Connect with us

Current

Bring nature into your home with delicate plant and leaf patterns 

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Florals have always been a mainstay of our homes. 

They are reassuringly familiar, providing boldness through their colour and offering some much-needed cheer, given our habitually grey climate.

But botanicals offer just as striking a look, whether immortalised in fabric, wallpaper, etched on glass, or woven into carpet, and the look is much more romantic. Here’s how to incorporate them into your home.

Your better nature: This Andrew Martin Lucifer headboard in melon orange Friendly Folk fabric costs from £1,125, andrewmartin.co.uk

Your better nature: This Andrew Martin Lucifer headboard in melon orange Friendly Folk fabric costs from £1,125, andrewmartin.co.uk

WALLS THAT WOW

Patterned carpet has come a long way from the pub look of the 1970s. Botanical prints, paired with block-coloured walls, provide a contemporary note and add an element of interest to a room.

The design studio Timorous Beastie, which specialises in dramatic textiles and wallpapers, has produced an eye-catching Yellow Ruskin Butterfly carpet with a pop of bright red (£73.99 sqm).

Rugs, too, are a good way to bring botanicals inside, especially when against a dark wooden floor. 

Benuta’s Rug Jardin features charming parrots sitting among tropical trees adds a touch of the exotic (£113.95), while Dunelm’s Banana Leaf rug in blue and grey comes with tassel detailing (from £12).

When it comes to walls, designer Vanessa Arbuthnott’s Herbaceous Border in Soft Raspberry, a pick from her new Botanical Collection, lends itself perfectly as a statement-making wall covering (£57 a metre, vanessaarbuthnott.co.uk).

Artist Rachel Dein, who showcases and sells her celebrated botanical plaster casts every year at the Chelsea Flower Show, is passionate about how her work on people’s ceiling roses, cornices and wall panels, mean she becomes part of the architecture of a client’s home.

Sitting pretty: Jimena chair, £998 from Anthropologie

Sitting pretty: Jimena chair, £998 from Anthropologie

‘Plants and botanical images have been around since cave paintings,’ she says. ‘It was popularised by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, who were inspired by the medieval period. 

Every decade fashions have changed, but plants have always been depicted,’ (from £36).

STATEMENT FURNITURE

Megan Holloway, marketing manager at Sofa Workshop, says: ‘If oversized prints take your fancy, why not go for an armchair or sofa in a striking fabric that harnesses the colours and shapes of fine florals and foliage? 

‘Not only will this refresh your space with a combination of zesty designs, but it will create a beautiful focal point all year-round.’

Anthropologie’s Jimena occasional chair will do just this. Birds and botanicals have been skilfully embroidered into the chairs (£998). If you fancy even more colour, why not go for Seletti Botanical Diva Armchair White (£1,325).

HIT THE TILES

‘Botanicals resonate with something at our core,’ says Jess Harrington, a botanical plaster artist who immortalises pendulous poppy seed heads, hydrangeas, wild carrot and unfurling fern heads on tiles, greeting cards, and clock faces (from £3).

‘You get to see plants in a different way when it’s not all about flowers and colour, but instead becomes about appreciating structure and texture.’

GORGEOUS GLASS

A common misconception is that because the natural world is the subject matter, green must always be dominant. Plenty of products prove this is not the case. 

Take, for example, the elegant, weightless, finely etched ferns that float onto the side of glassware by The Vintage List, who sell champagne coupes through to tumblers in this motif (from £25). 

Fancy a bit of colour? Go for Sara Miller’s Chelsea Wine Glass Set of four for Portmeirion which are decorated with tiny gold leaves (reduced from £51 to £25.50).

THE OUTSIDE IN

One can introduce botanicals into the home by bringing them in.

With companies such as Patch Plants, selecting the right species has never been simpler (from £3).

An unusual way of making room for greenery is by collecting herbariums, collections of preserved plants.

Alice Wawrik, who sources unusual collectables for discerning clients, sells them for £440 at by-alice.co.uk.

‘Traditionally, a herbarium is a collection of labelled dried flowers and plant specimens, these are exactly that, but with a decorative twist enabling us to bring a bit of nature into the home,’ she says.

What your home really needs is a… liquid soap dispenser 

Harrods offers the £379 Riviere dispenser (pictured) with a leather quilted cover (harrods.com)

Harrods offers the £379 Riviere dispenser (pictured) with a leather quilted cover (harrods.com)

Even people who always prioritised hygiene are washing their hands much more often. And as this is set to continue, now is the time to elevate the experience.

Your home does not need more plastic liquid soap bottles. Instead, it needs elegant pump-action dispensers that can be re-filled. These are kinder to the planet and will be cheaper in the long-term.

Liquid soap was patented in the 1860s. But it was more than a century later when it was popularised by the Softsoap company, now part of the U.S. giant Colgate-Palmolive, which makes Sanex. 

The British bestseller is Carex, owned by PZ Cussons, which has been around for 25 years.

If you want to, well, splash out, Harrods offers the £379 Riviere dispenser with a leather quilted cover. 

If you are going green, try Dunelm’s £10 recycled glass option (dunelm.com). Recycled brown glass dispensers (£15 for two) are available from Wearth London.

The white and grey Joseph Joseph dispenser, £12, from Argos has a slightly space-age look — appropriate since astronauts use liquid soap for their ablutions.

ANNE ASHWORTH

Source link

Current

Could equity release be used to help more younger homebuyers?

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Younger first-time buyers could be given more financial help from the Bank of Grandma and Grandad, through the use of improved equity release products, a new report suggests.

The document written by Tom McPhail, of consultancy The Lang Cat, claimed that younger buyers are missing out because older members of their family are unable to satisfactorily tap into their property wealth.

Mr McPhail said: ‘Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations.

‘An equity release by grandparents of say £20,000 now, could be transformational for a 20 something struggling to raise a deposit and get on the housing ladder but would make only a very modest dent to the value of the grandparent’s house.’

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

The report acknowledged that equity release has endured a poor reputation in the past after customers suffered ‘severe’ financial knocks.

The sector has been criticised for encouraging people to take on debt, particularly later on in life.

There has also been other concerns about equity release, such as customers falling into negative equity where the value of a property is less than the loan taken out against it when house prices fall.

The report suggested that while the equity release sector has since begun to put ‘its house in order’, it is ‘still not perfect’ and some regulatory safeguards need to be strengthened.

It called for several issues to be looked at, including early redemption charges on equity release products.

It said that most providers apply a simple sliding scale of charges, for example 10 per cent in year on to 1 per cent in year 10.

However, it claimed that some providers apply an early redemption charge based on prevailing gilt rates at that time, putting customers at an ‘unfair disadvantage’.

This is because the fees are not transparent as there is no way a customer can know in advance whether they’d be liable for a charge and if so, how much. 

In the past, customers have also fallen foul of the small print on their equity release loans when it comes to early-redemption penalties – such as couples who must pay an exit fee unless both of them need to go into care.

The report also raised questions about interest rates on equity release products. It said providers should be consistent with their lending criteria and not move the goalposts after customers have taken out a loan, as this can make it harder for them to access a top-up loan in the future, potentially forcing them to remortgage. 

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

The report argued that equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder.

Mr McPhail added: ‘Raising a deposit has become an increasingly significant barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations.

‘Releasing some of the equity in a property allows older homeowners to choose when and how they share their wealth with the younger generation.

‘This more targeted approach gives them greater control to use their assets to the maximum benefit at the point of need.’

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report's author Tom McPhail

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report’s author Tom McPhail

Equity release: How it works and advice

To help readers considering equity release, This is Money has partnered with Age Partnership+, independent advisers who specialise in retirement mortgages and equity release. 

Age Partnership+ compares deals across the whole of the market and their advisers can help you work out whether equity release is right for you – or whether there are better options, such as downsizing. 

Age Partnership+ advisers can also see if those with existing equity release deals can save money by switching. 

You can compare equity release rates and work out how much you could potentially borrow with This is Money’s new calculator powered by broker Age Partnership+.* 

 * Partner link

Jonathan Harris, of mortgage broker Forensic Property Finance, said: ‘Equity release has historically been viewed as a ‘murky’, high-risk sector, fuelled by minimal regulation, poorly-qualified advisers, only a handful of lenders and extortionately high interest rates.

‘Fast forward to today and we see a dramatically transformed sector, benefiting from strict regulation, highly-qualified advisers, multiple lenders and access to very competitive interest rates. 

‘Not surprisingly, equity release is now a viable and growing market for older borrowers looking to utilise the gains seen on property prices to bolster lifestyles, as well as pass on wealth to children when they need it.

‘Those considering equity release should make sure they understand the implications and involve family in any decision-making. It is always important to seek advice from suitably-qualified advisers.’

It comes as a separate report by Legal & General suggested that one in every £90 spent by retired Britons is funded by equity release.

It said that equity release funded an estimated £3billion in retirement spending last year, although it didn’t mentioned the money going to younger generations towards buying a property.

Instead, the report’s survey of 2,000 homeowners found that those with equity release have most frequently used the product to finance home improvements, at 26 per cent.

It said equity release is also being used to support costs such as medical expenses at 17 per cent, maintaining living standards in retirement at 16 per cent, and paying off personal debt at 16 per cent, for example paying off interest-only mortgages. 

It suggested that equity release is likely to play an increasingly important role in financing care-related expenses, with 19 per cent of prospective homeowners citing it as a consideration.

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Allianz Real Estate buys prime office building in Rome (IT)

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Allianz Real Estate, advised by Dils, has acquired an office property in the centre of Rome. The transaction, worth circa €175m, is one of the most important to have been carried out on the real estate market in Rome in recent years.

 

The building, consisting of eleven storeys, comprising nine above-ground and two underground, has a gross lettable area of circa 22,000m² and has undergone a major refurbishment, offering the highest environmental sustainability and energy efficiency standards (LEED Gold Certification). The strategic location, between the CBD and Termini Station, is enjoying great success, especially among corporate occupiers. 

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

NCC sells Valby office scheme (DK)

Voice Of EU

Published

on

NCC is selling Kontorværket 1 office project in Valby, Copenhagen to Industriens Pension. The building will become biotech company Genmab’s new headquarters and will meet high environmental standards for both the building and the area. The transaction will be conducted as a company divestment, based on an underlying property value of approximately €81.9m (SEK875m). Transfer of the project and payment of the purchase consideration is expected to result in a positive earnings effect in the NCC Property Development business area in the first quarter of 2023.

 

“We are now selling Kontorværket 1, the first phase of our development project in Valby in the central parts of Copenhagen. Here we have developed property with an optimal infrastructure and appealing architecture, and I am pleased that Industriens Pension is now taking over,” said Joachim Holmberg, Business Area Manager, NCC Property Development.

 

Kontorværket 1 encompasses 16,000m² of lettable area and also includes a basement featuring a parking garage next to the building, with space for 280 vehicles and facilities for parking bicycles.

 

“This is an attractive and future-proof office property, located in an area with very good infrastructure, a motorway, a nearby metro and S-train station. The 15-year lease with Genmab fits well with our strategy as a long-term owner, and we expect the property to contribute a stable return for our members for many years to come. We look forward to welcoming Genmab’s experts in biotechnology,” said Soren Tang Kristensen, Head of Real Estate Investments, Industriens Pension.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!