So you’ve finally succumbed; the thought of having your own fluffy little friend has at last got the better of you. Who could blame you? Few of us can resist the heart-melting sweetness of a dog and welcoming one or more of them into our families is a rite of passage of which no one should be deprived. After all, what could be better after a long, challenging slog at the office than the unquestioning love and devotion you’ll be shown every single day by your furry acquisition? It’s a loyal, dependable love that can sometimes be hard to find in London. The only problem, or at least one of the most significant ones, is that your London home may be a potential death-trap once your canine companion moves in, especially if he or she is a puppy and given to excitable behaviour. So here are some important provisions to make so that everyone can be safe, sound and very, very happy:
Alas, in London, there’s no magical way of making renting (or owning, for that matter) an inexpensive undertaking. In fact, recent estimates put the average monthly rental price in London at a blood-curdling £1270 a month. But to help you offset some of that sum and hold on to more of your lucre, there are certain things you can do, whether it’s knowing the best way to furnish a flat on the cheap or making sure you can get your deposit back. Both from personal experience and as london’s favourite movers we’ve put our heads together and come up with some of our favourites.
A dreary, dirty, worn and stained carpet – what could be more of a downer than that? It’s even worse if you’re planning a London move and need to sell up because even if the people who come on viewings don’t notice it, their subconscious might. They’ll leave, perhaps not quite certain why they don’t like your property, but knowing without doubt that they don’t. Spills, thrills, accidents and age all bear down on a London carpet over the years unless you go the neurotic, impolite and inhospitable route of asking people to take their shoes off; that’s even more depressing than a dirty carpet. So it’s always worth having a few tricks up your sleeve for good carpet cleaning. We’ve got plenty and here are just a few of them:
There’s an absolute glut of storage options in the current market and the task of choosing which one to use is therefore not at all enviable. Should you just take pot luck? Go with family’s and friends’ recommendations? Read up on the reviews (bearing in mind that some may be planted)? It’s hard to know where to begin. But there’s one surefire way of paring down the list until it’s quite a lot easier, and that’s by going with your removals company’s storage facilities. For a start, it means not having to deal with an additional company, but there are other benefits to this option and they’re just as compelling.
Your home in London may well, in all likelihood, make money while you sleep simply by increasing in value, but that’s far from being the only way you can set it to work on your behalf. In fact, there’s a whole host of additional ways that your bricks and mortar can earn a buck for you. Some are easy while some involve labour and a bit of know-how. But they’re all things that almost anyone can do to get their coffers a little fuller each year. Here are some ideas to guide you if you’re thinking about entering this area of the economy.
If you’re suffering from that post-holiday slump, you’re not alone. The tinsel and brightly-coloured wrapping paper, along with all the festive decorations, has been chucked in a box and exiled to the garage or cupboard, and along with it goes some of the joy in our hearts. Early January is never the easiest of times and it’s normal to miss the jubilation and togetherness that’s receding farther into the distance with every passing day. So what better time could there be than to reflect on all that is good? It’s now, more than ever, that we need to keep our spirits aloft and the fact that we live in one of the world’s most exciting cities is cause to celebrate. It’s easy to overlook our good fortune so let’s look at five reasons to be happy we moved to London (or had the good fortune to be from there in the first place).
The post-holiday slump is a feeling that most of us will know at some point or another. While it’s true that, for some, the period stretching from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day is a slog that they’re all too happy to see the back of, for those of us who enjoy the magic, its end plunges us back into the dispiriting and humdrum business of living. The worries that had been put on hold come back to haunt us. The stress of working life gets under way again. The jolly decorations come down as gaiety and jubilation pack their bags and flee, leaving us nursing a terrible case of post-Christmas sorrow. It can feel as if happiness itself is abandoning us once and for all. But we have the good fortune to live in London, where every weeknight and weekend brings with it new possibilities for fun things to do. It’s easy to keep the good feelings going, provided we get out there and do things that generate them. Here are four of our picks:
In past blogs, we’ve looked at great London auctioneers where you can find wonderful pieces from all kinds of eras (mid-century modern is currently the hot period). Whether you’re furnishing a new home or simply refreshing an existing one, getting items of furniture from the past rather than the present is a sure-fire way to imbue your rooms with atmosphere and character. But auctions aren’t the only answer. There are also second-hand furniture shops in London where you won’t have to bid but can simply sweep in, grab what captures your imagination and then sweep out again. Here are three that have caught our eye:
Could there be any better way for you, your friends and your family (both immediate and extended) to get acquainted with your new home than by playing a game of ‘hide-and-seek’ (or ‘hide-and-go-seek’ if you’re American)? In no time, all the corners, crannies, nooks, and wardrobes will have been explored without so much as a dim, dusty corner going un-inspected. Even the spaces beneath the beds will have been explored and admired and all the while you’ll be having festive fun as you take turns as either hunter or prey. This easy game never disappoints in the way that some of those drab and dreary car games, like I Spy, so often do. One chosen player closes their eyes while all the others find ingenious hiding places. A minute or two later, up goes the cry, “Ready or not, here I come!” and the game is afoot. Of course, there are variations – in some territories, each player joins in the hunting after he or she is found, in others only the chosen player does the seeking and each found player must remain in his/her hiding place and not join in after being discovered. However you play it, you’ll be able to brush up your hiding, tracking and observational skills in the course of each game.
If we’re going to toil on our homes, using our precious spare time to make them better and possibly bigger, then one thing we want to be sure of is that our efforts – all those thankless hours we’ve put in – will pay off. Of course, there’s the pay-off of making our living environments more enjoyable and relaxing to be in. But what about the other pay-off – an increase in the value of our property? This becomes even more important if we’re making improvements before selling up. So what are some of the improvements likely to make our homes more expensive on the market? Let’s take a look at just a small fraction of the myriad ways we can do this. Some are large and require an investment of time, expertise and money – others are quicker and easier. But all of them should help push up the price of your property. Britons are estimated to spend almost £30 billion a year on home improvements – it’s worthy making yours count.