Posts filed under ‘Interiors’
An eco-friendly property has many benefits, writes Morris Homes’ managing director Chris Lilley.
As energy prices continue to rise, finding a property that is energy efficient is moving higher up the list of priorities for buyers who want to minimise their monthly payments, writes Chris Lilley, managing director of Morris Homes.
In addition to wanting to reduce living costs, buyers are also becoming more socially aware of the impact that their choices are having on the environment. From choosing more eco-friendly cars to diligently recycling household waste, we’re all aware of the need to reduce our energy consumption.
The UK’s largest carbon village in Peterborough - Vista – was launched to help identify new solutions for building homes that are not only environmentally friendly, but are stylish and affordable for buyers. The development was recently named as the Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative at the Housebuilder awards.
Inside, the properties at Vista look no different to any new home. They’re spacious, light, warm, comfortable, and designed around modern lifestyles.
However, under the skin of the properties is a range of energy-saving technology designed to reduce carbon emissions by 74 per cent compared to a similar sized property and help buyers save up to £310 per year on their energy bills (based on final As-Designed SAP calculations and British Gas energy prices in January 2013).
For example, every home has solar panels to generate electricity, a rainwater harvesting system to provide water for flushing toilets, and an advanced boiler that recovers and recycles waste heat.
The commitment to the environment continues outside of the properties, with a dedicated composting area, bicycle storage and recycling facilities installed at every property to encourage residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle. There are also 2.7 acres of public gardens and wetlands around the development to reduce the impact on the biodiversity of the site.
To help residents further reduce their carbon footprint every buyer also receives a £250 voucher to buy a bicycle, or a six-month bus pass.
All of these measures will also help towards the Government’s target of reducing carbon emissions from UK homes by 29 per cent by 2020.
Vista was launched last year, and the first buyers have now moved into their properties. Buyers have already told us that their energy bills to date have been dramatically reduced compared to their previous homes.
We’ve now moved on to the next phase of the site and have recently launched a selection of four-bedroom homes to encourage families to move to Vista for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
David Beckham and Gordon Ramsay have cemented their friendship with the opening of a new restaurant in an upcoming corner of South East London.
Union Street Café is due to open on Monday, September 16, with an official launch party in the following weeks that is likely to see most of the Beckham and Ramsay clans in attendance.
Zoopla has been given an exclusive sneak preview of the stunning venue, designed exclusively by Russell Sage.
The feel of the interiors is undisputedly ‘relaxed urban’, with suggestions that the waiting staff may wear Converse footwear – while the menu will be Mediterranean.
The opening of the restaurant comes amid the transformation of the once run-down derelict confines of SE1.
The area rests in the shadows of the recently erected and now iconic Shard building, with businesses such as Murdoch’s British newspapers and Zoopla now calling it home.
The area certainly has a buzz about it, and so it is unsurprising that house prices are high. Extremely smart two bedroom flats can reach as much as £2m.
The average value of a flat in SE1 is £542,732, with a typical detached property in the region of £730,387, according to Zoopla.
Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “The Shard has lifted the whole area and had a positive knock-on effect. People visit and then go for dinner locally afterwards, which is good for local restaurants and the art scene has also improved as artists move from Shoreditch.
“There are pockets of wealth developing which we haven’t seen in the past and this is increasingly attracting new buyers, investment and improved transport links to the area.”
Two bedroom flat for sale in SE1 for £2m
Two bedroom house for sale for £849,500
Two bedroom house for sale for £699,950
Twenty years ago a bathroom was considered a functional room in the family home – necessary but not a priority. All that has changed: these days we spend more time in, and money on, our bathrooms. They are bigger – one developer reports that the size of their bathrooms has increased by 20-25 per cent in the past five years – and there isn’t a hint of avocado in the colour scheme. They help sell homes.
There is also an increasing range of techno gadgetry to employ in today’s modern bathroom: underfloor heating keeps the tootsies warm, while fixed speakers in the ceiling allow you to listen to music while soaking in the tub with the lights dimmed. As we’re working longer hours, often in more stressful conditions, our bathrooms have become more indulgent.
“When I started as an agent, bathrooms and kitchens were not as important as they are now,” says Rollo Miles, manager of the Ladbroke Grove office of John D Wood. “About 12 to 15 years ago all this changed. Out went the plastic bathroom suits and in came what I call the ‘designer spaces’.”
At the very top end of the market, statement bathrooms now resemble mini spas, sanctuaries where stress is soothed away. These designs are imitations of what is being experienced in five-star hotels: the size of living rooms, they come with rainfall showers, hot tubs and large plasma screens.
Barton Wyatt agency is currently selling a Wentworth home featuring gadgetry that allows you to start a bath and set the temperature from your iPhone, meaning you can hop on the train after work and jump straight into a steaming hot bath. Showers are also appearing with lights that turn on when the water has reached a pre-set temperature, like an oven. Guy Shaw of the Oxford Branch of John D Wood reports visiting one bathroom recently that had two pre-set temperature settings: one for the wife and one for the husband. The sign of a very precise couple indeed.