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Would you want a £45k luxury outdoor kitchen to enjoy all year round?

You may enjoy entertaining outdoors but are likely to find yourself heavily restricted by the British weather. 

But there is a solution in creating a cosy and inviting space that allows you to entertain friends and family throughout the year – and for one family doing that meant a spectacular outdoor kitchen they can enjoy even through winter. 

Lorraine and James Stait installed an outdoor kitchen in a £45,000 project that was completed fortunately just before the first lockdown in early 2020 and, as our snow-filled photos show, they use it throughout the year. 

Their family uses the space for everything from cooking the Sunday roast to making the dog’s breakfast, while their 14-year-old has enjoyed having friends’ round for pizza parties. 

This luxury outdoor kitchen is at a home in East Horsley, Surrey, and cost around £45,000

This luxury outdoor kitchen is at a home in East Horsley, Surrey, and cost around £45,000

Homeowners Lorraine and James Stait are thrilled with their outdoor kitchen which is at the side of the house

Homeowners Lorraine and James Stait are thrilled with their outdoor kitchen which is at the side of the house

While an outdoor kitchen can prove costly, it can be a worthwhile investment into your home, particularly if it effectively creates an extra room that’s outside.

That’s certainly the case for the family from East Horsley, in Surrey, who had always wanted an outdoor living space. 

Lorraine, who works in retail, and her husband James, who works as an IT marketer, are both in their mid-50s and say that while it was a big investment, their outdoor kitchen has become an integral part of their daily lives.

‘It changes your lifestyle,’ Lorraine said. ‘We enjoy the outdoors more and have a healthier lifestyle as a result.’  

The couple make good use of the outdoor kitchen with their friends and family all year round

The couple make good use of the outdoor kitchen with their friends and family all year round

The outdoor kitchen is fully equipped with plenty of work space, a BBQ and a pizza oven

The outdoor kitchen is fully equipped with plenty of work space, a BBQ and a pizza oven

Celebrating outdoors: The family saw in the New Year at their outdoor kitchen with friends

Celebrating outdoors: The family saw in the New Year at their outdoor kitchen with friends

When they bought their Surrey home a decade ago, they weren’t quite sure what to do with the area to the side that had a roof but no walls. 

The couple took their time considering how best to use the space, but it wasn’t until they met Duncan Aird, of Outdoor Kitchen Expert, that they began to get excited about the area’s potential.

The family makes good use of the outdoor kitchen

The family makes good use of the outdoor kitchen

‘We were always interested in creating some kind of outdoor living space,’ said Lorraine.

‘We talked to a few companies and had some drawings done, but nothing stood out. We were getting an extension done anyway when our landscaper recommended Duncan.’

The Staits’ vision came to life, with work starting in early 2020. It took six weeks for the outdoor kitchen that is suitable for year-round use to be completed, just in time for the first Covid lockdown.

The whole space is clad in cosy-looking cedar wood, providing an indoor feel to the outdoor space.

It boasts a mains-connected gas barbecue, pizza oven, fridge and plenty of storage space, so there’s no need to keep going inside to restock. 

The whole space is clad in cedar wood, providing an indoors sensation to the outdoor space

The whole space is clad in cedar wood, providing an indoors sensation to the outdoor space

The outdoor kitchen boasts wi-fi controlled colour changing LED Lighting,  and infra-red heaters

The outdoor kitchen boasts wi-fi controlled colour changing LED Lighting,  and infra-red heaters

WHERE WAS THE £45K SPENT?

The Bull Lonestar 4 Burner at £1,999.99

The Bull Lonestar 4 Burner at £1,999.99

The couple spend almost £45,000 on their new outdoor kitchen, and are delighted with the results. 

Here is a breakdown of the costs: 

  • £6,000 for appliances including a gas grill, outdoor refrigerator, integrated stainless steel drawers and waste bin, along with integrated drinks ice well, sink and taps

These include the Bull Lonestar 4 Burner Built in Natural Gas BBQ Grill Head at £1,999.99, and a Beefeater outdoor display fridge double door at £1,445.

The Beefeater outdoor fridge cost £1,445

The Beefeater outdoor fridge costs £1,445

  • £9,000 was spent on cedar cladding that appears on the existing roof structure and kitchen, as well as on the cedar fencing and gates 
  • £4,500 was spent on bespoke granite worktops and upstands
  • £5,000 went on Wi-Fi controlled colour changing LED lighting, along with pop up USB sockets, Infra-red heaters and general electrical installation
  • £1,000 was the total cost of the plumbing

Overall, it brings the cost of the entire project to almost £45,000

The Staits used the kitchen extensively that first summer, but it has also proven its worth year-round.

With heating and remote-controlled LED mood lighting in place, the colder days and shorter evenings of winter have proven to be no obstacle to the space being used for family dinners, drinks and nibbles with friends and teenage hangouts.

In addition to its lifestyle benefits the kitchen, which cost between £45,000 and £50,000, has also shown itself to be a good investment. 

When the property was valued between lockdowns, the value had risen as a result of the outdoor space – something very much in demand by city buyers looking for outdoor areas with something extra.

The Staits plan to add to the outdoor kitchen every year. They’ve already put in a hot tub and have plans in place for a more permanent pizza oven and additional heating later in 2022.

Lorraine added: ‘I’m so pleased we decided to invest in the outdoor kitchen. It’s become part of our everyday life from eating our Sunday roast to family celebrations and parties. The space is multifunctional and used and enjoyed by everyone; it allows us to come together as a family for real quality time.’

Of course, not all outdoor kitchens are so expensive. Indeed, you can even make your own for £100

But for those with a budget between these two extremes, it is about carefully selected the items for inclusion and planning ahead.

Outdoor Kitchen Expert’s Mr Aird said: ‘You don’t have to spend such a large amount on an outdoor kitchen, but planning is key and so it is important to start thinking about it now.

‘February may seem early but it can take weeks to choose items, so you need to start now if you want to make the most of the space this summer.

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Living in a surfer’s paradise! Chic townhouse with incredible floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking beach in Cornwall goes on the market for £2.75million

A chic townhouse with breathtaking views over a surfer’s paradise has gone on the market for £2.75m.

Gwel Tresla has incredible floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the surf mecca of Polzeath, Cornwall, and even has a sky hammock to take full advantage of the panoramic views.

The five-bedroom home is one of three striking contemporary townhouses completed in 2020 with high specifications and smart technology throughout and has been a successful holiday let with Latitude 50.

The property is arranged over four storeys with reversed living accommodation to make the most of its incredible beachfront and west-facing position, which means the owners will get to enjoy spectacular sunsets.

It has 2,863 sq ft of accommodation with the entrance lobby and a double bedroom with en suite on the ground floor, and four bedrooms and four bathrooms on the first floor.

Gwel Tresla in Polzeath, Cornwall is on the housing market for £2.75million

Gwel Tresla in Polzeath, Cornwall is on the housing market for £2.75million

The property is located in the small seaside resort village overlooking the beach that is popular with surfers

The property is located in the small seaside resort village overlooking the beach that is popular with surfers

The property is arranged over four storeys with reversed living accommodation to make the most of its incredible beachfront and west-facing position

The property is arranged over four storeys with reversed living accommodation to make the most of its incredible beachfront and west-facing position

On the second floor there is an impressive open plan living space with a kitchen/dining area

On the second floor there is an impressive open plan living space with a kitchen/dining area

The kitchen has a breakfast bar where the owners can enjoy a meal as daylight shines in through the floor-to-ceiling windows

The kitchen has a breakfast bar where the owners can enjoy a meal as daylight shines in through the floor-to-ceiling windows

There is a built-in-bar on the other side of the kitchen which is perfect when hosting guests

There is a built-in-bar on the other side of the kitchen which is perfect when hosting guests

On the second floor there is an impressive open plan living space with a kitchen/dining area with built-in bar at one end and a living area with a vaulted ceiling and a sea-facing balcony at the other.

The top floor has another living area/TV room with the sky hammock looking out over the beach and a bathroom. There is also a large covered terrace with built-in outdoor kitchen and barbecue.

Outside there is secure underground parking for two cars, a lockable surf and equipment store and outdoor hot and cold showers.

The house is just 25 yards from Polzeath Beach, a popular holiday spot with safe bathing and surfing and a vast expanse of beach.

Polzeath is close to the other popular resorts of Rock and Padstow and has a number of excellent restaurants and pubs nearby, great watersports opportunities and walking and golf.

The reversed living accommodation allows the owners to enjoy beautiful sunsets from the living room

The reversed living accommodation allows the owners to enjoy beautiful sunsets from the living room

The top floor has another living area that leads out onto a large covered terrace

The top floor has another living area that leads out onto a large covered terrace

There is a sky hammock on the top floor looking out over the beach

There is a sky hammock on the top floor looking out over the beach

The covered terrace has built-in outdoor kitchen, barbecue and seating

The covered terrace has built-in outdoor kitchen, barbecue and seating

Josephine Ashby from John Bray Estates said: ‘This striking architectural design, by Studio Arc Architects, delivers on all fronts, with breath-taking coastal views from all the principal rooms, and high specifications and smart technology throughout.

‘Completed in 2020, Gwel Trelsa is the dream beachfront property, offering comfortable and spacious accommodation that seamlessly blends comfort and luxury, resulting in a highly desirable family home or holiday home.

‘Situated in a prime frontline position at Polzeath, Gwel Trelsa commands front line views across the beach and over the surrounding coastline.’

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The 11 things that make your garden look tacky, revealed by a top expert – including the flower colour that just screams cheap

A well-maintained garden may be a relaxing retreat – but it can also boost the kerb appeal and even the value of your home.

But, if done the wrong way, efforts to enhance your outside space can leave it looking cheap.

From choosing the wrong plant pots to – counterintuitively – being too tidy, the Mail’s gardening editor looks at the 11 common errors that can cheapen your garden, rather than helping it thrive. 

When tidy is too tidy

Many of us were brought up with strict ideas about well-kept gardens, with lawns neatly mown and weeds all pulled up. But that is no longer the prevailing aesthetic.

Letting go a little and being slightly untidy can lead to a more expensive looking haven. And leaving self-sown plants in summer and seed heads over winter will make your garden look more expensively abundant. Phew!

Wildflower beds with self-sown plants are now the prevailing aesthetic

Wildflower beds with self-sown plants are now the prevailing aesthetic 

Yellow’s not mellow

Don’t get me wrong, I have a soft spot for bright yellow flowers such as daffodils and sunflowers. But such garish flowers must be used in the right context.

Expansive garden beds the colour of a hi-vis vest? It’s a no. Yellow is difficult to match with other colours and should be used sparingly.

The perils of artificial grass

The quickest way to make your garden look cheap is to lay artificial turf. Used widely in sporting venues, fake grass became popular because it doesn’t need to be mowed or watered so is seen as low-maintenance and hard-wearing. But it almost always looks naff.

Plus, the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits. It is ruinous for wildlife and adds to global warming by absorbing more radiation than living grass, which acts as a carbon sink. Natural lawns allow rainwater to be soaked up, whereas artificial grass can cause run-off after heavy rainfall leading to flooding.

In hot weather, it can reach dangerous temperatures, especially for pets who might burn their paws. Plus, it only has a lifespan of ten to 20 years, after which time it is difficult to recycle.

 Soulless bare fences

Fences without greenery can make your garden look boxy and cheap. There are plenty of easy climbers you can plant to soften the feel and make your garden look more high-end.

Star Jasmine is a lovely evergreen with pretty white flowers, while climbing hydrangea is good for a shady corner.

If you want privacy, remember evergreen hedges can’t be more than 2m high, according to the High Hedges Act. Instead try planting deciduous silver birch trees with attractive white trunks and green foliage in summer when you are out in the garden.

Don’t settle for plastic furniture

Moulded plastic chairs are unsightly and should be avoided at all costs. Plus, they’re uncomfortable and topple if you lean too far back, or slice into any bare flesh unfortunate enough to touch the seat.

If your budget won’t stretch to buying new wood, rattan or metal alternatives, search local online groups to see if anyone has second hand deck chairs or outdoor dining sets on offer.

If you are willing to buy something preloved and weathered, it can often cost less but look more expensive.

Thin borders, a thing of the past

Narrow flower beds around the edge of a rectangular lawn used to be thought of as the ideal garden design, but these days it just looks scrimping.

Borders should be at least a metre deep to allow for multi-layered planting. Don’t just put them around the perimeter of your garden. Flower beds used to divide up a space add a touch of mystery and look much classier.

Gadgets and gazebos

Barbecues, fire pits, corner sofas, gazebos, over-sized paddling pools – its easy for your outdoor space to become cluttered with so many garden gadgets you can’t move around without tripping over them.

Decide what you really need and use often, then recycle the rest. Or store them away neatly in the shed until you want to use them.

Plastic plant pot horror

It is tricky to keep plants looking good in plastic containers, even the ones that attempt to imitate terracotta.

As well as the lack of sustainability, the trouble with plastic is that unlike materials such as wood and stone, it provides no protection for plants against drying out in summer and freezing in winter, and it is not breathable.

If you do have plastic pots, reuse them for propagating and save your best non-plastic containers for display purposes.

Paving the way to disaster  

Every gardener needs somewhere to sit, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of losing too much of your lawn.

Ideally there should be a ratio of at least two-thirds planting and grass to one-third hard surface. If you are putting in a new patio, consider leaving gaps between the pavers for low plants such as creeping thyme and Mind-Your-Own-Business which will also help with drainage. 

If you want to park your car in your front garden, choose a permeable surface with planting around the edges.

Fly-away greenhouses

I must confess I own one of these mini shelving units covered in a zip-up, see-through plastic smock. But after it fell over outside one too many times in windy weather, despite being tied to the wall, I have brought it in to our lean-to where I now use it as a propagating unit. A pile of overturned seed trays and spilled soil does nothing to add to kerb appeal.

Do away with dead pot plants 

Well-tended container planting can add a cheerful welcome to a garden or balcony, but there is little as off-putting as being greeted by a collection of unidentifiable shrivelled dead plants in pots.

Avoid this by doing your research and choosing plants you love which will encourage you to water and feed them regularly. Having a water butt nearby makes this task much easier.

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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