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! 

Selling in a Post-Lockdown World

christian-stahl-8S96OpxSlvg-unsplashThe restrictions are starting to lift and although it will take a while before things resemble what they were, there are definitely signs of life returning.  If you have any questions concerning the market post-lockdown please send these to us via our Instagram story and we will endeavour to answer as many as possible.  However if you are considering a move have a think about the points below while you might be at home with a little more time on your hands than usual.

Not everyone has had the desire to continue with their plans to move and yet others’ decision to find a new home in our lucky part of Hertfordshire has been a recent one.  But before you race to get your home up there on the big wide web, take some time to consider if it’s ready for sale, and how your home looks from the street should never be neglected.  How can your home’s kerb appeal aid a post-lockdown sale?

Make an impression

We all know first impressions count – you want buyers longing to see what your home has to offer, from the outside in.  With many of us taking to the streets on our daily walks, we may be noticing more about what surrounds us than ever before,

as we are not distracted by the hustle and bustle of life.  Architecture is adored, colours and planting are admired, and presentation envied.  Not all future buyers are actively looking, but that doesn’t mean that if your home makes an impression it won’t be desired and remembered.  Your home will no longer be just one on the street in Rickmansworth, Croxley Green, Chorleywood, that potential buyers pass by without a glance, the right kerb appeal will ensure it stands out and is never ignored again.

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Present to sell

During Lockdown even if you haven’t made the decision to sell yet you may well have had time to declutter, clean and organise your property’s interior.  If you are planning to move you now need to put in the same work sprucing up the outside.  Begin with undertaking any repairs that you have been neglecting and tidy up your plants, shrubs and any lawn areas, so they are looking well cared for.  It’s only natural for paving to start to look tired over time, so grab that power-washer or call in the professionals, as this can make a massive difference.  It may seem obvious but clean all your windows and, if needed, give window sills a fresh coat of paint, as well as touching up any other paint work.

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Focus on the point

The focal point to any home is the front door; from its condition, to its colour, to whether it’s well lit, no detail will go unnoticed.  Colour psychology can also play a part in how buyers perceive the property, so what does your front door say about you and your home?  According to the Pantone Colour Institute, a black front door signifies elegance, power and prestige, whereas white is often chosen by those who prefer a minimalist look due to it being crisp and pristine.  Grey is timeless and less likely to go out of fashion, while a red door commands attention and is more likely to be chosen by individuals who are engaging and dynamic.  Whatever colour you choose, ensure it complements the architectural style of your property.

Red colored front door of a city houseThe devil is in the detail

One frustration for buyers is when a house number is not clearly visible, so if you don’t have one or it’s seen better days, an effective and subtle way to update the front of your home is to add bold numbers that can be clearly seen from the street.  At Trend & Thomas we would also advise that these and any hardware, such as the letter box, handles and knockers, should mirror the style of your home’s interior, as this will give your buyers a taste of what to expect.

Power in planting

Colour creates impact, adds warmth and a bright welcome, whether that’s through flowers bursting from flower beds and window boxes or evergreen shrubs in planters.  No matter what space you have at the front of your property, you can easily transform it with an injection of blooms. You can create a touch of elegance using symmetrical planters on either side of your front door, and aromatic herbs such as lavender and rosemary will provide beautiful scents that will add to your buyers’ viewing experience. purple-and-blue-flowers-1039127

Time is of the essence

Whilst the pace of life is slower, and before the majority of us return to work, don’t miss the opportunity to ensure that your home’s kerb appeal makes a lasting first impression.  Serious buyers are already out there, enquiries have started to rise and we expect this to continue as restrictions are lifted.  Time is of the essence, as your kerb appeal could aid a post-lockdown sale.  If you’d like advice on how to maximise your home’s potential, call us at Trend & Thomas on 01923 773 616 and we can discuss your own personal property and circumstances in better detail.

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

Declutter for January

declutter.pngHow many of you have thrown out NY resolutions in favour of throwing out your clutter? 5 Top tips to help you along.

With us in and out of houses many times a day, a decluttered space really is a big game changer when it comes to letting or selling your property.

Clearing out some clutter to allow a potential buyer or tenant to insert their own thoughts on how they would feel living in your home really can make a difference to the success of the viewing.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be religious and zealous like some people might profess but it’s a whole lot easier than giving up meat or alcohol for January and just might make you feel refreshed for the new year….and sell or let your home quicker.

Top 5 Marie Kondo tips summarised below….give it a go…we are!

1. TIDY ALL AT ONCE

Set aside at least two days to completely overhaul your home. If you tidy little by little you will be tempted to shift the remaining clutter into those clean areas and chaos will quickly resume. By tidying everything at once, you will be forced to break any messy habits to uphold the cleanliness of your entire home.

2. TIDY BY CATEGORY, NOT BY LOCATION

Sort through all your books at once, even if you have a bookcase in every room, the same applies for clothes and paperwork and so forth. This forces you to consider possessions as part of a collection, and helps determine what is worth keeping and what you should throw out.

3. PUT EFFORT INTO FOLDING CLOTHES

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It might seem like a tiresome chore, but putting more effort into folding clothes can reap long-term rewards. Watch the video tutorial below and learn Marie Kondo’s technique; basically any item of clothing (including underwear) should end up as a compact rectangle. You then stack these little soldiers in neat rows, enabling you to identify individual items of clothing at a glance and pull them out without disrupting everything else.

4. CREATE A STATE OF CHAOS

Do not be afraid to make a big mess before you tidy up again; consider it part of the ‘healing’ process. Pull out absolutely everything and dump it on the floor creating a state of chaos. Sort through each and every item, placing them in either a keep or toss pile. Make sure you actually discard the toss pile before you start rearranging the keep pile – you do not want to be tempted to hold onto anything you originally decided to trash.

5. DISCARD SENTIMENTAL OBJECTS

We have all be gifted something that we hate, but feel obliged to keep it due to sentimental value. It is time to readjust that type of thinking. These items have already served their purpose as a symbol of a fulfilling relationship. Keep hold of that warm gooey feeling but sensitively offload the unwanted gift.

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There’s even a new Netflix show by the Queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo, to help you along…Netflix – Marie Kondo show details

The Guardian also discusses Marie Kondo but amusingly muses, it might spark a domestic row 😉

Guardian article on Kondo & domestic bliss 😉

 

Our Viewing Day Checklist for Sellers & Landlords

Trend & Thomas Viewing Day tips!

Prior to marketing your property we will have chatted to you about the unique elements of your home.  These can become useful selling tips, how friendly (or distant!) the neighbours are, proximity to good schools, red kites in the garden!  Make sure you pass these on to us and we will build our marketing with these in mind.

In order to ensure we work with you to maximise the success of your viewings we have also prepared for you a thorough checklist of things you can do prior to a viewing. Speak to us about anything you would like explained further and always ask us if there is something we can do to make the process easier, we accompany all viewings unless otherwise arranged.  Viewings are our forte!

Our Viewing Day checklist for Sellers & Landlords:

  • A quick tidy up including a vacuum and sweep is a good start
  • Tidy your entrance and water any pots you have to make things looked cared for
  • Remove any post or flyersPerfectly made bed
  • Consider opening a window to air your home out, let us know and we will ensure we have shut these afterwards
  • Make the beds.  You’d be surprised how many people forget this!
  • Have the dog taken out for a walk or left with a Dog walkingfriend. Let us know about any cats – if they can be outside for the viewing even better but at least if we are aware of where they might be we can ensure we move quickly past them.
  • Clear all dishes and clutter from the kitchen and put out fresh clean tea towels
  • A clean oven is always a good idea prior to Fresh Towelsviewings as people often open the oven
  • Empty all your bins and bring in any street bins and recycling
  • Ensure wet towels are in the wash and put out fresh folded towels in the bathroom
  • In the winter months ensure the heating is on well before the viewing and definitely light the fire if you have one. In the hotter months ensure we are able to open windows should your home need fresh air.
  • Box up any clutter that has accumulated and pop it in your car if nowhere else!
  • Leave any necessary keys out for us in a pre-arranged spot – window, back door, garage and loft keys etc
  • Kitchen lightingTurn all your house lights on and remember any under bench kitchen lighting, porch lights & garden lighting – we will do this on arrival even during the day but great if you have beaten us to it.
  • Consider Home Staging if you really want a huge impact – chat this through with us in more detail
  • If you have a parking space conFlowerssider moving your car so viewers can park in your space – this will make their experience more enjoyable and put them in a good mood to view your property
  • A fresh vase of flowers does wonders as does lighting a scented candle, it might sound a bit cliché but fresh coffee really does smell great and can often mask any recent food smells.

Coffee