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Why chevrons are no longer just for road markings

LOVING YOUR PROPERTY Wye perfection pays


We love spring products

part of

“Never shy away or think ooh that’ll be too much!” Sophie Robinson shares her tips and tricks

Cool, calm and colourful

Tottenham Court Road, King’s Road, Finchley Road Mini Habitat stores in Homebase: Battersea, Bracknell, Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford, Edinburgh, Ewell, Frome, Hemel Hempstead, Horsham, Leeds, Orpington, Ruislip, Solihull, Truro, Walthamstow. See website for new store openings. Details correct at time of going to print

Main image: Clarke 2 seat sofa £650 Clarke armchair £500 | Tetta wool rug £250 Left hand side: Oken table £35 each Right hand side: Knot knitted round pouf £95 Rox cube footstool £65 each Durrie floor cushion £90



Welcome to the Spring issue of Loving Your Home, the magazine from Darlows estate agents. This issue is jam-packed full of great ideas to help you sell or rent your home and includes plenty of pages of properties listed with Darlows, as well as advice, guidance and local information on the housing market. Jenna Gregory, Editor

We’re so excited to share this season’s trends with you and are sure they’ll help you to invest more love into your home.

With three Bank Holiday weekends approaching, why not embrace the opportunity to tackle those DIY projects you’ve been putting on hold? In our ‘Ask the Experts’ section on page 11, our team of interior designers show how to achieve vibrant looks in the home without too much effort or expense. Don’t forget to use our handy check list on page 26 if you’re on the move!

04. We love: Spring products 05. Spring trend: Lemon aid 06. High street v Highbrow


07. Decorating tips 08. Sophie Robinson

Now the dark days of winter are behind us, it’s an ideal time to brighten up your life and home with a splash of colour. We chat to interior design expert Sophie Robinson, one of the judges of BBC 2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, who shares some top tips in her interview on page 8. Our décor feature is all about chevron stripes - which can add a bold colourful statement to any room. Plus we’ve come up with some ingenious ways to put your own personal stamp on a rented property, see page 7.

It’s all mellow yellow, page 5.


11. Ask the experts 12. Loving your property


14. Save space stop hoarding 15. Space saving solutions 16. Be bold: Go stripey


Buying, selling or renting with Darlows couldn’t be easier. If you see a property that takes your fancy, just call your local Darlows office between 8am and 10pm seven days a week. Or for more properties and information visit

Sophie Robinson’s interview page 8.

18. Loving your garden 19. Loving your kitchen 20. Apps and gadgets 22. Loving your life 23. Loving your area 24. Intelligent advice from Darlows 25. Local area spotlight 26. Properties for sale and rent Inside back cover Moving checklist

Love to share If you try any of the ideas from this issue and would like to share them, tweet us your pics or email us at Our chosen tweet, photo or email will win £250 of John Lewis vouchers! So get sharing! #LovingYourHome

Competition rules Readers’ letters (Love to share): Entries should be made by 31 May, 2014. The winning question, email, letter, status or tweet, submitted by readers of all editions of Loving Your Home will be picked by the editor, and its writer will receive £250 of John Lewis/Waitrose vouchers. The winner will be notified by email, post, social media or telephone call. If a reply by the winner to confirm their postal address is not received in 5 days of being selected, a new winner will be picked. Prizes are non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives. Only one entry per person; entrants must be aged 18 and over. The editor’s decision is final and no correspondence can be entered into.

Loving Your Home Published by Mosaic Publicity on behalf of: Spicerhaart Estate Agents Ltd (04430726) Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester C03 3LD W: T: 01206 841933 Jenna Gregory, Editor Philippa Green, Writer Chris Douglas, Designer Karen Ainley, Chief Executive With thanks to: Martin Evans, Lucy Halliday, Sophie Robinson, Sven Wombwell and Mark Baumann.

©2014 Spicerhaart Estate Agents Limited (“Darlows”). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying or recording, without permission. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and the publisher can take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Information contained within is for general purposes only and we will not be liable for any loss or damage arising. Please note that although the property information contained in this magazine is believed to be correct at the time of publication, the nature of the property market means that both the availability of the properties and the relevant asking prices may well change following the date of publication and no responsibility can be taken for any loss or damage arising from action taken as a result of the information in this publication. Readers should take specific steps to confirm with their local Darlows or haart branch the continued accuracy of any information on which they wish to specifically rely.

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Home and lifestyle news

We love: Spring products April showers – Keep your hair frizz free in the April showers with this heart umbrella,, £19.95

Sainsbury’s new ‘General Store’ furniture range – The pallet and crate trend has taken the blogging and Pinterest world by storm in the past few months. But if making furniture from disused pallets isn’t your thing, Sainsbury’s new ‘General Store’ range could be just the solution. All the pieces are made from solid, reclaimed pine that are between 60 and 80 years old and weathered, to create that timeless ‘inheritance’ look. Our favourite pieces are the 2-door cabinet, £499, the bar stool, £75 (left) and the pallet lookalike coffee table, £179 (below).

Transport cushions Add some va va vroom to your sofa with these vintage-esque transport cushions. The Cadillac, Vespa and Berlin bus designs also come in art prints, trays and mugs so you can mix and match to liven up your living room. Cushions, £25 each, John Lewis.

Not another bill – Still sad that Christmas and the presents are all over? Subscribe to receive surprise presents through your letterbox each month with The box of surprise gifts will introduce you to up-and-coming artists, designers and brands. Previous presents have included art prints, posh toiletries, wall hangers, funky aprons, tea towels and more. Choose what categories you prefer from home décor, art, jewellery, ladies’ or gents’ gifts, or opt for a total surprise. Subscription £18 a month,

Pom Pom Cube ouff s at – Take a well-earned rest from all those Bank Holiday weekend DIY jobs with this funky foot stall, which looks like a jelly bean sweet shop with its multi-colour pom poms. Putting your feet up for five minutes never looked so appealing. Available from for £149. George Home – After much anticipation the team at George have finally launched the George Home range coming to Asda stores and online from 28 March. The first Spring/Summer collection focuses on four main trends that draw on British culture and fashion. Our favourite is the glamorous 1950s retro ‘Riviera’ trend with its candy pop pastel colours, seen here. Birds duvet set, £12, round cushions £5, pin-up cushion £7, bunting £6, lamp £25.

New home? If you’ve just moved into a new place or are looking for a house-warming gift for someone then check out these…


We would love to hear what you’ve been up to, send us your questions, letters, tips and photos and you could win £250 of John Lewis vouchers. See page 3 for details.

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Sparrow keyring and key holder, £10.99,

A warm welcome with Hello You lovely people door mat, £24.95,

Vintage house number, £4.95,

Personalised Postcode puzzle, £19.99,

Home and lifestyle news

Spring trend: Lemon aid


ellow is the colour of Spring and a hit for designers this year. Adding a dash of uplifting yellow is an instant way to refresh any room. Designers take a modern twist on the traditional yellow for Spring 2014 by pairing soft pastels with vivid brights to create a colorful equilibrium. Inspired by a mixture of blooming flowers and travels abroad, designers are using this colour to add refreshing brightness to rooms. No longer is yellow just mellow…


1. Pull the other one



Bisley Glo filing cabinet 3-drawer in lemon yellow £245 -

2. Like bees to honey Le Creuset honey pot and silicone dipper £22 -

3. Soft landing Jacquard knit cushion £16 - BHS

4. Hello sunshine

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Punched metal flower bowl £25 - Debenhams


5. On the wire Ben de Lisi, wire candlestick holder £7 - Debenhams

6. Light up your life Aerial pendant light £30 - Habitat


7. What a lovely pair!


Solid oak ‘Pear’ side table, available as one pear or as a ‘pair’ £210 -

8. Yello! Wild & Wolf corded telephone £49.95 - John Lewis

9. Bright bath time Hand and bath towels £1 - £6 - George Home

10. Got your number

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Eames birch wood tray numbers £30 -

11. Just in time Make baking fun with this yellow duck-shaped kitchen timer £34 -


12. Drink to this Xavier Pauchard yellow stackable bar stool £65 -


13. Take a seat Eames style bright yellow plastic retro side chair £50 -



14. Loved up Yellow and grey love felt cushion £12 - George Home

15. Who needs the Beatles? 13

Seletti submarine accessories set for the bathroom £46 -

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Home and lifestyle news

High Street




Origami style

Ruffled enigma pendant The Range

All folded up

Kami paper pendant shade Habitat



Just in time Home Collection large wall clock

Ticks all the boxes £55 £90

Hang about!

Gumball coat rack

Newgate Putney wall clock Heals

Not just a hat rack!


Vitra Hang it all coat rack by Charles & Ray Eames, Heals


Smooth seating

Plush perch

Mauve Barbot velvet occasional chair Dunelm Mill

Velvet tub chair

£149.99 £445


Put your feet up £19.99

Morrocan stitched pouffe Dunelm Mill

Websites we love right now

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Leather luxury

Leather Morrocan cover pouffe If you haven’t got the patience to get crafty but you love the handmade look, this website is for you. It’s like the crafty version of eBay. Packed with thousands of worldwide independent sellers, the first time you visit could open up a can of worms. Be warned it’s addictive! We’ve spent many a sleepless night on this site. It’s pretty much the best thing ever! This website sells items crafted by British designers. Everything from cushions and cards, to office supplies and outdoor living, there’s so much to love.

Home and lifestyle news

Decorating tips Spruce up your rental property When you rent a property it can be difficult to make it your own without upsetting the landlord. As a tenant you are legally allowed to make any change to a property’s décor. However, the same legislation demands at the end of the tenancy the property needs to be left as you found it, especially if you want to get your deposit back. If you’re planning something, tell your landlord first, many have preferences about what you can and can’t do so check first.

Here are some of our decorating tips to help add personality to your rental property without leaving a permanent mark. Light up a room: A lot of central pendant lamps require an electrician to fit them. They can also be harsh on a room. Consider instead adding floor and table lamps to create softer and subtle mood lighting. Try the Blake Floor Lamp, £150, or the Large Floral Globe table lamp with etched glass (left), £120, both from Next. Use matt paint, not gloss: Gloss paint may be tempting, especially if you have kids and they tend to wipe their mucky hands on the walls, but shiny walls won’t go down well with your landlord. Co r t oors: Don’t go to the expense of investing in new floors. Instead, disguise flooring you don’t like with large rugs, which also add colour and character. Wallpaper panels: Paste your favourite wallpaper to MDF panels instead of the walls. This looks great as a headboard behind a bed or as a feature wall with patterned wallpaper. It can be easily changed, plus you can take it with you when you move.

Hang new curtains: It’s simple to hang new fabric curtains to revive a room, which can be much easier and less permanent to fit than made-to-measure blinds. Use the existing pole and fixings and just keep the old curtains to hang back up when you move. This Spring, bloom-patterned pair are between £40-£120 from Next. Accessorise: Bring colour to every room with accessories without too much expense. If your property is already furnished, adding cushions and throws can transform a sofa. Stickers: Stickers are a great way to add art and colour to a wall. NotOnTheHighStreet do some fantastic ones, such as trees, city skylines and world maps. You can also add stickers to kitchen and bathroom tiles in the same way. Both can be removed without leaving a trace.

Upcycling tip Update an old chest of drawers with different coloured door knobs. These John Lewis ones have been used to help mark each drawer differently, highlighting the different contents in each. We love this! Cupboard knobs - left to right, from top: Bombay Duck Pattern Flower ceramic £3.95, Glass Swirl £5, small Rose Quartz £2, Bombay Duck Bonbon ceramic round £4.95, Henna with filigree silver £6.95, Ceramic Vintage Flower £4.95, Ceramic Flower Posy £5.95, Small green Adventurine £12, Bombay Duck Vintage Rose ceramic £5.95 – all from John Lewis 0 7


The interview

Sophie Robinson By Jenna Gregory


ou may have seen Sophie Robinson as the star judge

on the new BBC 2 hit TV show The Great Interior Design Challenge. Here, she tells us what it was like to be a judge on the show and shares her tips and tricks on what you can achieve in the home. 0 8

You were one of two judges for the BBC2 show The Great Interior Design Challenge. For those that missed it, what was it all about? Well, the 12 episodes followed 24 amateur designers, who had never been paid to do interior design; they’d just designed their own places. Professions ranged from painters and decorators to coffee-shop owners, so we had a diverse group of contestants. One thing they had in common was a huge amount of talent and creativity. But we put them through their paces with just 48 hours and a £1,000 budget to do up the willing homeowners’ rooms. Those who often did the best had practical skills and could make things on a tight budget. Failing that, if they were innovative and savvy with their shopping purchases they also did well. Where we saw contestants fail was if they could only deliver their own personal style, and therefore not interpret the brief for the client. However, I’m happy to say, very few clients didn’t like the end result! All in all it was a fantastic show, which you can still watch via BBC iPlayer, and proved that this country is brimming with creative design talent.


Bold beautiful What was it like judging amateur interior designers? It felt like a real privilege. Daniel Hopwood, the other judge on the show who is an award-winning architect and designer, and I were often inspired by the contestants’ creations. Even though we’ve been in the business for years they were showing us innovative ideas. It was very difficult when Daniel and I didn’t agree on who should win. We just had to thrash it out! And there was lots of disappointment when we couldn’t put contestants through – they really wanted it so badly, so it was sad to let people go. What impressed you the most with the amateur designers? I feel one of the hardest tasks for the designers was that they had never met the client or seen the room until the day the project started. Although they were delivered a brief a week in advance in order to prepare a design, if the client didn’t like it, it was very hard for them to make changes at such short notice. I was impressed by how much they cared about their client and wanted them to like their design. Their level of professionalism was remarkable – and amazingly there were no tantrums!

And how do you collect ideas? Are you a Pinterest fan? Pinterest is massive at the moment, and I love it. I used to have magazine tear out sheets and would Sellotape everything to scrap books. Now it’s more digital. If you have an idea you can just do a Google search for inspiration. I have the Pinterest app on my iPad and just pin my favourite ideas to mood boards. I do like to acknowledge where an idea came from though and always try to name the stylist or designer. What advice would you give budding home decorators who want to take interior design further? If you want a career in interior design you need to look at training at university, colleges, design schools, or online courses. If you simply want to do more with your own home The Great Interior Design Challenge book has all the fundamentals of interior design included, as well as some great quick and affordable design ideas. So read up, start a Pinterest board and, as Daniel always said on the show, “It’s only paint!” so experiment as you can always change it.

Ho did ou rst g t i to i t rior d sig I was always obsessed with interior design from a young age and was constantly re-decorating my bedroom. I went on to study furniture design at university and just by luck one of my friends’ mums was an interior stylist so I became her assistant after graduating. I fell in love with doing up room sets and the whole photo-shoot process. This led to a career in magazines starting with the BBC Good Homes magazine. I now freelance for various publications and home-furnishing clients. What is your favourite interior design-project that you have worked on in the past? This is a tricky one! There are too many to choose from. Thousands of set designs for the magazines and hundreds of home renovations. However, one project I did for the Ideal Home Show really stands out. It was with Madame Tussauds and I had to imagine and create a room set that the celebrity lived in. Ant and Dec, George Clooney and Tom Jones were just some of them. Tom Jones was my favourite – we had him singing in the shower in a very bling, Vegas-style, bathroom. Unfortunately, they were all only for wax celebs. Do you put the same time and passion into styling your own rooms at home? Yes, I’m equally obsessed about it but my own rooms at home aren’t quite so ‘designed’. I make them a lot more relaxed and eclectic because it is our home – very different to those I do for clients. Where do you get your design inspiration from before a project? As a magazine stylist it means I receive all the press previews from manufacturers so I’m privy to new products and ideas. I also flick through all the home-style magazines so I get ideas from them. My husband, Tom, and I have recently renovated our own holiday lets, pictured here, and I took inspiration from the Brighton Pavilion, which is really eccentric and full of fantastic colour and decorative pieces. I am also influenced by art, global trends and design eras of the past.

Do you have a favourite product, an absolute must-have for the home? It’s all very well for a room to look designed but every living room needs a really comfy sofa. Go for cosy, not posey. I hate sitting on a sofa that has all the comfort of a dry biscuit! It has to be comfy; it’s all part of making you feel good in your own home, especially after a hard day. Are there any key trends for 2014 we should be looking out for? The main trend continuing this year is the ‘Salvage style’. So think bare bulb lighting, bare brick style, disused pallets, really industrial with copper and metal furniture, and exposed plumbing and piping. 0 9



Have you got a designer trade secret you can share? My general rule of thumb is to never shy away and never think “ooh that’ll be too much!” Rooms generally look better if you’re bolder in your choice, so just go for it. Often people who go for the safe option, commonly an overdose of beige, only feel disappointed with the results.

Sophie Robinson will be hosting master classes on interior design in London, along with fellow judge, Daniel Hopwood, and the two finalists from The Great Interior Design Challenge Visit the website for details:

Sophie’s simple tips for bringing a tired room back to life Think neutral: If you’re starting from scratch think of neutral investment buys – carpet, sofa. Then accessorise with colours and over time add to the room when you can afford to. Upcycle: Work out what furniture you already have and upcycle and upholster. Paint up old wooden furniture with specialist one-coat paints like Annie Sloan’s chalk collection. Customise: Add a trim to plain curtains or cover a plain lampshade with new material. Feature wall: To add colour to a room buy one small tin of paint for a feature wall or two rolls of patterned wallpaper. De-clutter: Too much stuff will make a room look overcrowded. Instead group collections together in box shelves or put photo frames together. Scattering them around the room will only look messy. Think in pairs: My favourite trick! Invest in a pair of lamps rather than a single pendant lamp, this will look more designed. For example a pair of lamps either side of the sofa. A pair of paintings, a pair of cushions, a pair of chairs also gives the room a sense of balance and calming symmetry.

Pictures: Sophie Robinson’s holiday lets. Words: Jenna Gregory. 1 0


Home and lifestyle news

Ask the experts Got a home and interior question? We would love to hear from you, send us your questions and you could win £250 of John Lewis vouchers*


I want to make my hallway and stairs look more appealing. Are there any good tips for doing this without repainting the whole hall?

Adding a splash of colour to your entrance hall creates drama and style. One really colourful trend that will create a wow factor is ombré stairs, pictured right. Strip your stairs back to their natural floorboards, sand them and then paint the sides in slightly different colours of the same theme. Pick up five or six sample pots of paint in consecutive colours and paint two stairs in each colour. Try an angled brush for getting close to the edges. But if you prefer it soft under foot then John Lewis has launched a new Colour Unlimited carpet range (left), which offers a bespoke colourdye service in their different carpet types. Provide them with a sample of the colour you want them to match and they’ll order your free handdyed, colour-match sample. Then if you’re happy with the colour, they can measure up and estimate.


Are there any ways I can update my bathroom without buying a whole new suite? My bathroom is currently tiled white with an enamelled standalone bath.

Sometimes just accessorising a bathroom can make it look new. Fresh coloured towels, a new bathmat, toothbrush pots and a colourful shower curtain can make a huge difference. Next at Home and M&S have some great matching bathroom accessories. If you don’t fancy changing or painting your tiles then you could paint your bath tub to make a statement. now offer a bathtub paint service for £198 with over 100 Farrow and Ball paint colours to choose from. A coloured bathtub will make a real statement. Large stripy bathroom towels, (left), £32


r t r a afforda ut st is a s to cover ugly electric radiators without having to buy an expensive wooden frame?

Most wooden radiator covers or bespoke carpentry can be expensive. If you’re not a dab at DIY then perhaps think about moving furniture as focal points, which can take your attention away from the radiator, such as placing a sofa to obscure it or adding a desk worktop above. Alternatively, Homebase now offers some affordable radiator cover options starting at £29.99 for an 80 x 80 cover which are ready to be painted or stained to match your décor. If your budget can stretch a little further, (left), offer bespoke covers. There are some great electric radiators available at the moment with prices starting from £80 for attractive chrome rails, (right), visit

Email us your questions to *See page 3 for competition rules. 1 1


Loving: Your property

Wye perfection pays 3 bedroom semi-detached Location:

Near Wye, Kent

Who lives here:

Mary Anderson

Selling for:


The area: Located just outside of the countryside village of Wye, this property has staggering views across the Kent downs. Canterbury is only 15 minutes away and the fast train line to London will have you in the capital in less than 40 minutes. The look: Simple and understated, yet elegant and chic, this gorgeous 19th century home has a mix of rustic and contemporary styles.

the look It is not often we come across a home such as this. The time spent making this home the very best it can be has been a labour of love for Mary. The attention to detail is staggering and shows what can be done if no corners are cut or short cuts taken, it will pass anyone’s test of quality. Mary’s perfectionist detailing even made her knock at someone’s house to find out what the exact colour was of the door. She said: “I loved it so much I had to ask! I had been looking for the perfect door colour and I wanted this. The lady laughed and said it was Green/Blue by Farrow & Ball. The next day I ordered a tin.” As well as these finishing touches and new furniture, Mary has refurbished every part of this semi-detached property, from replastering to new electrics, plumbing and heating. The main focus with the renovation was the hub of the home, the kitchen, which has brand new solid oak fitted units and a new cooker situated in the hearth where the range cooker would have once been. The engineered oak floor runs through the kitchen and beyond into the study, which takes you to the downstairs bathroom - another renovation achievement for Mary. 1 2

When she began work on the bathroom she realised the roof of the period extension could be lifted and has transformed the space with a vaulted ceiling where a contemporary chandelier now hangs. The high-quality fittings and fixtures including the natural stone tiling, rain-storm shower and under-floor heating, make bathtime feel like an escape to a 5-star hotel or spa. As a commuter to London, Mary wanted a luxury countryside retreat that would feel like bliss when getting home. Mary said,

“I look forward to arriving back here after a long day at work. And weekends feel like an escape to the country – you wouldn’t know you’re just 40 minutes from the City. The people of Wye are so welcoming, and I love the local food markets on Saturdays. I don’t want to leave really but I want to move closer to my parents.”

Get the look Living room Five Light Pendant £34.98, B&Q

Madame Coco velvet armchair, £935,

Mirrored bedside table £139.99, Dunelm Mill

Branch coffee table £397

Large indoor stainless-steel lantern, £15, Matalan

Lille White Stripe Wallpaper, £34 per roll, Laura Ashley

Kylie Minogue bedding & cushion, £25, BHS For more information call Matthew Chivers at haart Ashford on 01233 620340 until 10pm weekdays or email 1 3


Home and lifestyle

Save space

stop hoarding Take advantage of the natural urge that comes this time of year to have a spring clean and get rid of items that are weighing you down. Be ruthless and throw out items you no longer need or use, especially those that are taking up valuable space, for a more streamlined minimalist lifestyle. With a clearer living space comes a clearer mind, able to focus on enjoying experiences and what’s really important in life.

Clutter types: There are two types of clutter. The first is lazy clutter, which is little more than rubbish magazines, un-filed papers, unwanted Christmas presents, pots of paint samples, all these things need to go. It’s all superficial and it’s easier to get rid of than memory clutter. These type of nostalgic items remind us of some important person, event or achievement in the past - it’s sentimental and often hardest to part with. To tackle this, set aside some time to do it, and try the emergency test what would you grab if there was a fire? Secondly, work out what makes you happy and create a memory box. You’ll then learn how to balance the possessions you want to own with the space you have. When you find this balance, you’ll learn how to keep it. Wardrobe detox: First of all, start by whipping your wardrobe back into shape with a cleansing clothing detox. Organise your items into three piles. The must keep pile for items your wear regularly, the maybe pile for items that are needed but not worn often and finally a goodbye pile to those items you need to send packing. Think about dressing for now, don’t keep clothes you wore five years ago or clothes you want to wear next year. Also forget about those fidget pieces. If it makes you feel tense or doesn’t let you enjoy what you’re doing there’s no point in keeping it. Once you’ve streamlined your pieces create a capsule wardrobe by categorising everything into colours or items. If your wardrobe still won’t squeeze everything in, consider packing your winter clothes away in the loft for the summer. Also invest in slim velvet hangers that take up minimal rail space. Spare room: Bring love back to your spare room rather than making it the dumping ground for clutter. According to a recent survey, one in four households have a designated clutter room, often as well as a loft and a garden shed full of clutter. Tennis rackets, gym equipment, old books and magazines collecting dust, and spare stuff we may need one day. Most often you won’t and it needs to go. If your son or daughter has left home but their stuff hasn’t, warn them that you will be doing a clear-out. Give them a few chances to do it themselves and if they don’t, go for it, but warn them before you bin anything! Under-stairs cupboard: We all need somewhere to store the vacuum cleaner and the ironing board, but when space is so valuable why not consider turning your cupboard into a downstairs toilet, a built-in dog bed or even add a few extra feet to your hall or living room by opening it up to fit a sofa or a desk workspace. Without the under-stairs cupboard to hide clutter away you’re less likely to hoard.

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Useful ways to de-clutter: M&S Shwopping scheme: Simply take your unwanted clothes to any M&S store and they will pass them on to Oxfam, in return you will receive a £5 gift voucher to spend in Marks and Spencer when you spend over £35 in store. So far the scheme has raised £4 million for the charity. Boot sales: Earn some extra pounds for your unwanted goods. It’s amazing the things people buy. Remember your trash is someone else’s treasure. If it’s too good to go for pennies, work out what it’s worth first at Up-cycle: Give old furniture a new lease of life by upholstering with new fabric or adding colour to wood with chalk paint. If you don’t do this in a year though, you never will. Swishing events: Also known as swap shops, these events let you exchange your unwanted clothes for new ones. Items should be high-end and good quality, so anything that doesn’t make you feel great, take a deep breath and swap them to a better home. For events in your area visit Charity shops: Charity shops rely on donations from the public and some will take furniture, including British Heart Foundation stores, If you sign up and donate to Oxfam they will let you know how much your goods have raised. If you are a UK taxpayer you can add “Gift Aid” to your donation, meaning the charity can receive an extra 28p from the Government for every £1.

Home and lifestyle

Space-saving beds add an extra dimension Prop up a pillow and take a look at these latest space-saving beds, all with superb storage solutions. With space at a premium in most homes, these clever designs will have you packing more than a few Zzzzzs.

Children will love their own personalised, brightly coloured Funky Bunk, great for when their friends come to stay. As well as a double-length, full-depth wardrobe, there are plenty of drawers to keep clothes and toys packed away. From £1,490.

Fant in a s astic pa room re

For the older child, the Harper High Sleeper has a helpful hideaway for homework. What youngster won’t want to reach for their books from these shelves, nestling under a single bed? Also available in the range is a mini wardrobe, two drawers, a desk and a pin board. From £550 (self assembly).

By day, a study; by night, a spare bed. This StudyBed comes in a choice of finishes, including real wood veneer, white and bespoke painted or stained. The single StudyBed has a fullsize 3 ft single bed, with a large desk area and plenty of room to attach pin boards, pictures and posters. A double-bed option is also available. From £1,560.

Amazing Spaces

This HEMNES day bed will look fantastic in a spare room or conservatory. For just £260, this sofa doubles up as a single bed, with drawers providing ideal storage for sheets and pillow cases.

To see how other people turn tiny spaces into the most incredible places to live, work and play, visit George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces on Channel 4oD online.

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Be bold: Go stripey Chevron stripes are no longer just for road markings These bold zig zag stripes are now the latest dramatic trend for interior design. If you’re after a statement wall or a key piece of furniture, we show you how to create this look at home.


hevron is the V-shaped pattern that has taken the design world by storm in the form of wallpaper, accent rugs, throw pillows and even wall art.

Many people call this classic pattern a zig zag but it is a bit bolder than that and is essentially a series of Vs laid out in a row. The pattern is both modern and fun, but can also look completely timeless when mixed into more traditional décor. It can feel both masculine and feminine, making it incredibly versatile for family homes. Chevron may be all the rage these days but that doesn’t mean it’s new. In fact the chevron pattern appeared on pottery and rock carvings as early as 1800 BC in Ancient Greece. A few thousand years later it became part of parquet flooring and was first laid on the floors of the Versailles Palace in France in the 17th Century. The intricate chevron patterns of parquet flooring would have been an indicator of status, wealth and taste. More recently in the 1970s, the geometric bohemian pattern returned for the colourful decade. Flash forward to now and as we look at all the accessories and fabrics coming out for spring, it’s obvious the chevron pattern isn’t going away soon and is, in fact, making more of a long-term impact in all design items around the home. Amongst traditional décor it looks so unexpected and will add that wow factor to a room. To update your home and use this trend here’s how to re-create the look at home... 1 6

How to get the look:

Get the look at home with these products

Statement wall One of the boldest but easiest ways to introduce a little chevron love is to paint an accent wall - it looks especially fun in a kid’s room. Use masking tape to create the pattern (the thicker the tape the bigger the pattern will appear), paint the entire wall and then remove the tape to reveal your chevrons. The American brand of masking tape called Frogtape actually do a chevron pattern so you don’t have to cut the tape into strips. It’s available from Amazon or eBay with international postage. The same masking tape method can be used to add the pattern to a piece of upcycled furniture such as a chest of drawers or even to the edge of wooden stairs. An alternative way to create the chevron is to cut the shape using a stencil and a sharp craft knife. Or chevron wallpaper is just as good for creating an impact without the need for tricky tape or stencil cutting!

ar u t oori g

Wilde shower curtain, £5, and matching laundry bin, £4,

Yellow and charcoal chevron French Provincial side chair, £365, ShopSpacePlace from

If you’re lucky enough to have parquet flooring you certainly shouldn’t be hiding it. Restore it by sanding, varnishing or even staining it with a coloured wood paint for a really vibrant chevron look.

Bedding and curtains

Monochrome chevron knitted cushion, £22,

Chevron bedding and curtains are other low-maintenance ways to add a splash of this geometric trend to a room.

Cushions If you’re not ready to fully commit to the trend then don’t go all-out chevron just yet, instead add a dash of pattern and colour to your living room with some bright chevron cushions. Perfect for updating a sofa for spring. This one, left, is £50 from

Fabrics There are some really stunning chevron fabrics available. Take a look at sellers on Etsy and then try upholstering an old chair back to life with this pattern. It adds just the right amount of playfulness to a neutral room without going too crazy! Without the need for too much sewing you could also add fabric to the dining room as a table runner or staple it to the back of a blank wooden canvas for a piece of wall art.

Lamps A chevron lamp makes a quiet statement while still adding a pop of designer influence to a room. A chevron lampshade is an even easier way to commit to the trend because it’s so easy to change but while it’s on trend it adds the perfect finishing touch to a room if you want to add impact. This one, left, is £30 from

Chevron Ampersand Giclée print, £28, Scion Dhurrie Paste the Wall Wallpaper, Topaz, £36 per roll, John Lewis

Chevron light switch cover plate, £6.25,

Rugs An oversized chevron rug is the perfect way to add colour and fun to any decor. Amongst a traditional setting it makes a stark contrast and is bound to be the talking point of any room. We love this bold retro one, £69, from Urban Outfitters.

Chevron orange and natural pouf ottoman, £85, Zeldabelle from

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Loving your garden

Garden advice from Sven Wombwell Garden designer and garden TV presenter. Author of garden books including Allotment Gardening for Dummies. Sven is also UK Sales Manager for Roshults, luxury Scandinavian garden furniture.

Marching to summer Veg to plant in March April

Chelsea Flower Show Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show, 20-24 May 2014 If you are looking for inspiration for your garden visiting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May is an absolute must. It takes an amazing 25 days to set up the whole show and on open day there will be 550 exhibitors, some from around the globe, and some truly stunning gardens.

You are going to be busy because March and April are the best months to plant most of your crops! These are just some of the vegetables that need to be planted:

Just as London Fashion Week sets the trends for retailers for the forthcoming year, so does the Chelsea Flower Show for gardeners. This year we expect to see several emerging trends. The big one for 2014 is ‘going native’ - meadow gardens with wild flowers, birds, and pollinating plants to encourage the bee population. Another trend will be front gardens and what you can do with a small suburban space. This is great if you’re thinking of the shop window appeal for your home. With a few hard-working, low-maintenance shrubs you can add colour and depth with not much hassle. A favourite is lavender as it looks and smells great, but we’re looking forward to seeing what the Chelsea designers have in store.

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If you time your visit to arrive on the final day, Saturday 24 May, that’s your chance to buy some of the beautiful plants to stock your own garden with from 4pm. But if you are leaving by public transport, before you buy make sure it’s feasible to carry your new and beautiful plants home! The five-day long show is open daily from 8am with the last entry at 5.30pm. On the first two days the show is open only to RHS members and among the VIP visitors there are usually members of the Royal family who attend the opening day each year. Ticket prices vary from £30 if you enter at 5.30pm or £58 if you are not a member and want to stay all day. For more details visit the RHS website at

we love a flat or If you live in little studio, or have consider garden space, utside in. bringing the o

Window boxes add instant colour to the side of any home, we love this forget-me-not blue wooden one. £14 - Start a mini indoor kitchen allotment to grow your own herbs and small veg. £25.99 -

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Wipe your feet on a grassy flower mat with the Daisy Garden Door Mat. £69 -

Loving your kitchen

Kitchen products We love: Egg-static – rustic egg trug. We don’t have our own chickens to lay eggs to fill this but we still love it. It would look particularly good with chocolate Easter eggs in, too! £35,

Meet the mussel man

Grate Stuff - If you have to peel carrots for the Easter bunny, or for Mark’s recipe, make it less tedious with this fun Karoto sharpener, £10.90,


hen it comes to cooking up a tasty treat, British Masterchef Mark Baumann has a new trick up his chef white’s sleeves.

He has developed an eponymous butter, which adds such a flavoursome punch that it has been snapped up by some of the UK’s major supermarkets. Baumanns Butters come in garlic, Cheddar cheese and bacon, and caramelised red onion and balsamic vinegar flavours, ideal for everything from jacket potatoes and steaks to fine dining that will impress your friends. Mark, the owner of Baumanns Brasserie in Coggeshall, Essex, features in the International Who’s Who of Chefs he is a guest presenter of UKTV Food’s flagship programme, Great Food Live and has starred in his own ITV series ‘Baumann goes to market’. He is soon to launch a new upmarket chain of restaurants, Bourgee, aimed at guests with a palate for a decadent dining experience.

It’s egg-citing! With Easter just around the corner we’ve picked our favourite of this year’s hatch of chocolate eggs. You crack me up extra thick Easter egg, £28,

Butterfly and Footy Easter eggs, £3 each, Thornton’s

Mark Baumann’s moules marinières - Serves 4 2kg fresh live mussels Drop of vegetable oil

150ml white wine, you could use sherry or cider

50g garlic butter

200ml of double cream

4 banana shallots (easier to peel), finely sliced

Salt and black pepper, freshly ground

1 large carrot, peeled and finely sliced

Flat leaf parsley, roughly shredded (table spoon)

1 leek (the white part), washed and finely sliced

This recipe is so simple and really impressive when entertaining or just as a decent comforting meal when on your own with a hunk of French bread. Use Baumanns Garlic Butter or you can make your own by mixing 100g of softened unsalted butter, two crushed garlic cloves, some salt and pepper and whatever mixed herb you fancy, then roll in to a tube and refrigerate. Wash and de-beard the mussels to remove any grit and throw away any that are opened or damaged. Shred up the carrots, the leeks and shallots. Heat up a little oil in a pan; when the oil is warm add the clean mussels and stir with a wooden spoon. As they start to open, add the vegetables and shallots, pour in a glug of wine and bring to the boil, add the garlic butter then the cream and season with salt and pepper. Boil gently for a couple of minutes, finally, throw in the ripped parsley and serve in a bowl. Mop up the juices with your delicious French bread.

To watch our video of Mark preparing the mussels visit:

Classic crème egg, 60p each

Lindt limited edition Easter egg, £8,

Easter Eggs decoration kit, £19.90,

Claridge’s Easter Egg, £45,

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Best apps & gadgets Darlows - Free for iPhone and iPad Our fantastic Darlows app will help you view property for sale or let while you’re on the move. Search from our extensive database of properties and save your favourites. There is also a handy list of local property facts as well as a map highlighting the locations of each property. To download the app go to

Pinterest - Free This is the social media platform that lets you create mood boards or ‘pinboards’ with pin-teresting ideas from anything on the web. You can also pin your own pictures or share others’ ‘pins’. There are millions of photos and boards to provide inspiration for your home, plus thousands of experts you can follow for ideas.

Sun Seeker - Free Full version £4.99 on iPhone, £3.79 on Android This may be an essential app for any budding meteorologist but it’s also very handy if you’re looking for a new property. It uses the GPS in your phone to find the sun position and sun facing for your current location. So, if it’s cloudy when viewing a potential property you’ll know exactly how much sunlight the garden will get, for how long and at what times depending on the time of year. This also becomes very useful for gardeners who want to know what to plant where. It also helps if you’re thinking about how to decorate a room. One tip is to avoid a lot of blue in north facing darker rooms, it can make the room feel very cold.

iHandy Carpenter - Free Full version £1.49 on iPhone, £1.24 on Android The iHandy’s five essential carpenter tools include a plumb bob, surface level, spirit level, protractor and ruler. We’ve opted for the simplified free version which is quite simply a spirit level on your phone. Ingenious. Never will a picture frame go on the wonk again. Easy to use as well as aesthetically pleasing.


apps & sites

Rightmove & Zoopla - Free If you’re searching for a property, these two apps are essential for your phone and your property search. Hunt for properties by favourite locations on a map, by postcode, by price or by estate agency group, and add filters such as preferred property types to your search. You can save your favourites and if you find one you like you’re able to call or email the agent by the hit of a button Both apps are simplified versions of the websites but they allow for quick and easy lunchtime search sessions. Plus Zoopla gives the added bonus of telling you what your neighbours sold for, and a current estimated valuation of the property if you’re thinking of selling. |

Colour inspector - £0.69 for iPhone This app transforms your iPhone into a colour detector. So if you find a product that you love the colour of, you can now co-ordinate the rest of your room to match. It uses the camera of your device to provide the exact ‘RGB’ values and the common name of the colour. The RGB number can then be used to get the exact same paint colour, or used in digital design materials on the computer.

Houzz - Free You can spend hours on Houzz. Dubbed as the encyclopaedia of interior and exterior design this popular American app and website has over 2 million design photos and over 90,000 inspirational ideas to browse through. You can also add favourite photos to your idea books, join discussions and ask the experts for DIY advice.

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Best apps & gadgets

iKettle £99.99 Imagine a world where there wasn’t a tiresome wait for the kettle to boil. Well, the tea-gods have spoken and that time has arrived in the shape of iKettle. This clever and stylish gadget connects wirelessly to an app on your smartphone and will prompt you when it’s time for tea. At the touch of a button you can set the kettle to boil, then keep warm until you’re ready to use the water. The best part is you can set it as your alarm and it will gently wake you up with, “Good Morning! Would you like me to pop the kettle on?” How did we ever survive without it? We may even purchase a second one for the office to avoid that time consuming tea round.

Sugru £6.50 This is a strange one to explain but basically Plasticine just got crazy. Making and mending things will never be the same again. This new moulding rubber compound is genius and could revolutionise the DIY and craft world. When you open a sachet of Sugru it begins to self-set on contact with air but you have 30 minutes to mould it to the shape you want. It will stick to loads of materials including steel, ceramics, glass, wood, fabric and most plastics.


What’s even better is it’s soft, durable, bendy, waterproof, weatherproof, will withstand temperatures of -50°c to +180°c and it comes in different colours. So you can now fix the handle on a saucepan, cover broken cables, make cameras drop-proof and add waterproof elbow and knee patches to kids’ clothes. And if you change your mind it’s removable. The makers have added tons of other creative ideas to the website at

Lumen Bulb

BenQ W1080ST Projector £49.99 £790

Another find from Firebox (yes, it is one of our favourite websites!) is the Lumen Bulb and app. This bluetooth LED bulb screws in to your light fitting like a normal bulb and connects to the app on your smartphone so you can turn the light on or off without leaving the comfort of your sofa. It has a number of different feature modes: dim the lights for a romantic setting, change the colours in time to the music for a party, flash for incoming calls, or mimic a sunrise for a gradual wake up. Similar in size to a regular screw-fit bulb, Lumen says it will produce over 30,000 hours of 40w light. It also gets the green energy tick of approval, using five times less power than a standard bulb.

For movie fans, gamers and gadget geeks alike, this is one investment you need to make this year. True film aficionados need a wall-sized screen and with the BenQ W1080ST Projector you can create this in HD and 3D. The ST part of the name stands for ‘Short Throw’, which means you can project on to the wall of a very small room. Gone are the days when you needed a mansion with a cinema room and custommade leather recliners, now you can create the home-cinema experience with one of these bad boys, a packet of popcorn and some 3D glasses (which come provided as part of the pack).

One to watch: Wristify Ever struggled with getting the temperature right in your house? You’re too hot while the other half is layered up in blankets and slippers? Well the clever kids at MIT University in America thought outside the thermostat box and have invented the air-con wristband. Wristify, a thermoelectric device, can alter the wearer’s body temperature at a rate of 0.4 degrees per second by sending either hot or cold pulses, depending on what’s needed, to the person’s wrist. This sends signals, essentially overriding the brain and, consequently, helping buildings conserve energy. The Wristify prototype won the first prize of $10,000 at the MIT annual science fair but, unfortunately, it’s still 1-2 years away from the first retail product.

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Loving your life t t

Get running: It’s too late to apply for the 2014 Virgin London Marathon but why not soak up the atmosphere by cheering the runners on and spectating on 13 April. You can also still sign up to other running events around the country, check out MarathonRunnersDiary. com, or for a shorter 5km sprint why not do a Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research this June. Visit:

Sports day social: Find your team spirit with this year’s Rugby Rocks tournament, now renamed The Summer Social, which encompasses sport by day and bands and DJs by night. This year, groups can enter teams for rugby 7’s, netball, hockey and volleyball, or spectators can simply sit and enjoy a drink in the Pimms tent.

ra : ta t: If you want to lose those excess pounds fast and get fit in the process check out Metafit™ the latest exercise regime that is really NOW.

25 May (Leeds), 31 May (London), 7 June (Edinburgh), £6-£40 per person/ £50-£200 per team, Visit:

To find a local trainer, Visit:

This metabolic workout, unlike typical circuits, lasts for only 30 minutes but targets the largest muscle groups in the body so that you achieve a better and quicker effect.

IDEAL HOME SHOW If you haven’t got your home fix by reading this issue then get yourself tickets to Britain’s biggest and most loved home show for property ideas and inspiration. The Ideal Home Show will tour the country between March and June with hundreds of interior, garden and technology exhibitors. Our favourite part is always the model show homes and, new for this year, is the multi-generation home showing how families can live together today, with multiple generations using the same space for different needs. 14 – 30 March (London), 23 – 26 May (Glasgow), 6 – 8 June (Manchester)

Films and DVDs New cinema releases

New DVD/Blu-Ray releases

Muppets Most Wanted (PG) (in cinemas 28 March)

Gravity (PG-13) (released 4 March)

Kids and grown-ups alike will be looking forward to the next musical Muppets adventure. Ricky Gervais joins Kermit and friends for a globe-trotting adventure that takes on evil doppelgangers, master criminals and an abundance of big star cameos, not to mention some toe-tapping tunes.

Award-winning thriller Gravity allows us to chillingly explore space with two stranded astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) after their space station is destroyed and their new mission is to get home. This technically ground-breaking and visually stunning film will leave you gripping your seats and gasping for breath until the very end.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (in cinemas 18 April) Everyone’s favourite neighbourhood Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) is back for an action-packed comic-book adventure that looks even bigger than the first instalment. New powerful enemies will test the hero to his very limits, all while he tries to maintain his relationship with girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

Saving Mr Banks (PG-13) (released 24 March) Delightful drama Saving Mr Banks reveals the touching true story behind Mary Poppins. We watch the charming Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) attempt to persuade difficult author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) into selling the rights, but we soon start to understand why she is so reluctant to give Mary Poppins up.

Reviews by Martin Evans and Lucy Halliday - 2 2

Loving your area

Make your own Mother’s Day present Surprise Mum with a crafty gift on 30 March with a homemade present. Dads - why not take the kids along to paint, plant and take away their own pot plant for mum at Ynysangharad Park, and make something special this Mother’s Day. Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd 29 March 2014 Visit:

Wicked Experience the unforgettable, award-winning hit musical Wicked as it comes to the Wales Millennium Centre this spring, as part of its first UK tour, after years in London’s West End. An opportunity to learn the truth about the Wicked Witch and the Land of Oz.

Night at the Museum

12 March - 26 April 2014 Visit:

The Museums at Night event returns to venues across the country this May. Celebrate national history month by sipping a cocktail whilst browsing an exhibition late at night or simply just wander around, soaking in some history after dark. The exhibits might not come to life as they do in the film, but museums across the country are hoping the event will help exhibitions come alive. If this is all way past your bedtime, then The Big Power Nap, which is basically one giant sleepover, may appeal to you. We like the sound of the illuminating light displays, the ghost hunt and the toy treasure hunt, but there are tons of activities to go and see. At the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea on 16 May you can enjoy a rare chance to be at the Museum after hours where it will come alive with fun creative activities, science and inventions. Little ones up past their bedtimes can make a Mini Pocket Minion and a pair of Despicable goggles, then use them to watch a 3D screening of Despicable Me. Visit: and

50 things to do before you are 11¾ Get the children out and about with the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you are 11 ¾’ challenge. There are events all over the country throughout the year but spring is a great time to start getting outdoors, getting fresh air, exercise and generally getting mucky! If all 50 tasks are completed each child can collect an explorer badge plus there are certificates and secret challenges to unlock along the way. At Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfall, set in a steep gorge near Swansea, they are organising activities such nature night walks, hunting for bugs, making mud pies and tracking wild animals. Visit: and 15 May - 17 May. Visit:

Strictly comes to the Coliseum If you’re anything like us you’ll be missing your weekly Saturday dose of the Cha Cha Cha. So, you’ll be pleased to hear the professional dancing duo Pasha Kovalev and Katya Virshilas, of Strictly Come Dancing, will perform at The Coliseum, Aberdare, on 24 April. After their success on the BBC hit TV show, the pair will tour the UK with a brand new show, The Best of Strictly: A Kaleidoscope of Dance. From fiery sambas to romantic waltzes, this electric show is a carnival of glitz, glamour and passion, spectacular dance routines and stunning costumes. There will also be other guest appearances from stars of the Strictly show. Tickets £23.

RHS Flower show This year the RHS Flower Show Cardiff celebrates its 10th birthday. Among the treats in store for visitors to the anniversary show, returning to Bute Park at Cardiff Castle, are exhibits from 60 of the best plant nurseries in Great Britain, all gathered together for a spectacular display in the Floral Marquee. As always the show will mark the arrival of spring by bringing the city to life with yellow daffodils and blooms. For what to expect at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show read page 18. 11 – 13 April 2014 Visit:

24 April 2014. Visit: 2 3


Intelligent advice from Darlows

Move on up with help from Darlows


ith the housing market thriving, you may be wondering whether you should hang on to your property and wait a little longer until prices have risen further before you sell it. Our advice is you should sell now – because the next property up the ladder will also be rising in value too, making it harder for you to buy. There are some great new schemes around to help people get on or move up the housing ladder, by making it a lot easier to obtain a mortgage.

up to £600,000. The Government underwrites the lender’s risk by being a guarantor for up to 15% of the loan. We were one of the first agencies to respond to the Government’s change in legislation by having Help to Buy advisers in all our branches. So if you are interested in finding out more, please call your local Darlows branch between 8am and 10pm or visit

Help to Buy Equity Loan

By Paul Smith Chief Executive of Darlows part of the haart group

Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee In October 2013, the Government extended its Help to Buy scheme for buyers of both new-build and older properties

The Equity Loan, introduced in April 2013, is for new-build homes only up to £600,000, where the Government provides a loan of 20% of the property’s cost and the buyer finds the deposit plus the mortgage for the remaining 75%. The loan is interest free for the first five years.

What you need In all cases, the purchaser will need a minimum deposit of 5% of the purchase price and funds

are also required to cover stamp duty, legal fees and moving costs. Borrowers will have to meet each scheme’s various requirements. Properties bought for investment purposes are excluded. Other schemes worth considering are NewBuy or Shared Ownership. Details of all these schemes can be found at:

High demand for property According to our own data, people now need to find around £7,000 on average to obtain a mortgage, compared to almost five times as much previously. As a result, we have nine people on average chasing every property on our books, we are achieving 98.9 per cent of the asking price and prices for a three-bed property have increased on average by 6.7 per cent over the past year.

Dream home 3-bed Cambridgeshire historic detached property This historic detached property is set in an acre of its own grounds in a rural Cambridgeshire location and has been extended by the current owner. Its exposed beams and mezzanine layout offers an abundance of character and country charm. Located just outside Wisbech and only a short drive to nearby Peterborough, this former pumping station has accommodation comprising porch, hall, shower room, utility, lounge, dining room, a walk-in storage cupboard, sun room, office/bedroom and a kitchen. Upstairs continues with three bedrooms and a bathroom.

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Call David Cummings at our Wisbech office on 01945 590015 for more details


Intelligent advice from Darlows

Local area spotlight

Map shows average price for semi-detached properties in 2013 in areas covered by the branches shown of haart, Darlows and Haybrook.

Llanishen, Cardiff

Jodie Thomas Llanishen, Cardiff branch manager

Llanishen Darlows branch

“The Government’s Help to Buy scheme has helped to restore confidence. Two-bedroom properties, favoured by many first-time buyers, are selling very fast. But the highest demand is for three bedroomed semidetached houses, where our vendors are achieving near or above the asking price.”

% Average price change (2013 v 2012) First time buyer applicants (Jan 2014 v Jan 2013)

 7.68%  31.91%

Ratio of buyers registered to number of properties available (Jan 2014)


Sheffield £158,163

West Bridgford £140,068 Derby £133,373 Leicester £149,997

Wisbech £119,743

Milton Keynes £160,118

Norwich £167,806

Cambridge £219,388 Ipswich £163,379 Chelmsford £261,425

Cardiff £230,092 Bristol £214,268

East Ham £235,475 Fleet £293,747

Photos courtesy of

Client testimonial Albany Road, Cardiff “If I have a property to sell I would always choose Darlows, and will continue to recommend them to anyone”


Maidstone £236,819

Average price data obtained from the Land Registry. Average house price comparison covers branch postcodes. Buyers registered means applicants who have registered with the branch in the last 6 months and are still looking for a property. Properties available means properties registered with the branch which are either (i) for sale or (ii) sold subject to contract but which the branch is still marketing. Data collated February 2014.

“I have used Darlows a number of times in the past, both buying and selling property. Each time I found them to be really professional, knowledgeable and informative. They have a proactive attitude to customer service and have gone out of their way to find buyers for my properties – sometimes even before the property was finished. If I have a property to sell I would always choose Darlows, and will continue to recommend them to anyone.” - Chris Davey

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Albany Road


We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Tracey Lawson Senior Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Darren Joyce Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Claire Lea Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Neil Jones Senior Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Sandra Thomas Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Claire Young Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Jodie Thomas Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014


Merthyr Tydfil


We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Beth Turner Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Diane Rumble Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Rhys Lewis Senior Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for houses in this area


We achieved of asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months* If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Judith Walters Branch Manager *source: Darlows data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014




We have people on our books looking for homes in this area*


We achieved of nal asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months*

If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Gemma Povey Branch Manager

*source: haart data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014

Call us now on: 01600 772413


8am - 10pm everyday

STYLE AND CHARM Woodland View, Wyesham £169,950 This stylish three bedroom family home features a living room, modern fitted kitchen and shower room, garage and sizeable driveway together with pleasant views over the Kymin.

• Semi Detached House • Three Bedrooms • Modern Kitchen

• Outbuilding • Garage • EPC Rating: E


TOWN LOCATION Goldwire Lane, Monmouth £155,000 - £160,000 Immaculately presented throughout is this three bedroom mid terrace property located only a short walking distance from the historic town of Monmouth and its amenities.

• Mid Terrace • Three Bedrooms • Kitchen/Diner

• Utility Room • Well Presented • EPC Rating: E



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For more properties in your area visit

Call us now on: 01600 772413


8am - 10pm everyday

RENOVATED COTTAGE Symonds Yat, Ross-On-Wye £415,000 Located in the popular area of Symonds Yat, an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in the Wye Valley, with elevated far reaching views toward the River Wye and distant surrounding hillsides.

• Cottage • Four Bedrooms • Two Reception Rooms

• Three Bedrooms • 1.25 Acres (STMS) • EPC Rating: D


FANTASTIC VIEWS The Paddocks, Wyesham £249,995 A modern four bedroom detached home situated in a residential cul de sac in the Wyesham neighbourhood of Monmouth with well manicured private rear garden and front views towards the Kymin.

• Detached House • Four Bedrooms • Two Reception Rooms • Two Bathrooms • Private Garden • EPC Rating: E



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8am - 10pm everyday

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL Penallt, Monmouth £650,000 A substantial dwelling in the charming village of Penallt. Set in large gardens backing onto countryside, the picturesque Village of Penalt sits a few miles outside Monmouth and features a village green, ancient church and a 17th century pub.

• Detached House • Six Bedrooms • Four Reception Rooms • Two En Suites • Spacious Garden • EPC Rating: D


CLOSE TO AMENITIES Tinmans Green, Redbrook £230,000 - £240,000 A well presented, four bedroom detached property in the popular location of Tinmans Green, in an 'Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The ground floor comprises of a sitting room, dining room and kitchen.

• Detached House • Four Bedrooms • Two Reception Rooms • Rear Garden • Off Road Parking • EPC Rating: D



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people on our books We have looking for homes in this area*


We achieved of f nal asking prices on properties we have sold in the last 3 months*

If you want my help to sell your home, call in or phone me Sarah Lavery Branch Manager

*source: haart data for 3 months ended 28th February 2014

Call us now on: 01633 222255


8am - 10pm everyday

1840'S TOWN HOUSE Victoria Place, Newport £230,000 - £245,000 Located in a conservation area, this Grade II Listed 1840's town house with five bedrooms, will impress. With many original features and set out over three floors, you will be delighted with this great family home. Offered with no chain.

• Semi Detached House • Five Bedrooms • Three Reception Rooms

• Grade II Listed • Original Features • EPC Rating: E



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8am - 10pm everyday

SPACIOUS LIVING Caerphilly Close, Rhiwderin Guide Price £325,000 This well presented, spacious, four bedroom family home is in a sought after postcode and the Bassaleg School catchment.

• Detached House • Four Bedrooms • Three Reception Rooms • Conservatory • Three Bathrooms • Ample Parking • EPC Rating: D


THE GOOD LIFE Hartridge Farm Road, Newport O.I.R.O £250,000 A fantastic, six bedroom family home situated in a sought after location and comes with an annexe included!

• Detached House • Six Bedrooms • Annexe • Three Reception Rooms • Off Road Parking • Fantastic Location • EPC Rating: F



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8am - 10pm everyday

MODERN AND PROUD Silure Way, Langstone, Gwent £214,950 With as much living space as a four bedroom property and set in a cul de sac, the current sellers were sold on the downstairs living space and added a conservatory to generate even more room.

• Detached House • Three Bedrooms • Two Reception Rooms

• Conservatory • Garage • EPC Rating: D


IMMACULATE Buccaneer Way, Newport £209,000 - £215,000 This spacious, immaculate, four bedroom detached property has had one careful owner and has a show home status. With three receptions, conservatory, kitchen/diner, detached garage and en suite, life will be rosy here.

• Detached House • Four Bedrooms • Three Reception Rooms • Two Bathrooms • Kitchen/Diner • Garage • EPC Rating: C



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8am - 10pm everyday

FANTASTIC SIZE Park Square, Newport O.I.E.O £315,000

PEACE AND QUIET Linley Close, Newport £100,000

This eight bedroom semi detached property, is in a sought after location in the city centre. Comprising a lounge, dining room and sitting room, playroom, kitchen, family bathroom and front and rear gardens, it also includes off road parking for up to eight vehicles.

Tucked away in a quiet little spot with a private, secluded garden is this three bedroom detached family home.

• Semi Detached House • Eight Bedrooms • Four Reception Rooms

• Semi Detached • Three Bedrooms • Spacious Living Area

• Off Street Parking • City Centre Location • EPC Rating: E

• Storage Sheds • Secluded Garden • EPC Rating: E



AMENITIES ACCESS Churchward Drive, Newport £154,950 - £159,950

WHAT A FIND Priory Grove, Langstone £349,950

A very well presented three bedroom, detached property close to local shops, schools and amenities. The property further benefits from a conservatory, good size rear garden and garage. No chain.

A stunning, five bedroom, modern detached family home set over three floors with double garage, in this popular location of Langstone.

• Detached House • Three Bedrooms • Two Reception Rooms

• Detached House • Five Bedrooms • Three Bathrooms

• Conservatory • Garage • EPC Rating: D



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• Three Levels • Double Garage • EPC Rating: C


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8am - 10pm everyday

CITY CENTRE LIVING Baneswell Courtyard, Newport £94,950 - £99,950 This is a fantastic opportunity to live in the city in a modern, two bedroom end of terrace property. Offering an open plan lounge and dining room, courtyard area and allocated parking.

• End Of Terrace • Two Bedrooms • Lounge/Diner

• Courtyard Area • Allocated Parking • EPC Rating: D


VERY WELL PRESENTED Caerleon Road, Newport £134,950 - £144,950 A very well presented, four bedroom mid terrace property located on Caerleon Road, close to local shops, schools, the M4 junction and Newport City Centre. The property also consists of three reception rooms and kitchen/diner.

• Mid Terrace • Four Bedrooms • Three Receptions

• Two Bathrooms • Kitchen/Diner • EPC Rating: E



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8am - 10pm everyday

SUPERB Baptist Place, Risca £650 PPM This modern build, three bedroom town house is located in Risca. The property comprises of ground floor WC with shower, first floor spacious kitchen with appliances, three bedrooms, study/bedroom four and family bathroom.

• End Of Terrace • Three Bedrooms • Spacious Kitchen

• Study/Bedroom Four • Kitchen Appliances • EPC Rating: B


HOUSE ON THE HILL Barrack Hill, Gwent £675 PPM A well presented semi detached home situated at Barrack Hill, Newport. The property has three good size reception rooms, kitchen, downstairs shower room and WC, with three spacious bedrooms and family bathroom.

• Semi Detached • Three Bedrooms • Three Receptions

• Spacious Kitchen • Family Bathroom • EPC Rating: E



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8am - 10pm everyday

LOVELY FAMILY HOME Willow Drive, Underwood £550 PPM This lovely semi detached family home is situated in this cul de sac position in Underwood. The living accommodation comprises two double bedrooms, modern family bathroom and stylish fitted kitchen.

• Semi Detached House • Two Bedrooms • Lounge/Diner

• Modern Bathroom • Double Driveway • EPC Rating: C


IMMACULATELY PRESENTED Cae Melin, Little Mill £800 PPM This superb detached family residence is situated in this much sought after modern development of Cae Melin, Little Mill, just minutes from excellent road communications.

• Detached House • Four Bedrooms • Spacious Living Area • Utiliy Room • South Facing Garden • Modern Development • EPC Rating: C



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8am - 10pm everyday

SIZE MATTERS Mount Pleasant Terrace, Cross Keys £239,950 - £249,950

This modern new build detached family home is located in a semi rural spot with great views. Size really matters with this, you won't believe the space.

• Detached House • Four Bedrooms • Kitchen/Diner

• Modern Throughout • Parking Bay • EPC Rating: C


COUNTRYSIDE VIEWS Almond Avenue, Risca £79,995 A two bedroom mid terrace home in the popular area of Risca that benefits from off road parking, dining room and rear garden.

• Mid Terrace House • Two Bedrooms • Dining Room • Off Road Parking • Great Location • EPC Rating: C



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8am - 10pm everyday

WE FOUND IT Nantcarn Road, Risca £189,950 - £199,950 What a find! This three bedroom detached family home with stunning views, comprises of ground floor cloakroom, en suite, family bathroom, gardens to front and rear and off road parking for two vehicles.

• Detached House • Three Bedrooms • Two Reception Rooms

• Two Bathrooms • Stunning Views • EPC Rating: C


AMPLE PARKING Penrhiw Road, Risca £249,950 - £259,950 A very well presented, four bedroom detached family home located in Risca. The property also benefits from off road parking for four cars and 1/3 of an acre of land with stables suitable for development (STPP).

• Detached House • Four Bedrooms • Dining Area

• Ample Parking • Chain Free • EPC Rating: D



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Helping you move

Darlows moving checklist  Moving into a new home can be a stressful experience. However, a little bit of forward planning can go a long way towards making your move as smooth as possible. Use our Darlows checklist to make the process easier.

A month before you move Book time off work if necessary. If you are living in rented accommodation give notice to your landlord. Have a clear out. Anything that you don’t need should be recycled, sold at a boot sale or given to charity. Get quotes from removal firms from the British Association of Removers by visiting or get quotes for hiring a van if you plan to move furniture yourself. Obtain packing materials such as newspapers, tissue paper, boxes, cardboard, wrapping, padding and parcel tape. Contact your telephone and utility providers and tell them you’re moving.

Two weeks before you move Contact the removal firm with the final details. Start packing things you rarely use. Phone the telephone company and ask them to connect the phone in your new home. Arrange building insurance and contents insurance for your new home. Tell the local authority that you’re moving.

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One week before you move Pack everything except things that you will need between now and your move. Re-direct your mail. Pay any outstanding bills. Put important and valuable items such as passports, birth certificates and jewellery in a safe place. Obtain a TV licence for your new home.

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The day before you move Finalise last-minute packing. Defrost the fridge and freezer. Disconnect appliances. Check your utility suppliers have switched on your gas, electricity and phone in your new home. Clean the house.

ile Mark frag y rl items clea

Leave a ‘welcome’ card for the people who have bought your house, along with a few local takeaway menus and any instructions they may need. Get a good night’s rest!

Your moving day Ensure you take electricity, gas and water meter readings. Check all appliances are disconnected. Secure all windows and doors before heading to your new home.

To find out about buying and selling from Darlows call 0845 899 4321 8am - 10pm everyday

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DAR | Corp ad | Love your Home

R e s u lt !

The Darlows way gets better results. F or some that means more money in the bank. F or others, t e e r fi d te t t h h e e eed th l e th e happy client.




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Call us 0845 899 4321 to see how we can help you. If you need more information, call us on 0845 899 9999 or visit

Darlows - Loving Your Home  
Darlows - Loving Your Home  

Welcome to the Spring issue of Loving Your Home, the magazine from Darlows estate agents. This issue is jam-packed full of great ideas to he...