Foldaway Rooms

No room at home to work? No room for a kitchen? No room for Great Aunt Ethel to stay?

No problem, thanks to the slightly odd, very Japanese and super space efficient creations of Architect Toshihiko Suzuki and his ‘Architectural Furniture’.

Architectural Furniture

His three designs, a foldaway office, kitchen and guest room offer a neat solution to limited space, or as the website suggests in charming Engrish: “We positions the infill as an immediate adaptive method to fit changes”. But of course. Confused? Watch the video:

And before you start lamenting that this is just one more in a long line of design prototypes, all nice and shiny on screen but sadly absent in the real world… Stop. Right. Now.

Because the Foldaway Office is on Amazon, you lucky people! Although it is only available in Japan, it’s 800,000 Yen, and the translatorbot seems to think it’s a collapsed frog…

Foldaway furniture on

Student landlords take note – buy a brace of these and you could increase your student-per-room ratio tenfold!

[via: Treehugger]

September 23, 2008 at 3:08 PM 1 comment

Millionnaire Moves out of Haunted House, Knight Frank moves for Sale

It seems like Halloween may have come early given the ghostly goings-on at one Nottinghamshire mansion.

Now I doubt I’ll be saying this too often, but surely you’ve got to pity the poor millionaire who bought the 52-room pile (for a cool £3.6 million) in the belief he’d be breaking a sweat in the exclusive gym, enjoying the delights of a private cinema and sharing the 17 bedrooms with just his wife and four kids.

But apparently some unwelcome guests (of the spectral variety) weren’t too keen when it came to the new inhabitants, as they terrorised Anwar Rashid and his family for the eight months they managed to stick it out at Clifton Hall.

From eerie voices, to shapeshifting phantoms taking the form of their children, when the distraught family discovered spots of blood on their baby’s blanket they knew it was time to get the hell out of Dodge.

Mr Rashid told The Independent: “That was the day my wife said she’d had enough. We didn’t stay that night. It was the last straw, we felt they had come to attack us. It was really emotional.”


And who were they gonna call? Er- the bank it would seem. They did try some ghostbusters first though, in the form of the Ashfield Paranormal Investigation Network, who agreed that the mansion- which dates back to the Norman conquest- was indeed creepy and haunted.

But Mr Rashid felt that the only way out of the nightmare scenario was to stop paying the mortgage. That was back in January.

It’s now September and the bank has evidently taken the hint and repossessed – oh the irony!- the paranormal property. Knight Frank has been given the job of marketing it.

Good luck with selling that on. Of course, there’s still the ghost of a chance some ghoul-loving moneybags will take on the haunted house. And in the current climate what better ammunition for driving a bargain?

Have you ever fallen victim to things that go bump in the night? Would you willingly move into a property already occupied by some spooky spirits? Would it make a difference if they were friendly (like Casper) or the price was too good to resist? Let us know what you think.

September 22, 2008 at 5:21 PM 3 comments

Divine help to sell your house!

The witty Royals of Rent blog reveals that negotiators at Falcon and Foxglove (Burnley) have taken to burying statues of St Joseph in the gardens of properties they’re trying to sell.

St Joseph? Despite many years enduring the tender ministrations of Sisters of Mercy, Christian Brothers, Jesuits and Dominicans, this is a new one on me.


But a quick Google of St Joseph does indeed reveal that he’s the patron saint of carpentry, property and home sales (he’s also the man to get in touch with if you want an easy death, but let’s move quickly on…)

There’s quite a little cottage industry out there on the interweb flogging St Joseph home sale kits to the devout and the desperate – take your pick from:

The Catholic Company: St Joseph Home Sale Kit

St Joseph Statue

Or my own particular favorite:

Discount Catholic Products: Home Help Kits

Once you have your statue, you bury yer man in the garden (upside down according to some), say a quick prayer, and stand well back to avoid being trampled by the stampede of heaven-sent buyers …

But does it work? Howard Baker of Falcon & Foxglove told Estate Agent Today: “Very few houses were selling and we just thought it was worth a try.

“When the first house sold within four days I thought it was a coincidence, but the second sale happened only days later, followed by the third shortly afterwards.

“We are always looking for new ways of marketing properties and making them more saleable, so we are willing to try anything that helps to sell houses.”

Woooh! Spooky!

If this really does work we could have a whole new way of selling houses … caveat emptor be damned, caveat atheist more like….

But what I really want to know is this: why, oh why, didn’t someone tell the DCLG about St Joseph before they went to all the trouble of introducing Home Information Packs … they could have introdcued Heavenly Information Packs instead.


September 19, 2008 at 5:36 PM Leave a comment

Laurence Llewellyn Bowen creates chair and goes green for charity

We like clever designs at FindaProperty. And we like smart, green ideas.  So when a marriage of the two comes to our attention, we like to share the joy.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure that we bring to your attention the Can Can Chair, a regal looking affair (albeit toytown-sized) that is made entirely from recycled drinks cans.

pic: Treehugger

Can Can Chair

Okay, so we admit that the fuchsia hue and celestial winged pattern might not be to everyone’s taste.

And it doesn’t look like the most comfortable piece of furniture ever made although it’d probably do your posture the world of good.

But given that its designer was Laurence Llewelyn–Bowen, the foppish, long-haired fellow from Changing Rooms, maybe we should just be grateful that it doesn’t come in a garish shade of purple.

Flamboyant Laurence, who was responsible for some of the most outlandish makeovers seen on the TV series – and the ensuing anguish – seems to have left controversy behind with this nifty idea which demonstrates how recycling and design can work together.

Even better, come next year when vivid pink thrones will be soooo last year, the chair can be melted down and used to create something completely new. Clever, huh?

Laurence’s recycled chair will be auctioned off later in the year with all proceeds going to charity.

September 19, 2008 at 2:47 PM Leave a comment

I Love the Smell Of Formaldehyde in the Morning

Consider this. It’s 1952. You live in Boswell, British Columbia, and you’ve spent 35 years working as a mortician in the local funeral parlour.

Now it’s time to retire. But how are you going to make the most of your twilight years?

David H. Brown could have spent them trout fishing in the local lakes, but instead he decided to wander around western Canada collecting empty embalming fluid bottles from his friends in the funeral business.

Empty embalming fluid bottles? Yes. You read that right. And when he’d collected half a million of the square-shaped bottles, he used them to build himself a house. As you do.


The end result – a bizarre crennelated retreat – is certainly impressive, not least when you consider that this kind of thing was probably enough to get you sectioned back in the 1950s.

Brown, as far as we know, managed to escape the attentions of the local nurse Ratched, and left to his own devices he built something that’s half eco-home, half macabre artistic installation.

Sharks in tanks? Earthships? Mr Brown, a true pioneer, got there long before Damien Hirst and Mike Reynolds, and for that we salute him.

The house is still a private residence, but according to that great gazetteer of stateside weirdness,, it’s open to the public in the summer.

If I ever make it to BC I’ll be sure to pay a visit … as an added bonus, the world’s largest standing cuckoo clock is just down the road in Kimberley.  It features “Happy Hans,” who yodels enthusiastically every hour.

A house made from embalming fluid bottles and Bavarian timepieces that yodel: now that’s what I call perfect holiday happiness.

More here: Ecofriend

September 18, 2008 at 10:05 AM 2 comments

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