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interior design

5 BASIC DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR CREATING A BEAUTIFUL MODERN HOME – WHATEVER YOUR BUDGET Design guru Matt Gibberd tells Lisa Salmon that using space, light, materials, nature and decoration cleverly will help make a home gorgeous. Having a beautiful home has never felt more important than during the past 18 months when we’ve been forced to spend more time inside our own four walls – and you may have longed to transform yours into a beautiful modern living space.

But if a lack of know-how or limited finances held you back, it’s not too late to get started. For design guru Matt Gibberd insists it can be easy to create a gorgeous home without spending a fortune, just by implementing five simple design principles. “If you ask me, a Palladian villa, for example, has the same sensibility as a masterpiece of the modernist era, and has been designed according to the same set of timeless principles,” he says. View this post on InstagramA post shared by The Modern House (@themodernhouse) “A simple way to think of these principles is to distil them into five categories – space, light, materials, nature and decoration. “Paying careful consideration to each of these will allow you to create a home that’s beautiful, supportive and inspiring, regardless of scale or budget.” Gibberd, who is a founding director of the design-led estate agency The Modern House, has just written the book A Modern Way to Live, in which he outlines the five principles and how to best use them to create a beautiful home. Here he gives us a taste of exactly how to do it…


Gibberd explains that when a home combines both space and “refuge” areas it can help make occupants feel settled. He suggests: “Try to create an open and bright space for socialising, and a womb-like space for retreating and sleeping. Even in a studio flat, creating different zones using a curtain, sliding partition or bookcase on castors can greatly enhance the experience of occupying the space.” You can create the illusion of space with mirrors and reflective surfaces, he says, by using natural niches for builtin cupboards, and continuing the same material from inside to out. Consider re-hanging doors the other way around to open up rooms, and place radiators beneath windows to free-up valuable wall space for furniture. And don’t forget the kitchen! Gibberd advises homeowners to think of the kitchen as a collection of pieces of furniture rather than a set of units, and to avoid wall cupboards if possible, as the space above them becomes redundant. And instead of a freestanding fridge-freezer, consider a pair of under-counter refrigerators side-by-side. And then there’s the bin… “A free-standing dustbin hangs around the kitchen like a foul-smelling Dalek, tripping people up and overflowing with the remains of yesterday’s dinner,” declares Gibberd. “Try to build in the rubbish solutions – the space beneath the sink is always a useful spot for food waste, for example.” PROPERTYMAIL / 5


View this post on InstagramA post shared by Matt Gibberd (@matt_gibberd) Gibberd says it’s better to consider fixed glazing with a conventional door alongside, rather than bifold doors. “A picture window – free of obtrusive handles and mechanisms – does a better job of framing the views and looks more beautiful because the structural supports are hidden,” he explains. He suggests avoiding Roman blinds and pelmets, and hanging curtains from extra-wide poles so they can be pulled back to reveal the full window. And think about how the light moves around your home. “Sitting areas benefit from the enhanced light of a south-facing window,” explains Gibberd, “whereas parts of the home that are seldom used, such as utility rooms, are best placed on the northern side. The eastern side is ideal for sleeping, and dining spaces work well on the western side, where they capture the radiant embers of the day.” If your home has more than one level, he suggests thinking about inverting the layout. “You might never get used to the idea of declaring ‘I’m going downstairs to bed’,” he admits, “but in most other respects it makes a lot of sense, unlocking the light and views for the living spaces, and using the naturally darker areas lower down the building for sleeping.” But although light is crucial for a home, Gibberd says householders shouldn’t be afraid of the dark either. “Without areas of contrast, our homes would be one-dimensional and monotonous,” he explains. “If you walk down a shadowy corridor, for example, when you arrive at a sun-soaked space it feels all the more bright and uplifting.”

And on a brighter note, Gibberd says that if you can look straight into the filament of a lightbulb then it’s probably in the wrong place. “Shun ceiling lights in favour of task lighting, wall sconces and plug-in lamps that provide a gentler glow and better promote the circadian rhythm,” he suggests.


View this post on InstagramA post shared by Matt Gibberd (@matt_ gibberd) Gibberd says householders should think carefully about the things they come into physical contact with every day, including light switches, door handles or kitchen worktops. “Are these as tactile as they should be?” he asks, pointing out 6 / PROPERTYMAIL

that natural materials will always age more gracefully than man-made plastics and laminates. “Try to preserve original materials wherever possible, as they tell the individual story of a building and induce less anxiety than new ones,” he advises. Gibberd suggests living in a home for at least a year before making any changes. “For example, that wooden floor you thought was a bit beaten-up when you moved in might start to take on some significance – its warmth beneath bare feet, or its ability to absorb the comings and goings of daily life.” Natural materials like marble and glazed tiles have a gentle sheen and are easy to keep clean, he says, and clay is a moisture-absorbing alternative to

conventional plaster. It’s also worth thinking about the environmental impact of the materials you use, he says, pointing out that cork, for example, is naturally regenerative because the tree grows back its bark, and farms provide some excellent sources of eco-friendly insulation, including sheep’s wool and straw bales.


View this post on InstagramA post shared by Matt Gibberd (@matt_gibberd) A connection to nature is vital for wellbeing, so even those who are looking for somewhere to live in a city should try to find a flat that overlooks a communal garden, or has deep window ledges that can hold plants, suggests Gibberd. If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor

space, he suggests combining borders of shrubs and flowers with decking, compacted gravel, flint, stone setts or herringbones of brick. And inside, stock up on the greenery. “Indoor plants positively impact our wellbeing, lowering blood pressure and increasing attentiveness, but they can also serve a practical purpose, helping to demarcate space, provide screening, absorb sound or add a flourish to an unremarkable room,” says Gibberd. He suggests putting shells, pebbles and pinecones on the mantelpiece, using natural-looking paint colours, and hanging landscape paintings and photographs on walls.


View this post on InstagramA post shared by Matt Gibberd (@matt_gibberd) Instead of fitted carpets, Gibberd suggests trying loose-laid natural floor coverings such as sisal and jute, with a gap between the edging and the wall. Use rugs in layers and let them fill the natural spaces between furniture. And to avoid making an interior feel one-dimensional, he says it can be a good idea to mix furniture and objects from different eras and places. “Rather than putting a set of matching chairs around the kitchen table, for example, throw a

bench or a wobbly Windsor chair into the mix,” he suggests. “Surround yourself with the objects that have the most meaning to you personally and tell the story of your life – family heirlooms, or things that remind you of a particular holiday or experience.” He advises householders to avoid using a flat screen TV as a room’s centrepiece, and instead organise furniture traditionally around the hearth. Group furniture and objects together in odd numbers, he says, explaining: “If things are arranged asymmetrically, the eye is forced to move around them to fully absorb what it sees.” And you may need to rethink the way your pictures are hung, he warns. “The most common mistake is to place them too high,” he points out. “My advice is to use your eye to find what feels like the right place instinctively, then take it down by six inches.” And finally, he adds: “When choosing what to buy for your home, try to follow your instincts rather than any preconceived notions about what constitutes good taste. Many of the best things have not been celebrated on Instagram, can’t be found in textbooks, and don’t cost a great deal. Often they have an accidental beauty that’s the result of fulfilling utilitarian needs.” PROPERTYMAIL / 7




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A unique opportunity has arisen to purchase this extremely well maintained six bedroom farm house which dates back to 1617 and was once owned by Dr William Price’s wife and was visited on many occasions by him. The property is set within approximately 3.4 acres and benefits from large outbuildings, a paddock and stables. Good Condition Throughout.


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This parcel of land is situated towards the bottom of this very quiet cul-de-sac. The plot has the benefit of planning permission for a two storey dwelling. It’s extremely rare for a building plot located within Nottage to come onto the market, and interested parties are advised to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

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WAYS TO BEAT THE BIG CHILL As temperatures drop, Sam Wylie-Harris rounds up a comforting array of homewares to keep you cosy. Even though we know it’s coming, that first autumn chill in the air can somewhat take us by surprise. BY SAM WYLIE-HARRIS

Asian Perhaps it’s because we know our winter woollies will be with us a while longer than those summer vibes – and we’re not quite ready to put the lid on long, bright days, with light linens replaced by the warmth of wool, finding comfort in faux fur and the glow of a candle. Feeling that desire to deck the house with cosy homewares as the seasons shift? Here’s how to cocoon your space with a top coat of winter warmth… To the left. Harnessmaker’s Atelier Wallpaper, £175 for three rolls, Mindthegap

With warming tones of saddle leather and rich chestnut partnered with antique white, this equine-inspired wallpaper features stable accessories and natural materials softened by paler blocks of colour. Easy on the eye, introducing an antique leather chair offset by horsey decos lends an equestrian vibe and lovely warm atmosphere. Below. Dark Grey Chunky Knit Luxury Merino Wool Blanket, £99.99 (was £174.99), Suusco If you’re more chunky cable-knit than fine-yarn, this charcoal grey blanket has a lovely homespun feel about it and is ideal for rustic interiors.


Lapin Faux Fur Bean Bag, £79.99, Bean Bag Bazaar Cited as the cosiest of cocoons, this sumptuous snooze seat in fabulous faux fur can be styled up with Scandi touches, such as a cosy rug and pair of Nordic knitted slipper boots. We’re in.

Tibetan Sheepskin Cushion Collection, from £70, The White Company. Effortlessly chic, luxuriously soft and dreamy, this silky sheepskin pillow makes a beautiful statement piece to snug up to.

Single Sheepskins, from £60 each, Graham & Green With a choice of eight colourways, these sheepskin throws can be draped over an accent chair, placed at your feet or teamed together in complementary shades for maximum impact.


home comforts

Luxury Velvet Draught Excluder – Pixel Stripes, from £29.99-£39.99, Celina Digby A rainbow of velvets to veer those chilly draughts in the opposite direction and save on your energy bill… Fancy and functional. Teddy Bear Soft Marl Throw, Blush, from £12-£24, Dunelm Warmth without the weight, this pretty blush pink throw is right on point, with teddy fabrics trending big time.

Yankee Candle Amber and Acorn Large 2-Wick Square Candle, £25.99, and Medium 3-Wick Square Candle, £21.99, Yankee Candle Along with a long hot soak, nothing’s more comforting than a scented candle with warming notes of golden amber, oriental woods, musky patchouli and hint of vanilla. Bath-time bliss.

Recycled Wool Knee Blanket in Burgundy & Camel Buffalo Check, £40, Tartan Blanket Company With thoughts turning to a hot toddy or fireside red, this tartan knee blanket provides a warming mix of traditional tartan colours.

PROPERTYMAIL / 17 Nakshi Chair With Pink Crushed

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Interior Design

Contemporary Danish design has never been so close to your home. .

By Eleonora Piga, Senior Interior Designer at Bo Concept in Cardiff

If you have recently bought a house, or your current house needs a complete revamp, or even if you would like to modernise your living room with a new sofa, then keep reading.

Live. Work. Play. Our homes have now become not only a place to rest and enjoy the company of our friends and family, but also the place where we work, play and perform. Planning the layout of our homes to fit all these activities is incredibly important but can also be very daunting. Asking for the help of experts to suit your zoning needs is then a gift to yourself. Why not take advantage of it now, especially if this service is provided for free?

Any style, as long as it’s yours. A qualified Interior Designer will be able to advise on trends, colours and materials to suit your taste. They will also be able to plan your space in a functional and aesthetically pleasing way: attention to detail is key to uncover the potential of your space. Your home should represent you and allow you to welcome guests to your personal home. But it’s not





about wowing guests with beautiful expressions. It’s about creating a home design that works every day for the way you live. A home that empowers your lifestyle and sets the scene for everything from daily interactions to parties and family gatherings.

Back to Basics: calming neutrals A modern-day truth: we’ve never craved simplicity more. With a human desire to go back to basics, we are collectively moving away from over-consumption to considered selections. There’s a reason why so many people, all around the world, crave an authentic Scandinavian aesthetic for their space. From muted colours to minimalistic designs, a modern Nordic interior is somehow both calming and homely while grand and impressive. This core palette will help you achieve an authentic Scandinavian base, to which you can add pops of your own personal style. It also pairs perfectly with blonde oak, stony ceramics and accents of cement.

Tailored guidance in Wales. Imagine the combination of inviting colours, smart storage solutions, flawless mood lighting and functionality with feng shui on point. When your home is designed with respect to your personality and the way you live, your overall wellbeing benefits greatly. A home like that is what we all wish we had. But maybe you’re too busy? Or might not know how to bring your vision to life? Let our Wales interior designers help and create your dream space together with an expert.



Bathroom Design

With Daniella Fantini, Designer at The Tap End Bathrooms Pontyclun

CASE STUDY Client This is a beautiful standalone family home, and the clients were focused on making the home more personal to them after purchasing it a few years ago.

Brief The brief was to knock multiple rooms into one to create a larger, luxury master ensuite for them to relax and unwind in. An adult only space to escape in after a long day.

Designer Daniella Fantini, Designer at The Tap End Bathrooms, Pontyclun 22 / PROPERTYMAIL


Must-haves included a separate bath and shower. The obvious suggestion was to opt for a large walk in shower as the space allowed for this but as designers we want to be as creative as possible, and we felt that an enclosed shower with a tiled shower seat would make for a nicer shower experience as all of the water would be contained, and the tiled seat offered somewhere to sit and somewhere to store bottles therefore becoming dual purpose. We explored colour options for the tiles and settled on large format veined porcelain, and we decided on a layout, and everything else followed on from that. We knew our clients were open to warmth and natural tones, so we were confident in presenting such a statement tile. We suggested having an illuminated panel of tiles behind the bath to introduce ambient lighting and continued this theme with a strip light under the vanity unit. The double mirrors and wall lights to the basin area help to bounce light around the room and draw you in to that corner of the room when you enter from the bedroom door. We always ask for a brief and budget from our clients and try and use the budget in

the best way to achieve the brief. Often, we will suggest things that the client would not have previously considered. In this case the flooring was herringbone wood effect tiles with a border inlay detail to break up the larger floor space and prevent it from looking too sparse. This is where a designer can give you added value to your project. By using a designer, you will end up with a more personalised result and save time and often money in the long run. For these reasons we were not surprised to learn that in a study consumer review site Which? put independent bathroom retailers top of the customer score board for the ‘best places to buy your new bathroom’. If you have a bathroom project to undertake, get excited about it. Our top tip for introducing features is; don’t forget about ambient lighting. As you will see from this case study the ambient lighting makes the space super cosy, warm and inviting. We just adore the freestanding bath area and the shower seating. Put simply… we love bathrooms, and you should love yours just as much as this client now does!




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The Tap End 57 Llantrisant Road, Pontyclun, CF72 9DP Tel; 01443 449056


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Home Design With Steve Bloom, founder of Space fitting furniture.


This young couple were renovating their home in Cyncoed, transforming it from a dated 90’s scheme, making it modern and up to date. Having bought a kitchen from us before, they were confident that we’d produce a design they’d love.


The original kitchen was dated, with a traditional door and inefficient configuration and storage. The client was planning to extend their home to include a large kitchen, dining, living room. The key elements that were important to the customer were; dark units, dark industrial tops, light floor and a coffee machine.


Steve Bloom, founder of Space fitting furniture, with over 40 years’ experience in the kitchen industry.




he first step was to review the floorplans, originally an extension was planned, however, it was clear that it wasn’t necessary. The client could get the space they wanted by reconfiguring the current layout. This would save them thousands of pounds whilst still achieving the desired outcome. There were several alterations to the design before the final scheme was reached, but the result ticked all the boxes and the client was delighted. The overall scheme included dark steel grey units, with a black finger grip providing a sleek and bold aesthetic, along with a concrete effect breakfast bar. The contemporary, industrial feel is completed with 20mm Dekton Laos worktops, which complemented the design. Light floor tiles balanced the dark units, lifting the colour palette and lightening the whole space. Feature pendants over the island bring a splash of colour and interest to the design, while softening the dynamic angles. An important element to incorporate was a central island. This would give the couple a sociable, practical area to cook and entertain in. This was achieved and storage was maximised, with large drawers

“THE FINAL SCHEME GIVES THE CLIENT A SLEEK, CONTEMPORARY SPACE, MIXED WITH DARK INDUSTRIAL ELEMENTS” on the working side and extra cupboard storage on the back as well as seating. The 2 in 1 hob and extractor was located on the island, this compact appliance is efficient, with no need for a separate extractor. The configuration of appliances in the tall units worked well, with the 3 in-line, at eye level, including the coffee machine, centrally aligned. A large kitchen sink, along with Quooker flex tap is a very practical combination, the pull-out hose makes it far easier for cleaning around the sink and filling up pans. Matching the sink colour to the worktops is a great way to continue the clean lines in the kitchen, almost disappearing from sight. The final scheme gives the client a sleek, contemporary space, mixed with dark industrial elements, it’s practical, with extensive storage and durable worktops.





WWW.SPACES-DESIGN.CO.UK INFO@SPACES-DESIGN.CO.UK 02920 756840 Follow us on instagram @spacef itting AFTER PROPERTYMAIL / 25

Property Knowledge Legal Questions & Answers

Q on the sale of our house, and the

We were about to exchange contracts

purchase of our new one yesterday, when our solicitor informed us that our buyer only had a deposit of £12,000. This is not even 5% of the sale price. We are buying for more than what we are selling. Our solicitor said originally, we would have to pay a 10% deposit on our purchase. We do not have savings, but we were not expecting such a small deposit on our sale. What happens now?

solicitor should have established A Your early on in the conveyancing process,

whether your buyer intended to pay a reduced deposit or the full 10%. Ask your buyer to pay the full 10%. But if they really cannot do so and you accept a lesser amount upon exchange of contracts, you are protected to a certain extent, as you will have the right to sue the buyer for the full 10% deposit, plus any other losses due under the terms of the contract, should the buyer eventually fail to complete the purchase. However, the problem with accepting less than 10% is that although you can sue the buyer, they may not have any money to pay you, and your costs may increase. If your

solicitor is holding a 10% deposit then at least you know that your buyer is good for that amount. daughter and her three flat mates Q My are about to leave their student

house. How likely are they to get their deposit back? They have been renting the apartment from a private landlord, but his letting agent prepared the assured shorthold tenancy, collected the rent and dealt with any repairs. The girls promise they will clean the house thoroughly.

A in a government approved tenancy

The landlord must protect the deposit

deposit scheme, and is obliged to return it at the end of the tenancy, but can make deductions to cover any unpaid rent and damage to the property, missing items and cleaning costs. Possible deductions are usually listed in the assured shorthold tenancy, although the landlord can generally make

deductions for breach of the agreement. The letting agents should have prepared a schedule at the start of the tenancy detailing the condition of the apartment especially of, the walls, curtains, carpets etc and as well as listing any contents that should now be left in the same condition. Deductions cannot be made for fair wear and tear. Check the tenancy agreement to see if professional cleaning is required at the end of the tenancy. The landlord must detail in writing any deductions he intends to make, and these deductions can be challenged if they are not agreed. The tenancy deposit scheme will offer a free dispute resolution service, which the parties could use if they both agree to do so.


Multi-Award Winning Conveyancing

Please call us or freephone 0808 178 2773 or email Fitzalan House, Fitzalan Court, Fitzalan Road, Cardiff CF24 0EL





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home solutions


Treat yourself to a reusable coffee cup If you frequent the likes of Starbucks or Costa for your morning caffeine fix, maybe it’s time to get yourself a reusable coffee up.


Shop with recyclability in mind

Eco Swaps

Being greener has never been easier. Property Mail reveals how to help protect the planet by using less plastic and recycling more. WRITTEN BY CLAIRE SPREADBURY


Keep food fresh without using cling film

You can use off cuts of fabric, covered in beeswax and coconut oil instead of cling film, to keep food fresh in the fridge. Or if that’s too much like hard work, you can buy your own beeswax wraps. Try Bee’s Wrap Assorted Reusable Food Wraps from Lakeland.


Only use recyclable wrapping paper

Most of us are aware you can’t recycle all wrapping paper, but we often throw it in with the paper waste and hope for the best. Non-paper gift wrap, such as foil-based wrapping paper or bags, cannot be


recycled. You can check if your wrap can be recycled by scrunching it; if it springs back when you scrunch it, it’s not recyclable. Just buy lovely brown paper and decorate presents with ribbons or string, which can also be re-used. When you are recycling wrap, remember to remove any bits with labels or sellotape on them, too.


Use a good old hankie

Tissues, paper towels and kitchen roll cannot be recycled once used - mainly for hygiene reasons. So why not go old school and swap these for a handkerchief or cloth, so you can wash them and re-use?

Look for the on-pack recycling information and avoid foods packaged in single-use plastics. Black plastic can’t be recycled, and companies like Marks & Spencer are doing something about this. Their priority is to remove or reduce plastic packaging, and as part of this, they’ve removed 1,700 tonnes of black plastic from products such as fruit and veg, meat and fish and their Mini Bites tubs, while also launching new, widely recyclable terracotta CPET trays to replace black plastic.


Use more eco-friendly ways to stay warm

If you feel the cold, it can be massively tempting to have the heating on more frequently, but if you want to use less energy, why not focus on just warming yourself up? Throw on an extra jumper, or cosy up in a super-efficient electric blanket - perfect for popping on the bed at nighttime, having on your lap if you work from home or snuggling up with on the sofa.


Don’t forget to recycle your pizza boxes

Pizza boxes are 100% recyclable even when greasy, as long as there is no food left in them and they aren’t heavily stained. The best way of ensuring your pizza box can be recycled is to remove any crusts, leftover food, and soak up any excess oil.


Think about the cards you buy

Greetings cards can be recycled, as long as they’re not covered in glitter or other non-paper materials, so only buy ones you can actually recycle.

Ask The Agent Home Selling Myths......Busted (part 1) Get all your Flower, legal questions withofour resident&solicitor By Nichola Owner answered and Director Stephens Partners Estate Agents

When it comes to selling your home, there’s a lot of overwhelming information and old wives tales out there, and it can sometimes be difficult separating the fact from the fiction. Advice often comes from wellmeaning friends or family members who are just trying to be helpful, but in reality, they are not property experts! Our team at Stephens & Partners Estate Agents are all experienced property professionals with many years of experience between us. So, to ensure you are in possession of the correct information, here are some home selling myths you’re likely to hear and why they’re not to be believed. Overpricing Your Home Will Lead to Better Offers Unfortunately, many sellers believe that by overpricing their house to start with, it leaves more room for negotiation and ultimately a better offer. That’s why we often see sellers marketing their properties with the agent who has simply come in with the highest valuation! However, this is entirely false. When buyers are looking at properties, they’ll search within their price range. If your property price has been inflated, then it’s going to be competing against other properties that appear to be far better value for money, rather than sitting in the price bracket it should be in! This potentially means it will 29AREA / PROPERTYMAIL (1) SITE




sit on the market for longer. Buyers whose budget doesn’t stretch to the higher price range will miss out on seeing your property altogether as they’re not even looking in that price bracket. You’ll attract more offers and sell your property more quickly if it’s been priced fairly. It gives it a chance to stand out among other properties in its price range, rather than being a poor relation in the higher price category. And you’re more likely to see interested parties competing upwards rather than knocking you down.

Getting an Immediate Offer Means it’s Priced Too Low If you’ve resisted the urge to overprice your home and an offer comes in straight away, it’s tempting to think that you’ve missed a trick by not marketing it at a higher price. After all, if you had done, then you’d be a few thousand pounds better off surely.

Again, this is false. Most buyers scour the market for a couple of months, waiting for the perfect property to come up, and there’s a good chance that they’ve jumped in immediately to avoid missing out. Remember too that if you’d overpriced it, there’s a chance they wouldn’t have found it in the first place. A Better Offer Will Come Along if You Wait This is another all too familiar trap that sellers fall into. After all, if you’ve had an offer on the very same day your home has gone on sale, then surely there’s likely to be a whole queue of buyers lining up for it? No, not necessarily. You might just have been lucky enough to have the right buyer come along at the right time. If you receive a fair offer, then it’s usually best to accept it whether your property has been on the market for hours, days , weeks or months. Stephens & Partners Estate Agents are your local property experts. Call us on 029 2022 7603 or email info@ to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

Property Knowledge Why is the Cardiff property market crazy right now? Get all yourHopkins, legal questions withofour resident solicitor By Daniel Owner answered and Director H&M Properties You may have noticed that during the last 12 months, probably more, that the housing market has gone a bit crazy. If you are trying to buy or rent you are probably having major problems getting viewings for properties, and those of you that do manage to get a viewing will find that sometimes the property sells or rents even before your viewing commences. You may also have noticed that prices are holding and rising, especially in the rental market. Everything is going for asking price or more.

So, what is going on?

Firstly, it is simple supply and demand issues. According to Rightmove, in the first half of this year in the UK 140,000 more sales were agreed than the 2014 to 2019 average, and yet homes available for sale were down 85,000, creating a 225,000 shortfall. This shortage of homes for sale has led to record-breaking house prices. The Nationwide house price index reported a 13.4% annual increase in UK house prices in June. The latest index shows housing demand is currently 22% higher than a year ago, and the housing market momentum continues to be buoyant. Demand did fall 7% following the SDLT





and Land Transaction Tax deadline on 30th June but remains higher than a year ago. This change is reflected in mortgage approvals, which dipped 6.5% year-onyear in June but remain 20% higher than the long-term June average (Bank of England). Asking prices have reached record highs across all regions of the UK (Rightmove) and price growth remains strong as demand continues to outpace supply.

So why is the rental market affected so much?

The demand for rental properties in Cardiff has massively increased year on year. Cardiff now has an estimated population just shy of half a million people, an estimated increase of 32,000 in the last ten years. Now, during this time many landlords have been slowly selling off their properties due to increasing regulations, plus the added extra expense of owning and running rental properties. Whether you agree or disagree, unfortunately the result is a decimation of rental supply. Added to this is a lack of new landlords buying properties for the same reasons. All this together has squeezed the rental market, and the result is rising rents.

Interestingly, we have seen more rising rent due to applicants out bidding each other, rather than landlords increasing rents. The average price of property in Cardiff is now £232,779. Which is an annual increase of 9%, while transactions are down 22% on last years figures. While the rental market in Cardiff shows the average rent is now £779. Flats made up 69% of those transactions reaching an average £758 per month. Houses achieved an average rent of £830 per month. If you are investing in the Cardiff property market, be sure to get in touch for some expert help and advice. Also, for more information, please visit my blog

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LAND If you own, control or are aware of land or buildings with development potential, we want to hear from you.

WE NEED We are keen to find out more about any opportunity. With a strong track record in turning liabilities into valuable assets, we are also interested in exploring sites that may otherwise be regarded as redundant, difficult or problematic. Refused and appealed cases, land assemblies and sites with difficult histories are welcomed.

• We operate throughout Cardiff,

We Want to Hear From You

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We are willing to consider every opportunity and can often make things work where others have failed. We are able to negotiate quickly and tailor each land transaction to suit your needs. If you own land you think might have development potential, Contact Us Now.

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Property Knowledge Property Questions & Answers

The advice is not to reject interest from parties who may not seem to be in a position to proceed, because circumstances can change quite quickly. Rely on an experienced and professional Agent and be guided by them. should I select the best buyer Q How for my home?

do Estate Agents fees vary and Q Why why should I pay more?


Do you remember how you felt when you bought your last TV? If it was a quality one, how glad were you to have paid just a little more for it? Do you remember when you bought a quality car, how much pleasure did you derive from it? People move house very infrequently, the national average is 10-15 years, so wouldn’t you want to have such an important transaction, dealt with in a high quality manner? When you choose an Agent to handle your most precious asset therefore, don’t make the mistake of falling for exaggerated patter, cut price fees, or inflated asking prices. Don’t be duped by claims of having ‘buyers waiting’, these buyers are in the open market and will be found by any Agent. The potential losses of making the wrong choice are large, the potential gains of selecting wisely, are huge. Check out any Agents’ testimonials. If they are with a credible company such as FEEFO, you can trust that they will be genuine and reliable.


Should I accept the first offer I receive on my home?

is where you need a good A This experienced Estate Agent to guide

you. They will have the knowledge and experience of working within the area and will be in a position to give you sound advice and guidance on the subject.



Usually, the first offers received will be the highest, this is because of the excitement generated when an attractive property appears on the market. If the property is priced correctly, this may encourage an offer of the full price. If the property is over-priced, an offer approaching the figure should be considered. This is where the advice of a trusted Agent is invaluable. I accept an offer of the full Q Should price? to checks on the position and Afinancial credibility of the offeror.

Sometimes the answer is yes, subject

Sometimes however, if a lot of interest is generated, producing more than one offer, the advice may be to wait a week before reviewing the offers. Depending on the needs of the Seller (Vendor), an offer from someone who can proceed without delay, even if it isn’t the highest offer, may be preferable. However, if time isn’t of the essence, then someone making a higher offer but in a chain that is complete, may prove to be the best choice. If there is a particularly high level of interest, then it may be recommended to go to “sealed bids”. This isn’t the same as an auction, because no party will be aware of the bids made by others. This also enables the Vendor to decide which bid to accept, which may not necessarily be the highest.

A receive more than one offer for your If you are fortunate enough to

property, it may be tempting to go for the highest figure or the ‘cash buyer’, but beware. Discuss the bids with your Estate Agent before deciding which to accept. Sometimes, what appears to be the highest bid turns out, after survey, to be somewhat reduced and sometimes the ‘cash offer’ is subject to other factors, e.g. the cash may be tied up in some form of investment, or turns out to be subject to a forensic full survey, which may bring about extensive re-negotiations. Further, a delayed decision to have a mortgage after all, or even worse, occasionally a cynical move to reduce the offer at the last moment, when a less than scrupulous buyer consider they have a hapless Vendor, ‘over a barrel’, sometimes called gazundering. It may be that another offer is a sounder proposition. How do you feel about a particular offeror? What is your gut instinct about the character and therefore future intentions of a potential buyer? You will be giving up your home. Would you feel comfortable about a particular family occupying it? Your instinct has a place in this, augmented by the advice from a good and experienced Estate Agent, who will be happy to spend time to discuss the options with you. Remember, they have seen this behaviour before, many times.













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10 things to consider when choosing a mortgage By Vicky Shaw, personal finance correspondent


rom With rising household bills and many mortgage rates now below 1%, could this be a good time to switch? By Vicky Shaw. With rising household bills, switching your mortgage could be one way to save some cash. And a spate of mortgage price wars means there are many low rates to choose from. The number of deals with rates below 1% has jumped by 400% since June, according to MoneySuperMarket.


It’s important to do your research – thoroughly – and think carefully about any major financial decisions, remember. Here are 10 tips from MoneySuperMarket to help people navigate the mortgage maze…


Understand your budget

Get ahead by working out your budget. List all your monthly expenses and see

what’s left over. Remember, it’s always better to have some money left over for unexpected costs.


Decide which type of mortgage you want

With a fixed rate, your monthly repayments remain the same for the length of the deal, which can help with budgeting. With variable rates, your

finance mortgage

ID, proof of address, P60s and documents to prove any other income such as Child Benefit.


Your credit score matters

Before applying for a mortgage, get a copy of your credit report. If it isn’t looking that great, there may be simple ways to boost it. For example, check you are on the electoral roll and close down credit card accounts you no longer use.


Show consistency with your job

Lenders often like to see you’ve been with your employer for a decent length of time. It’s often a good idea to have been in your existing job for at least three to six months before applying.

monthly repayments may change according to what happens to interest rates.


Compare the whole deal


Minimise your debts

Before you apply for a mortgage, try to reduce any debts you have – this will help demonstrate that you manage your money responsibly. It could also mean you can borrow more when it comes to a lender’s affordability calculations.

TIP TEN When re-mortgaging, consider your LTV

If you’re re-mortgaging, look carefully at your LTV or loan-to-value ratio. If you’re close to dropping into a lower threshold, consider whether you can pay a small lump sum to take you into the next threshold. This could make a range of new deals available to you with lower interest rates – potentially saving thousands over the term of your deal.


Put down as big a deposit as you can

The more you can put down, the bigger the choice of mortgages you’ll have. Lenders reserve their best rates for those with hefty deposits.

Don’t just look at the rate – factor in any mortgage fees or early repayment charges as well.


Consider speaking to a mortgage broker

MoneySuperMarket has a guide on mortgage advice on their website (www. mortgage-advice).


Get your paperwork ready

Include bank statements and payslips,


PROPERTY MAIL Now distributed to the whole of this area.

To advertise in the regions largest “collected” magazine call today 029 2064 4734 Distribution in association with

Marketing your business in Property Mail works really well. But don’t just take our word for it. BIG YELLOW SELF STORAGE Nathan Barnett Regional Manager

We wanted to promote our company to potential customers that are looking for storage solutions due to moving house throughout Cardiff. We chose Proper ty Mail for a couple of reasons. Firstly, its proper ty related and therefore targeted at our core business user as people reading it may be in the process of moving or planning to in the near future and therefore likely to be requiring storage or related services. Secondly for its distribution, we know this is an area they are passionate about, which gives us the confidence that so many people are picking up the magazine and seeing our adver t. We have 89 storage facilities all over the UK. I’m happy to repor t that outside of the M25 our Cardiff store is one of the most successful. One major factor for this is down to regular marketing in Proper ty Mail.


Business Owner & Director Since appearing in the Proper ty Mail I can honestly say our company profile has gone from strength to strength. We know when the magazine has been printed, as our web hits go up dramatically. I get regular calls from Vendors asking for more information after picking up the magazine in the supermarket and we always see the magazine on the coffee tables of clients when we are valuing their home. It’s so good to be able to offer our clients an additional way to market their home. Like all other agents we are on all the regular proper ty websites, but to be able to get our clients homes in front of even more potential purchasers is something that vir tually all other agents have forgotten, which is why our marketing has proved to be one of the best in the region.

THE TAP END Justine Bullock Co-Creator and Designer We have used the Proper ty Mail for our local adver tising for around two years. Mitchell and the team know and understand our needs and are always on hand if we have any questions about our adver tising. They are a great team who we enjoy working with! Clients often comment on how much they enjoy reading the magazine, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. For us, we wanted to find local adver tising that was flexible and allowed us to run different types of adver ts based on our current/ completed projects, we are thrilled with how many people seem to recognise our company logo and how the magazine has resulted in more social media hits as a result.


Gordon Ramsay on chefs being the world’s worst eaters, and getting shouted at by his kids Ella Walker chats to the celeb chef about Strictly, being an “assertive guy” and getting competitive with Gino D’Acampo. In a bizarre turn of events, Gordon Ramsay spent lockdown being yelled at, rather than doing the yelling.


I had my daughters filming, shouting, screaming and kicking my ass,” says the 54-year-old merrily over Zoom. The Scottish-born chef, who splits his time between LA and the UK, used the pandemic-induced pause to get creative, reassess – and trying to “imagine we’re going into the ground for the first time, and how we pop up when we come out of this thing”. To aid that, he started cooking live at the weekends on Instagram, all the while being heckled by his kids who would fine him – in honour of the NHS – every time a dish took more than 10 minutes to throw together. And instead of winding him up, the buzz of it echoed the adrenaline he was missing and would usually access in his professional kitchens, which “I didn’t have while the restaurants were closed,” he adds. He’s now turned those Instagram lives into a cookbook, Ramsay In 10 – a collection of swift, resourceful recipes that give an insight into how the Ramsays cook at home. “I know everyone thinks, ‘Oh it’s easy for you, 10 minutes…’” he admits, but argues

it’s all in the prep. You don’t need three Michelin stars and “the most expensive Japanese knives to chop your carrot or finely dice your onion – grate the f****** thing; use a box grater and grate it! Things get done quicker.” Ramsay just wants people cooking, and is typically no-nonsense about it, right down to a section at the front called ‘What this book expects of you’, which includes directions like ‘Read the recipe’. “I’m an assertive guy, so there’s no bulls*** there,” says Ramsay. “I just tell the truth, and some people say, ‘Well, ok, that’s a bit harsh’ – then don’t f******* ask me if you don’t want to hear it.” The aim though, beneath the directness is to make sure people know how much fun they can have cooking, if they get the basics done first. As Ramsay says, “90% of the battle is in the preparation, and I hate seeing missed opportunities go by, where things are overcooked because [people are] not prepping right at the beginning.” Ramsay’s kids are never far from

food & Drink

his thoughts. He and wife Tana, 47, have Megan 23, twins Holly and Jack, 21, Tilly, 19, and Oscar, two, and he remembers teaching them the importance of food from the off, including buying his older children turkeys as part of Channel 4 show The F Word. “Tilly must have been three,” he recalls. The turkeys were “to give them the responsibility of understanding how important food is, wasting nothing; from turkeys they went to pigs, from pigs they went to lambs.” They all know how to cook and host a great dinner party – vital now his eldest are starting to fly the family coop and get their own flats. “Meg’s always asking me to pop round,” says Ramsay, “and I did pop round and the [fridge] seemed to be 90% alcohol in there and very little greens. So she said, ‘Well I haven’t shopped yet, so think of something’. I whipped up a butternut squash, roasted it and then turned that into a beautiful Goan-style curry.” Two days before we speak, Ramsay was caught on camera tearing up in the Strictly Come Dancing studio after their daughter Tilly performed the Charleston. “I saw her [smart] watch the other day and she burned 5,800 calories, and something like 32,000 steps, training for 12 hours. She preps herself, every morning it’s either toast or porridge, and then for lunch, it’ll be like a chicken salad. And then for dinner, it’s either some pasta, carbs, to load up, but trust me, she’s a little firecracker, she knows how to look after herself,” says Ramsay, the pride palpable in his voice. “She can stand on her own two feet, trust me,” he adds, describing the Tupperwares Tilly’s been stacking in the fridge the night before training, labelled “11 o’clock, four o’clock, and seven o’clock; super disciplined”. Ramsay spent his own 20s working 18-hour shifts with Marco Pierre White at legendary London restaurant Harveys. “The only thing we’d have on the way home in the taxi – because we could eat before we fell asleep in the back of that thing – was a Lucozade

and a Mars Bar. And that was that, because the last thing you can do at that time of night, is eat,” he says, voice aglow with misspent youth. At work, he and fellow chefs and housemates Steve Terry and Tim Hughes would snaffle leftover pigeon and beurre blanc sauce “and make our own tagliatelle with this sort of oyster cream sauce and then feed ourselves from all the leftovers that Marco didn’t sell. Everything was so fresh,” he remembers, but “the only thing we’d do when we got home was literally crash, man,” and take it in turns to pay for that taxi they couldn’t believe they were taking home from work. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Gordon Ramsay (@ Ramsay in 10 by Gordon Ramsay is published by Hodder & Stoughton, £25. gordongram) “You don’t really eat before service,” Ramsay adds. “Any chef would be look fun in the edit but my goodness lying if they told you [they did], me, you should see what we have to do because you can’t fill up. You need to to get there.” stay agile; you need to stay on your Does he realise Ramsay In 10 toes, and you need to have that hunger will be going up against Gino’s to constantly perfect – so we’re the new cookbook? “I f****** love world’s worst eaters.” competition,” Ramsay leans right Usually, Ramsay can be spotted in into the camera, eyes full of zeal, and reruns of Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon practically growls. “I swear to God, Ramsay’s 24 Hours To Hell And Back, competition is healthy, right? And he screaming at woefully horrendous will have his take on his classics. Is it restaurateurs and chefs. But more Italian cuisine, again?” recently he has been eating, as well as It is. Gino’s Italian Family Adventure, larking about, with Gino D’Acampo to be exact. “Can you remind him he and Fred Sirieix in their buddylives in Hertfordshire not Sicily?” says holiday ITV series Gordon, Gino & Ramsay, his tone rich with a scathingFred. fondness. They were in Greece together last and And if you’re not tempted by Ramsay “there’s some bloody good chefs on In 10 instead… “F*** it, if they don’t those islands,” recalls Ramsay. “We want it,” he yells, back on brand, “I’ll never give [Greece] the look-in it buy it for them!” And with that, he’s deserves. It’s almost the ugly sister of off cackling. France and Italy and Spain. Athens, Ramsay In 10 by Gordon Ramsay is Christ, some of the ingredients there, published by Hodder & Stoughton, and what they do with octopus – priced £25. Photography Jamie there’s no restaurants anywhere on the Orlando-Smith. planet that are as creative with octopus “Then to be called a national treasure as they are in Athens.” is like, it’s actually crazy,” he buzzes, The food was sensational, but of shaking his head. “Thank you?! Ha, course D’Acampo and Sirieix “were a that’s all I can say.” nightmare. I mean a real nightmare.” Ramsay shakes his head. “We make it

Gordon Ramsay’s mini cinnamon doughnuts with chilli chocolate dipping sauce See if you can make doughnuts in 10 minutes like Gordon Ramsay. Pour a 6–8cm (2½–3½ inch) depth of vegetable oil into a wide saucepan and place over a medium–high heat until it reaches 180°C/350°F.


Put the ricotta into a food mixer or bowl and add the eggs, caster sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract. Beat until everything is combined.


Using two clean tablespoons, form the 3dough into eight walnut-sized balls.


Now make the dipping sauce: break the chocolate into small pieces and put into a small saucepan. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, then place over a low– medium heat and allow everything to melt, stirring regularly. Do not let it get too hot or the sauce will split.


When the oil is up to temperature, add half the dough balls to the pan and cook for two to three minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper (paper towel). Cook the remaining balls in the same way. put the dusting sugar 6andMeanwhile, cinnamon into a large bowl and mix together. Add the doughnuts and toss to coat.

them to a serving dish, grate 7overTransfer the orange zest and serve with the warm chocolate sauce.



Serves 4 Vegetable oil, for deep frying * 250g (1 cup) ricotta cheese 2 eggs * 60g (scant 3tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar, plus 2–3tbsp for dusting * 125g (½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour 2tsp baking powder * Few drops of vanilla extract 1tsp ground cinnamon * Zest of 1 orange For the chilli chocolate dipping sauce: 50g (2oz) dark chocolate * 30g (¼ stick) butter 100ml (scant ½ cup) double (heavy) cream 100g (1 cup + 2tsp) caster (superfine) sugar 2tbsp honey * 2tsp chipotle paste * ½tsp sea salt



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