Win a luxurious woollen throw with Sofas by Saxon!

Winter throw to win

Now winter is closing in, for the latest issue of HomeFocus we have teamed up with Sofas by Saxon and are giving one lucky reader the chance to win a genuine wool throw worth £130! This stunning throw is woven from 100% British wool, resulting a sumptuously soft blanket that will keep you warm and cosy all winter long.

The classic shade you see here is called Herringbone Thistle, an elegantly understated beige with a subtle touch of lavender. We’re confident that this gorgeous throw will look good in almost any home, especially when draped over a couch or armchair. It measures 170cm x 145cm, so it’s the perfect size for snuggling up on the sofa on those chilly winter evenings.

Exploring Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes

Photo of new home example of available on shared ownership scheme or help to buy schemes in UK

Have you ever heard the words “shared ownership”, or “Help to Buy” but always wondered exactly what people were talking about?

The world of affordable home ownership might seem like a complex one, particularly for first-time buyers, but here at HomeFocus we strive to cut through the jargon and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Thanks to the sky-high prices of homes and houses nationwide, people right across the country are being priced out of the open market, and add that to the extortionate cost of renting, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

However, there are affordable home ownership schemes in place to help you buy your own home - and the key word there is affordable.

Buying a brand new home was so easy for first time buyers  

Peter, Cristina and their dog outside their brand new home

Buying a home is considered to be one of the most stressful things you can do, but for Peter Blixenkrone-Moller and Cristina Gallego Garcia it couldn’t have been more straight forward when they purchased their two bedroom home at Deanfield Meadow, Ducklington, Near Witney, Oxfordshire. 

Peter (aged 50) comments, “We have both been living in the UK for 10 years. I am originally from Denmark and Cristina (aged 40) from Spain. We wanted to buy our own home but needed to make sure we were both in the right jobs before making that commitment, so decided to rent for nine months in Woodstock, with a clause in our agreement which meant we could get out.

Plan C

Plan C

Plan C is a family run building and design company based in Muswell Hill, North London.

At the helm are twin brothers – Pierre and Christian Carboni – who decided to sign up their latest development of three new builds in Bounds Green London N11 to the Equity Loan Scheme under the Help to Buy umbrella.  

Click on the link to experience a walk-through inside one of the properties:

Southern Home Ownership brings its Shared Ownership Road Show to Brighton 

Southern Home Ownership brings its Shared Ownership Road Show to Brighton 

Southern Home Ownership is bringing an educational Road Show to their Brighton development – Artisan – on Saturday 19th January, giving local first time buyers the opportunity to explore the affordable home ownership scheme available on their doorstep. The free event will provide key information about Shared Ownership, dispelling myths about the scheme and helping local residents understand the process clearly. 

A new beginning for Mulberry Homes at Great Bowden

Mulberry Homes – the first sod is cut

A recent 'cutting the sod' ceremony at Mulberry Homes' new Heathcote Grange development in Great Bowden, Leics, celebrated one of the first milestones on the site and marked the official start of the construction work.

Chair of the Harborough District Council, Lesley Bowles, joined the homebuilder's Land and Operations Director Steve Mitchell for the event on Leicester Lane.

Heathcote Grange is set to provide a sophisticated selection of three and four bedroom luxury homes, positioned amidst beautifully landscaped surroundings in the heart of Great Bowden.

Destination Is Key For Brand New Community Being Formed At Hanwood Park

Homes at Hanwood Park

Leading Northamptonshire housebuilder Barratt and David Wilson Homes is encouraging homebuyers in the area to consider becoming part of a brand new community at its Bertone Manor development in Hanwood Park.

The stunning development, which is located on Warkton Lane and part of the East Kettering Sustainable Urban Extension, will have something for everyone once finished.

The range of one to five bedroom homes will be surrounded by beautiful countryside and benefit from a host of onsite amenities.

Help to Buy enables first time buyer to get a larger property 

Lauren in her help to buy new home

A recent report has revealed that more than 420,000[1]people in Britain have been helped onto the housing ladder with the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. This is just the case for one first time buyer, who has moved into her first home, a three bedroom semi-detached home at Deanfield Meadow in Ducklington, Nr Witney, using Help to Buy. 

Lauren Davies, 29, grew up in Witney and moved to Bermuda for two years when she was 23. Upon returning, she rented in London for two years before moving into her boyfriend’s property. When the relationship finished she decided she wanted to move back to the Witney area to live closer to her friends and family. 

Help to Buy enabled us to buy our dream home 

Help to Buy helped Jo and James buy their new home

Married couple, Jo and James Druce-Harding (both aged 27) have realised their dream of owning their ‘forever’ home at Deanfield Meadow in Ducklington, Oxfordshire, thanks to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. 

Jo and James had been living in a three bedroom property in Witney for two years and really liked the area but after getting a dog, they decided they needed a house with a bigger garden and more space. They started to look around Witney at various properties and found a home they liked, but were unable to go ahead as their property hadn’t sold. 


Halve your energy bills with Barrat and David Wilson homes

Five star house builder Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Thames is urging homebuyers in Buckinghamshire to consider moving to an energy efficient brand new home this winter, which could cut their energy bill by over 55%.

With the cold weather well and truly here, new build properties are proven to keep you warmer through the winter. A new report by the Home Builders Federation (HBF)* shows that new build home owners save £629 a year, spending on average £443 on heating, hot water and lighting compared to the £1,072 the owner of an older home can expect to spend.  

Predictions for the UK Property Market in 2019

Couple moving into new UK home

Ross Counsell, director at Good Move, the regulated property buyer, gives his predictions for the UK property market in 2019.

House prices in the UK

We predict that house price growth will stagnate in 2019 due to market uncertainty and the ceiling of affordability being reached in much of the south. The outcome of Brexit could have the most significant impact on prices, with a disorderly ‘no-deal’ scenario likely leading to a fall in prices. However we expect a rise, albeit at a subdued rate, of around 1% should the government form a reasonable exit deal with the EU.

The biggest garden trends for 2019 from The Greenhouse People

The Greenhouse People - wall planters

Now is the perfect time to take a look at the trends set to liven up our gardens next year. The gardening enthusiasts at The Greenhouse People have put together a list of the key trends you need to know about, whether you’re planning a complete garden re-design or simply want to freshen things up…

A grown-up playground

At first this concept might seem a little outlandish but, for those in the know, adult treehouses and summerhouses are all the rage. Tech titans like Microsoft have long hailed the virtues of outdoor meeting spaces and 2019 is the perfect time for the rest of us to get onboard.

Not Long Left To Secure A Property At Kingsley Manor

Kingsley Manor street scene

David Wilson Homes South Midlands has released its final range of properties at its Kingsley Manor development in Langford that is perfect for the whole family.

The sought-after new homes site, which is located on Station Road, currently has a range of four and five bedroom detached properties available that are expertly designed to suit modern living.  

The six remaining properties will give new residents a chance to join the newly-formed community of homeowners at the development who are already reaping the benefits of Kingsley Manor.

Crest Nicholson saves the day for Part Exchange couple at Birchen Oak, West Sussex

Crest Nicholson saves the day for Part Exchange couple at Birchen Oak, West Sussex

Alice Dean and her husband, Matt Curgenven, recently moved to Crest Nicholson’s Birchen Oak development in Lindfield. Having previously occupied a two-bedroom duplex apartment built by Crest Nicholson, the couple found their transition to West Sussex “really easy and supportive,” as they chose to upsize using Crest Nicholson’s Part Exchange scheme to secure their dream home. 

The couple found they had outgrown their previous apartment and Alice said, “we needed to find a home that met our needs, and that is what we found at Birchen Oak.” A big part of the appeal was their desire “to leave London” and enjoy the relaxing country lifestyle in West Sussex.

Scandi Season: 6 small steps to give your home that cosy touch

Scandi Season living room interior

With winter fast approaching, our minds can’t help wandering off to thoughts of cosy nights in at home, snuggling up around a roaring fire.  To help your home weather the chill this winter, we at The Lighting Superstore are taking some inspiration from the latest Scandi design trends to give your home that cosy touch! 

Keep it neutral

Scandinavian fashion is all about keeping things simple. To bring this minimalistic approach into your home, start with your colour palette – try out earthy colours such as whites, greys and other subdued tones – this could help you get the Scandi style without having to invest too much time or budget.

Are you sitting on a small fortune? The top 10 most wanted second hand items

Are you sitting on a small fortune? The top 10 most wanted second hand items

The glitz and glamour of the Christmas period doesn’t come cheap, with presents, parties and decorations all pulling on the pursestrings. Every penny counts over these expensive winter months and many will be searching for ways to bring in a bit of extra cash to cover the costs.

The answer may well be closer to home than people think, with the second hand industry growing year on year. There are many reasons why someone might feel the need for a clear out, but whether it’s fundraising for a treat or decluttering ahead of a house move, you could find it a valuable process.

Top tips to make a move easy

Top tips to make a move easy

Although it’s an exciting step towards living in your dream home, the process of moving house can sometimes feel like a demanding experience. However, from the moment you make the decision to sell your property, to the day of the move itself, if you manage the process well then it can feel like a fond farewell to your old home, rather than a drawn-out process.

Here, Tonia Tyler, sales director at Redrow Homes South Midlands, discusses how to make your move as smooth as possible. 

The Sell 

‘Holistic Design' with Daval Bathroom Furniture

Daval Bathroom Furniture

Rich warm coloured woods are creating a coup in the bathroom this season, with timber-clad wall panelling, featured furniture and the use of hardwoods and tropical timbers like Walnut being used to elevate the bathroom and transform it from ordinary to extraordinary.  Daval, leaders in the British design and manufacture of quality fitted furniture embrace the markets need for holistic design with a collection of furniture that allows you to synchronise a bathroom scheme with your living room, kitchen and bedrooms in terms of quality, design and style. 

‘‘Join the holistic design revolution, your heart and home will thank you for it!’’

Holistic interiors draw inspiration from the following design principles: 

Cooking for a crowd this Christmas

cooking for Christmas

Playing host to friends and family during the busy festive season can often seem like a joy initially, but a huge dampener on your mood when reality sets in. With a variety of diets and ages to cater for, cooking for a crowd can be hugely overwhelming, but ThermomixÒ has put together top tips to help please even the fussiest of eaters.


Variety is the spice of life 

Make sure your buffet has a selection to pack a punch, and serve up the same dish three ways. Pizza is a go-to for finger food, so make sure there’s one vegetarian, one meat feast, and one with pineapple topping to cause a little controversy! 




Ensure a clean Christmas

Who would have thought that the biggest trend for A/W18 would be cleaning the house and sharing tips all over Instagram? The social media style of Mrs Hinch has captured our hearts and inspired the nation to ensure they spruce up their homes in time for everyone’s favourite holiday – Christmas. 


Taking inspiration from the “Hinching” trend, Kobold shares its favourite fast cleaning hacks to help customers ensure that Christmas goes without, well... a Hinch! 


Don’t skip out on your skirting boards

Site Managers Reveal How To Make The Best Brew In The Cold Weather

The Best Brew In The Cold Weather

As the colder weather starts to creep in and more people turn to a hot beverage to warm themselves up, staff at leading Bedfordshire homebuilder, Barratt Homes North Thames, have revealed how to make the best brew. 

A new survey of Barratt Site Managers confirmed that a good brew is an important part of the day, whatever the weather. However, coffee is now the preferred beverage of builders, with 52% of staff who took part in the survey choosing it to start the day. Only 2% of respondents opted for a fruit tea as their cuppa of choice.

They also revealed their top advice for making the best brew, which is when making tea to add the hot water first (69%), and a resounding 40% said they prefer a stronger brew.

Smart Technology For The Bathroom

Smart Technology For The Bathroom

Ivory Egg, specialists in KNX intelligent building technology and complementary solutions, highlighting smart technology for the bathroom with Gira UK intelligent build solutions.

Gira Control 19 Display: a touch screen PC for controlling the KNX installation via the Gira HomeServer or FacilityServer. The Gira Control 19 Client 2 is operated using a large, brilliant display with a screen diagonal of 47 cm (18.5"), which clearly and concisely illustrates many of the building technology functions via the Gira Interface. Features:

Convenient operation of the entire building technology

Remote control via the Gira HomeServer/FacilityServer

Large screen diagonal of 47 cm [18.5"]

Includes built-in speaker and microphone

Integrated power supply unit

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show

Couple at the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show assists people in tackling West Midlands’ housing shortage

28-31 March 2019, The NEC, Birmingham 

The West Midlands is gearing up to align with the government’s Housing Deal targets of delivering nearly 16,000 homes a year out of a total nationwide ambition of 215,000, which will help meet the increasing demand in the region by 2031.

Snow Tips & Sparkle: How To Dress Your Home For Christmas

Christmas themed showhome

Lancashire housebuilder David Wilson Homes is spreading some Christmas cheer with its favourite decoration tips and tricks for the holiday season.

Christmas is an important time of year for homeowners and property seekers alike, with everyone wanting the perfect location to host a holiday to remember.

A white Christmas is never guaranteed, but that doesn’t mean homeowners can’t bring the festive spirit indoors by adding some sparkle to their décor.