Our second ‘House to Home Reveal’ and an introduction to Baaa-Bette

We have been at it again – catching up with past clients to see what they have done with the House we helped them buy a few years ago.  This one is a gem.  Kirsti & Al have a perfect mixture of practical and creative abilities between them with a plethora of skills in their armoury from upholstery to animal husbandry to triathlons, photography and the commercial property world.  Come and enjoy this spectacular #HouseToHomeReveal

Rickmansworth Semi-detached home – purchased May 2016

How long did it take you to decide to buy your home?

We loved our old cottage on Ebury Road so it was difficult to find somewhere generally but when we found this property we decided almost straight away. We wanted a project as well as a little more living space.  Did we love it? No, too many features had been taken out. But did it have bags of potential? Yes absolutely! It was a rare opportunity to buy a Victorian refurbishment project in Rickmansworth.

What feature of your home did you love when you first viewed it?

The high ceilings! All I need in a house, the rest can all be changed!

living area b&fAnd what part of your home did you hate when you first viewed it?

Where to start…. The 60s fireplace, the woodchip wallpaper everywhere, the electric 1960s radiators used to heat pretty much the WHOLE house. The fact that nearly all the features were either gone or ruined.

Living room b&fHow easy or tricky was the buying process – time it took to complete, any curve balls?

Yes, tricky… I nearly put my shoes on once to go and have a word. It took a long time for our vendors to make up their minds and when they did they decided at the last minute that they would actually quite like to tie in the house they were buying into the chain, having always maintained that they were chain free! This might have meant further delays which in turn meant that our buyers were in danger of losing their mortgage offer.  Luckily for us Trend & Thomas managed the situation and got the sale through to completion.

How long did it take for you to decide on the renovations you planned?

I had a rough idea of what I wanted straight off but planning it and being able to afford it took a couple of years!

plan chest

Did you live in the house for a while or did you rip it out and do it up before you moved in?

We moved in and renovated upstairs nearly immediately, due to the need for central heating and a functioning bathroom…. We are lucky that the house was big enough for us to move around in whilst works were taking place, allowing us to live upstairs when we then got round to doing the extension downstairs in 2018.

bathroom b&f

Bathroom 1

How challenging were the renovations? Any advice on what to do or not to do?

It was hard but worth it! If you can do the whole thing in one go then do, absolutely it would have been easier for us, but at the same time the fact that we could stay here and move around made it bearable. Being on site was also very useful.

What do you love the most about your refurbished home?

The light, the big open plan space, the high ceilings and of course the period features which have been reinstated.

Staircase

Anything you would do differently now you’ve lived with it a bit?

Having a big open plan space means that all the walls are quite far away, I could have done with a sunken floor socket or two in the middle but then again if I had those I probably would find them an eye sore 😊  That’s an excellent tip Kirsti!

Kitchen b&f

Any more great tips for suppliers and companies you used to refurb and dress your home?

I love a mix of old and new, so good quality new or anything old! Spend time researching as things don’t always have to cost eye watering amounts of money. For example, our outdoor tiles came from Topps Tiles which people are always amazed at as they are so unusual for outdoors.

Exterior b&f

Our windows in the main space are from a company called Fabco in Littlehampton and our beautiful stair runner is from Roger Oates.

staircase b&fI source most of my furniture and fixings myself from markets, reclaim yards, auctions and antique dealers. The Sofa in our Living area is from West Elm, the wall lights are a mixture of Rocket St George and Graham & Green and the TV in the main area is the Samsung Frame TV.  Our roll top bath is from CP Hart but we reclaimed the feet from the old bath that was already here!

Coxandcoxlight

The bamboo pendant in our main living area is from Cox & Cox and the pendant in the Snug is a Mathieu Challieres Voilere from The Conran Shop.  Our kitchen is DeVOL and we have mostly painted the house Farrow and Ball Shaded White except for the Snug which is Inchyra blue.  Our yellow bed is from LoveYourHome and we used the Period House for some radiators.  The lovely round mirror in the bathroom is from Loaf.  The tiles in our main living area are from Porcelanosa.

Who lives here with you?

My husband and our two cats.  – Extra points if you can spot the lovely Lionel and Porridge making three appearances in the photos.

Which room do you use the most – before Lockdown, and after?

We’re always in the main room and then have the snug for a change of scenery!

Favourite tune to listen to in your home?

Now you’re asking! Only one????   Cherchez la Femme by Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band – As many as you like given that calibre!

Favourite meal to enjoy in your home?

All four of us love a nice Fish & Chips from SeaMaster!  – Oo that’s made us put that on our to do list soon!

How has your use of your home changed due to the Coronavirus Lockdown?

Our main open plan space appears to have changed into a plant nursery! They’re all growing big and strong so they can go in our freshly dug vegetable patch.

If you could have one change/improvement to your home to get you through lockdown – what would it be?

My work room is the one room in the house still to be done, somewhere where I can plan interiors and work on my upholstery and furniture projects.

And finally your favourite objet, piece of art or furniture; in your home and why?

My haberdashery cabinet! It’s beautiful, it’s old and it stores everything!! – Yes your haberdashery cabinet is stunning – but also, what about that amazing Sheep? 

Oh yes, the Party Sheep from Rocket St George’s collaboration with Pikes Hotel is a favourite feature –  although in our house she is known as Baaa-bette.

Baaa-Bette

Baaa-bette is beautiful and no longer available we understand – what a find you lucky four (or 5 including Baaa-bette) your home is one of our favourites to come and revisit.  Partly because you have carefully restored the important period features but also because you have given it a personality of it’s own relevant to life today.  Well done Kirsti & Al, doesn’t look like you are moving with Trend & Thomas again anytime soon – Oh no! 

COVID19 Update for our Clients

Estate agents working from home with childrenWe do hope you are safe and well in these unprecedented times.  We wanted to provide you with an update on how we are currently operating and the guidance specifically available for the property industry.   On the 20th April 2020 the Law Society has collated the current information on Home Moving and Conveyancing to cover essential moves and those contractually binding.  You can find this information here.

Some of our team have been furloughed but rest assured our office is continuing to function as normal with staff now working remotely as per Government guidance for the safety of our team & community.

There should be no interruption to services, but please bear with us if any delays in response occur. Please contact us on the usual number 01923 773 616 and on the emails salesandlettings@trendandthomas.co.uk or neil.guilfoyle@trendandthomas.co.uk. We will be happy to answer any property questions you may have.  We are working hard to stay up to date during the rapidly changing scenario.

Screen Shot 2020-05-07 at 15.27.32During this time our on-line presence is vitally important and we remain on all the mainportals, Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation as well as our own website and all the main Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, IGTV, Twitter and Vimeo.

Where possible, we have carried out filming or received footage from clients, to create short video tours so we can continue to virtually market properties under the current conditions.  Please contact us should you wish to know more about our Virtual viewings and please visit our IGTV or Vimeo page for these.Penn Place IGTV Title

With regard to viewings, we are happy to organise a real-time Facetime or Zoom walk around where possible, for example where the property is either empty or the client is comfortable to carry out the walk around with the viewer and ourselves linked in.

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Sales Progression – Communication is key and we will work hard to progress your sale from exchange to the handover of keys, liaising with mortgage advisers, conveyancers and solicitors with all the tenacity and attention to detail that you expect from Trend & Thomas.  We will also keep you informed at every stage. It has never been more important to have a good agent working on your behalf to keep your sale on track and with our local expertise we will do just that.  We have had several successful completions  in recent weeks and expect to continue to do so despite these challenging times.

You may well have seen that we are also providing a strong presence on Social Media in a more community focused direction.  In these uncertain times we feel it is important to support our town and locals as best we can.  

We have been doing our best to communicate with you regularly and we will continue to do so.  On a personal note if anyone needs a pint of milk, some eggs, or a prescription picked up then please contact us.  We have helped out a few clients over the past few weeks and as we live in the Town centre it is much easier for us to do.coronavirus advice stay home save lives

Stay safe and well and keep in touch.

Neil Guilfoyle – Director

Trend & Thomas asks, Is OnTheMarket.com InTheMarket?

You may have heard the rumble of activity amidst the online property portals open to Estate Agents recently and we wanted to give you our summary of the situation and how it will affect our clients and marketing plans.

Last Monday saw the arrival of a new online portal called OntheMarket.com

This poZoopla logortal does a very similar job to the existing market leaders Rightmove and Zoopla with one very large difference – this portal is owned and operated by a consortium of Estate Agents. Emerging quite simply because Agents were tired of the duopoly of the big players causing mounting fees and very little in return. The fees were increasing, functionality was not improving and Agents felt duped that they were losing control of their marketing choices.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 21.35.47For this reason the concept behind OntheMarket.com was excellent. An advertising and marketing choice created by Agents, for Agents with hugely reduced fees in comparison to the existing portals & potentially providing much needed competition to the market with the hope it would reduce the stronghold of Rightmove and Zoopla.

All admirable goals and we support the concept wholeheartedly. Trend & Thomas not being shy of a little competition to the market…with 6 Estate Agents in the High Street it’s not a game for the faint-hearted! However, in order to shake things up, OnTheMarket.com had one very serious condition – in order to join, benefit from hugely reduced fees and gain shares in the burgeoning company – you had to drop one of the other main portals – Rightmove or Zoopla.

The arrival of OnTheMarket.com has been a long term process and we have been watching the development of the portal over the past 12 months along with the reactions of Rightmove and Zoopla, other Agents, the press and most importantly, the public.

OnTheMarket.com launched last Monday and we have watched the week with interest.

Our findings after week one:

  • OnTheMarket logoNot enough budget to provide TV Advertising to match the competition
  • Not enough budget to ensure market leading functionality
  • Not enough diversity of properties listed to make it the go to portal for buyers, tenants.

So after a year of research and debate Trend & Thomas would like to announce our 2015 advertising and marketing decision – we will be staying with Rightmove & Zoopla.

Despite the great shake up OnTheMarket.com can give the industry and the attractive reduction in fees, we have come to the decision that the best interests of our clients are foremost and the giants of Rightmove and Zoopla have much bigger budgets, better current functionality, more exposure to the public and more back end support to fix issues and develop future technology.

While we herald the success of OnTheMarket.com we don’t feel it will currently give our clients & their properties the best advertising and marketing exposure. For the time being it will actually reduce the number of people being exposed to their property. From our research in this first week of OnTheMarket.com there is over 80% more online activity via Rightmove alone in our local area, than there is via OnTheMarket.com

We will continue to monitor developments and report any updates and news to you, but for now we are staying with the market leaders for the sole benefit of our clients.

OnTheMarket is not currently InOurMarket – but you can help us with our research by answering our poll: