Hazardous Waste

Skip Hire & Skip Bags

Cardboard & Plastic

Commercial Waste

Car Dismantling & Parts


The fifth element Carpets, slate, tiles, vinyl and wooden boards – they’re all lying down to be counted and claiming space as the fifth wall. Practicality is still key, but it doesn’t have to be boring, with geometric patterns and brighter colours proving to be brave yet popular choices.

Luxury vinyl tiles Chris Naylor, owner and fitter at Finishing Touch Flooring in Barnstaple, has seen a boom in luxury vinyl tiles this year. “Demand has gone crazy because they’re so versatile and you can create whatever look you want,” he explains. “A more retro style with black and white check has been popular and we’ve laid this on several properties recently, including the Pig on the Hill restaurant in Westward Ho!.”

Buy the Look

Polyflor’s Camaro luxury vinyl tile, from Finishing Touch Flooring: 01271 378218

Home of Quality Carpets since 1963 POTTINGTON BUSINESS PARK, BARNSTAPLE (01271) 374393


“Typically, luxury vinyl tiles used to cost £60 per square metre but with more manufacturers producing it the price has come down to £20. If you were looking at laminate wood flooring you would now be swayed by luxury vinyl tiles instead, especially as they’re quieter and water resistant, and stylish and flexible too.”

Quality carpets Kevin Maynard, carpet manager at Barrow Clark in Barnstaple, highlights how magazines can influence the trends in North Devon, with stripes remaining popular for staircases and colour blocking prevalent elsewhere. “Currently, people are opting for stripes on the stairs with a complementary solid colour throughout the rest of the property,” he says. “One colour across a floor gives the sensation of space and opens up the rooms.

“People are also buying better quality carpets because they envisage living in their homes for longer, rather than selling, so they want a good-quality carpet that will last.” For a first-class carpet Barrow Clark stock Brintons, a British manufacturer of luxurious wool-rich carpets and area rugs that hug your toes with softness and warmth. Colours range from purple plaid to majestic moon shadow, a rich creamy colour.

Buy the Look

Laura Ashley Kenilworth gold runner; Woodville Farmhouse; both Brintons from Barrow Clark: 01271 323322

“Natural stone and beige are actually really practical choices,” advises Kevin. “Darker or fussy carpets don’t always hide dirty marks better.”

“This place was so dilapidated when we took the job on but look at what can be achieved. They’re now really nice threebedroom holiday flats with incredible views of the sea.”

Home improvement: A makeover masterpiece

We change our hair style, manicure nails and revamp wardrobes to feel good and look even better – and houses can benefit from a makeover too.

Steve admits it was a daunting project at first. The entrance had to be lowered to street level, with stone steps demolished outside and wooden stairs installed inside; three roofs – including part of the charity shop next door – had to become one; and small rooms knocked together to create space and comfort.

Number 2 Nelson Terrace in Westward Ho! had a collapsed roof, sagging ceilings, rotting joists and an ugly entrance. The owner wanted to turn the property into two luxury apartments and create a groundfloor Victorian entrance in keeping with the neighbouring townhouses. He called upon Steve Taylor, owner of Westward Ho! Hardware and Taylor’s Properties, to tuck, trim and tone up the property and make the most of one stunning natural asset – the expansive sea views.

pro bab sele ly the for ction o largest ft hir in n e/purc ools ort h de hase von

But it is Steve’s attention to detail that transforms his projects into homes: thick joists were salvaged and fitted as window sills; floorboards were reclaimed and varnished to complement them; ceilings were curved and vaulted to match the other rooms. In the kitchen he topped the splashback tiles with stainless steel and customised the units to create a wine rack for a sleek finish. Here he was thinking as much about the style of the room as its use.

“I like to work with the owners and really value their input to give them the look they want. That is really important,” he says. “I also design and fit everything by hand so we can reclaim things along the way, tailor the design and really make the most of the property. I added Juliet railings to the windows outside, simply because they look nice and enhance the building.”

westward ho!

hardware store & tool hire


TAYLORS PROPERTY Services, Builders & Property Maintenance

Damp & Timber treatments General builders Disabled adaptions Insurance work Local authority work Plumbing 24 hours Tel : 01237 421230 Mobile : 07811 209728


Nelsons Road, Westward Ho! Tel : 01237 476199


Golf Links Road, Westward ho! EX39 1LH Tel : 01237 421230

Monday - Saturday 8am - 5pm

Annie Sloan workshop

Crafty Courses Home is where the art is

Brush up on painted furniture

Make a heavenly stained glass panel

Annie Sloan is a worldwide expert in decorative painting and she’s passed on her skills to local stockist Patricia Campbell, owner of Source for the Goose in South Molton. Patricia is a fully-qualified instructor and holds insightful painting workshops every second Saturday of the month at her boutique in East Street. “I want my customers to have the very best quality paint and to have as much help as possible on how to use the product,” she explains.

Marvel at the ornate stained glass windows in Turn your house into a gallery of memories any church in North Devon and you’re more with canvas photos of your favourite places, days out and family fun. than likely admiring the handiwork of Rob Paterson and Bill Hudson. The highly-skilled stained glass artists are “People like the simplicity of regularly commissioned to restore colourful, canvas pictures, without frames or ecclesiastical windows and panels, and they glass,” says Trevor Butler, owner also exhibit their private work in galleries such of fotoworld in Barnstaple and Get as the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford.

“Annie Sloan paint is incredibly versatile. The workshop shows people six different painting techniques, having a fun afternoon, with tea and cake too.” The workshop is £65, with a 10 per cent discount on Annie Sloan paint in store. Call 01769 579483 or book online at

You can learn the tricks of their trade by taking a stained glass workshop and making a panel at their studio space in the town’s pannier market in Butchers Row. Roger Short, from Northam, received a class as a birthday present. “It’s a very enjoyable day,” he says. “It’s nice to get your hands dirty and have something lovely to show for it. I’m going to hang my panel in the conservatory where the light will catch the colours.”

Set Design in Bideford. “There’s also that personal touch which we specialise in – printing your own photos onto canvas recaptures the day or takes you back to that lovely scene, such as the boats bobbing off Appledore quay.”

Classes run two Saturdays a month, from 10am, and cost £60 with all materials provided. Call Rob on 01237 479823 or email Appledore from fotoworld

Try something different this Autumn Learn a new skill with us and transform your home. With courses featuring an upholstery workshop and ornamental gardening.

ENROL today! Contact us on 01271 852357 or visit NORTH DEVON CAMPUS


Through the Keyhole

on a shoestring

The North Devon Journal’s Becky Nicol has a skilled magpie-eye for spotting beautiful treasures amongst other people’s junk. And, while many people would leave them to wilt in a cupboard, she has the enviable knack of bringing them to life in pretty, tactile displays around her three-bedroom semi-detached house in Swimbridge.

Becky’s Bargains: In the kitchen

In the snug

“The settle in the kitchen gets the most use as When they moved house Becky used her it’s been a toybox and it’s now seat,” she says. initiative and chopped off the legs of their old £60 kitchen table to turn it into a coffee table. “It was only £40 from Pottington carboot, about ten years ago.” Layer charity shop cushions for a cute and comfy display.

“My favourite buy is a £65 News of the World sign I bought for the kitchen at the Dorset steam railway fair last month. I spotted a Clarice Cliff tea set at a carboot for £45 which I couldn’t believe. And my Woods Ware Berry bowls were £1 each but they’re £26 on Ebay so you can make a good return on some things.”

“I recently bought a chaise longue from the North Devon Journal classified ads for £45. Upholstering it will be my winter project,” she enthuses. “I look for things with character, like the signature on a £3 print from a carboot sale.”


Laura Ashley provided the curtains throughout the first floor – just £25 each in the sale, a fraction of their normal price. And the bedroom furniture was cheap too: The kids’ beds were £200 for the pair from Ebay and match Becky’s bed which was more expensive.

“Hardly anything in the house has come from a furniture shop,” says Becky, who has appeared on TV’s Bargain Hunt and visited The Antiques Roadshow. “I like how our things tell a story and gives the house character. I always find something, even collectible items. I love my Charlie Bear on my bed. It was just £10 but it’s worth £78 online as they are collectible.”

Bradworthy Glass Tel : 01409 241010

Becky’s favourite car boot sales in Pottington, Barnstaple, and Landkey are still open in October, while the season will kick off again in the spring. Until then, look out for bargains at Christmas fairs and pannier markets, and visit SMR Phoenix recycling shop in South Molton and Barnstaple.

Free s uote Q Suppliers, Manufactures

and Installers of quality Decorative Glass products

A second-hand chest, wardrobe and dressing table all came to £100. Simply rubbing them down and repainting them created a soughtafter shabby chic feel.

Gardening: Top Ten Jobs for October Autumn is Mother Nature’s prime time for planting, potting and planning so don’t hang up your pruners just yet. The gardening gurus at Eggesford Garden Centre reveal ten ways to prepare for a healthy spring display:


Take advantage of ‘nature’s planting time’ – with the soil still warm from the summer, trees and shrubs can get established before winter sets in.


October is a great month to plant fruit trees and bushes. Start by digging over the ground and adding organic matter like homemade compost or rotted manure. If your soil is a tad heavy, dig in some course grit.


Create a lovely spring display by underplanting pansies and primulas, for example, with spring flowering bulbs like narcissi, iris and tulips. Add evergreen miniature conifers or euonymus for structure.


Now is also a good time to take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and trees such as gooseberry, blackcurrant, holly, dogwood, willow and honeysuckle.


Move shrubs by preparing the new hole well and adding lots of organic matter, some fertiliser and water after you’ve replanted.

6 7

Bring pots of herbs, like mint and chives, into the greenhouse to pick over winter.

Check plants in pots and containers for signs of the dreaded vine weevil – especially if you’re moving plants into a greenhouse.

The Country Garden Centre

your garden this autumn Spring flowering bulbs Trees & shrubs to plant now Garden care products Eggesford Garden & Country Centre Eggesford, Chulmleigh, Devon EX18 7QU Tel 01769 580250

Relaxed shopping Help & Advice Delicious food in The Gardens Restaurant

8 9

Plant vegetables like cabbage, onions and garlic to remain self-sufficient for a little longer.

Keep fleece, straw, mulch, cloches and old net curtains handy to protect tender plants from harmful frosts later in the month.


If you haven’t already done so, there is still time to apply autumn lawn food to the grass.


Smoky House

Tower House

Bedrooms: Up to four Garden: 1.75 acres Price: £415,000

Bedrooms: Four Garden: One acre Price: £480,000

Bedrooms: Three Garden: Large Price: £450,000

Cooksworthy in Beaford is a picture-postcard house with grounds covering 1.75 acres. Lush lawns, paved patios, babbling streams and stone archways create an idyllic setting for this quintessential country home. Wooded copses of silver birch, pine and fir create cool shady areas in the summer, while in the winter a summer house and lean-to conservatory provide sheltered viewing spots from which to enjoy the garden.

For open space and sprawling lawns the gardens of Smoky House in Shebbear are a real delight. The three-bedroom country house and one-bedroom annexe are surrounded by an acre of manicured lawn and patio areas with views of the open countryside. There is a timber deck for summer barbeques, gravelled seating areas, raised lawns with shrubs and beds, plus trellis fencing and creeper plants. The grounds have a range of buildings, including a potting shed, a large greenhouse and a detached shed for storage, plus a hobbies room and a garage/workshop. French doors in the annexe living room open onto a scenic patio garden. The lawns stretch away on all sides, disappearing into trees and hedges bordering the plot for privacy. Smoky House has three double bedrooms, two reception rooms, a kitchen, utility room, a bathroom and a separate shower room. Ceiling beams, an inglenook fireplace, exposed brickwork and oak doors create a country look in keeping with its position, and provide character and a sense of history.

This period family home was built on a generous private plot in the 1930s. The substantial garden can be enjoyed in every season, with a conservatory and garden room providing cosy views in the winter. The detached house has two reception rooms, a fitted kitchen, a spacious utility room and a shower room. Upstairs, there are three double bedrooms (one en suite), and a family bathroom. Estate agent Bond Oxborough Phillips, in Great Torrington, comments that the integral garage provides scope for an annexe, subject to planning consent. However, the real asset of Tower House is the modern conservatory, built six years ago to offer expansive views of the beautifully kept gardens from two sides of the room. Double doors open onto a patio area perfect for al fresco dining in the summer. Steps lead down to a large lawn surrounded by hedges for complete privacy. There is a purpose-built garden room at the far end, with windows overlooking the lawn. A workshop stands adjacent.


Water features add to the idyll – there’s a spring-fed well, a fish pond with a cascading stone bank and a stream bordering the garden along with woodland. Garden sheds, outbuildings and a greenhouse create the perfect space for workshops, storage and growing vegetables. The detached house has a thatched roof, original wooden beams and inglenook fireplaces dating, in part, from the fourteenth century. There are two large reception rooms, a country kitchen, utility room, shower room and WC. Upstairs, there is potential for three double bedrooms and one single.

Green with garden envy


Buckland Brewer

This summer the garden became the favourite “room” at home – lunches, lounging, reading, playing and snoozing in the sun al fresco was like a little slice of heaven. Those without a good size garden to enjoy over the summer were as green as the grass with envy... If that’s you then take a look at these three properties from Bond Oxborough Phillips, all with stunning gardens.

Want to know more? Call Bond Oxborough Phillips on 01805 624426 or pop into the office in Fore Street, Great Torrington. 27

Home Makeover?

Top branded paint and decorating products available from your local RGB.

Create an exquisite interior with unsurpassed purity and depth of colour with Farrow & Ball handcrafted wallpaper and paint. Now available at our Bideford & Holsworthy branches.

Top of the range paints

Love your wood with our stains and varnishes

Get creative with colour

Stepladders & ladders for those awkward places

Tools & accessories for every task

Brushes and rollers for a truly professional finish

Come and see for yourself at the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 27th September - 8am to 11am. All branches taking part! Breakfasts & coffees for sale. Charity Raffle. All in aid of Macmillan.

Coming soon - Plumbing and Heating Special Offers AND the dazzling display of gifts for Christmas. Brochures available from October.

Riverside Road, Pottington Business Park, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1QN Tel: 01271 375501 Caddsdown Ind Est, Clovelly Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 3DX Tel: 01237 473371 1 Waldon Court, Waldon Way, Holsworthy Ind Est, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6ER Tel: 01409 253535 Hele Business Park, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 9RA Tel: 01271 863166 Pathfields Business Park, South Molton, Devon EX36 3LH Tel: 01769 579000 Unit 5 Woodward Road, Howden Ind Est, Tiverton, Devon EX16 5GZ Tel: 01884 235999

OPEN: Monday - Friday 7.30am - 5.00pm, Saturday 8.00am - 12noon

Keep up to date with all our events by following us on Facebook (search ‘RGB Building Supplies’) & Twitter (search ‘RGBArchie’).

Homes & gardens  

North Devon Journal Homes & Gardens supplement