1 African art goes contemporary Design trends Page 10 Homes& Property Wednesday 7 August 2013 NEW HOMES: EAST IS EDEN P4 SLASHING STAMP DUTY P7 HOUSE OF THE FUTURE P22 SPOTLIGHT ON CUSTOM HOUSE P28 A home fit for purpose A millionaire working mum s super-efficient family house Page 20 JOHN LAWRENCE London s best property search website: homesandproperty.co.uk
2 2 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Online This week: homesandproperty.co.uk news: Summer s property drought LONDON is suffering a property drought with a shortage of homes for sale said to be the cause of the capital s steadily rising prices. The latest research shows only 65,000 homes were put on the market in London in the first six months of this year compared with 87,400 in the same period three years ago. Meanwhile, according to the study from Home. co.uk, the number of new homes coming to the market has fallen by two thirds over just six years. Experts say that this shortage of homes for sale is the reason London property prices continue to rise, as buyers both British and foreign are competing for what is available. Read Ruth Bloomfield s full story at homesandproperty.co.uk hot homes: what can you buy with 105m these days? THE rumours that Real Madrid may be ready to pay a record 105 million for Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale puts the forward at the top of the transfer market. But the super-prime property market is red-hot, too, so join us as we go on a fantasy spending spree with 105 million. The homes we snap up are a 65 million London crash pad, a 35 million, 14-bedroom weekend estate in Oxfordshire, and a 3 million, 260-acre private island (above) in Scotland, complete with two homes, a helicopter hangar, boathouse, observatory and beaches. For more luxury homes, visit homesandproperty.co.uk Coolmax Memory Foam Mattresses Pressure relieving memory foam mattresses Highly supportive pocket sprung mattresses Advanced, breathable, moisture dispersing Coolmax covers for a cool & dry night s sleep 799,950: family homes like this four-bedroom terrace in Riffel Road, NW2, are becoming hard to find. Visit homes and property. co.uk/riffel 3 million: this Scottish island can be yours with plenty of change from 105 million. Join our property spending spree SUMMER SALE NOW ON Prices from just W A R R A N T Y 5 YEAR memoryfoamwarehouse.co.uk MATTRESS AND BED SPECIALIST Property search Editor: Janice Morley VISIT homesandproperty.co.uk/rules for details of our usual promotion rules. When you respond to promotions, offers or competitions, the London Evening Standard and its sister companies may contact you with relevant offers and services that may be of interest. Please give your mobile number and/or address if you would like to receive such offers by text or . Editorial: Advertisement manager: Mark Wood Advertising: Homes & Property, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, Kensington, London W8 5TT. in partnership with London buy of the week for shopping and partying 689,950: for a spot of summer entertaining, this Battersea garden flat is perfect. A slick kitchen with monochrome styling, granite worktops and skylights forms part of a striking open-plan living area leading to the garden, while the en suite master bedroom leads to a nice little courtyard. There is also a good-size second bedroom and a bathroom, plus a useful cellar space. The location is ideal for shopping in Battersea Rise and Northcote Road and for exploring Clapham Common. Through Foxtons. Visit homesandproperty/buyoftheweekbattersea Life changer paying guests and breathtaking views 695,000: in Wiggaton, Devon, this early 18th-century thatch comes with an English country garden full of scented roses, peonies and lavender, and summerhouses overlooking the Otter Valley. Winkhouse Farm also has income potential with a converted barn and former dairy perfect for paying holiday guests, while the cottage itself has three bedrooms, drawing and sitting rooms with open fires and beams, a charming kitchen/dining room and a conservatory to relax in. Through Strutt & Parker. Visit homesandproperty/lifechangerwiggaton Faye Greenslade Win a 500 barbecue party Two red-hot party packs from Casillero del Diablo to be won TO CELEBRATE our glorious summer, Chilean wine maker Casillero del Diablo is offering you the chance to win the ultimate summer Barbecue Party Pack. Two winners will each receive a pack delivered to their door with a Weber One-Touch Premium barbecue in lemongrass (worth ); a Weber stainless steel three-piece barbecue tool set (worth 39.99); an Abel & Cole fresh organic barbecue meat and bread box (worth 25) and a mixed case of Casillero del Diablo wines (worth 150). Simply stoke the coals, throw on the meat and enjoy Casillero del Diablo s acclaimed wines from cellars said to be guarded by the devil himself. And if you are unlucky this time round, find Casillero del Diablo wines in all major supermarkets just look for the devil on the bottle. Out of town buy of the week your place by the River Waveney 750,000: drift away on the dreamy views of the River Waveney from the full-length balcony of this elevated Norfolk home in Geldeston. An acre of beautifully landscaped gardens stretch down through woodland to a romantic boardwalk and private river mooring. Back at the house, the kitchen is full of character with its de rigueur Aga and walk-in larder, while French windows in two reception rooms take full advantage of the lovely setting. There is a ground-floor en suite guest bedroom as well as four further bedrooms upstairs. A double garage and workshop complete the package. Through Abbotts. Visit homesandproperty/swapgeld Discover the wine legend at Facebook.com/ diablowinelegend or follow on DiabloLegendUK TO ENTER Visit homesand property.co.uk/ offers before the end of August 19. Usual rules apply. Over-18s only.
3 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST Goldie quits her Zen den in Malibu GOLDIE HAWN and Kurt Russell have sold their Malibu beach home. They have been letting it for 58,000 a month while waiting for a buyer since 2011, when the property was listed at 9.6 million. The Hollywood golden couple (right) have settled for 6.1 million for the Californian retreat, which Hawn designed to be über-relaxing, with Zen-inspired décor and a master suite with a private deck overlooking the beach. They can now jet-set between their main base in Pacific Palisades and Marylebone, where Hawn s actress daughter, mother-oftwo Kate Hudson, lives with her fiancé, Muse singer Matt Bellamy. By Amira Hashish REX FEATURES A luxury live/ work space for pop stars SARM STUDIOS in Notting Hill have hosted some of the biggest names in music. Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Robbie Williams and Rihanna (right) are just some who have recorded inside the Basing Street building. Originally owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell in the early Seventies, it was later acquired by producer Trevor Horn who has worked with superstars Tom Jones and Tina Turner. It is about to be transformed into nine luxury flats and office studios. But the music legacy won t be lost as two hi-tech studios, where artists can write and produce their work, will be housed on the lower-ground floor. This is the ideal spot for pop stars on the lookout for a central London pad. Got some gossip? News Homes & Property GETTY IMAGES If Liam needs an oasis, his bandmate has a 7m bargain LIAM GALLAGHER S marriage to Nicole Appleton (below) may be in meltdown after claims the rocker has a love child with American journalist Liza Ghorbani, but will he be leaving the marital home? Should he move on, he need look no further than to his former bandmate Alan White. The Oasis drummer is keen to sell his Knightsbridge home, now reduced in price from 7.5 million to 7 million. Just off Cadogan Square, the 2,800sq ft house comes with two bedrooms and a media room where White stores his drum kit and memorabilia. This has been a great house for me, but after having our son we have decided to move to the country for more space for him to run around, says White. It s on the books at Brooks Gordon, Liam. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/ clabon REX FEATURES On location in Shad Thames A PENTHOUSE that s a hotspot for celebrity photo shoots is available to rent in Shad Thames. Daniel Craig (left) was photographed in the living room for Men s Vogue, Clive Owen posed at the bar for a Three Olives Vodka campaign, and it made the ideal backdrop for a glossy magazine cover featuring Kim Cattrall. Set in the Anchor Brewhouse building, it has stunning views of Tower Bridge, and for 5,000 a week you get direct lift access and 24-hour concierge. It is listed with Hamptons. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/ anchor GETTY IMAGES
4 4 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property New homes EAST LONDON has been scooping gold since its Olympic-bid success in 2005, with property prices jumping by 1,000 a month even today, says LloydsTSB analysis based on Land Registry Data. It is hard to believe that an area so recently synonymous with slum housing, striking dockers and jellied eels has morphed into the most compelling corner of the capital. Not so much a district as a big, and diverse sprawl stretching from fashionable Shoreditch through the Hackney hinterland to the terraces of West Ham United FC and the Docklands waterfront, with both raw and refined neighbourhoods appealing to homebuyers and renters attracted by the bright eastern lights. Up to 10 billion of Olympicsinspired new infrastructure was bound to make a difference. Yet the full legacy benefits have still to be felt. From 1,325,000: apartments at 20 Hoxton Square, next to the White Cube art gallery. This penthouse has been snapped up by an American investment banker THE NEW ECONOMY Hectic and eclectic, young and bold, east London is at the forefront of the new economy, spawning digital, design and creative industries and becoming the engine of entrepreneurialism a place for fashionistas, finance-sector workers and families alike. It has a rooted community of artists, a burgeoning cultural scene with galleries, museums and pop-ups, plus new noted restaurants and fashion boutiques, homeware stores, farmers markets and designer hotels such as Conran s Boundary. Who would have guessed that Michelin-starred Nobu would arrive in Hoxton, or that a Ginger Pig butcher and a Burberry outlet store would open in Hackney? Textile Building, across the road from the Hackney Empire, one of London s oldest entertainment venues, was where Burberry used to manufacture clothes and luxury goods to sell in its West End shops and overseas stores. The factory has been converted into 64 apartments and is part of the emerging Chatham Place fashion hub, where designconscious developer Manhattan Loft Corporation and architect David Adjaye are collaborating on a 100 million project. The aim is to Head east for Eden East London is on a roll with house prices growing 1,000 a month. By David Spittles create the UK s first inner-city fashion outlet centre, with more than 70,000 sq ft of retail space for local and international brands, a café, restaurant and design studios. Work has started to convert railway arches in Morning Lane and to replace temporary structures used by Pringle and Aquascutum with permanent premises alongside the Burberry factory shop. Victoria Park, always one of east London s best addresses, is going from strength to strength and acquired village status due to the cluster of independent shops, bars and eateries that have sprouted up around Lauriston Road. Gentrification is spreading to Georgian and Victorian terraces, with houses surrounding London Fields and Mile End s Tredegar Square conservation area often fetching more than 1.5 million. A fresh wave of residential development is under way at Canary Wharf, while awesome Royal Docks is poised to become a giant new business district, backed by Chinese investment. THE GREAT MOVE EAST More Londoners now live east of Blackfriars Bridge than in the west of the city. Migration east is continuing to change the area s old demographics. The east London line extension has opened up areas previously unknown to many homebuyers and a building boom is bringing ever-better new housing. Carl Schmid of estate agent Fyfe Mcdade says east is the new west. A decade ago, east London was a place for property pioneers, now it s attracting buyers with bigger budgets from Fulham, Putney and even Chelsea. There s a buzz about the place, it s maturing fast and already is quite sophisticated. Unusually for London, the business world and the artistic community happily co-exist, side by side. Cycling along the canal in the morning you re guaranteed to pass one person going to UBS in the City and another heading off to their workshop in Hoxton. At 20 Hoxton Square, a new development alongside White Cube art gallery, the 1,600 sq ft penthouse Left: smart pubs, like The Hemingway in Victoria Park Road, are giving a new village atmosphere to E9 Right: sun worshippers at the London Fields Lido in Hackney REBECCA REID Far right: from 799,500, flats at Redchurch Lofts are in a chic new scheme next to über-cool Shoreditch House members club and are aimed at a young City crowd (Call )
5 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST New homes Homes & Property has been bought by a US investment banker, adds Schmid. Prices from 1,325,000. Redchurch Lofts, next to Shoreditch House members club, is another new scheme. Prices from 799,500. Call Helen and Andrew Bridges recently moved from Onslow Gardens, Kensington, to postcode EC1, buying a new two-bedroom flat with a terrace at a scheme called Clerkenwell Quarter. Prices from 485,000. Call It s close to Andrew s broking office in Shoreditch so he can now Glamour push: penthouse living adds cachet to Stratford s new East Village (above), while the exclusive Shoreditch House private members club has a rooftop pool and sun terrace (left). Visit shoreditch house.com walk to work, says Helen, 47. We ve no regrets about moving to this side of London. We thought we might miss Harrods and Hyde Park but there s so much happening here, with terrific energy on the streets and great places to eat, one of our passions. Nick Davies of estate agent Stirling Ackroyd speaks of a golden triangle formed by the City financial district, Canary Wharf and Stratford. Within this area lie the hotspots of Dalston, Homerton, Clapton, Bethnal Green and Bow. BEYOND STRATFORD There is a concentrated focus of regeneration in postcodes surrounding Stratford, with changes pushing out to Hackney Wick, West Ham and Leyton, according to property consultant Hamptons International. The Olympic Park is the largest recreational space to be created in Europe for 150 years, while the land next door, which includes Westfield shopping mall, is a new commercial centre for east London 184 acres, with 13.5 million sq ft of space. East Village has been unveiled as the capital s newest neighborhood, with 2,818 homes and its own postcode, E20. Shared-ownership homes start at 67,500. Visit triathlonhomes.com Five more new neighbourhoods are being built during the next 15 years. Next up is Taylor Wimpey s 800- home Chobham Manor and coming later is Strand East, a 26-acre waterside scheme with 1,200 homes developed by flatpack furniture chain Ikea. The regeneration agencies involved hope to attract locals and outsiders affluent middle-class home buyers as well as low-budget first-timers, plus singles, couples and families, all living together in this new eastern Eden. East London feels fun, lively and fresh CHRISTABEL BEESON, 23, an events manager for Grub Club, a pop-up food company, is a west London emigré, switching from a backwater of Victoria stale and expensive to a canalside home in Shoreditch fun, lively and fresh. My job is to source unusual spaces and premises that have a twist, and virtually all of them I find are in east London, which shows how fastchanging the place is.
6 6 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Affordable homes SITTING slap-bang between London Bridge and Canada Water, Bermondsey could barely be in a handier location. So it s not surprising that the area is becoming increasingly trendy, with restaurants such as Zucca and Alfie s at the Bermondsey Square Hotel opening alongside nightspots such as The Hide Bar. There are great food shops along Maltby Street, while treasure-hunting at Bermondsey Square Antiques Market early on a Friday morning is a must. Shortwave, a 52-seat independent cinema, offers a far more intimate experience than watching a blockbuster at a multiplex. And when the White Cube art gallery moved in, this city fringe was given the ultimate seal of fashionable approval. The location is also exceptionally central. Bermondsey station is in Zone 2, with Jubilee line services to Canary Wharf in about 10 minutes and Bond Street in 15 minutes. Trains from South Vibrant and expanding: Bermondsey s railway-arch market GRAHAM JEPSON From 50,000: one-bedroom shared-ownership flats at Blueprint, near South Bermondsey station Check out an area that has it all Bermondsey railway station take four minutes to reach London Bridge. All these plus points have already inflated prices in this firmly up-and-coming area, putting them out of the reach of most first-time buyers. Loft apartments in former warehouses around Shad Thames and Bermondsey Street regularly sell for 2.5 million. But for those on a modest budget, there are still options. Notting Hill Housing (nottinghillhousing.org.uk) is set to launch 19 shared-ownership properties at Blueprint, a development being built 200 metres from South Bermondsey station. Because the area is already so expensive, these homes are being sold as 25 per cent shares to make them affordable to first-time buyers. The development is due to launch early next month, at which point precise prices will be available, but Wendy Gordon, the site s shared-ownership sales manager, says one-bedroom flats will sell for about 50,000 to 58,000 and two-bedroom homes will be priced Fast-paced, fashionable and in a central location, Bermondsey is a great option for young buyers, says Ruth Bloomfield in the 67,000 to 75,000 range. There are also two three-bedroom flats, which will be priced at between 80,000 and 82,000. The properties are part of a development of 127 homes the rest will be sold privately or let on the site of the former Silwood Street estate, and are designed by award-winning PRP architects. The key thing about these homes is that they are in a slightly lesser-known part of Southwark, says Gordon. It is a chance to invest while it is still up and coming. You are going to get these homes at a great price, and we would expect young singles and professional couples to be the key demographic. There is much to recommend Blueprint. The site passes the green space test, since it is only a short walk from the gates of the Green Flag award-winning Southwark Park, which has sports pitches, a boating lake and café. Each flat has its own outside space, including On trend: art on display at the White Cube gallery in Bermondsey It s a chance to invest while the area is still up and coming. You re going to get these homes at a great price balconies or patios, and there is also a pocket park in the middle of the development, which is handy for the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre. The only downside is that it is close to railway lines, with some properties overlooking the track. In an attempt to mitigate this, the flats have been designed with glazed winter gardens, so residents can enjoy greenery without being deafened by train noise. Priority for the flats will be given to first-time buyers currently living in Southwark, but residents of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich or Lewisham will also be considered. Buyers must have a household income of less than 66,000 to qualify for a one- or twobedroom flat, or less than 80,000 to apply for a three- or four-bedroom home. A minimum income of 31,881 will be required for the smaller units. Later this year, L&Q housing association will offer four shared-ownership homes in its St Crispin s House development in Alscot Road, near Bermondsey Spa Gardens (lqgroup.org.uk). WATERSIDE LIVING A stylish collection of 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments on the banks of the Grand Union Canal. Prices ranging from 284,950 to 579,950. Prices correct at the time of going to press.
7 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST GETTING LONDONERS HOUSED Stamp duty Homes & Property A crisis looms with two thirds of Londoners already paying the higher-rate stamp duty Slashing stamp duty is the best way to get young Londoners into their first home says Naomi Heaton, boss of top property services firm London Central Portfolio Help hard-pressed home buyers: Naomi Heaton thinks the Government should follow the example of ministers north of the border and rethink stamp duty thresholds AS SCOTTISH ministers finally do away with stamp duty and a consultation begins in Wales to do the same thing, it is high time the Tories also kept to their election promise and made changes to Britain s most-hated tax. A crisis looms as the average price of property in England and Wales rapidly approaches the 250,000 mark the point when stamp duty triples from one per cent to three per cent of the purchase price. This increase could see 80,000 people a year falling into this higher tax bracket, facing a huge 7,500 tax bill, rather than a somewhat more affordable 2,500. It is ironic that it was a Scotsman who first introduced the crippling 250,000 stamp duty tax threshold. Before Gordon Brown took the job as chancellor, stamp duty was set at a flat rate of one per cent for all properties sold over 60,000. In 1997, however, Brown introduced the notion of stepped stamp duty tax bands, bringing in a new threshold of 1.5 per cent at 250,001. He then raised the charge by half of one per cent every year until 2000, when it reached three per cent. It has stuck at that level ever since. In the apparent interest of fair taxation but more as a desperate attempt to plug the public finance deficit recent years have brought additional thresholds at 500,000, 1 million and 2 million. No move, though, has been made to raise the level at which the three per cent tax hit kicks in, despite average house prices rising over threefold from 72,900 to 239,296 since Stamp duty was a tax introduced to generate revenue from the wealthiest of buyers. According to Nationwide, a house worth 250,000 in 1997 would be equivalent to 716,000 today. One could say it was the mansion tax of the Nineties but what equated to riches then is no longer the case in Having dragged more and more ordinary buyers into its grips, stamp duty will soon be an everyman tax: just another way for the Treasury to dip into our pockets. NOW FIRST-TIME BUYERS ARE BEING FROZEN OUT Across the country, 26 per cent of buyers now pay more than 250,000 for their property and in London it is 62 per cent. For people who have already paid income tax, stumping up another 5,000 of stamp duty for their family home is not only a double whammy but equivalent to another 10 per cent on top of their deposit. Transactions have dropped 32 per cent since 1997 and the fall-out, should the band not be reassessed, could be even more devastating. Not surprisingly, potential buyers are reluctant to pay three per cent stamp duty on properties above 250,000. Not only is this a barrier to trading up but owners of properties above 250,000 are then unable to sell, or only at a reduced ALAN AIKEN price, which means they cannot trade up either. This freezes the market and prevents first-time buyers from getting a look-in. As stamp duty Doomsday beckons, and with average prices within a hair s breadth of 250,000, the present Chancellor must move quickly to reassess the tax banding. While the Government s much-trumpeted Help to Buy stimulus package has begun to unlock the market, this can only be good news if the one per cent stamp duty trigger is also raised. Re-evaluating the threshold will give buyers a much-needed boost, allowing home owners to trade up and first-time buyers to begin climbing the ladder. Even the Treasury can make some money. For every purchase that does not happen because of the 250,000 barrier, the Government earns three per cent of nothing. For every property sale that would go through, due to a kinder stamp duty regime, the Government would earn one per cent of something: a win-win situation which would make a real difference. A government keen to trumpet fair taxation should question how this tax can possibly bring fairness to a nation of aspiring homeowners, and take heed of the TaxPayers Alliance Stamp Out Stamp Duty campaign. Naomi Heaton is chief executive of London Central Portfolio, residential experts and fund managers (londoncentralportfolio.com).
8 8 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Homes abroad Great outdoors: Les Gets is in a sublime Alpine spot, perfect for the whole family to enjoy 588,900: Annapurna offers 44 three-bedroom apartments on a rare villagecentre plot. Through Alpine Advisors SUMMER in the Alps and the living is easy, especially if you are in Les Gets, the small French village with a loyal British following. Small enough to feel cosy, big enough for full-on family-friendly activities and high enough to have a good winter snow record, Les Gets is a winning Alpine village that joy of joys is only an hour from Geneva airport. The appeal is simple, says Gareth Jeffries of Winkworth associates Alpine Property, and a long-term local resident. You can t overestimate the importance of the easy access to Geneva. Les Gets is a pretty Savoyarde village that is truly year-round. It links directly into the Portes du Soleil with 400 miles of skiing for winter and is just above A small village at the peak of popularity Morzine, which is at the epicentre of excellent summer mountain biking. Les Gets year-round population of 1,300 swells to 16,000 in peak weeks and its reputation as a very British resort is unfair: 82 per cent of visitors are French, says Gaelle Le Coz of Les Gets Tourist Office. The buzzy, compact centre has 100 shops and over 40 restaurants and bars while a free bus connects to outlying hamlets. For summer visitors there s an 18-hole golf course and well-linked footpaths suitable for all ability levels, with plenty of places to stop for a mountainside lunch. The exceptional Bikepark caters for beginners to advanced riders while British buyers flock to Les Gets in the Alps, won over by its year-round charm, says Cathy Hawker 50 miles of cycle tracks lead across green pastures to Switzerland. The downsides the resort is on the western edge of the Portes du Soleil and away from the snow-sure high spot of Avoriaz don t seem to bother its hardcore fans. Property prices are 25 per cent down from their 2008 highs but remained stable throughout 2011 and last year. Les Gets properties are 30 per cent more affordable than those in Chamonix, ranging from 20-year-old ESHomesAndProperty Find us on facebook Luxury life: Chalet Grand Corniche offers renters six en suite bedrooms as well as spectacular views of nearby Mont Blanc studios for 86,330 to substantial villas up on the Route des Chavannes for about 1.76 million. Most buyers, says Jeffries, want a chalet. VIEW TO A NEW BUILD There are good-value chalets at lower prices. Athena Advisors is selling offplan homes in Les Gets from 332,430 for two-bedroom semidetached chalets by the ski lift in Les Perrières. Twelve apartments in the K2 project next door, at the same price, sold out this year but the fivebedroom penthouse has come back to the market for 842,000. Two- to five-bedroom chalets at Kilimandjaro, an easy walk to the centre of Les Gets, have also sold well. The homes are on a slight slope which provides good views, and start from 440,370. Annapurna is perhaps the best of all: 44 threebedroom apartments from 645sq ft to 1,400sq ft on a rare village-centre plot close to the ski lifts with underground parking and spa, from 588,900 through Alpine Advisors. Winkworth has a new furnished two-bedroom apartment 200 yards from the ski lift in Les Gets for 237,500 and a three-bedroom one beside the Perrières piste for 272,000. A newly completed three-bedroom chalet is 462,000. CHALET COMFORTS British businessman Martin Lightbody bought a plot of land above Les Gets and has built one of the resort s most comfortable chalets. Grand Corniche is a four-floor light-filled chalet with six en-suite bedrooms sleeping 12 and a further four in a small adjoining mazot (mini chalet). Inside there is a snooker room, a glass sauna, even a covered aluminium slide from the top floor into the wine cellar, while the openplan living area with wraparound terrace has views to Mont Blanc. Martin chose Les Gets after considering several other French and Swiss resorts. Val d Isère, he felt, was a long transfer from Geneva, Megève was attractive but had limited skiing, while Verbier was too expensive. Les Gets was one of the prettiest villages with access to marvellous skiing, he says. Add to this transfer from Geneva and very sensible prices and it was an easy decision. Grande Corniche is available to rent fully staffed and catered from 10,800 a week through Consensio. CONTACTS Athena Advisors: athenaadvisors. co.uk ( ) Winkworth France: winkworth.fr ( ) Consensio: consensioholidays.co.uk ( )
9 10 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Design African art is bold, PICTURES BY KARL ROGERS Unmissable: furniture and artwork at Habitat s Graphic Africa at Platform, SW3 Woven: African basketwork often features deceptively simple geometric patterns Print it: cushions made from Ghanaian fabrics, from 32 at Darkroom (darkroomlondon.com) AFRICAN and Western designers inspired by traditional materials, colours and techniques are working together to create a new take on African design. London is alive with African culture this summer in the theatre (A Season in the Congo, at the Young Vic), in music (next month s London African Music Festival) and in an abundance of art. Ghanaian artist El Anatsui has covered the façade of the Royal Academy with a glittering frieze of flattened Nigerian bottletops. Across the river, Tate Modern is hosting two major shows of African artists, and others are exhibiting at smaller galleries around town. As part of this surge of African culture, the work of the continent s contemporary designers is also attracting attention. Bold, confident and colourful, it is increasingly visible thanks to the work of individuals and design collectives combining Western skills and ideas with traditional African materials, patterns and techniques. The resulting products exude the vibrant colours and strong graphics we associate with Africa, which are also London is alive with African culture and new designers creating homeware in vibrant colours and patterns, says Kate Burnett Drying: Malian Boubacar Doumbia s mud fabrics feature in a new Habitat range major trends in Western fashion and interiors. If you want to know more about African design, a great starting point is Graphic Africa, an exhibition hosted next month by high street retailer Habitat at its Platform gallery on King s Road, SW3. This is a capsule collection of contemporary African designers who have been brought together through an initiative called Design Network Africa (DNA). As well as working with DNA to create the exhibition, Habitat has also worked with one of the DNA designers, Boubacar Doumbia from Mali, to make a collection of cushions. The show represents the second phase of DNA s work in Africa, with a new six-year phase about to start. The programme is directed by Trevyn and Julian McGowan, both directors of Source, a company based in Cape Town in South Africa which has been export-
10 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST Design Homes & Property colourful and contemporary On the line: South Africa s Zulu artists and makers weave telephone cables into richly coloured baskets, left. Traditional weaving techniques are used to create contempory furniture for the Graphic Africa exhibition, right All done: mud cushions, ready to ship Earthy colours with the help of Malian mud ing African design to the rest of the world for more than a decade. They oversaw the selection of the 16 companies from 10 African countries from a shortlist of 120. Many of these companies have unique skills in weaving, furniture, glass or metal, wood or clay and the resulting mixtures of companies and materials were intriguing. We re aiming for a different impression of what African design can be, comments Trevyn. It s graphic and fresh with a very strong narrative. This blend of European and African design is not only happening thanks to the efforts of DNA and Habitat, but individual designers and companies are also experimenting with eye-catching results. In Africa companies like Mabeo in Botswana have invited celebrated European and north American designers such as Patricia Urquiola and Garth Roberts to apply their skills and thinking to contemporary products. The resulting lines, exhibited at this year s Milan furniture fair, have an aesthetic that is modern but also distinctively African. Products can be purchased via Mabeo s website, and are then made to order in Botswana and shipped to customers worldwide in between six and 12 weeks. Here in London there are more designers and retailers who are bringing their take on Africa to a wider audience. Three young female designers, all with African roots, have looked to African printed textiles for inspiration. These brightly coloured printed textiles, often with distinctive modern graphic motifs, have undergone a revival in Africa and are increasingly popular and easy to find here. Banke Kuku s studio is in west London from where she designs fabrics for use in accessories and upholstery. Born in Lagos, Banke was educated here and graduated from Chelsea College of Art & Design in Her designs, a merger between African and western cultures which always tell an African story, will be available by the metre for the first time later this year via her website. Eva Sonaike is also based in London and will launch her first fabric collection next month, again available via her website. Of Nigerian origin but born and raised in Germany, Eva trained in fashion in London and worked as a journalist before setting up her own label in Her mission is bringing colour to life and she uses her textiles to cover pouffes and other furniture. Her products are sold in London showrooms including Samson Soboye s store on Calvert Avenue in Shoreditch, and she has also exhibited recently in New York. Laurence Kanza s products are also available through Samson Soboye and on her own site. Her family comes from the Congo (hence her company name La Petite Congolaise little woman from the Congo) and she has recruited them as part of an international network that helps her find the right textiles for her products. The vibrant colour and pattern of the textiles, and the confident use of materials may hark back to respected African traditions but these designers are creating a new definition for African design that is reaching a much wider but equally appreciative audience. FIND MORE ONLINE habitat.co.uk designnetworkafrica.org soboye.com mabeofurniture.com afriqueauthentiqueauthenticafrica.com bankekuku.com lapetitecongolaise.com evasonaike.com HABITAT senior designer Rebecca Hoyes first visited Ghana in November last year to attend a Design Network Africa workshop and then returned to Africa to collaborate on a project designing a range of cushions for Habitat. She worked with Malian designer Boubacar Doumbia to design the cushions using Bogolon mud fabrics from Mali. We worked with print in a very raw form, using mud from the Niger river. The Bogolan technique is typically Malian and well-known for its rich, earthy colours, says Rebecca, who loves to explore techniques and processes as part of her design work. Together with Boubacar we have developed four authentic designs for Habitat which also have a very contemporary feel. habitat.co.uk/platform_upcoming/ content/fcp-content
11 12 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Design 1 2 time savers Design trends By Carmel Quin MANY gadgets are claimed to make life easier, but we ve tested these babies and they really could save you well over seven hours a week. 1Watering systems are big garden time savers. Research by Gardena shows we spend an average 24 minutes a week watering plants and vegetables. Gardena s Micro Drip system (from 59.99; visit gardena. co.uk) can drip or sprinkle water on to flowerbeds, veg patches and even patio containers. It uses water sparingly and operates with a timer, so once set up you needn t do a thing. Keep in place permanently (the black hose lies discreetly on the soil) or temporarily to water plants while you re on holiday. Weekly time saving: 24 minutes 2 Robotic lawnmowers are ideal for medium to large lawns and can even navigate obstacles such as trees and garden furniture. The Honda Miimo (from 1,990; visit honda.co.uk/garden/miimo) cuts little and often, automatically mowing several times a week then recharging itself at its base station beside the lawn. The fine (2-3mm) clippings are scattered on the grass, so there s no box to empty. And your lawn is always neatly mowed as if by magic. Weekly time saving: at least an hour 3 According to speedshower maker Mira, most of us waste at least 30 seconds a day waiting for the shower to come up to the right temperature. The Mira Platinum Dual (from 790; mirashowers.co.uk) has a wireless remote control so you can switch it on from the bedroom. What s more, an eco-mode pauses the shower once it has reached the desired temperature so that no water is wasted. Weekly time saving: at least three and a half minutes 5 4Hard floors can be tough to clean so save time with the Vorverk VK150, plus an SP530 cleaning attachment ( 849; vkdirect. co.uk). Tests showed it cleaned floors in a third of the time it took to mop, scrub and vacuum. Even if you re just mopping a kitchen and bathroom, it will save you nearly half an hour. The Vorverk also uses 90 per cent less water and gets better results. Weekly time saving: at least 28 minutes 5 Cook more quickly. Induction hobs are 90 per cent efficient, while gas hobs are about 50 per cent efficient and traditional electric hobs 55 per cent. That energy goes into your cooking so induction hobs cook faster; water boils nearly twice as fast with induction. Stellar portable induction hobs (from 84; stellarcook ware.co.uk) can be added to any kitchen, saving 10 minutes a day. Weekly time saving: 70 minutes 6 Food processors are great but take so long to set up and clean, they rarely save much time. Üutensil s kitchen tools save time on simple cooking tasks such as whisking or mashing. The Red Dot design award-winning Stirr ( 15; uutensil. com), a batterypowered automatic pan stirrer, sits in a saucepan and travels in a circle breaking up lumps to produce impressively smooth sauces. Weekly time saving: half an hour 7 If you don t have a dishwasher then get one it saves so much time. Look for a high-capacity machine that s easy to load. Research by Intertek UK and dishwashingexpert.co.uk shows that the 14-place setting Caple Di628 ( 699; caple.co.uk) takes only 10 minutes to load and unload, compared with 70 minutes it would take you to handwash the lot. Weekly time saving: four hours and 40 minutes
12 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST Green Printmaking Workshop and Bike Tours, August 25. Depart from Greenland Dock, SE16, 10.30am ( ; artouride.com) Jackie Blake runs design and art bike tours and workshops. This is a day along the Thames riverside path on a stylish Brompton bike, exploring Greenwich or Wapping foreshores (depending on tides). En route, learn how to print found objects using only the sun. Price of 65 is reduced to 50 for readers. All materials, expert tuition and bike use included. Also throughout the month, Sunday tours of street art, plus architecture/design tours on Mondays and Saturday ( 28). Events Homes & Property 4 2 Shake the Dust pop-up, open now until end of September, Gabriel s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, SE1 ( ; shake-the-dust.co.uk) Founder Kathy Shenoy s fluoro baskets in vivid shades by African co-operative Gone Rural are made from textile waste, sweet wrappers, grass and sisal. Also bowls woven from magazine covers. 3 Goodwood House Summer Exhibition, now until the end of the month at Goodwood House, near Chichester, West Sussex ( ; goodwood.co.uk) Leaving aside the fast cars, this 17thcentury home of the Dukes of Richmond is flaunting its French connections with paintings, furniture and stories, plus the famous Sèvres china commissioned by the 3rd Duke when he was ambassador in Paris. See also pictures by George Five things to do in August By Barbara Chandler Stubbs and Canaletto. Open Sundays to Thursdays, with cream teas in the Regency ballroom. Adults, 9.50; teens 4, and under-12s free. 4 Out of the Dark, now until August 31, Timorous Beasties showroom, 46 Amwell Street, EC1 ( or ; outofthedark.org.uk) Here s what happened when Glaswegian fabric designers Timorous Beasties donated fabrics to pioneering High 5 Wycombe charity Out of the Dark. See what a team of young people made with them, restoring furniture with the help of master craftsmen. 5 The Future is Here: A New Industrial Revolution, now until November 3, The Design Museum, SE1 ( ; designmuseum.org) We re used to cheap goods on the high street made in the Far East, but could that change soon? Yes, says this challenging show. Prepare to grapple with unfamiliar concepts and technologies, often shared via the internet, allowing local manufacture. Look out for the open-sourced design for a sofa from made.com and these 3D digitally printed Makie dolls. Entrance with museum ticket: adult; 9.70 concession; 6.50 student.
13 16 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Reader promotion Bargain news Alison Cork A shade above the everyday interior designs TALENTED textile designer Jayc G Gylsen creates contemporary, colourful and captivating hand-printed silk designs in the UK, using non-toxic water-based binders and inks for lampshades, fabrics and soft furnishings. Homes & Property readers can enjoy a 20 per cent discount on shades and cushions from the Totem (above) and Woodstock ranges. To claim your discount, visit gylsendesign.co.uk and quote AlisonAtHome2013 before September 3. A garden seat with distinction THE cool-white Adirondack folding chair is made from sustainably sourced Acacia hardwood and features a deep-seated fan back and elegant sloping seat, with the option to add a *high-back cushion and matching folding Adirondack table to complete the look, indoors or out. Usually priced at , readers can purchase the Adirondack for just To claim, visit planttheatre.com or call Offer only available while stocks last. *Available to buy separately. Check out a handsome chair HANDMADE in the UK, this handsome buttoned armchair from Alison At Home is currently available to Homes & Property readers at an introductory rate of just 495 a 50 reduction on its usual price of 545. Upholstered in 100 per cent wool using traditional methods, the button-back seat rests on turned wooden legs with brass casters. Dimensions: w80cm by d85cm by h88cm. To claim, call , or visit alisonathome.com before August 17, while stocks last. Delivery in six to eight weeks. Improve your outlook with bespoke doors AYRTON BESPOKE builds made-tomeasure high-quality timber French doors using energy-saving double glazing. And now it is offering readers a 15 per cent discount. All its products are fully finished in any paint colour and come with insurance-backed multi-point locks and a 10-year guarantee. To claim your discount call , visit ayrtonbespoke.com and quote code AYRES070813, or visit the London showroom at 406 Merton Road, Wandsworth before August 31. Float off to sleep on an inflatable bed TREAT summer guests to a sleepover on this Aerobed Comfort Raised King from SlumberSlumber. It can be inflated with the electric pump (included) to 50cm high in only three minutes. Firm and comfy, it looks and feels like a traditional divan. And it deflates in less than one minute, making it compact and easy to store. The King is half price at 89.99, (reduced from ) with free postage and packaging. Visit slumberslumber.com/comfort or call while stocks last. The companies listed here are wholly independent of the Evening Standard. Care is taken to establish that they are bona fide but we recommend that you carry out your own checks prior to purchases and use a credit card where possible. To offer feedback on any of these companies, with Bargain News in the subject line. For more bargains, visit alisonathome.com or homesand property.co.uk/offers
14 20 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Our home homesandproperty 49 shades of grey and a splash of pink Self-made millionaire and mother-of-two Maria Hatzistefanis has designed and carefully zoned her family s Notting Hill home for a super-efficient lifestyle, reports Katie Law In the pink: Maria Hatzistefanis set up her beauty firm Rodial in 1999 with 20,000. This year she hopes turnover will hit 15 million but it leaves little time for home life COSMETICS queen Maria Hatzistefanis and her family are thrilled with the decision they made two years ago to move from Chelsea to Notting Hill Gate. I always loved the vibe of this area, with Holland Park nearby where I can go running every day, and all the lovely restaurants along Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove, she says. The 43-year-old Greek entrepreneur set up her cosmetics company Rodial after working in corporate finance for Salomon Brothers for three years. She founded Rodial in 1999 with barely 20,000 and this year hopes the turnover will hit 15 million. Hatzistefanis and husband, Stratis, who is Rodial s chief finance officer, had the entire double-fronted fivebedroom property redecorated, and converted the garage into a utility room. The open-plan living area on the first floor has been zoned into areas for relaxing, dining, watching television and having face to face chats. When it was updated it was repainted in not quite but almost 50 shades of grey with matching simple colour schemes in grey, black and silver. We used the whole palette of Sanderson s Early Dawn, lime-washed the floors and added custom-made modular sofas, but saved by buying chairs on ebay and re-upholstering them in a grey flannel from Designers Guild, and by buying side tables from Lots Road Auctions and Carew Jones in Chelsea. Next to the dining area is a compact galley kitchen. Hatzistefanis says she s too busy to cook and her two sons, aged eight and 10, eat meals prepared by the nanny downstairs, in their own separate kitchen and living space. On the same lower floor, Hatzistefanis has also created a lobby with faux zebraupholstered chairs and a leather table. It s a chill-out area where you can sit down in the morning and look at your appointments. I wanted it to feel like a hotel lobby. Opposite, beneath the stairs is hidden storage a cupboard for the boys shoes and scooters and a small home office. Hatzistefanis is candid about the amount of time she is able to spend with her sons, due to the demands of running a company. During the week I don t see them that much. It s a choice I have made. To succeed in business I don t know that you can have a balance. You have to make a decision. Everything she and her husband have, including the house which John D Wood valued at 5.6 million two years ago and which the couple have spent a further 130,000 on is a result of their hard work, including buying and selling other properties in the past. We ve both been working since we were 18 and had zero family money. And, honestly, I ve done so many moves I m done for a long time. I d like to stay here. Blast of light: key to at the rear of house, Subtle touches: an almost infinite range of greys creates enchanting light effects Photographs:: John Lawrence Reflections: the first-floor dining area looks spacious thanks to a mirror-panelled wall
15 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST co.uk with Our home Homes & Property MY FAVOURITE HOME MEMORABILIA I found this black jewel-studded skull telephone in a heavy metal shop in Los Angeles. This started my fascination with skulls as decorative objects. Maria Hatzistefanis A GREAT PLACE TO ESCAPE Fee Fee La Fou HQ is a great urban oasis. It s a really edgy design shop based in Dalston, complete with wall-to-wall neon prints and selling everything from jewellery to homeware. It s where I buy colourful, fun cushions and framed prints from independent designers as gifts. MY LAZY SUNDAYS A yoga session at the Jivamukti Centre in Notting Hill, before indulging in an espresso in Books for Cooks, and then a delicious roast chicken lunch with the family at Pizza East (right). the home s liveability is its bright, open-plan living space on the first floor, above, which is fed with daylight by the conservatory below left, and reached via the dramatic staircase from the ground-floor hallway, below right, next to a hotel-style lobby THE DESIGN OBJECT THAT I COVET MOST I would love to get the iconic Pucci Rive Droite Swivel Chair. I love the colours and patterns of Pucci and the way the designs evoke the whole mood of the Swinging Sixties. MY SECRET SHOP I love Pitfield in Shoreditch. It s like an Aladdin s cave for homeware and is perfect for sourcing interesting pieces and one-of-a-kind statement furniture, from unique candles to amazing fabrics. HOT NEW DESIGNER I came across interior designer Erica Deam when I saw her Topographic design for a residential property in Marylebone. It was very striking, with wood panelling and varying levels throughout the property. She picked up the 2012 Janine Stone Young Interior Designer Award and I think we will see great things from her. FAVOURITE RESTAURANT Sketch is always a winner when it comes to design. From the Alice in Wonderland tea rooms to the retro toilet pods, it s such a gem of a space in Covent Garden. It s one of my favourite places to have a drink.
16 22 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Architecture Is this the house of the future? Flexible Cheap Green Stylish A brilliant answer to London s housing shortage will launch in the courtyard of the Royal Academy this weekend, reports Philippa Stockley Speedy: a Homeshell flat-pack house will be built in the Royal Academy courtyard this weekend 7-T-LTD Tried and tested: versions of the Homeshell built at Oxley Woods, Milton Keynes are popular with occupants who like their energy efficiency and room flexibility WHEN is a house not just a house? When it s also the tip of a housing revolution: that s what the Homeshell house, being built this weekend in the courtyard of the Royal Academy, aims to be. Designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour+Partners (RSH+P), it will become the showpiece of Richard Rogers s Inside Out exhibition currently running at the Academy. Homeshell, designed over seven years by architect Andrew Partridge of RSH+P, and built in association with construction company Coxbench, is intended to provide flexible, cheap, sustainable and sharply styled housing. Delivered four weeks after ordering, it comes in flat-pack form on a lorry and is assembled to be waterproof in 24 hours. Visitors will be able to watch one being built in the RA courtyard. Homeshell is made of cement-like panels fixed to a sustainable Scandinavian softwood timber frame, and is highly insulated. In 2007, an earlier version was built in 10 variants, at Oxley Woods on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, with Taylor Wimpey. More than 100 homes went up and are now extremely popular with their inhabitants. The big windows set flush to the walls allow plenty of light into the spacious interiors, and the structures are energy-efficient and soundproof. Newnham council has just announced that it is to build 40 Homeshells. Plans are also afoot to build lots more in association with the YMCA (one of the biggest social housing providers in the UK), using a design called YCube. These will be so flexible they can be tailored to individual need. As Partridge says: Homeshell is very exciting, it is very immediate. Building affordable and sustainable homes fast could help tackle London s housing shortage the two factories currently making Homeshells in the UK can each manufacture 780 a year with only 30 staff. But land must be freed up to put them on. Mayor Boris Johnson says he may use compulsory measures to release more land for homes. But while these prefab houses are distinctive and innovative, the basic idea is much older. The first prefabs were built in Australia in In Britain, in 1855, engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed a prefab hospital for 1,000 patients, which was shipped to the Crimea. The UK had a prefab KATSUHISA KIDA boom after the Second World War, to replace swathes of bombed homes. Those simple houses, intended only for a few years, were hugely popular and lasted for decades; some still survive. In Germany, Huf Haus, and the less-well-known but very innovative company Weber Haus, have been building high-spec sophisticated flatpack homes since the Sixties. They come on lorries and go up in two days here, as well as in Germany. Innovative architects such as Richard Rogers have been interested in modular and prefabricated housing for decades. Rogers s 1968 design for a zip-up house was influential. So was the 1968 house that he and his then wife, Su, designed for his parents, currently on sale for 3.2 million. Its clean, modular form and flexible interior also has elements of this genre. Mainstream UK interest got a fresh boost in 2005 when John Prescott, following the Barker Report of 2004 that highlighted a housing shortage, announced a competition to design a house for 60,000 (the price was based on the land being free). Homes & Property ran its own competition and exhibited the results at the Homes & Property Show Richard Rogers s practice linked up with developer Stanhope to Versatility is key: Homeshells are built around a robust central core, while room sizes and exteriors can be varied to suit. The modules can also be stacked into medium-rise and high-rise blocks answer the challenge, and Homeshell was born. What is so special about Homeshell is that each house has a similar core, with stairs and utilities. Added on to that is a part with living rooms that can be endlessly varied. Similarly, the outside look can range from ultra-modern, to traditional, to green walls though sadly one of those hasn t been built yet. The modules can also form mid- or high-rise blocks. The house going up in the RA courtyard won t be fitted out inside it is a shell, but with floors indicated, so you can imagine it however you like; and perhaps it s the supreme versatility of these houses along with their green credentials and the speed at which they can be constructed that is their best selling point. INFORMATION Inside Out runs at the Royal Academy, W1, until October 13, (royalacademy.org.uk). The Homeshell will be on view in the courtyard free from August 13 to September 8. Richard Rogers s house for sale can be viewed at homesandproperty.co.uk/ rogers Boris Johnson s Vision 2020 for housing can be found at london.gov.uk KATSUHISA KIDA
17 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST Outdoors Homes & Property hot stuff Chillies Add colour to a terrace or patio garden then spice up your dishes with these sizzling peppers and get ready to rumba CARAMBA! In our cooking and in our gardens, we re going crazy for chilli peppers. You can buy chilli pods fresh or dried, in the form of paste or powder but it s much more fun to watch the carnivalcoloured fruits change from lime and yellow to bright orange and scarlet as summer progresses, on your patio or terrace and then have your own harvest. Chilli afficionados get all het up about the heat of each variety it s measured by the number of units on the Scoville scale so that while a sweet pepper is zero, a jalapeño will measure an eyewatering 3,000 and a habañero scores a searing 500,000 units. However, for many of us, the decorative addition to the late summer garden is what counts, and pepper plants, whether spicy or sweet, are both highly colourful and hugely ornamental. Chichester s West Dean Gardens is preparing for its three-day chilli fiesta, where you can samba and salsa, taste till your tongue sizzles and even pitch your tent, making it the horticultural world s equivalent of Glastonbury. Gardens supervisor Sarah Wain grows more than 250 varieties there. Every time I water the plants, they re a joy to look at, she says. The fruits are full of colour and the shiny skins reflect light. They also pretty much look after themselves and during this hot summer they thought it was Christmas every day. Wain is considered the UK s chilli plant expert and this summer, in West Dean s glasshouses, has been conducting a trial of compact patio varieties for the RHS, from which the best will be selected and given the Award of Garden Merit. Hot contenders include her favourite, Riot, which she describes as having masses of skinny upright pods in glorious lacquered scarlet, all over a small bushy plant: Six pots of those down a dining table would look fantastic. Wain says peppers are easier to grow than tomatoes, provided they have heat and light. If you leave them out in the cold and wet, they will get stressed and drop their flowers. Largefruited plants will need staking, or they ll act like sails on windy days and your plants will be ripped to shreds. You can buy chilli pepper plants ripe for the picking right now in garden centres, market stalls and supermarkets, but for the best choice, Wain recommends growing from seed early in the year, then settling them in a mix Pattie Barron of multi-purpose and loam compost. When the plants are young, I start with a seaweed feed, then move on to a balanced fertiliser. Then the moment the flower appears, I use a high-potash, tomato-type feed. Avoid botrytis grey mould by watering the plants early in the morning rather than late in the day, and don t water the foliage. If you know the right varieties to grow, such as Riot, you will get an abundance of fruits, says Wain. Hungarian Hot Wax is a good allpurpose variety and it looks wonderful, with conical pendant chillis 10cms long. It fruits early, and never fails. You can stuff it, roast it, use it in canapés, dips and salsas. Demon Red, Medusa and Sparkler all produce a mass of little pointed chillis all over the plant. HOWEVER, IF you can t take the heat any heat yet love the tiny firecracker peppers that make stunning containers and hanging baskets, grow Suttons revolutionary new Sweet Sunshine which produces masses of small, fiery-looking peppers that, contrarily, have no heat at all, but taste, scattered over salads, sweet as a nut. DON T MISS follow Pattie Barron s gardening blog at homesand property.co.uk/ blogs Gardening problems? our RHS expert at: Chilli queen: Sarah Wain (left) grows more than 250 varieties of peppers in pots and says they re easy Fiery fruits: Medusa produces a mass of small, pointed chillies (above) Rainbow colour: Numex Twilight s pods (below) are bright red, purple, and yellow GAP PHOTOS/HEATHER EDWARDS GAP PHOTOS/ELKE BORKOWSKI See it: the summer s chilli festivals buy it Buy it: super-slim summer lounger CHILL out at the annual Chilli Fiesta in West Dean (pictured), near Chichester, from this Friday to Sunday, 10.30am to 11pm. Choose the ones you would love to grow from the 150 varieties in the glasshouses, get ideas from celebrity chefs whipping up fiery dishes in the Cookery Theatre, or buy pepper plants and sample the smoking Westdini chilli cocktail. Or why not dance to Latin, Cuban, mariachi and flamenco bands? From 6 per adult, or from per adult to include one night s camping; for details, see westdean.org.uk Benington Chilli Festival, Benington Lordship Gardens in Stevenage, Herts, Sunday August 25 and Monday August 26: plants for sale, chilli-eating contest, world foods, entertainment. Visit beningtonlordship.co.uk Chilli Festival at Waddesdon Plant Centre, Waddesdon, Aylesbury, August 31 and September 1, with live Mexican music and baking demos from Clandestine Cake Club. Visit waddesdon.org.uk THE stylish steel Bistro lounger by French company Fermob makes a cool change from the ubiquitous teak and is slim enough to sit comfortably on deck, terrace or medium-size balcony. Measuring 35cm by 54.5cm by 141cm, and treated to be rustproof, it is available in 24 luscious colours that, with a UV-resistant polyester powder coating, won t fade. Choose urbansmart aubergine, grey or cobalt blue, or a vibrant shade such as fuchsia, carrot or turquoise 305 from The Worm That Turned ( ; worm.co.uk). Lean and lovely: Fermob s stylish Bistro lounger is ideal for a balcony
18 28 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Property searching Spotlight Custom House in Royal Docks, east London London s final frontier comes with a beach and James Bond jet packs The docks are rocking: try your hand at a range of watersports (left) including a Jetlev Flyer session (above, 149 an hour. Call ) Cable cars, floating villages and shiny new dockside homes and transport links are transforming this area, says Anthea Masey ANYONE who takes the Docklands Light Railway through the Royal Docks, or drives down Royal Docks Road to the Gallions Reach shopping park knows that this is London s last frontier. There are shiny new dockside flats next to traditional homes in the more established neighbourhoods of Custom House and Beckton, but there are still endless empty and derelict sites waiting for the capital s much-vaunted shift eastward. In the last few months, London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced three major new developments that will start gobbling up some of these redundant acres. A new 1 billion business district to rival the City and Canary Wharf is proposed for the Royal Albert Dock. Chinese developer ABP is working with UK developer Stanhope and architects Farrells on the site, on a narrow strip of land between Royal Albert Way and the north side of the dock. The scheme is aimed at Chinese and Asian businesses needing a European base. Up to 20,000 new jobs are promised and the first occupants could be in as early as 2017, with an end in sight by The nearby 1.5 billion Silvertown Quays development, on the south side of the Royal Victoria Dock is a joint venture between Chelsfield and First Base and will offer an avenue of pavilions to showcase and exhibit products from leading global brands. The development, which also includes 1,500 new homes, leisure facilities and a new bridge over the dock to the ExCeL centre, envelops the smaller Pontoon Dock. Work on the 50-acre site could start as early as next year. And even the Royal Victoria Dock itself the most developed of the three docks which make up The Royals has plans. The Mayor has thrown down the gauntlet with a request to developers to come up with proposals for a floating village on 15 acres of water in the shadow of the giant limbs of the Emirates cable car, where the popular beach is currently attracting hundreds of heatwave sunbathers. The floating village takes its inspiration from similar projects at IJburg in Amsterdam and Hafen, Hamburg. This is an area already well-served by public transport. The Docklands Light Railway has seven stations on the line between Canning Town and Beckton and five stations on the spur from Canning Town to Woolwich. But with To find a home in Custom House, visit: homesandproperty.co.uk/customhouse 285,000 A THREE-BEDROOM house with off-street parking in Richard House Drive, Beckton, close to Royal Albert DLR. Through Foxtons. homesandproperty.co.uk/richard 359,999 A FLAT with two bedrooms and two balconies offering views over the Royal Victoria Docks. Through Harrisons Property Partners. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/hanover 550,000 AN AUTHENTIC 1,400sq ft warehouse apartment in Seagull Lane, Western Gateway, with three double bedrooms and terrace. Through Felicity J Lord. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/seagull 350,000 A FOUR-BEDROOM house in Neatscourt Road, Beckton, with reception and dining rooms, plus a garage and garden. Through Aston Fox. homesandproperty.co.uk/neatscourt
19 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST Property searching Homes & Property CHECK THE STATS WHAT HOMES COST: BUYING IN CUSTOM HOUSE (Average prices) One-bedroom flat 195,000 Two-bedroom flat 304,000 Two-bedroom house 240,000 Three-bedroom house 281,000 Four-bedroom house 313,000 Source: Zoopla.co.uk RENTING IN CUSTOM HOUSE (Average rates) One-bedroom flat 1,261 a month Two-bedroom flat 1,560 a month Two-bedroom house 1,440 a month Three-bedroom house 1,551 a month Four-bedroom house 1,708 a month Source: Zoopla.co..uk GO ONLINE FOR MORE The best schools Latest local homes developments The most expensive streets How this area compares with the rest of the UK on house prices Smart maps to plot your property search For all this and more, visit homesand property.co.uk/ spotlightcustomhouse What do you like about Custom House? Have your say at ESHomesAndProperty At your leisure: arrive by cable car from the southern side of the river, left, and you ll travel over The Beach, above, at the western end of Royal Victoria Dock, now something of a summer playground for locals who want to sunbathe, paddle or swim Photographs:: Graham Hussey Lifestyle: the transformation is clear to anyone passing through Custom House by DLR or via Royal Docks Road, with shiny new blocks of flats standing alongside traditional housing in more established neighbourhoods Crossrail coming, the journey into central London and Heathrow will get even easier. A new Crossrail station at Custom House on the site of the old North London line station opens in It will cut 10 minutes from the journey to Bond Street and 35 minutes off the journey to Heathrow. WHAT THERE IS TO BUY There are new flats and houses in pockets all along the docks, from the longestablished Britannia Village on the Royal Victoria Dock that was developed as long ago as 1995, and Gallions Reach at the furthest reach of the King George V Dock, to the newer Capital East development next to ExCeL, where the asking price for a penthouse is currently an eye-popping 1,000 a square foot. Estate agent Life Residential ( ) is asking 2 million for a threebedroom duplex penthouse at the Alaska Apartments in Capital East. Between Newham Way the A13 and Royal Albert Way there are more traditional roads of modern terrace houses and flats in Custom House and Beckton, where prices remain relatively affordable. Estate agent Aston Fox ( ) is selling a four-bedroom modern semi-detached house in Neatscourt Road, Beckton for 350,000. The area attracts: young professional singles and couples like the easy commute to work in Canary Wharf. According to estate agent Zed Norat at Royal Docks Property Services, buyers are very international. Staying power: once couples decide to start a family, the search for a house with a garden forces them to look elsewhere. Renting: in the Royal Docks there are twice as many rental properties available than properties for sale. Most renters, like most buyers, are young professionals working in Canary Wharf and rents drop depending on the length of the commute, with those in the Royal Victoria Dock about 50 a week cheaper than in Canary Wharf itself, and a further 25 a week cheaper in Gallions Reach. Buy-to-let investors expect a rental yield of around five per cent but some investors with short-term loans from Irish banks are selling up when these loans fall due, and many of these flats are now being sold to owneroccupiers rather than investors. Best roads: not so much best roads, more best developments, and these are Capital East on the north side of Royal Victoria Dock and Barrier Point, between North Woolwich Road and the Thames next to the Thames Barrier Park and the Thames Barrier. Shops and restaurants: there are small parades of local shops scattered throughout the area. The retail park at Gallions Reach on Armada Way, off Royal Docks Road, has branches of high street names including Topshop, Next, River Island, TK Maxx and Tesco Extra. Yi-Ban, above the London Regatta Centre on the Connaught Bridge, is a Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant where diners watch the planes take off from London City airport. Nakhan Thai is a Thai restaurant at the western edge of the Royal Victoria Dock. Open space: the Thames Barrier Park, which opened in 2000, is an innovative space overlooking the Thames Barrier. It has an unusual green wave garden, laid out in a former dock basin, with lines of undulating hedges interspersed with perennial plantings. New Beckton Park has football and rugby pitches and tennis courts, while the adjacent Beckton District Park has football and a fishing lake. Leisure and the arts: the western end of the Royal Victoria Dock has become a summer playground with a beach for TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE What do Coldplay fans know about one of the most iconic buildings in the Royal Docks? Find the answer online sunbathing and swimming, zip wires at Cable Wake Park for wakeboarding, and two bars The Shack and The Oiler Bar, on an old barge. Nearby, you can find The Crystal, a visitors centre opened in September last year which is run by Siemens, the German engineering conglomerate, and promotes ideas for sustainable urban living. There is also the long-established ExCeL exhibition centre and the northern terminal for the Emirates cable car to North Greenwich. The London Regatta Centre on Dockside Road, close to the Connaught Bridge, is a leading rowing centre. Travel: Custom House and the Royal Docks are close to the A13. The neighbourhood is well-served by the Docklands Light Railway and there is a connection with the Jubilee line at Canning Town. All the stations in the Royal Docks are in Zone 3 and an annual travel card to Zone 1 is 1,424. Council: Newham council is Labourcontrolled, and Band D council tax for the 2013/2014 year is 1,
20 32 WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Ask the expert Fiona McNulty OUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS QMY NEIGHBOUR has chosen to fly an England flag on his property about nine feet from my bedroom window. A polite request to move it further away has resulted in a much bigger flag being erected the pole must be at least 20 feet high while the flag itself is about nine feet by six feet. Is this antisocial behaviour, or a breach of planning? AIT IS generally necessary to obtain planning consent from your local council for the erection of a flagpole. However, under town and country planning regulations, it is possible to fly certain flags without planning consent. These include any national flag, including the Cross of St George, plus the flags of the European Union, the United Nations, or of any saint, but there must be no added emblems on the flag or the flagpole. Further, the flag has to be mounted on a single vertical pole. Planning consent is required if the premises where the flag is to be flown lie within a conservation area, a National Park, or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or if the flagpole is more than 15ft high, approximately. The size of the flag is not restricted but in your neighbour s case, planning consent may be required because of the height of the flagpole. Also, check title deeds to see if any covenants restrict the erection of the flagpole. The flag may be deemed a nuisance if it affects your right to light, but it does not really amount to antisocial behaviour in respect of which legal action may be taken. However, do discuss the situation with your local planning enforcement officer. WHAT S YOUR PROBLEM? IF YOU have a question for Fiona McNulty, please standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is a partner in the residential property, farms and estates team at Withy King LLP (withyking. co.uk). More legal Q&As Visit: homesand property.co.uk Flag of St George makes me so cross QI OWN the top flat of a converted house. The owner of the bottom flat has let it out to a housing association which places 16- to 18- year-olds who are at risk. Their key workers stay on occasional nights but other than that, they live in the flat on their own. There have been a lot of problems with loud music and smoking and the front door of the building has been kicked in. The police have been on several occasions. Can the owner let out the flat to a housing association without consulting me? A YES, the owner can do so unless there are restrictions in the lease or in any buy-to-let mortgage secured on the flat. If your neighbour has a buy-to-let mortgage, letting to someone on housing benefit may be prohibited. Check the terms of the lease of your flat and of your neighbour s flat. There may be restrictions on the type of people to whom the flat can be let. Housing benefit recipients are often excluded, and the freeholder s consent may be required for letting. Private landlords often let their properties to housing associations as there are benefits, such as a good management service and guaranteed rent. The problem is, the landlord loses control of who is occupying the flat. By behaving in the way you describe, the tenants are likely to be in breach of the terms of the lease. If you own a share of the freehold, then you will be involved, but if the freehold is owned by a third party, you must liaise with them to enforce the lease. The occupants are behaving in an antisocial way. Keep a diary of events, which will be useful if legal action proves necessary. These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.