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Sage advice: This earthy green hue is fast becoming a hit in UK homes

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Sage advice: This earthy green hue is good for the soul – and fast becoming the shade of the year

The desire for serenity by bringing the outside indoors is why sage green is becoming the go-to colour in our homes.

Indeed, when it comes to what’s known as biophilic design — a connection to the environment in every aspect of a home — sage green leads the field.

No surprise, then, that Hollywood stars have cottoned on to this fashionable hue. When the sage green kitchen in the LA home of actress Dakota Johnson featured in Architectural Digest magazine, lame jokes were made about the Fifty Shades Of Grey star’s choice of palette.

Serene green: Sage cabinets in the LA kitchen of actress Dakota Johnson featured in Architectural Digest magazine

Serene green: Sage cabinets in the LA kitchen of actress Dakota Johnson featured in Architectural Digest magazine

But the mid-century style kitchen, with glass-fronted cabinets, is both smart and wholesome.

Swoon, the design-led furniture brand, is among those reporting a surge in searches for sage green paints and sofas. And it’s even being called the ‘new neutral’, as it goes with grey, beige, black and just about everything else.

Eager to let sage green work its power on your home? Here’s a guide to its use.

Country kitchens

Sage green can be used alone in a kitchen or mixed with natural woods. Its matt organic look gives a rural touch to a city pad.

Tom Howley, of Tom Howley Kitchens, says the shade is popular among customers who like the idea of the Cotswolds, but would not move there.

‘Even those who don’t want to give up the buzz of city life are redefining their homes with a country-style narrative and sage green is perfect for this,’ he says.

His range includes a Shaker-style sage green kitchen.

Howdens also offers the Fairford, another Shaker-style kitchen available in sage green.

If a kitchen makeover seems anything but relaxing, a single piece, such as a £299 farmhouse table with sage green legs from the Cotswolds Company, brings you closer to fields and meadows.

Warm bathrooms

The colour brings a certain warmth that grey and beige cannot deliver, especially when teamed with these neutrals. 

Quorn Stone’s smoked green porcelain floor and wall tiles could turn a chilly white bathroom into a chill-out zone.

Another route would be to paint the walls with Dulux’s Heritage range sage green in bathroom finish.

Just a few items in sage green will bring the outdoors inside, such as Habitat’s £80 Freja cabinet, or Homescapes Turkish towels (from 99p).

Luscious living rooms

The ascent of sage green could rob emerald green of its crown as the most fashionable shade for sofas.

The Habitat Hendricks three-seater sofa is made of a hard-wearing linen-look fabric (£1,200). Sage green armchairs are almost as sought-after. The Anboise Fortingall velvet armchair is £1,500.

High demand: The Anboise Fortingall velvet armchair is £1,500

High demand: The Anboise Fortingall velvet armchair is £1,500

And Swoon’s Munich oversized armchair is £999.

Accessories add the sage green laid-back vibe. The Range has a £64.99 wool throw while Not On The High Street has a £24.99 spider plant in a sage green pot.

Dunelm’s Arts & Crafts line includes the £25 Havisham cushion in blue, cream and sage green.

Calming bedrooms

Bedding represents the ideal way to enjoy the calm-inducing qualities of sage green for less.

The Made.com Alexia kingsize cotton duvet cover costs £59 and the Graham & Green sumptuous velvet super-kingsize quilt is £260.

The simplest way to bring sage green into any room is to pick up a paintbrush.

The options include shades such as Detox and Home Green from Coat, a sustainable brand, Farrow & Ball Sap Green and Little Greene’s Sage Green.

And Dakota Johnson’s sage green paint selection is somewhat unnervingly called Alligator Alley.

What your home really needs is a… noticeboard 

What’s  the price of a well-organised household? The answer could be just £4.36, which is the cost of a cork noticeboard from B&M (£2.49), plus a packet of 30 push pins (£1.87) from WHSmith.

The payback from this low-tech solution can be huge, which is why your home needs one.

Wayfair 's mesh wall-mounted bulletin board (£65.99) offers plenty  of space to peg lists and cards

Wayfair ‘s mesh wall-mounted bulletin board (£65.99) offers plenty  of space to peg lists and cards

Not only can you attach the obvious stuff such as a rota for domestic chores and children’s drawings, but it can also serve as a place to display pictures of interiors you would like to copy.

Argos offers a cork and white-board for £19. 

But Wayfair has fancier options, such as the £70.99 slate magnetic board or the mesh wall-mounted bulletin board (£65.99) onto which you peg lists and cards.

A noticeboard can also help you plan future holidays. From Butler & Hill, you can buy a £39.99 board with a world map background. 

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Orange warning in place for five counties on west coast

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Violent storm force 11 winds are expected off the west coast as Storm Barra approaches on Tuesday morning.

Met Éireann has upgraded its marine weather warning to red, the highest category, on Irish coastal waters from Galway Bay to Bantry Bay from 3am on Tuesday morning to 11pm tomorrow night.

A status orange warning is in place on land for the counties of Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am on Tuesday morning until the same time on Wednesday morning.

Counties included in orange warning could see damaging gusts of up to 130km/h which will head to high waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge.

The rest of the country will be under a status yellow warning for the same period with the possibility of localised flooding.

Met Éireann head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack told Newstalk Breakfast that the storm system is developing rapidly over the Atlantic at present and will hit Ireland’s western seaboard on Tuesday with strong gale force winds which will quickly extend across the country.

There will be heavy rain turning to sleet and snow on higher ground, she warned.

Met Éireann will meet with gardaí, local authorities and emergency services this morning to update the progress of the storm and provide advice on what precautionary measures should be taken.

“It will be a pretty horrid day,” added Ms Cusack who advised against cycling.

The high winds and heavy rain will continue throughout Wednesday but they will have moved on by Thursday.

On RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, senior meteorologist Liz Walsh warned that trees could be knocked down during the high winds. She also advised that outdoor street furniture should be taken in or tied down and cautioned that Christmas decorations could be damaged.

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Coronavirus rules for driving tests spark complaints

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Claims of rude testers, of not being allowed to cough and having to drive with windows open due to Covid-19 were among the complaints received from people who failed driving tests recently.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), which oversees driving tests nationally, released a sample of the 1,505 complaints received since the start of last year under the Freedom of Information Act.

New figures show the driving test centre in Cork had the highest pass rate with 75 per cent of people passing, while the lowest was Charlestown in Dublin with a 42 per cent pass rate.

One person complained he had told his tester he had asthma and might need to cough because he had recently changed inhalers, causing irritation to his throat.

“I was advised that if I coughed at any stage, the test would be over immediately. This was difficult to control while under exam pressure and added a huge amount of unnecessary stress and pressure,” the individual complained.

Another individual complained their tester said if their face mask slipped “a little bit from my nose” while driving, the test would be ended.

“I’m in shock how he treated me that day,” said the complainant.

Another learner driver who failed said their car was hot and “very uncomfortable” because the tester said the hot air de-misters had to be kept on to prevent the windows fogging up because the back windows had to be kept open due to Covid-19.

One complainant said the tester seemed to have prejudged the test when they spotted a small stain on the driver’s seat as the car was supposed to be “spotless”.

‘Anxious’

“The tester was clearly taking it too far. I was complying with all Covid precautions as I had just Hoovered and sanitised the car and it was simply a mark on the seat.”

There were general complaints beyond Covid-19 issues. One person complained about feeling “anxious” because the tester was “sitting there shaking his head”.

Another said their tester repeatedly shook his head and sighed several times, and then made notes on the score sheet, which was “extremely off-putting and really unfair”.

Another driver said the tester was “extremely condescending and patronising” and mocked their answer to a signpost theory question about an “unguarded cliff edge”.

“We don’t drive along cliff edges in this country,” the tester was quoted as saying.

The RSA has been dealing with a backlog of driving tests due to the pandemic.

The centres with the next highest pass rates were Clifden (71 per cent), Killester in Dublin (70 per cent), Birr, Co Offaly (70 per cent) and Cavan (69 per cent).

The test centres with the next lowest pass rates were Dublin’s Churchtown, since closed (44 per cent), Nenagh, Co Tipperary (44 per cent) and Mulhuddart (45 per cent) and Raheny (46 per cent), both in Dublin.


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Former US presidential candidate Bob Dole dies aged 98

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Bob Dole, the long-time Kansas senator who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, has died from lung cancer. In a statement, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, founded by Dole’s wife, said: “It is with heavy hearts we announced that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died earlier this morning in his sleep. At his death at age 98 he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”

In late February, Dole announced that he had advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment. Visiting him, President Joe Biden called Dole his “close friend”.

On Sunday the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, like Biden a Democrat, ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff.

Born in Russell, Kansas in 1923, Dole served in the US infantry in the second world war, suffering serious wounds in Italy and winning a medal for bravery.

His wounds cost him use of his right arm but he entered state politics and soon became a longtime Republican power-broker, representing Kansas in the US House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969 and in the Senate until 1996. He had spells as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as Senate minority and majority leader.

In 1976 he was the Republican nominee for vice-president to Gerald Ford, in an election the sitting president lost to Jimmy Carter. Two decades later, aged 73, Dole won the nod to take on Bill Clinton.

Against the backdrop of a booming economy, the Democrat won a second term with ease, by 379 – 159 in the electoral college and by nine points in the popular vote, the third-party candidate Ross Perot costing Dole support on the right.

Dole received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honours.

In the Trump years and after, Dole came widely to be seen as a figure from another time in Republican politics.

On Sunday, the political consultant Tara Setmeyer, a member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, tweeted: “I cast my first ever vote for president for Bob Dole in 1996. A war hero with a sharp sense of humor ? another piece of a once respectable GOP gone.”

However, Dole remained a loyal Republican soldier, telling USA Today this summer that though Donald Trump “lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did”, and though he himself was “sort of Trumped out”, he still considered himself “a Trumper”.

Dole called Biden “a great, kind, upstanding, decent person”, though he said he leaned too far left.

He also said: “I do believe [America has]lost something. I can’t get my hand on it, but we’re just not quite where we should be, as the greatest democracy in the world. And I don’t know how you correct it, but I keep hoping that there will be a change in my lifetime.”

On Sunday, Jaime Harrison, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said: “Sending heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Senator Bob Dole. We honor his service and dedication to the nation. May he Rest In Peace.”

– Guardian

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