Stylish Living in 2014

As we say goodbye to winter and welcome spring, perhaps it’s time to take note of the up and coming interior design trends for 2014 and give our home’s interior a bit of a spruce up.

If there’s one word that best describes modern home décor, it’s simplicity.  It’s all about clean lines, a neutral colour palette and geometric shapes.  However, simplicity doesn’t have to mean boring.  By sticking to the above general rules but adding this year’s trends and a few personal touches, you can create a modern home décor that is ultimately stylish, yet still warm and inviting.

So what do we suggest?

A touch of the blues

Whilst ‘Radiant Orchid’ is the colour for 2014, various shades of blue are also reigning supreme from cobalt and turquoise to the deepest navy.  If you don’t feel brave enough to splash blue paint over your beige walls, start with a piece of furniture like a sofa as your focal point, and work from there.

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The Number 13, Lucky For You

The number 13 may be just another number for some people, but for others it has connotations of fear and dread. Also known as ‘Triskaidekaphobia’, the fear of the number 13 is not that uncommon. Hotels and tall buildings are notorious for avoiding the number 13 by using another names for the 13th floor, the successful Bath rugby club played without a number 13 shirt and often wedding party’s lay and empty place for a 14th guest if number fall short.

So why is this? There are many myths behind this suspicious behaviour, so we thought we find out exactly why the number 13 is said to be so unlucky.

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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

As the cold weather settles in, we find ourselves spending more and more time indoors, so with Valentine’s Day just around the corner we thought it would be better to give your home some TLC rather than your partner (sorry).

Like any relationship, within time the spark and lust can start to fade away, especially with your home as wear and tear can take over the once perfect furniture or décor and it can slowly turn a little tired and dejected.

However, help is at hand. We have devised a list of ways to help you fall back in love with your home.

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Celebrity Mansion? No Thank You.

It was recently announced footballer John Terry sold his Surrey mansion for a whopping £16 million, earning a staggering £10 million profit after renovating the home in the last four years. The home came complete with nine bedrooms, eight dressing and bathrooms, a swimming pool, private cinema and it’s very own man made fishing lake in the back garden.

(The girls at OPW wouldn’t expect anything less for that price).

It was not only the footy star who seems to have the moving itch, other celebrity mansions to recently hit the property market include the grade II listed building once owned by Led Zepplin’s bassist John Paul Jones. The stunning Georgian mansion came completed with a swimming pool (again), 11.6 acres of land and magnificent views of Ashdown Forest. Let’s not forget the separate two bedroom flat used to entertain the rock stars guests.

Millie Mackintosh, heiress to the chocolate confectionery company Mackintosh’s, announced the family home was recently up for grabs. The manor house comes with a host of sweet treats, including an indoor pool (again) and a zip wire! However, the most appetising feature of this historical house is the cocoa wheel found in the back garden that was used in the first Mackintosh factory to crush cocoa beans!

Sweet days: The seven bedroom property outside Norwich also features a cocoa wheel from a Mackintosh factory

Probably one of the most extravagant celebrity homes to be put back on the market, comes from the rock DJ himself, Robbie Williams. His 18th century, seven bedroom manor in the Wiltshire countryside came with not only a swimming pool (its seems to be standard for a UK celeb), but a helicopter hanger, two staff flats and a cottage, a full size football pitch and a dirt track for quad biking. On the inside of the home was his and hers bathrooms, a wine cellar, library and a sauna.

 Although all of these homes are tremendously charismatic, extravagant and somewhat on the larger size than your average house, we believe at One Park West they are all missing a few important things. The first being a superb location, when properties have tonnes of greenery surrounding them it often means they are a good half an hour drive from any high street shops, restaurants or cinemas. Secondly, who really needs a swimming pool? Finally, it must be a hassle to clean, all those rooms let alone all the extra staffing houses. Life is for living, not cleaning.

You don’t need a mansion to live like a celebrity, we have two bedroom apartments which are also charismatic, stunning and spacious (and they don’t take a week to clean). For more information or to view the apartments, contact Kingston Shaw Residential on 0151 232 3333, or visit the marketing suite open 7 days a week.

FENG SHUI YOUR WAY INTO 2014

The New Year is a chance for fresh beginnings and what better way to cleanse the past and build a positive future at home, than using the art of Feng Shui.

Feng Shui is the Chinese practise of positioning objects and furniture around the home to improve the flow of energy, in order to bring a positive surrounding to those who live there. It is said, by following certain guidelines at home, Feng Shui will bring a more balanced, happier and successful life.

So we thought it would be fun to share some of the basics to help you achieve a more balanced and prosperous life by ‘Feng Shui’ing’ your apartment…

Feng Shui consists of nine sections that should be covered within the home or a single room, these are: knowledge, career, travel, family, health, children, wealth, reputation and relationships. Each section must be represented by placing objects such as pictures, books or using certain colours in the right location.

The four elements of the world (fire, water, earth and air) must also be symbolised in the home through the use of colours to gain balanced energy. This doesn’t mean each room must be decorated with each element in mind, instead use accents of the colours within a room or around the apartment.

Fire can be identified by using reds, oranges, purples and strong yellows whilst earth can be indicated with warm beiges and light yellows. Air or metal should be visible through a colour palette of greys and whites whereas water can be signified with blues and hints of blacks.

To gain complete Feng Shui a room must be designed with Feng Shui in mind, however, don’t let this put you off as making small differences in each room can still channel positive energy and make a real difference.

Also look at your furniture as little differences, like ensuring your bed is positioned away from mirrors and encouraging learning in the home with the use of books, can make significant changes. Aim to surround yourself with an abundance of light, fresh air and greenery.

 It’s not only objects that can be changed, small habits like avoiding bright lights for at least an hour before bed will improve sleep or making sure the toilet seat is down, as this is believed to stop money from draining out of your pockets.

Here at OPW we’re a big believer in positive energy within the home. Come and check out our two bedroom apartments starting from £150,000, and now available with Help to Buy, it’s sure to give you a positive start to 2014.

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

At Christmas time, Liverpool really comes alive.  There’s a buzz of activity and a tangible air of excitement across the city as preparations get underway in the run-up to the Big Day.

This year, Christmas in Liverpool is set to be a real cracker.  With so much going on, we thought we’d highlight some of the key attractions that are worth a visit this December.

1.       Christmas Markets

Why not wrap up warm and head along to a traditional Christmas market with exciting and different gifts, festive food and drink and a great atmosphere?  We would particularly recommend the uber-international Christmas market on Lord Street and Church Street (21 Nov–22 Dec) with treats and surprises from five different continents.  Or new for 2013, check out the Urban Winter Village in Williamson Square.  Making use of old shipping containers, the event is a creative showcase of the region’s most imaginative and skilled artists, designers and creative organisations.

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SHOW APARTMENTS TO SAVOUR

As we reveal Liverpool’s latest stunning show apartment, we thought we would look back at some of our most memorable show homes we’ve created here at One Park West.

We’ve had some fun designing the homes to help potential buyers visualise themselves living in the apartments and to create inspirational living spaces in the City. Whether looking for chic urban living, a pad to share with your friends or a quiet retreat to rest from work, we’ve had them all!

So, here is a snapshot of some of our favourites….

The Ultimate Lads Pad

Arguably every man’s dream apartment. This two bedroom ‘lads pad’ had it all from an astroturf hallway, complete with putting holes and auto golf ball returner, a living area with a giant dart board wall and seductive bedroom with a cinema screen to a spare bedroom styled as an American style locker room and even a mini pub – complete with beer chiller, beer pump and mini fridge.  There’s no surprise this was swooped up as a great place to entertain the lads.

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Help to Buy the apartment of your dreams

For many looking to get on the property ladder, the biggest challenge has been saving for the 20% deposit that so many banks demand in order to secure a mortgage.  However, we’re pleased to say that help is around the corner in the guise of the Government’s new Help to Buy scheme.

What’s more, the scheme is now available at One Park West which means those looking to buy a property in Liverpool’s most prestigious apartment block now have a real opportunity to secure their dream two bedroom apartment in the city centre with a deposit of only £7,500.

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That’s A Lot Of Bang For Your Buck

The Office for National Statics confirmed house prices are still rising with the average price for a flat or house in the UK now £247,000! So this got us thinking, what could you buy for £250,000 in the UK?

You may be pleased to know you can get a flat in one of London’s most sought after locations and it even overlooks Harrods. However, it is only 10ft by 8ft (no bigger than a snooker table) and can barely squeeze in a single bed. Yet it still has space for a tiny bathroom and kitchenette.

If space is what you are after, £250,000 will get you a lovely four bedroom listed cottage in Suffolk. The only problem is that it has a few design flaws…both bathrooms are located side by side in the siting room, two of the bedrooms are reached solely by their own staircase and if you wanted to enjoy a family meal, you would need to deliver the food on trays down the steps of the small kitchen in to the family dining room.

Perhaps location is a priority when seeking your quarter of a million pad. A beach hut on the coastline of Dorset was sold for an incredible £250,000, which included a sitting room, toilet, kitchen and one bedroom. The hut can be lived in all year round as it also has running water, drainage and a parking space, yet the gentleman who bought the property only wanted it because of its close proximity to the sea.

When buying a new home, it is important to consider location, size and bedrooms but wouldn’t it be great if you could find the perfect home with all of these factors? At One Park West we have spacious two bedroom, two bathroom apartments with fantastic views over the city and great spaces for entertaining guests in one of Liverpool’s prime locations, all for less than £250,000, now that’s a lot of bang for your buck!

Knowing When You’ve Found the Right Home

Whether you’re a first time buyer or have years of experience in the world of real estate, committing to buying a property can be a very daunting prospect, to say the least.  Equally, buying a home could prove to be one of the most rewarding investments you will ever make.  So how do you go about finding a property that’s right for you and what should you bear in mind before taking the plunge?

1.       Wish list

Even before you start shopping around, make a list of what you are looking for in a property.  En suite bathroom?  Spare bedroom? Good views? Parking space? Proximity to shops, pubs and clubs?  Once you have drawn up a wish list, this will help you narrow down your search and make finding a suitable property a much quicker process.

2.       Researching the area

If you find a potentially suitable property, make sure you spend time getting to know the surrounding area.  What are the amenities like? Does it have good transport links?  You can find out most of this information and much more, including such things as crime levels and school results, by doing a postcode search on certain property websites.  But nothing compares with visiting the area in person and experiencing it for yourself.  It’s worth going at different times of the day and on different days of the week to gain a true overall picture.

3.       Stick within your limits

When it comes to buying a property, it’s very easy for costs to spiral out of control.  It’s important not to overstretch yourself.  Set a budget – and stick to it.  Don’t forget that over and above the price be paid for the property, costs will be incurred through conveyancing and legal fees, stamp duty, insurance as well as council tax and utility bills.  Consider fixing the cost of your legal work upfront and make sure you know your stamp duty thresholds to avoid any unexpected costs.

4.       Make your bid a realistic one

It’s one thing finding a suitable property – it’s another securing it.  Don’t bid too low for a property.  It may increase the chances of being gazumped and may leave a feeling of resentment with the seller.  And once you enter the process, don’t disappear on holiday, for example, without informing all the necessary parties.  It’s worthwhile building up a good relationship with the other party and then, hopefully, any problems that arise can be quickly overcome by simply picking up the phone and talking through the issue amicably with one another.

5.       Trust your instincts

Forget the glossy brochure, the mortgage deal and the proximity to essential services.  If it doesn’t give you a good feeling, walk away.  On the other hand, if the property gives you a good vibe and it’s within your limits, it’s likely that it’s the right one for you.

With these pointers in mind and your homework done, you can sign on the dotted line with confidence knowing that you have left nothing to chance and look forward to finalising the deal on your ideal property.

With the property market showing signs of good recovery nationwide and interest rates remaining at historically low levels, a new wave of potential buyers are currently on the look out for their ideal property.  We have certainly been as busy as ever here at One Park West.

With only 28 apartments remaining, we have had a steady stream of people interested in owning a luxurious apartment in the heart of Liverpool through the door.  If you would like to see what we have on offer, why not contact Kingston Shaw Residential on 0151 232 3333 or pop into the new marketing suite open 7 days a week?  There’s no time to lose and you won’t be disappointed.