Posts filed under ‘Interiors’
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.
“For sale – an eighty sq m apartment with a drop-down master bedroom suite, wall mounted desk-cum-spare bed, sunken sitting room, pop-down cinema, dining room hidden in the floor, a kitchen-in-a-cupboard and a wine cellar in the floor. Must be seen to be believed.”
That’s how the latest launch by Yo! Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe (pictured, below) might be described on Zoopla in coming decades if the hotel and restaurant millionaire can get his tardis-like housing idea off the ground.
Launched last week at interiors show 100% Design in London, Woodroffe has drawn on Japan’s tradition of flexible living spaces to create a two-bed 320 sq metre house within the footprint of a small one-bedroom flat using space saving technology taken from yachts, cars and stage scenery.
To prove his point an apartment featuring all of his ideas, which he’s called Yo! Home, was built at the show and seen by 100% Design’s 25,000 visitors.
So how does it work? The bedroom suite drops down to hide a sunken lounge (so beware leaving your cat or partner asleep on the sofa when turning in for the night), a dining suite which rises out of the floor, a kitchen within a cupboard and a spare bed that doubles as a desk.
But, while few ideas like this make it into bricks and mortar, Woodroffe has a track record of turning his brainwaves into multi-million pound businesses including his Yo! Shushi restaurants and Yotel chain – so perhaps that estate agent description isn’t so far off as we might think. No concrete plans, ahem, have been revealed for when the first Yo! Home properties will be available, but it’s likely to be apartments built within an existing development, rather than Woodroffe building a block of his own Yo! Homes.
You might think grey is the new blue at the moment as author EL James’s racy novels take the world by storm and ‘fifty shades of’ enters the sexual lexicon.
But research by online retailer Littlewoods.com has revealed that in reality (rather than fantasy) purple is the leading turn on for couples when in their bedrooms, if interior decoration is anything to go by.
In a saucy piece of research the company asked 2,000 adults how many times they had sex a week and the dominant colour in their bedroom. Those enjoying the most regular love making have purple bedrooms (3.49 times a week on average) followed by red (3.18), sky blue (3.14), pink (3.02) and black (2.99).
And to hammer the point home, so to speak, interior design Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen has chipped in to point out that he’s “for years been telling British homeowners that a beige bedroom makes for a beige sex life”.
But do British homeowners really go for purple in a big way? Here are six of the best purple bedrooms for sale at the moment. If they take your fancy and a viewing follows, do tell them where you saw it for sale – you know, that purple property website.
Some say it’s a property market with no foundations built on shifting sands but despite often having no running water and cramped living conditions, Britain’s beach huts are rapidly reaching castle-like prices.
Last month an 18ft wooden hut overlooking the Solent on Mudeford beach near Christchurch – the Knightsbridge of the beach hut world – fetched £170,000 after going on the market for two days. And this week an 11ft former fisherman’s hut with views of Lyme Bay and Chesil beach in Dorset (and the Olympic sailing area) was put up for sale at £75,000 through eBay.
But not all such beach retreats are so expensive. So here’s some of the more alluring but affordable if you have a yen for hitting the huts. All these properties, like almost all beach retreats in the UK, are available on year-long leases negotiated (usually) annually and not available for overnight use.
1. Price: £69,000.
Where: Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk
What: Recently rebuilt beach hut (2010) at the end of Holkham beach where dogs are allowed.
2. Price: £60,000
Where: Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk
What: Hut on a raised platform close to the beach car park west of the local Lifeboat Station.
3. Price: £57,500
Where: Wells-Next-The –Sea, Norfolk
What: Partly-refurbished cabin on the popular and dog-free Holkham end of Wells-Next-The-Sea beach.
4. Price: £33,500
Where: Portland Bill, Portland off Weymouth
What: Medium size hut that’s shabby chic on the outside, Cath Kidston inside.
5. Price: £25,000
Where: Old Hunstanton, West Norfolk
What: Cute, single room hut overlooking gorgeous sand dunes rebuilt in 2008.
6. Price: £22,500
Where: Tankerton, Whitstable, Kent
What: Large seafront raised hut 15 minutes by foot from central Whitstable along the town’s esplanade.
7. Price: £20,000
Where: Alum Chine, Bournemouth, Dorset
What: Extremely pretty 2010 built beach hut on a hillside overlooking a sandy beach in front of the shops and other amenities of a small village.
8. Price: £22,000
Where: Church Ope Cove, Portland, Dorset
What: Hut clinging to a hillside overlooking a rugged bay on the east coast of Portland isle.
9. Price: £17,500
Where: Whits End, Tankerton, Kent
What: Attractive powder blue furnished beach hut to the east of Whitstable a short walk from Chestfield & Swalecliffe railway station.
10. Price: £13,950
Where: Ferring Beach, West Sussex
What: Front row beach hut on the fashionable western side of Worthing on Ferring Beach, famous for its long-established foodie haven the Bluebird Cafe.