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Add colour and fun to your home this January with jolly edging and tassels

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The good news is that we’re more than half way through January; the bad news is there’s still some way to go before we’ve seen the back of this drab, grey month.

Either way, this is a good moment to take up a new interiors trend: tassels and fringes, which can bring much-needed colour and fun to our homes.

Tassels were originally knots used to stop threads coming undone, especially on the ends of woven fabric. Over time they took on a more powerful significance. 

Cheery: Oka's Tarma range has removable tassels. The prints on the sofas and armchairs were inspired by rugs, which is why tassels were included on the bottom edge - attached with Velcro

Cheery: Oka’s Tarma range has removable tassels. The prints on the sofas and armchairs were inspired by rugs, which is why tassels were included on the bottom edge – attached with Velcro

Tassels were worn by Egyptians and priests in ancient times to ward off evil spirits. Pharaoh Tutankhamun was found in his tomb wearing them around his neck.

But it was the French in more modern times who made tassels a fashionable trend.

‘The fringe of today will be far more styled and less casual, and serves as a great way to soften your interior,’ says Andrew Dunning, design director at London Contemporary. 

‘Many homes can be full of hard surfaces, and finishes with soft furnishings are needed to make them feel more liveable.’

If you decide to go with the trend through accessories, use cushions and textiles with tasselled edging. 

For a bold and colourful take, try cushions from the M&S X Fired Earth Casablanca collection, such as the Kubba in ochre (£35). Or choose a soft velour oblong cushion in one of several rich shades, including plum-purple and bottle-green (£14, Next).

If you have already gone to town on colour schemes for walls or sofa fabric, try more muted tones. 

The Kerala tasselled cushion in soft coral (£36, French Connection) or the rust-coloured Roux cushion (£130, Soho Home) will do the trick.

Dunelm’s Fiesta rattan tassel shade (£28, dunelm.com)

Dunelm’s Fiesta rattan tassel shade (£28, dunelm.com)

Fringing is often seen on light fittings, too. ‘It will soften them,’ adds Dunning. ‘Tigermoth Lighting do a great range with fringing in metal.’ Tigermoth uses tiers of chain strands, in bronze, nickel or gold metalwork (from £594).

If you want to stick to fabric, a talking point would be the Mable fringed lampshade by Tinker & Tallulah in leopard print with scalloped edging and an extra- long neon-pink fringe and decadent braid (from £205, Wolf & Badger).

On a budget? Try Dunelm’s playful Fiesta rattan pendant shade (£28) or the Ero velvet pendant (£65, Oliver Bonas).

If you dare, check out Pooky’s flapper lampshade in acanthus blue or goblin green, both using fabric from Sanderson’s archive (from £44).

You can even dress your windows with playful tassels. The Mindra curtains are striking with a block colour and a contrasting bright tassel trim (from £176 a pair, Anthropologie). A single voile panel with a tassel trim makes for a pretty feature (£22, Dunelm).

Designers are adding tassels to seating, too. Go for a fringed border in a bright, contrasting colour around the bottom of a sofa, armchair or dining chair.

The Tarma range at Oka has colourful, removable tassels. The prints on the sofas and armchairs were inspired by rugs, which is why tassels were included on the bottom edge — attached with Velcro.

Sue Jones, Oka’s co-founder, said: ‘Fringing is a great way to add a bold design feature to something simple. Tassels and trims can add a playful edge.

‘We made them detachable so people have a choice. Tassels aren’t always that practical in homes with pets or children. This way, your sofa can adorn its “party skirt” when it suits you and be removed for pared-back or practical moments.’

One stand-out style boasts soft charcoal stripes and metal studding with a border of daring red tassels (£2,395 Oka).

A statement chair from the new artisan collection at KD Loves might turn your head. Each limited-edition piece is handmade by the British craftspeople, using fabrics from the finest artisans around the world. 

The Kelling chair has Indian fabric with multi-coloured tassels around the base (£1,500).

If you’re not in the market for new seating, cheat by draping a tasselled throw over a sofa or chair. Try the Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Cabin throw in rust or ivory (£148) or a Poppy Field throw in pink or blue (£46, French Connection).

Emma Deterding, creative director of Kelling Designs and KD Loves, says: ‘Not only can tassels be used to introduce colour, but it’s a look that helps bring movement and personality into the home, too.’

Savings of the week: Fluffy towels 

Sumptuous: Egyptian cotton towels from Habitat

Sumptuous: Egyptian cotton towels from Habitat

In the last days of the sales, the best bargains are often to be found — in my super-scrimping experience. 

So maybe it’s time to start looking, if you intend to treat yourself to more sumptuous towels for that home spa experience. 

For example, for £20 you can have a four-piece bale of grey towels from Habitat — it was £40 (Argos). 

At Dunelm, Egyptian cotton towels are down by 20 per cent; the colours include burnt orange, ochre and teal. 

Prices range from 96p to £16.80 based on size. Similarly, colourful shades can be found at Piglet In Bed, where towels in a cosy cinnamon colour have been reduced by 20 per cent. Prices are from £3-£23. 

If white and neutrals are more your thing, The White Company has 30 per cent off its waffle-edge towels in pebble and silver, from £4.20 to £44.80. 

The prices of the Christy Refresh line in white and cream have been cut by 60 per cent, with the bath sheet now £15. Here’s to more luxurious bathtimes. 

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‘Britain’s shortest house’ measuring just 6ft 5ins tall which ‘dates back to 1758’ goes to auction

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Room for a little one! ‘Britain’s shortest house’ measuring just 6ft 5ins tall which ‘dates back to 1758’ goes to auction with £70,000 guide price

  • ‘Britain’s shortest house’ is just 6ft 5ins tall and is on the market for only £70K
  • The unique property is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth

‘Britain’s shortest house’ standing at just 6ft 5ins tall has gone on sale – for the relatively small price of £70,000.

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon.

As its name implies, Ye Olde Toll House is a former toll house, which is believed to date back to 1758.

Its yellow exterior is topped off with a thatched roof, covering walls which stand no higher than an average front door.

Despite its miniature size the interior houses an entrance porch, living room, small kitchen, a shower room and one bedroom.

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique 6ft 5ins property, that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique 6ft 5ins property, that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: 'A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating'

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating’

There’s also an outdoor space with a log store area and attic space for extra storage.

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating.

‘This unique single storey property is believed to date back to 1758 and is situated in the popular East Devon village of Newton Poppleford, which is only four miles from the popular seaside town of Sidmouth.

‘The property is likely to be of interest to a home owner or those looking for a lock-up and leave bolt hole. It could also be of interest to investment purchasers.’

Bidding for the property currently sits at £70k.

You can join the auction here.

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That’s potty! Grade II Listed cottage on sale is mocked for having a toilet in a children’ bedroom

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A Grade II listed cottage on sale for £450,000 has been mocked for having a toilet in the middle of one of the bedrooms.

The detached historic home in Colne, near Burnley, Lancashire, boasts a wealth of original features including mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills. 

But home hunters have been scratching their heads at the design choice of a loo and sink in what appears to be a child’s bedroom. 

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side.

Bemused Marie Gardiner said: ‘My friend sent me this from Rightmove and it’s freaking me out.

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side

‘Somehow the layout is wrong in every room. Kid’s bedroom is also a toilet.’

Lydia Jane said: ‘That’s an OCD nightmare. Who builds a shower cubicle in front of a bedroom window?’

Marie added: ‘I thought it was maybe a stand up tanning thing?!

To which Lydia replied: ‘Might be, but still.’

It is listed in the property description which reads: ‘One of the bedrooms is separate to the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.’

The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner and kitchen with a range oven and has a homely feel.

Three of the bedrooms are located in the main building with the fourth in an annex.

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms, and wooden animals in the garden.

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms

The key features include it being in a ‘sought after location,’ having a ‘fully fitted modern kitchen,’ ‘three bedrooms’ and ‘large private gardens.’

It is on the market with Petty Real Estate Agents and being advertised on Rightmove.

The property listing reads: ‘Beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage situated in a highly sought after semi rural location near to the amenities offered by Colne town centre.

‘This historic building which formed part of the old Carry Bridge Hall has a wealth of original features throughout such as, mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills.

‘The property comprises an entrance hallway with storage cupboard, spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace with multifuel stove, spiral staircase and patio doors leading to the garden.

‘Fully fitted kitchen which houses a range of modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor.

‘To the first floor is a landing there are three double bedrooms.

The 'beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage' has three of the bedrooms located in the main building with the fourth in an annex

The ‘beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage’ has three of the bedrooms located in the main building with the fourth in an annex

Th property listing boasts of a 'spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace' and a spiral staircase

Th property listing boasts of a ‘spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace’ and a spiral staircase

The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner with a prial staircase which can be used to access some of the bedrooms

 The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner with a prial staircase which can be used to access some of the bedrooms

The three piece family bathroom has a 'contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout'

The three piece family bathroom has a ‘contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout’

Petty Real Estate Agents, with whom the property is up on the market,  described how the property's kitchen 'has a homely feel'

Petty Real Estate Agents, with whom the property is up on the market,  described how the property’s kitchen ‘has a homely feel’

Original features in this historic home near Burnley, Lancashire include mullion windows

Original features in this historic home near Burnley, Lancashire include mullion windows

The four-bedroom home in the 'sought after location' has patio doors leading to the garden

The four-bedroom home in the ‘sought after location’ has patio doors leading to the garden

The 'fully fitted kitchen' features a 'modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor'

The ‘fully fitted kitchen’ features a ‘modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor’

There is a large private garden area to the rear which is 'mainly laid to the lawn'

There is a large private garden area to the rear which is ‘mainly laid to the lawn’ 

‘One of the bedrooms is separate two the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.

‘Three piece family bathroom has a contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout.

‘Detached annex with lounge & fully fitted kitchen, three piece shower room and double bedroom.

‘Externally there is a driveway leading to a courtyard where there is parking for several vehicles and a detached garage which has power and lighting.

‘The owners have created a woodland activity area which is perfect for your young children. There is a large private garden area to the rear which is mainly laid to the lawn.’

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‘Time capsule’ country house which has been left untouched for decades on sale for £1.65million

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A ‘time capsule’ country house left untouched for decades has gone on the market for £1.65m with 25 acres of overgrown grounds included. 

Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is nearly a century old but has not been lived in for at least 20 years as the current owner, who lives abroad, bought it to use as a retirement home and never got round to it. 

Estate agents Webbers have cleared the terrace around the outdoor swimming pool to show buyers the potential it has.

The house also has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of surrounding Exmoor.

Burnells estate was first built in 1927 for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer. 

The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m

The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m

The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer

The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer

The house in its former glory is quite the sight
It hasn't been lived in for over 20 years

The house has been left to decay for 20 years and is now overgrown and in need of renovation

He served in the Second Boer War and the First World War before going into politics.

Thomson was Secretary of State for Air under Ramsey MacDonald, who made him Baron Thomson in 1924. 

He died in the R101 airship crash on its maiden flight from Britain to France in 1930.

The accident was partly down to Lord Thomson putting pressure on to make the maiden flight before safety checks were complete and adequate flight testing had been done.

It led to the deaths of 48 people and the cancellation of the British airship programme by Thomson’s successor.

The house has an incredible private setting in the countryside, down a country lane between the villages of Dunster and Wootton Courtenay in Somerset.

The house has over 4,000 sq ft of living space with a large entrance hall, kitchen, breakfast room, dining room and a large L-shaped sitting room on the ground floor and eight bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor.

It has plenty of original features including exposed ceiling beams, ornate plasterwork and original fireplaces. 

The kitchen has an oil-fired Aga and adjoining butler’s pantry with original full-height crockery and storage cupboards.

There is also a large garage with a studio above.

The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living

The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living 

The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with

The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with 

The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire - perfect for winter nights

The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire – perfect for winter nights 

Outside the property has a number of slate terraces that would have originally made up the formal gardens and there is a sunken swimming pool from the house’s heyday. 

The grounds include mixed woodland, heathland and paddocks.

Mark Curran, from Webbers, said: ‘The house has not been occupied for at least 20 years and is a time capsule from the era of art deco.

‘The woodland and foliage has grown up around the property and offers people the possibility of a virtual blank canvas for their own preference and ideas.

‘The interior of the house could be remodelled to suit more modern tastes or enlarged.’

The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds

The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds

The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park

The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park

The owner Robert Berg said: ‘I was over in the UK for business and staying in a hotel that I really disliked, so I asked my accountant to help me find a home for when I was here.

‘I purchased the property back in 1979 and lived there permanently until 1983. I’ve used it as my holiday home ever since, until personal circumstances changed for me in recent years.

‘Unfortunately, I have not been back as often as I would have liked, so I think the time is right for me to move on and let new owners breathe life back into it. It is in need of renovation but I know it will make a truly unique home.

‘This is not a normal house; it must have been a very expensive project when it was built and it was constructed in the most perfect manner set over five slate terraces.

‘There is a swimming pool on the second terrace that is a wonderful luxury. Surrounded by woodland and beautiful trees, it offers a most welcome escape from the stresses of day-to-day life.

‘Views from the house are far reaching over scenic countryside that changes with the passing seasons.

‘Access to the property is via a private road which is about 500m long and not many people know that it’s here unless they are coming to visit.

‘I have loved my time living here, it’s been a really wonderful house, and I wish the new owners all the very best.’

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