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28Dec

BRILLIANT COLOUR IDEAS FOR YOUR HOME

The colours you choose for your home will play a large role in determining the feel of each room. When planning an interior makeover you should always choose a specific colour scheme and incorporate this into your design concept. Some people have an eye for colour and instinctively know which colours look good together. However, if you’re not sure what colours work well together, it is a good idea to use a colour wheel to help understand how different colours interact with each other.

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Firstly, decide what look you would like to create in your home. Modern? Vintage? Earthy? Think about what best reflects your personality and fits with the things you own. Terracotta and ocher are perfect for an earthy scheme while muted shades will help you achieve that vintage feel. Contemporary look can be achieved by opting for intense palette of colours like violet or lime green. 










If you are aiming to create a relaxing space, select a harmonious or tonal colour scheme. If you are using a colour wheel, opt for colours that are adjacent to each other. 






If you would like to add drama, opt for a complementary scheme, where you choose two colours that sit opposite each other on the
colour wheel.








Colour can also help to optically enlarge small space. One way you can do this is by using a single neutral shade for walls and floors throughout. You can change the colour in each room of the house but make sure you choose tones that naturally complement each other. Start with the hallway when selecting colours in order to create a flow throughout the space.








You can also use colour to draw attention away from any architectural flaws. Unappealing items such as heaters can be camouflaged by painting them the same colour as the walls. Hang a large painting or use a dramatic colour to create a central point of the room and divert attention from unwanted features. 



Once you have made your decision, stick with it. There’s no point undoing all of your good work with a wrongly coloured impulse purchase. Take a picture of your furniture or samples of fabrics you need to match when you go shopping for paint colours or interior items. As you settle into your colour scheme, you’ll soon find it easy to pick pieces that work within your colours and keep the harmony of your home.



07Dec


3 steps to make your garden wildlife-friendly this winter



hedgehog

During the colder months your outdoor space can be a safe haven for birds, insects and hedgehogs. Follow these simple tips to

make your garden wildlife friendly.

FEED THE BIRDS

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For hibernating wildlife, food isn't so important once winter has set in but for birds the food you put out can be a lifeline, especially as the season goes on and berries are increasingly in short supply. Try to put food out in the same place every day so the birds get to know where to come.

On sunny days at the end of autumn and beginning of spring you will see bees around, so late and very early-flowering plants are a real help. Ivy is in flower at this time of year and bulbs, which you can plant now, are a good source of food for bees early in the spring – fritillaries, crocus and snowdrops can all be buzzing with bees on a sunny day.

bird feeders


CREATE SHELTER



Wildlife homes such as bee houses are widely available to buy, but one of the best ways to offer protection, whether it's for bees or hedgehogs, is to create habitats in the sunniest, most sheltered spot you can find.

      • A stack of bricks and pots will provide a home for toads and newts.
      • Sticks and logs are great for hedgehogs and insects.
      • Bees in particular love old wood with lots of little hidey-holes, left in a sunny place.
      • And leaves piled up will be great for hedgehogs, frogs and toads.


 

DO NOT DISTURB




Whether it's not raking up leaves to make a bonfire, or foregoing cutting down the perennials in December, the best thing you can do for wildlife once the garden is set, is to leave it all undisturbed until well into the spring. It's not just the leaves in the flowerbeds or the old flower stems that will provide food and shelter, even the corners of a shed may have butterflies overwintering, or a sunny wall may be harbouring bees or ladybirds.

There's one exception as we go in to early winter, look out for small, under 650g, hedgehogs, especially if you see them out in the daytime. These are young and will not survive winter without help. If you find one call your local hedgehog rescue for advice.

Source: House Beautiful




03Dec

Moving from strength to strength !

We are delighted to report that our new office in the beatiful Dartmoor town of Ashburton is now open.  After months of careful planning we are now officialy open for business in what was the towns old Natwest bank premises. Our new office can be found at 19 East Street, Ashburton and we can be contacted on 01364 652652.


We are delighted that we now have a flagship premises in the heart of the town and combine this with our experience, professionalism and passion for property  and we have the perfect receipe to get properties sold.


Why not pop in and see our stunning offices, sit down and have a cup of tea with us we would love to see you.


30Nov

Some simple steps from the National Association of Estate Agents to ensure you don't miss out on a buyer this winter.



During the winter, when the days are shorter, the house market is renowned for being quieter, as many sellers postpone putting their house on the market until the spring.

However, this doesn’t mean buyers stop searching, so sellers should do everything they can to market their property in the best possible light.

By following a few simple steps, sellers can ensure their property looks and feels attractive to capture a buyer this winter.

Don’t forget about the exterior

Make sure the property looks well maintained and cared for from the outside, with windows and walls freshly washed to remove any dirt. Clear the path of leaves and make sure there isn’t any ice on the paths that could cause potential buyers to slip. The first seconds upon arriving at the property are the most important in terms of impacting the buyer’s decision.

Keep entryways clutter-free and clean

As rain is falling outside, keep your home clean and tidy inside. Make sure there is a door mat present for visitors to wipe their shoes and remove any wellington boots from the front door mat, so potential buyers won’t trip over them.

Let there be light

With shorter days during the winter months, it is crucial to maintain a good level of lighting in your home to make it inviting for visitors, especially during evening viewings to create a warm and cosy ambience – and that includes outdoor lighting too. Make sure you should check all bulbs are working prior to a viewing.

A warm welcome

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and decorating your home may encourage potential buyers to stay longer – and having a roaring fire going can create a warming feel. Don’t go too overboard with the tinsel though, as you don’t want your property to look over-cluttered. Buyers should be able to envisage themselves living in your home, so it pays to make it as inviting as possible. Smell is also important, so putting out a diffuser or some freshly cut flowers works really well.

Garden space

A messy garden can detract buyers, as it looks like lots of work needs to be done. The winter weather can also tire garden furniture, and make it look unsightly. If possible, clear patio furniture away, if not, ensure they are securely covered. It’s worth spending a few hours trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, removing fallen leaves and dead plants to make a tidy outdoor space. It is also a good idea to trim back overhanging branches, particularly those blocking the windows in order to encourage as much light into the property as possible. Increased rainfall over the winter months take its toll on guttering too, so check the gutters and drain covers are properly cleared of dead leaves and other debris, as leaky gutters and down pipes cause damage and are unappealing.

Tackle the DIY jobs you have been putting off

Make sure all small maintenance jobs have been made prior to putting your house on the market – such as fixing leaky taps or painting over cracks on the walls.  Despite the fact you might not notice it, potential buyers will and fresh internal décor and paintwork goes a long way.

Winter break

If you are planning to get some winter sun and have a holiday booked, don’t forget the heating in your home should be left on at a low temperature (minimum of 15°c), in order to prevent the pipes from freezing. If you are away for a long period and don’t want to keep the heating on 24/7, make sure it is set on a timer. Longer spells at a lower temperature can be more economical than shorter blasts at a higher temperature. This will ensure there are no problems upon your return to be dealt with before showing your home to prospective buyers.

David Mackie is president of National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)


25Nov

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No picture will match what a property is like in reality, but given the majority of house searches begin online these days, you can’t afford to use poor images and hope people decide to visit regardless! This is harder than it seems, as not everyone can take a good picture. So, give house-hunters a compelling reason to arrange a viewing by making your home look its absolute best.

1. Call in the professionals! Estate agents either know how to take the right image or they commission a photographer who does. They also know which areas of your home to put in the spotlight as they will have an idea of the type of buyer your property will attract.

2. Prepare your home first. Before anyone photographs your rooms, make them look their best – dirty dishes in the sink or mucky floors will still be present in a good photo! A thorough clean and declutter will showcase the space rather than your personal items and furniture. 

3. Soften your rooms with flowers. Thoughtfully placed vases full of flowers can add a welcome splash of colour or a touch of elegance. Flowers are a good reminder that that not all items are clutter; arrangements can give an impression of delicate fragrances and a loved home. 





4. The right equipment will make all the difference. Although iPhones can take fantastic images, you can do so much more with a digital camera. In addition, tripods hold the camera steady and remove any chance of a shaky hand and a blurry photo. 

5. Following some basic principles of photography will result in fantastic images. Think about framing your image; symmetry is often appealing, so avoid unbalanced photos with bare spaces on one side and chaotic furniture on the other. Think about the angle too; you can create a journey through your house by keeping a living room in the foreground and drawing the eye outside to patio space, for example. Although cropping shouldn’t compromise the honesty of an image, it may be that removing a distraction will make better images.





6. Natural light is your friend. Rather than bright overhead ceiling or wall-mounted lights which cast a variety of often unflattering shadows, natural light will work better and will give your home a light, spacious feel. Interior design photographs are often a fair guide to good aesthetics, so take a look at the lighting they use and follow some of the current trends.





7. Choose the right time of day: morning or early afternoon are the best times as the light will be lower and softer. Experimenting at different hours by yourself, ahead of any professional shots, is a good way to explore the different feels lighting can give your home.

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8. Find the optimal angle. Wider shots from a kneeling angle will reduce the amount of floor or ceiling you typically get in a photo taken from a standing position, after all, these are hardly the focal points. If you do take wider shots, avoid the distorted fishbowl effect as it has an untrustworthy feel. 





9. A few detail shots would be ideal for conveying the character of the house; focus on a cornice or unique fireplace, perhaps. A few artful photos will give your property a magazine feature feel and entice viewers. Make sure there is a balance though – all feature shots can be frustrating since they don’t give an accurate or very realistic impression of your home when viewed alone.

10. The features included should be carefully considered – not all need to be photographed. Ceiling fans are good example of an unnecessary inclusion: they aren’t a fixed feature and if the buyer doesn’t like them they can be removed, so don’t put them off before they have a chance to view the property!


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