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London home where Diana Dors entertained A-list celebrities as well as the Kray twins goes on sale

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The London property where British actress Diana Dors lived during her professional heyday has hit the market for £4.5million.

Dubbed ‘England’s Marilyn Monroe’ thanks to her blonde bombshell image and Hollywood career, Diana scandalised 1950s Britain when tales of her sex parties and infidelity emerged.

She hosted notorious, alcohol and drug-fuelled get-togethers at her various properties – including one in Kent – for A-list celebrities – with the guest list thought to also include gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (who were believed to be old friends of Diana’s).

Her Chelsea double-fronted townhouse on Burnsall Street, located just off the King’s Road, was her home between 1953 and 1968 and offers an abundance of living space over basement, lower ground, ground and two upper levels. 

The London property (pictured) where British actress Diana Dors lived during her professional heyday has hit the market for £4.5million

The London property (pictured) where British actress Diana Dors lived during her professional heyday has hit the market for £4.5million

Dubbed 'England's Marilyn Monroe' thanks to her blonde bombshell image and Hollywood career, Diana (pictured) scandalised 1950s Britain when tales of her sex parties and infidelity emerged

Diana, pictured later in her career

Dubbed ‘England’s Marilyn Monroe’ thanks to her blonde bombshell image and Hollywood career, Diana (pictured) scandalised 1950s Britain when tales of her sex parties and infidelity emerged

She hosted notorious, alcohol and drug-fuelled get-togethers at her various properties - including one in Kent - for A-list celebrities - with the guest list thought to also include gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (who were believed to be old friends of Diana's). Pictured, the living room at her former home in London

She hosted notorious, alcohol and drug-fuelled get-togethers at her various properties – including one in Kent – for A-list celebrities – with the guest list thought to also include gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (who were believed to be old friends of Diana’s). Pictured, the living room at her former home in London

Her Chelsea double-fronted townhouse (pictured) on Burnsall Street, located just off the King's Road, was her home between 1953 and 1968 and offers an abundance of living space over basement, lower ground, ground and two upper levels

 Her Chelsea double-fronted townhouse (pictured) on Burnsall Street, located just off the King’s Road, was her home between 1953 and 1968 and offers an abundance of living space over basement, lower ground, ground and two upper levels

Providing 2,152 sq. ft of living space, the three storey, fully modernised Blue Plaque home of the British-Hollywood actress Diana provides two reception rooms and four spacious bedrooms, all offering access to en suites (pictured)

Providing 2,152 sq. ft of living space, the three storey, fully modernised Blue Plaque home of the British-Hollywood actress Diana provides two reception rooms and four spacious bedrooms, all offering access to en suites (pictured)

When living there, Diana (1931-1984) was famous for regularly holding racy parties at her Burnsall Street townhouse, with guests enjoying lavish champagne functions that lasted until dawn. 

Providing 2,152 sq. ft of living space, the three storey, fully modernised Blue Plaque home of the British-Hollywood actress Diana provides two reception rooms and four spacious bedrooms, all offering access to en suites, with the ground floor opening onto a patio garden.

The current owners converted the basement to provide an additional fourth bedroom with an en suite and transformed the Victorian property into a light-filled home with modern living spaces and a contemporary feel.

As part of the refurbishment, the ceiling heights were increased on the lower ground and basement floors and two glass floors were added, one in the patio garden and another directly below it on the lower ground floor, allowing light to cascade into the lower floors. 

The original staircase, which had sat awkwardly in the middle of the house, was also moved, creating open living spaces on all floors. 

The current owners converted the basement to provide an additional fourth bedroom (pictured) with an en suite and transformed the Victorian property into a light-filled home with modern living spaces and a contemporary feel

The current owners converted the basement to provide an additional fourth bedroom (pictured) with an en suite and transformed the Victorian property into a light-filled home with modern living spaces and a contemporary feel

As part of the refurbishment, the ceiling heights were increased on the lower ground (pictured) and basement floors in the property

As part of the refurbishment, the ceiling heights were increased on the lower ground (pictured) and basement floors in the property

THE BRITISH MARILYN MONROE: DIANA DORS AT A GLANCE 

Diana Dors was dubbed the UK's Marilyn Monroe

Diana Dors was dubbed the UK’s Marilyn Monroe

Born Diana Fluck in 1931, Dors grew up in Wiltshire and loved cinema from an early age, idolising Lana Turner and Veronica Lake.

She was offered a place at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art aged 14 and became its youngest ever student after lying about her age.

After a string of modelling gigs and bit-part film roles, she began netting leading roles in 1949 and by 1951 had been established as a ‘sex symbol’ of the British industry.

She appeared primarily in British comedies until 1956 when she signed a three-film deal with RKO Pictures in Hollywood.

But after her then-husband Dennis Hamilton punched a photographer when the couple were pushed into a swimming pool at a Los Angeles party the press turned on her, and a subsequent divorce from Hamilton saw her contract terminated on a ‘morals clause’.

She returned to Britain and continued her career while enjoying high-profile relationships with stuntman Tommy Yeardye and comedian Richard Dawson.

After another attempt at breaking the US failed, she left Dawson and their sons Mark and Gary and returned to the UK, but her career became restricted to supporting roles, with most coming in the sex comedy boom of the 1970s.

Meanwhile she stayed in the headlines after hosting adult parties.

She married actor Alan Lake in 1968 and they remained together until her death from ovarian cancer in 1984 aged 52, having son Jason in 1969.

The modernised house now provides a large open-plan kitchen and reception room with a glass feature ceiling and guest cloakroom on the lower ground floor, as well as a ground floor double reception room which features a framed print from Dors’ iconic 1953 photoshoot at the house. 

The Victorian-era property was extensively renovated by its current owners who purchased the property in March 2018 in a bad state of repair and spent 18 months renovating it to provide a stylish London home. 

On February 11 2018, the Blue Plaque to Diana Dors was installed on the outside of the house, unveiled by her son Jason Dors-Lake.  

Percy Lendrum, Director of Dexters, said: ‘With its wonderful baby-blue facade and beautiful modern interiors, this elegant townhouse on Burnsall Street was the Chelsea home of British-Hollywood actress Diana Dors during the 1950s and 1960s. 

‘Famous for the fantastic celebrity parties held here over two decades, this Chelsea house has been enlarged and modernised and now offers a discerning buyer heritage, character and stylish interiors, a home that is really memorable and adorable, just like Diana Dors herself.’  

The original staircase, which had sat awkwardly in the middle of the house, was also moved, creating open living spaces on all floors (pictured)

The original staircase, which had sat awkwardly in the middle of the house, was also moved, creating open living spaces on all floors (pictured)

The Victorian-era property was extensively renovated by its current owners who purchased the property in March 2018 in a bad state of repair and spent 18 months renovating it to provide a stylish London home. Pictured, one of the four bedrooms available

The Victorian-era property was extensively renovated by its current owners who purchased the property in March 2018 in a bad state of repair and spent 18 months renovating it to provide a stylish London home. Pictured, one of the four bedrooms available  

Two glass floors were also added during the makeover, one in the patio garden (pictured) and another directly below it on the lower ground floor, allowing light to cascade into the lower floors

Two glass floors were also added during the makeover, one in the patio garden (pictured) and another directly below it on the lower ground floor, allowing light to cascade into the lower floors

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British Land unveils London Exchange Square scheme (GB)

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British Land reveals the opening of its new 1.5-acre Exchange Square located at Broadgate in the City of London. Designed by architects DSDHA, the park quadruples the amount of green space at Broadgate and creates a new outdoor space for workers and the wider community to enjoy in the capital. Exchange Square is now open to the public and includes 420m² of lawned areas, an exciting mix of planting and trees within its gardens, an amphitheatre with plenty of seating, and new retail and event space.

 

It aims to blend nature with the energy of London and promote the physical and emotional wellbeing of people who live and work in the local area. As spring approaches, the park will become a haven for workers looking to enjoy high-quality outdoor spaces when working from the office, and for the local community to enjoy a range of plants and biodiversity. The park’s range of planting is maintained by Exchange Square’s Head Gardener and is expected to be a popular choice for workers looking to make the most of premium outdoor space.

 

Health and wellbeing form a vital part of the €1.8bn (£1.5bn) investment in Broadgate to create an environment that brings people together to work, shop, drink and dine. Research commissioned by British Land shows that putting good design at the heart of urban development could lead to substantial improvement in peoples’ mental health, which would result in substantial economic rewards.

 

David Lockyer, Head of Campuses, British Land said: “As we start the New Year, Exchange Square aims to create an accessible, sustainable and better-quality place for workers and residents in the community in 2022 and beyond. Broadgate has undergone a significant transformation as a mixed-use destination that appeals to everyone. We hope that by creating a new outdoor area filled with green space, it allows visitors to find a tranquil place within a busy capital.”

 

Matthew Webster, Head of Environmental, British Land, said: “Exchange Square is a brilliant addition to London’s green spaces, and has a unique position within the City of London. Creating opportunities for people to encounter nature as part of their daily lives boosts wellbeing and productivity. This new, green space has been designed to enhance both physical and mental health in a variety of ways – through providing an area for tranquillity, opportunities for social interaction or through encouraging and making it easy for people to visit and move through the space.”

 

Deborah Saunt, Founding Director of DSDHA, said: “With Exchange Square, we are delighted to see the culmination of our Public Realm Framework for Broadgate, which has already enhanced and better connected the open spaces of Broadgate Circle, Broadgate Plaza and Finsbury Avenue Square. Our ambition for this new park was to create a landscape that nurtures both plants and people through retrofitting nature into the heart of the City, breaking down perceived barriers to the surrounding areas, and offering a space that provides opportunities for both recuperation and recreation.”

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Paint colour of 2022 is a deep purple called Very Peri

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Purple may not have graced our homes much since the psychedelic era of the 1970s, but all is set to change this year.

That is, at least, if we decide to follow Pantone’s recommendation. The world’s leading colour trend forecaster has controversially selected Very Peri, a shade inspired by the deep violet blue of the periwinkle flower, as the colour of 2022.

It may seem like an odd choice when we’re still embracing muted tones and understated interiors. 

But Pantone’s annual colour choices wield huge influence with fabric and paint manufacturers and also among interior designers keen to deliver the latest looks.

Love it or loathe it: Pantone¿s colour of the year Very Peri is inspired by the deep violet blue of the periwinkle flower

Love it or loathe it: Pantone’s colour of the year Very Peri is inspired by the deep violet blue of the periwinkle flower

Pantone says Very Peri embodies ‘carefree confidence and a daring curiosity’. Such assertions are another reason why some interior designers will not be recommending Very Peri. 

One remarked: ‘None of my clients would want purple in their homes, especially in the corner that they’ve set aside for their desk.’

Others are more positive, praising its effectiveness in almost any space.

Andrew Dunning, of London Contemporary, says that it represents a further move away from the Elephant’s Breath, the mid-grey Farrow & Ball paint that held sway in interiors in the early years of this century.

As a champion of the deft use of patterned wallpapers and brighter colours, Dunning considers Very Peri to be warm rather than chilly, particularly if furnishing fabric companies produce a lush velvet in the shade.

‘People have been scared of colour, but I think Very Peri could work well in a ‘wow’ piece like an accent armchair upholstered in the shade,’ he says. ‘It’s also an option for a cloakroom, a smaller place in the home in which you can be more audacious.’

Beth Travers, of Bobo1325, a Manchester design business, also argues that we should lower our resistance to the colour purple. 

Its historic links with royalty endow the colour with ‘luxury, power and nobility’. Since Very Peri is a blue tone of purple, Travers believes it can be ‘relaxing and soothing’.

Paula Taylor, of Graham & Brown, the paint company whose range includes the purple-blue Tanzanite, also thinks going bold could bring decor dividends.

Sitting pretty: Tresor Stool in Very Peri, to order at bykoket.com

Sitting pretty: Tresor Stool in Very Peri, to order at bykoket.com

‘Our Tanzanite used in a hallway would make visitors feel reassured and joyful. In a living room, it would be crisp but comforting, especially when teamed with one of our soft-whites, such as Baked Cheesecake, for a more timeless effect.’

The warm reception to Very Peri — in some quarters at least — could indicate that the shade will become an important part of the rise of blues and greens, a movement that began this year.

Simone Suss, of Studio Suss, a London design business, says this is connected to the wish to bring nature into our homes.

Such is the growing demand to introduce more elements of the great outdoors in the interior that more housebuilders will be prioritising ‘biophilic’ elements in their developments next year.

‘I am always inspired by the natural world,’ says Suss. ‘ I think biophilic design will be key in 2022.’ 

The other shades vying for supremacy in 2022 include Dulux’s selection Bright Skies, an airy blue that aims to inspire hope. Dulux recommends several palettes to accompany Bright Skies such as Greenhouse.

This array of blues and greens encompasses Fresh Foliage and Calming Meadow.

Breakfast Room Green, a cheery tone ideal for kitchens, and Stone Blue, a light indigo, are among the five shades that Farrow & Ball is tipping as the colours of 2022. 

The company is also backing the elegant School House White, along with Incarnadine, a dramatic crimson, and Babouche, a sunny yellow.

F&B senses people are ready to step outside their comfort zone which could augur well for Very Peri. 

But, in the short term, this shade seems less likely to suddenly explode than to be seen in small touches, such as Dark Flowers, a £23.95 poster print featuring sultry purple blooms from Desenio and purple cushions, such as the £25 cotton velvet cushion from Cotswold Company.

Loaf’s Joelle £2,345 19th-century style bed is available with a purple headboard for those who aspire to a more formal, almost regal setting after the pared-down aesthetic of the past two decades. But experimenting with Very Peri does not necessarily mean a break with the past.

It can look smart with any shade of beige or grey. Going with purple requires confidence. It will be interesting to see what’s in store for Very Peri over the next 12 months.

Savings of the week! Draught excluders 

William Morris print excluders from Lancashire company ReddandGoud come in different sizes

William Morris print excluders from Lancashire company ReddandGoud come in different sizes

The draught excluder, a long sausage-shaped pillow placed at the foot of a door, is a low-tech, planet-friendly means of staying cosy indoors.

This utilitarian item seems to inspire creativity among designers meaning that you can have warmth, plus aesthetic appeal. 

Low-cost options include the Kaia from The Range in charcoal, reduced from £11.99 to £10.99 and the Plush Bear in mustard at £5.59, down from £6.99. 

Not On The High Street’s cheery blue and red plaid version, pictured left, is reduced from £22 to £11.

The Snap Croc from Dora, a mid-price option, is down from £32 to £9.60. 

It resembles a crocodile whose aggression focuses on warding off chills. Wayfair’s Emmett excluder, with its prints of bees and ladybirds, reduced from £28.99 to £26.99 would lift any decor.

If you want to splash out, William Morris print excluders from Lancashire company ReddandGoud come in different sizes. The widest (99cm) is £40.80, from £48.

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How to build your own garden room

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THINKING OF BUILDING A garden shed? Here’s Some expert advice on WHERE to FIND PLANS, HOW to SOURCE MATERIALS AND WHEN to CALL FOR HELP

Back gardens have seen a lot of action over the last two years as many of us got stuck into projects to improve our exterior surroundings. One of those key jobs was often upgrading the humble garden shed to a status symbol of sorts, as a place to escape the confines of the house and as a way of demonstrating DIY prowess.

With a raft of digital tools now available to even the most novice DIYer, access to the information required to construct building projects is just a click away.

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