National Grid warns of potential power outages this winter

National Grid warns of potential power outages this winter

Homes could face a series of planned three-hour power outages this winter, National Grid has said. The blackouts would take place in ‘pre-defined periods’ and have been described by the Energy Saving Trust as a ‘worst-case scenario’ during this uncertain period for power supplies.

If Britain cannot import enough electricity, power outages may be put in place in households and businesses to reduce total consumption by 5%.

kitchen with open shelving and three hanging exposed bulb lights

(Image credit: Future PLC / Lizzie Orme)

National Grid power outage plans 

Stew Horne, head of policy at the Energy Saving Trust (opens in new tab), says that the National Grid’s announcement doesn’t mean an interruption to our energy supply will actually happen. However, it does highlight the need to reduce our demand for gas in the short and long term.

‘In the short term, the UK Government needs to consider how to reduce energy demand this winter to increase energy security, lower bills and promote decarbonisation for the long term,’ says Stew Horne. 

‘The cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use and there is much the Government should do to help households to lower demand, primarily through improving the energy efficiency of homes,’ he adds.

Grey living room with white vertical radiator behind grey armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

To enable this, Stew Horne explains that we need an accessible, national, impartial and tailored energy advice service that will empower people to take action to save energy at home and therefore save money on home energy bills. 

‘We cannot afford to wait,’ he says. ‘There are still opportunities for fast action and financial commitment this year to permanently reduce energy demand to both cut costs and carbon emissions while keeping people warm and comfortable.’

How likely are the National Grid power outages?

The current uncertainty around gas supplies is a result of Russian energy supplies being cut off amid the war in Ukraine, and reduced supplies from France. There is a possibility that homes will face blackouts if energy supplies become extremely low. 

National Grid has however described the scenario in which Great Britain will have insufficient supplies of gas as ‘unlikely’. Prime Minister Liz Truss previously ruled out energy rationing, and in response to the National Grid’s Winter Outlook, the Government has said that it is confident that it will secure winter power supplies.

room with light pink wall golden wall shelves and plant in vase

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

How to prepare in the event of a power outage

There are a few things you can do in the eventuality of a pre-planned power outage. Turn appliances off at the plug beforehand to be safe, and think about the things you would usually use during the three-hour period that use electricity, from the kettle to your TV, and find ways to work around the lack of electricity. 

There are a few things worth stocking up on to keep in an emergency bundle incase of a power outage.

  • Battery-operated torch – A heavy duty battery torch that can stand up on its own like this LED Torch on Amazon, priced at £17.49 (opens in new tab), is ideal to have on hand.
  • USB lamps – These lamps cost as little as £12.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab) and can be powered by anything with a USB port, including your laptop or power bank if you find yourself without batteries.
  • Warm blankets – Electric blankets might be out of action, but keep a store of blankets on hand to keep warm.
  • Flasks of hot water – This is a good hack to save energy on boiling a kettle, even if you aren’t expecting a power shortage. You can pick up a 5 litre thermos to keep the whole family in hot water for £32.56 on Amazon (opens in new tab).
  • Camping stove – You can pick a stove up for around £29 on Amazon (opens in new tab), but make sure you’re stocked up on fuel.
  • Power Bank – The last thing you want is your phone running out of battery, so make sure you have a power bank charged up and ready to go. 

Look at ways to keep a house warm in winter so your home is well insulated ahead of a power cut. You could also fill a cupboard with food that you can cook on a barbecue or camping stove, and download movies on a laptop or iPad.

Neoclassical Decor, Arches, And Curved Accents

Neoclassical Decor, Arches, And Curved Accents

Arches and curves endow these four neoclassical home interiors with unique flair, each designed by Irem Erekinci. Home number one places striking modern furniture designs between the classical arches of elegantly sculpted doorways. Seafoam green accent furniture uplifts and freshens the decor palette. Our second house tour is a strikingly bold ensemble of rich muted shades, an exciting materials palette, and fashion forward furniture. Each turn is a feast for the eyes. In home three, we’ll discover new wavy silhouettes. Undulating outlines shape unique alcoves, a pretty dining nook, and decorative coving. Our final home design is a picture elegance of under a coffered ceiling and modest hints of raw industrial attitude.

Recommended Reading:  51 Neoclassical Living Rooms With Tips And Accessories To Help You Design Yours

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National Grid warns of potential power outages this winter

Light up your home this winter with the Ideal Home x Next lighting edit

As the days get shorter getting the lighting right in your home is incredibly important to create a cosy and bright atmosphere. When it comes to lighting Next has become something of a high street hero, offering up on-trend and stylish pieces at wallet-friendly prices.

For that reason, we’re very excited to partner up with Next (opens in new tab) to select our favourite pieces from the new Autumn Winter lighting collection for the Ideal Home x Next edit. From affordable lighting features, to statement chandeliers Next’s new collection really has it all. 

Purple living room with chandelier and beige sofa

(Image credit: Next)

 Something for every style 

 No style has gone uncatered for in the new autumn-winter lighting (opens in new tab) range, from the new Bromma contemporary range to the minimalist revamped Oxford light. 

Pink light on wooden sideboard

 Verona table lamp, £120, Next (opens in new tab) 

(Image credit: Next)

If you’re crazy for all things scandi and looking to bring a little hyggelig glow to your home the Verona table lamp, priced at £120 (opens in new tab), with its softy rosy glow is a match made in heaven. For homes that like to dial up the glamour, the Grand Country Chandelier, £225 (opens in new tab), is bound to make your friends green with envy.

However, if you prefer a more sleek contemporary look the Bromma Ceiling Lamp, £150, is perfect for bringing a stylish touch to any space.

Next gold statement light in a white room

(Image credit: Next)

Statement lighting that’s easy on the wallet 

Next has proven that lighting doesn’t have to break the bank to look beautiful. While there is the choice to splash out on a beautiful chandelier, options such as the Jackson ceiling lamp (opens in new tab) will give you a chic industrial look for just £60.  

Black bulb ceiling lighting

(Image credit: Next)

When it comes to affordable lamps, Next has also launched some of its most popular table lamps in mini form for £25,  such as the charming mini Lydford (opens in new tab) with is perfect for a neutral colour scheme. The mini Brass bourton light (opens in new tab) has already caught our eye as a charming bedside lamp. 

Lamps on bedside table with blue bedding

 Brass Bourton light, £25, Next (opens in new tab) 

(Image credit: Next)

However, when it comes to affordable lighting the buck doesn’t stop at the price tag. Next has ensured its lamps are equipped to help you save on energy too. Their long life LED lights (opens in new tab) can save up to 90% energy. They have also been designed to last 10 times longer than a standard halogen bulb. To save even further on energy battery lights are also available in the new range. 

Pink dining room with pendant light

(Image credit: Next)

Shop even more great brands at Next

There is now even more choice to shop at Next when it comes to lighting. The highstreet hero is home to a range of other well-known lighting brands from BHS, to Laura Ashley, Pacific, Heals and Swoon. You’d be hard pressed to find a large collection of lighting superstars in one place. 

Rather than mourn the loss of longer days it’s time to embrace the clock turning back and explore Next’s lighting range to illuminate your home this winter.

Explore the Next x Ideal Home Edit (opens in new tab)or shop the Next Home collection in stores and online at next.co.uk (opens in new tab)

*Delivery costs apply. Subject to availability. Restrictions apply. For terms and conditions, visit next.co.uk 

National Grid warns of potential power outages this winter

Escape to the Chateau’s Dick and Angel Strawbridge announce brand new show

Dick and Angel Strawbridge, from Escape to the Chateau, have announced that the hit Channel 4 series will soon be coming to an end – but never fear, as the couple has revealed that they will be returning with a brand new show instead!

The couple first hit our screens in 2016, and viewers have since enjoyed eight seasons following their journey, which saw them getting their lavish – but downtrodden – French chateau up to scratch.

And now, fans will see them explore a new avenue, in a follow-up series set to begin next year called Escape to the Chateau: Secret France.

Dick and Angel Strawbridge’s new show

While we’re saying goodbye to the original series, Escape to the Chateau: Secret France is set to air in 2023, though we don’t yet have a confirmed launch date. 

The show will see Dick and Angel on ‘adventures, unlocking the secrets of France’, Channel 4 say. We don’t have many more details about what the series will see the creative couple doing, but reportedly, the pair will utilise their experience in the country, to show viewers a side of France that tourists rarely see.

While we’re glad to hear that we’ll still have something to look forward to from the Strawbridge’s, keen fans will be saddened by the news that Escape to the Chateau series 9 will be the final iteration of the original show, where fans have fallen for Angel’s DIY projects and Dick’s engineering solutions.

Chateau from Escape to the Chateau with greenery and a lake

(Image credit: Channel 4/Escape to the Chateau)

It will begin in autumn (there is no confirmed air date yet), and it seems like it’s set to be one of their biggest – and busiest – instalments ever.

After the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, the chateau is now back with a bang, and is set to host a multitude of events; including weddings and a Christmas extravaganza, as well as the Strawbridge’s own extended family.

As ever though, there are plenty of jobs still to finish around the property before celebrations can begin, including the replacement of 62 windows and an ‘extension’, in the form of a winter garden on stilts!

Dick and Angel Strawbridge and their children in their garden with gardening tools

(Image credit: Channel 4/Escape to the Chateau)

To close out the show, the ninth series will also see Angel and Dick reminisce on the past seven years, and all they’ve accomplished at their chateau since that time.

Sharing their thoughts on the end of the series, and the beginning of their new venture, they said, ‘Escape to the Chateau has been our family journey; our decision to buy a Chateau with no water, electricity, heating or sewage has taken us on the adventure of a lifetime and we could never have imagined what would unfold.

‘We’re so grateful to everyone who continues to support us and we’re looking forward to what the future holds. As one Chateau chapter ends, so another Chateau story begins…’

We’ll be catching up on as many of Angel Strawbridge’s interior tips as we can until then!

Why You Should Convert to Plastic-Free Cleaning Products Now

Why You Should Convert to Plastic-Free Cleaning Products Now

Eco-friendly, plastic-free cleaning products from Seep in packaging against a white tiled wall

Plastic-free cleaning products from Seep (affiliate) are compostable or easily recycled

Sustainability in the home cleaning industry is not really a new topic as the first eco-cleaning brands appeared back in the 1970s. However, the past few years, thanks in large part to the Pandemic, have seen an enormous surge in interest in eco-friendly home cleaning products.

Pandemic Fuels Home Cleaning Industry

As we all sought to keep our homes clean and hygienic sales of household cleaning products have soared. Spending more time at home and working from home has also led to an increased need for a clean and tidy space in which to live and work productively.

This interest in home cleaning has been further fuelled by the likes of celebrity ‘cleanfluencers’ Mrs Hinch, Courtney Cox and Kris Jenner championing the home cleaning industry and the advantages for our mental health and wellbeing of living in a clean home.

Eco-friendly, plastic-free cleaning products from Seep in a Joseph Joseph kitchen caddy

The Eco Cleaning Starter Kit (affiliate)

Environmental Concerns Boost Plastic-Free Cleaning Products

The increased consumer engagement and the elevated spending on home cleaning products brought about by the Pandemic may be starting to wane, but concerns about the environment and sustainability are stepping in to fill the void. We are seeing consumer behaviour and attitude changes as people realise the impact of their purchasing decisions

The Impact of Non-Recyclable Plastic Sponges

As we realise how damaging our cleaning equipment is, it’s easy to see the need for eco-friendly alternatives. Some of the statistics are just mind-blowing. For example, every minute of every day we bin 1,000 kitchen sponges, the majority of which are virgin plastic.

A recent survey and found that on average people in the UK change their sponges at least once every month, with some changing them after every use. A quick calculation puts this at roughly 600 million sponges being thrown into landfill in the UK each year and that’s only from domestic use.

These non-recyclable plastic sponges are made with polyurethane and do not biodegrade. Sponges that promise anti-bacterial properties are also often coated in toxic chemicals which pollute our water and are deadly to marine life.

Eco-friendly, plastic-free cleaning products from Seep behind a sink, in front of a window

The Eco Cleaning Starter Kit from Seep (affiliate)

Microplastics in our Blood

Then there are the microplastics that are shed from these sponges which are often too small to be removed by the filtration system. They end up in our rivers and oceans and are then eaten by fish and other aquatic animals. These microplastics have now been discovered in the human bloodstream which is quite frankly petrifying.

And that is just the plastic sponges and doesn’t take into account plastic brushes or all the various synthetic cloths that are being used and disposed of. It really is no wonder that more people are waking up to the urgent need to adopt more eco-friendly, plastic-free cleaning products.

Consumers Want More Plastic-Free Cleaning Products

According to the UK Household Cleaning Equipment Market Report 2022, 55% of UK consumers agree that there should be more sustainable cleaning equipment products available. Furthermore, 35% of UK consumers agree that it is acceptable for sustainable cleaning equipment to be more expensive than regular equipment. Consumers are now actively seeking out brands that are highly engaged in climate and sustainability initiatives.

A close up of a plastic-free sponge scourer by Seep held in a hand wearing natural rubber gloves

Eco Sponge With Scourer (4 Pack Of Sponges) (affiliate)

Seep Offers a Plastic-Free & Biodegradable Household Green Cleaning Range

This is where brands like Seep (affiliate) come in. Seep is a female-owned B-Corp that supplies plastic-free and biodegradable household green cleaning equipment and is “on a mission to clean up the way we clean up”.

Seep Founder Laura Harnett had become frustrated with the fact that whilst eco-friendly cleaning liquids were readily available, there seemed to be a distinct lack of plastic-free, non-polluting cleaning equipment with which to apply them.

Laura, who had grown tired of waiting for someone else to solve the problem, decided she needed to be part of the solution and not part of the pollution. She set up Seep, which stands for Sustainable Everyday Essential Products, to offer products that are designed to look good in your home and be better for the planet.

The products, which include sponges, scourers, dish brushes, rubber gloves, washing up cloths, tea towels and bin bags, are designed to be plastic-free, compostable or easily recycled. They are also designed to provide a quality clean.

A copper scourer by Seep being used to clean a large steel saucepan. The hand wears natural rubber gloves by Seep

Recyclable Copper Scourer (3 Pack) (affiliate)

Are Plastic-Free Cleaning Products Any Good?

Now, this was one of my main concerns when I agreed to work with Seep to try out their plastic-free cleaning products. Will they clean as well as synthetic products? My other concern was of course the cost. But since we got a dishwasher, we don’t wash up by hand very much so the increased cost of such products is less of a worry these days as they will last a lot longer.

Eco Cleaning Starter Kit

I was sent the Eco Cleaning Starter Kit (affiliate), which is basically a plastic-free washing-up bundle. It is quite pricey at £32 but what you get for your money is really good value. Let’s take a look at what is included in the bundle.

1 Pack of 4 Sponge Scourers

A packet of natural cellulose sponges with loofah scourer on a white work top with white tiles behind.

Eco Sponge With Scourer (4 Pack Of Sponges) (affiliate)

Firstly, these sponge scourers are a hell of a lot more attractive than those hideous-looking yellow and green plastic sponges and they are much nicer to touch. They are made from sustainably sourced and renewable cellulose wood pulp and raw loofah fibre. Both cellulose and loofah fibre are natural materials making these sponges fully compostable and biodegradable as they break down into harmless organic waste.

They contain no harmful toxins and because they are plastic-free cleaning products, they won’t shed any harmful microplastics.

There are also practical benefits to using these sponge scourers. Not only are they non-scratch which is important for all our non-stick pans, but these sponges also require less washing-up liquid as they retain more of the soap.

When I first started using the sponge scourers, I did worry that they weren’t as durable as synthetic sponges, but my worries were quickly dismissed. They can stand up to heavy scrubbing and do last for a month as Seep claims. I’ve been using mine for over a month now and it is still going strong.

1 Pack of 3 All-Purpose Cloths

A hand wearing natural rubber gloves by seep uses an all purpose cloth by Seep to wipe down a black granite sink

Eco Washing Up Cloth (affiliate)

These cloths are made from a blend of loofah and wood pulp fibres and a trace amount (1.5%) of polyester which is needed to bind the fibres. Sadly this means that the cloths are not compostable or fully free of plastic. However, Seep says that they will be discontinuing this product and replacing it with a more sustainable alternative once they have found one.

They are great for everyday cleaning around the house and I really like that they can be popped in the washing machine at 30c once they get dirty. Because they are white, they do tend to get dirty quite quickly but they are much easier to keep clean than the poly-cotton cloths I was using previously. I’m not yet sure how often they can be washed in the machine but so far after two washes, they are still holding up well even if they are a little discoloured.

1 Pair of Natural Rubber Gloves

A pair of natural rubber gloves from Seep on a white worktop with white tiles behind

Eco Rubber Gloves (affiliate)

These come in medium or large and are made with fair trade, sustainably sourced rubber from responsibly managed plantations in Sri Lanka. The lining is 100% natural cotton flock and when I was using them my hands felt a lot less sweaty than when wearing other gloves.

I have really small hands so these were a little on the large side for me and kept rolling down. However, I don’t wear rubber gloves often so not a huge inconvenience for me.

1 Pack of 3 Copper Scourers

3 recyclable copper scourers from Seep on a white worktop with white tiles behind

Recyclable Copper Scourer (3 Pack) (affiliate)

Firstly, how much prettier are these than the steel ones? I do love copper as it has the added advantage of being naturally anti-bacterial. Also, as it is a non-ferrous metal, it doesn’t rust, so no dirty brown puddles on the worktop. They are also endlessly recyclable. I need to check if my local council will take copper in my recycling box, otherwise, I will need to take them to the local recycling centre to dispose of them.

At first, I thought they were a little more flimsy than the steel scourers I am used to, but they can be reshaped quite easily and have enough flexibility to shape them into what you need them to be to get the job done. They are great at tackling those hard-to-clean, crusted-on stains that the sponge scourer can’t handle. They cannot be used on non-stick pans though.

1 Bamboo Washing-Up Brush

A bamboo washing up brush by Seep is used to clean a blue Denby plate over a black granite sink

Bamboo Dish Brush (affiliate)

I think this is by far my favourite product of them all. The washing-up brush is made from sustainably sourced bamboo with bristles made from sisal and it is finished with biodegradable varnish. Not only does it look much better than equivalent plastic brushes, it is a lot nicer to use.

 It feels really durable and hard-wearing and actually, it cleans so much better than the plastic brush I was using. According to Seep, it may start to show signs of mould after six months but I’m hoping that because I rarely wash by hand it will last a lot longer than that.

A final bonus when investing in these plastic-free home cleaning products is that they all come in sustainably sourced, recyclable packaging using natural inks.

Plastic-free cleaning products from Seep used to wash a blue Denby plate over a black granite sink

Eco Sponge With Scourer (4 Pack Of Sponges) (affiliate)

Plastic-Free Cleaning Products: The Verdict? 

Now I definitely do not class myself as any kind of eco-warrior. I subscribe to the approach that millions of people doing zero waste imperfectly is still going to have a massive impact. So for me, it’s all about making those small incremental changes and staying consistent. Things like no longer using single-use plastics where possible, taking a water bottle with me wherever I go, taking homemade lunch to work in plastic-free lunch boxes bags and accessories, and now using plastic-free cleaning products.

This feels like progress to me and whilst it’s not world-changing, maybe if we all make these tiny steps we could make massive change together.

I realise that these plastic-free household cleaning products are more expensive than plastic alternatives so they may not be within budget for everyone, but if you are able to pay slightly more for something that does less harm to the planet and the people and animals who live on it, please do.

The experience of using eco-friendly, natural cleaning products was a really positive one for me, and because I mostly use a dishwasher, I anticipate that these products will last as long, if not longer than the plastic alternatives I was using before. The performance is comparable if not better and my conscience feels a lot better knowing that these products can either be composted at home or recycled.

National Grid warns of potential power outages this winter

Jay Blades’ Home Truths and the chore he’ll happily spend four hours doing

When he’s not fronting BBC1’s The Repair Shop’s, Jay Blades lives in Wolverhampton with his fiancée, Lisa.

What’s your favourite time of day at home?

Cor blimey, that’s a hard one. It’s all day, every day! I’m just so grateful for living right now. 

But really, it’s when I’m playing vinyl – and that could be any time. I love buying vinyl, especially reggae, soul and jazz. Then I like to do livestreams on MixCloud and Twitch.

Where’s your happy place at home?

I’ve got a zero gravity chair and it would definitely be when I’m in that. It makes you feel as though you’re weightless and floating, which is great for me as I’ve got four ruptured discs in my spine.

What’s on your bedside table?

A full decanter of water and a glass. I have a drink of water before I go to sleep and a big glass of water in the morning before I do anything else.

What’s your home addiction?

It’s probably finding things that I can make or adapt. I love heading to charity shops, finding cool stuff and taking it to my workshop so I can do it up in a way that’s totally unique to me. 

Normally you pay quite a bit of money for something that’s bespoke, but because you can do it yourself it’s, like, cool, I’ve made this! 

I remember once I was walking around a local forest and there was this youngish tree that had fallen and I asked the guy who owned the land if I could take it. Once I got it home I rubbed it down slightly, leaving a little of the bark on and attached it to the wall by my stairs to act as a handrail. It wasn’t perfectly straight but that’s the beauty of it. 

And it ages – as you put your hand on it as you go up down the stairs, you’re sanding and grooving it so it becomes a part of your family history.

What’s your home pet peeve?

Smells! I’m really sensitive to smells so we like to open the windows and let air in. My missus is also a bit of a clean freak, so if it doesn’t smell of the outdoors it’ll be smelling of bleach anyway!

What chore do you love?

Ironing. I meditate during ironing, so I can iron for about four hours straight. It’s quite boring and I love doing boring things because that’s the opportunity for your brain to start thinking. 

When you’re busy you don’t have time to think about anything but what you’re doing. So ironing offers that quiet time that allows your brain to digest everything, and get that lightbulb moment.

Jay Blades standing in front of a wall of tools

(Image credit: BBC/Ricochet/Ian West)

Do you think you’re a good host?

I think I am but it depends on the people you have coming around. To me, a good host depends on the guests that you’ve got. You have to choose wisely who you invite into your home. 

What do you do if you have time at home on your own?

Play vinyl or organising. I don’t get much time to organise things. I’m so busy that when I’m home I’ll be ironing or packing ready to go and film again, so when I’m here I’m just thinking about the things I’ve got to sort out, and I just love getting things organised. 

What do you miss most about your home when you’re away?

My bed. It’s really comfortable, and staying in different hotels with different pillows… it’s not great. Sometimes I’ll even turn up with my own pillow!

Quick fire questions with Jay Blades

  • 1. Shoes – On or off in the house? Off
  • 2. Eat at the table or on laps? Table
  • 3. Lighting – bright or moody? My rooms are normally quite darkly lit – one light in the corner and that’s it
  • 4. Quick shower or long bath? Long shower!
  • 5. Room decor – Colourful or neutral? Neutral with a proper splash of colour!

His latest book, DIY With Jay by Jay Blades is available now (£20, Bluebird).

National Grid warns of potential power outages this winter

Shark has found a way to banish that musty vacuum cleaner smell for good

We all know that fusty vacuum cleaner smell, the whiff of old dust that fills your house after vacuuming. Shark’s latest vacuum cleaner range claims to have found a solution that actually works.

In our experience, even the best vacuum cleaners often develop an unusual dusty smell. You just have to look at the number of hacks on the internet for ways to tackle that vacuum cleaner smell, from using essential oils to Lenor Unstoppables. However, Shark’s new Stratos vacuum cleaner range has finally found a solution to stop that fusty smell with its new Anti-Odour Technology.

Shark cordless vacuum cleaner under sofa

(Image credit: Shark)

The new Anti-Odour technology promises to transform bad odours into fresh smelling air. It does this through a cartridge system in the dust cup that targets the main culprits of that smell – hair and dust.

Shark Stratos Anti-Odour technology – tried and tested

It might sound a little like cleaning witchcraft however, Molly Cleary, our Ecommerce Writer on Ideal Home has put the claims to the test while reviewing the Shark Stratos Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum at home and was impressed.

‘There’s a space in the head of the vacuum for you to place the cartridge in, and then you can dial up the intensity to the level you’d like,’ Molly explains.

‘Using the cartridge really does create a noticeable fragrant difference, with a fresh smell emanating from the vacuum even as you begin to clean in different rooms. Plus, there’s no trace of that horrible smell that you usually get as you empty the dust bin with it either. As someone who has reviewed plenty of vacuums, this cartridge was a very welcome innovation and would be a perfect feature for anyone sensitive to smells.’

Shark cordless vacuum cleaner close up of filter

(Image credit: Shark)

The Anti-Odour technology will feature in all five vacuum cleaners in the new Stratos range with launched this month. They all also feature Sharks Anti Hair Wrap Plus, ideal for pet owners (or anyone with long hair) and Anti-Allergen Complete Seal, which promises to trap 99.9 per cent of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.

The range includes upright and cordless vacuum cleaners with prices starting at £399.99. However, the one we’re keeping our eye on is the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum that you can pick up for £479.99 on the Shark Website (opens in new tab).

Shark cordless vacuum cleaner plugged into wall

(Image credit: Shark)

If you are simply looking to get your hands on a Shark vacuum cleaner (they’re Mrs Hinch’s vacuum of choice for a reason) keep an eye on the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale that launches on the 11th of October.

Here’s hoping the anti-odour technology soon becomes a regular feature in vacuum cleaners.

High-end Home Designs With Stylish Staircases

High-end Home Designs With Stylish Staircases

Open and airy, light and luxe, these three home designs offer peaceful, high-end living experiences with an uplifting essence. At the heart of them all stands a stylish staircase design, each with its own chic twist. An abundance of curved elements softens the contemporary linearity of the interiors, gently increasing a sense of comfort. Accent colors are limited and muted against clean white backdrops to achieve a refined aesthetic. Wood tone is introduced to add visual warmth and texture. Home number one gains added intrigue from striking sculptural elements. Home tour two offers up an elegant tea room design. Home design three rounds off the tour with a collection of uber trendy art and accessories.

Recommended Reading:  Luxury Interior Design Using A Neutral Palette

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Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining

Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining

The next area explored within the Hilltop Estate is just beyond the front door and entryway. Join us as we walk through the living room and dining room, which together form one larger space. These two rooms, unified by a high ceiling vault, have just as many distinctive characteristics as they do congruent ones. 

We incorporated several design elements for a purposeful sense of continuity upon walking in, like uniform drapery and symmetrical chandeliers. Aside from a few black accents to match the bold steel windows, we used a softened color palette with peaceful, calming tones throughout.

Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining

In the living room, built-in shelving around a limestone fireplace creates a focal wall, with close attention paid to molding details and décor accessories. One of our favorite features is a flannel-textured wallpaper backdrop behind the shelves!   

Mixing furniture styles is one of our signature approaches to design. For example, the spindle lounge chairs echo the cream-colored sofa, but aren’t necessarily a set. And both chairs are complemented by the blue-gray sofa between them, which sports an entirely different shape and upholstery.  

“The goal in here was to create a space that feels dressed up, but not too fancy, so it is livable and in line with our clients’ lifestyle.”

– Shea McGee

Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining

Two long walls flank the dining room, so we used them as opportunities to incorporate height and scale. On one side, there’s a sideboard with a mirror reflecting the view; on the other, a huge hutch adds style, interest, and storage to the space. 

Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining
Hilltop Estate Project: Living and Dining