Devonshire Woman

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Old vs New: The Great Housing Debate

When you make the decision to buy a home, choosing between old and new builds is one of the biggest choices you can make. And there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages on both sides, which are worth considering in more detail. Of course, each house has its own merits, but within this article, we will give a basic overview of the main advantages of new and old homes. So, let’s get started.

Reasons to Buy an Old Home

First of all, old homes tend to be located in neighbourhoods that are more established, so a lot of other facilities have already been built around them. This means that you can visit the area to have a walk around and get a pretty good idea about what to expect while you are there. One of the biggest arguments that people offer in favour of older properties is that they have a sense of character and history that new builds simply cannot provide. If you are a fan of architecture and period features, an older house may be for you. When you are making an offer on an old home, what you see is what you get, and you can look into the property’s history with more information so you can make an informed bid. This also means that there will be no delays with moving in, which could be the case with new homes that are still under construction.

Reasons to Buy a New Home

When you move into a new home, you are starting from scratch so you really have plenty of options available to personalise the place. They tend to give you more of a blank canvas which is not really the case with older properties. New builds tend to come fitted with modern, high-specification appliances, up to date heating systems and good insulation. And you don’t have to think about the time and expense involved in difficult DIY jobs. Not only this, they tend to be a lot more energy efficient which can save a great deal on heating bills. Many new home builder organisations are building communities as well as homes. It may not be an appealing prospect to move into an established neighbourhood, but rather one in which you can meet other first-time buyers that you can share experiences alongside.

Your Own Preferences

When you are in the process of searching for a new home, it is worth looking at both new and existing properties so you can get the fullest picture of what suits you the most. You may be interested in moving into a neighbourhood which has already been established and a home which has a sense of history and character. On the other hand, you may be interested in starting from scratch in a house that you can really put your own personal stamp on. Hopefully, this article will have helped you to weigh up the options in front of you so you can make a more informed decision.

These Decking Ideas Will Make Your Neighbours Jealous

Why is decking so popular? The main reason is that it has an uncanny ability to bridge the gap between outdoor and indoor spaces, helping to open up the garden and enable owners to make the best use of their property. But decking can be so much more than a rectangle at the back of the home. There are all sorts of ways to use it really cleverly that’ll make your neighbours seriously jealous. Here’s how.

Put Decking Around The Shed

In today’s gig economy, sheds are being used for all sorts of purposes. Offices, gyms, workshops – even somewhere to store garden tools on occasion. As a result, there’s a lot of people tramping in and out, meaning that the area around the shed entrance often gets heavy use. Smart owners are taking this as a sign that it’s time to put down decking around the shed, not only to guard against wear and tear but also give it a bit of uplift.

Layer Up Your Deck

It might be cheaper to put down a single layer of deck, but it’s certainly not the most stylish, nor the most family-friendly option. But if you’ve got a modern home or a new build, consider layering up your deck, placing one layer on top of another to create different zones. Higher zones might be for dining or sunbathing. Lower down, you could have outdoor kitchen space or storage areas.

Extend Your Deck As A Garden Path

Decking is supposed to connect the home to the garden. But sometimes the border of the deck with the wildlife can leave a lot to be desired. It’s not meant to, but sometimes it can look decidedly abrupt.

Clever families have gotten around this by simply extending their deck in the form of a garden path that connects different parts of the backyard with one another as if it was a boardwalk over a marsh. Raised deck keeps people off your precious shrubs.

Combine WIth Balustrades

Want to up the aesthetic of your deck? Then why not combine it with balustrades? Today, there are many different types of balustrades on the market, all designed to complement different home styles. Balustrades keep people safe and allow you to relax more while the kids are playing on the decking, knowing that there are fewer places where they can fall off.

Combine Decking Materials

Most people have decking constructed from wood (or composite alternatives). But there’s no reason why deck can’t be combined with other materials too, like concrete or stone. Mixed material decking works particularly well in ultra-modern homes and in urban areas.

Garden Island Deck

If there a particularly scenic part of your garden? If so, it could probably benefit massively from what’s being called “destination deck” in the industry – in other words, a decked area of the garden, far away from anything else. You could create a garden island deck anywhere you liked, perhaps nestled up to some trees, or in amongst your flower garden.

Use Decking To Connect Structures Together

If your family home consists of multiple buildings, then a large decking area is a great way to connect them together. Decking has the ability to create flow in properties with annexes, generating a community feel. What’s more, the decking also helps to increase outdoor living space, creating places where people can come together and mingle.

Experiment With Sunken Decking

The Japanese are very fond of tables sunk into the floor. Traditional restaurants often require people to sit in pits with the tables themselves at floor height. Though it’s unusual, the effect can be quite dramatic, and surprisingly relaxing. If you don’t want to build your decking upwards, you can always do down, sinking it into the ground. Sunken decking works especially well in areas that already have retaining walls. Decking can be placed on the inside of the retaining wall, providing a partially sheltered space to put tables, chairs and sun loungers.

Build An Outdoor Dining Area

With the rise of outdoor kitchens, al fresco living is becoming increasingly popular. But most people are still dining on traditional patios, not realising some of the benefits offered by decking. Not only are you raised up higher than a patio, but decking can also be placed in amongst other garden features, like trees, bringing a whole new dimension to eating outside. Decking can also be used as a supporting structure for other features, like lanterns.

Experimenting with decking is a lot of fun. Don’t make your nneighbourstoo jealous!


Plymouth Poppies on Tour Wave

There is one city we just have to go and visit when the sun comes out and that is beautiful Plymouth. Last weekend (well the Saturday anyway), the weather was rather lovely, so we made up a picnic and jumped into the car to visit this lovely city.

We love walking around the quay, on hot days you can sometimes find this gorgeous retro ice cream van… I want one!

Retro ice cream van on Plymouth Harbour

There are also some lovely shops and quaint side streets, there is something humorous in the fact that they have painted double yellow lines down these narrow roads.

Once we have taken in the sites of the quay we tend to walk up to the Hoe for our picnic. I just love the views on this walk, I see something new every time we visit and almost feel like we are not in England anymore. There are lots of little cafes and coffee shops built right into the wall of the harbour.

Last year we actually went into the Tinside Lido. It was far too cold when we were in Plymouth at the weekend to even think about going for a swim. (this photo was from last summer when the weather was a lot hotter)

Tinside Lido on Plymouth Hoe

Without fail when we visit Plymouth Hoe we take a picnic and sit and enjoy the beautiful views of the lighthouse and the surrounding sea.

Having a picnic on Plymouth Hoe Lighthouse on Plymouth Hoe

We were fortunate enough to see the Poppies on Tour wave at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial. The breath-taking sculptures were initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014. Aren’t they dramatic and such a wonderful remembrance for all those that died during the great war?

After our walk along the Hoe, we headed into town for a coffee and some cake. Plymouth has lots of great places to have a drink and a bite to eat. We decided to try Barista Brothers an Italian coffee shop. It was quite quirky inside, it was nice to try somewhere a bit different and the coffee was good too.

Although we didn’t visit there this weekend (but have many times), another place you have to go if you visit Plymouth is the National Aquarium. It is very interactive for the children and of course, there are lots of wonderful things to see in the huge tanks.

Large Tank at Plymouth Aquarium

Husband and I are planning to have a grown up weekend in Plymouth soon so we can go and see what the bars and restaurants have to offer. We would love to see a show at the Theatre Royal also. Let’s hope next summer the weather is a lot warmer, I want to play in the Lido again!

Little Loves – The Teacher, Foo Fighters & Organic Pinot Grigio


photo of the book The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

I bought this book a while ago in a charity shop for £1.50, it’s written by a local author Katerina Diamond and the story is based in Exeter which makes it even more interesting to me. I am only a couple of chapters in and am so intrigued about where the story is going. As I know Exeter well, I can really put myself in the story when it talks about certain locations. I will let you all know when I have finished what I think about it.


Photo of the Netflix Original Glow

I love a good old Netflix Original and recently my sister recommended GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling) to me. I am an 80’s child (albeit young child) so all the nostalgia is wonderful! Who wouldn’t love all that hairspray, blue eye shadow and sparkly leotards huh? I am only 4 episodes in but can see a bit of binge watching in my evenings this week!


Who saw the Foo Fighter set at Glastonbury this year? I certainly did and they rocked! I have always liked the Foo Fighters but after watching them at Glasto, I decided I freaking love the Foo’s! The next day their Greatest Hits were being sent my way and I have been blasting it in the car all summer to my kid’s dismay joy. I particularly love their music videos, especially the one for ‘Walk’, which was a copy of the film Falling Down starring Michael Douglas. If you need a bit of a giggle watch it, it will make you smile.


Apple Pie Spice and Crockpot Cooking Apple

Yes, it’s coming into my favourite season… Autumn. Husband came home with 10 cooking apples yesterday, someone was offering them free (i love it when people do that!) I put them in the slow cooker with a little butter, brown sugar and this Apple Pie mix from Aldi. 4 hours later on low setting and my house smelt of Autumn and I can not wait to tuck into a crumble and pie this week.


Pot of Cien Q10 face cream from lidl

I suffer dry skin, even during the summer months. I had been using Burts Bees moisturiser but it actually wasn’t helping so have reverted back to this cheapy from Lidl. This costs £1.69 and goes on my skin lovely and my make up always looks dewy when I use this product, and what a bargain too!


Bottle of Aldi Organic Pinot Grigio

Did you know that Aldi now does an organic Pinot Grigio? Neither did I until my sister told me about it! For £5.99 this is a gorgeous wine, and I assume due to it being organic the headache the next day might not be so bad haha! This is my new favourite wine and will be happily chilling in my fridge over the Autumn months.

Hope you all have had a good week, who else is looking forward to cosy nights in this Autumn?

Have a lovely week!




First Impressions Count, So Say Yours In Style

When it comes to your home, you’ve probably got a list as long as your elbow designated for home improvements. Because when you’re looking to renovate your home, it always takes time and there’s always a lot to do. But many of the different areas are going to be costly. When you want to be able to work on a new kitchen or bathroom, it’s going to take time and money. But, there are other areas you can improve for a wow-factor finish for less, like your entryway. So if you want to make sure that first impression when it comes to your home decor, here’s how to spruce up your entryway in style.

Start With The Door

To get your renovations underway, you’re going to want to start with the door itself. Your choice of door can make a good first impression. So you should pick out a style that suits your house style, and your decor tastes. But also make sure that it’s secure too, which companies like SJO Locksmith can help with. And remember, your choice in color and design needs to work with both your home’s exterior, and your interior decor.

Then Dress The Outside

With your door chosen and in place, you’re then going to want to step outside for a second. Although your interiors are a huge part of this process, you’re going to want to ensure that the outside is included too. Your front door decor should be nailed first. Alongside getting some plants to dress each side, you may also want to think about different door hangings that you can work with, as well as a porch or awning.

Cover Off The Flooring

As you move back inside, you’re going to want to focus on the floor. Your flooring will take up a large part of your entryway. Plus, as you may get family members and guests coming in with muddy boots, you may want to ensure that you have a flooring choice that is easy to clean. So ensure that you pick out flooring that’s going to be a good choice maintenance wise, as well as work with your decor.

Think About The Design

When it comes to your entryway, you’re also going to want to work with a design that suits your lifestyle too. Some favor a foyer design that is minimal and elegant, but this isn’t always practical. So you may want to think about going with a design that is functional too. For this reason, you may want to think about working with a mudroom style finish so that you’ve got storage and can also add a quaint touch to the decor.

Accessorize Well

Then, you’re going to want to finish off with some great accessories. With your base decor chosen and in place, you can then add your entryway finishing touches that can set off the space. Whether you need a coat stand or a sideboard, you should ensure that your accessories work with your space as well as your lifestyle needs and your entryway should finally give off the wow-factor.

En-Suite VS Dressing Room. The Great Renovation Debate

When you get a little cash in your back pocket, it’s natural to want to upgrade elements of your home. Not necessarily for the value of the house, but for the fact you get to enjoy the renovations that you could make. One of the biggest questions among homeowners is whether to add an extension to the back of the house, or go for a little bit of luxury and add an extension to the bedroom and enjoy that instead.

If you want to add to your bedroom you have one of two choices: a luxury en-suite bathroom from companies like  or a dressing room with storage for shoes, belts and even jewellery. Of course, if you have the space you could always extend to both of these, but most don’t have that luxury! So, which one should you go for?

En-Suite Bathroom. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you’ll know exactly why people love to have an en-suite. Usually an en-suite has either a bath or a shower and rarely both together. You can even go for a wet room like these instead of just the standard little bathroom. Having an en-suite in the home has always been a sign of luxury and if you have upgraded with enough cash to add one to yours, you’ve just risen in the luxury stakes! It doesn’t matter if you have a regular family bathroom downstairs, it doesn’t mean you have to choose one to use. An en-suite is your personal shower room and so you can make it as luxurious as you like.

Dressing Room. Dressing rooms used to be a thing of the past, starting out as a private closet in the Tudor times. However, in recent years, the wealthiest of homes have been blessed with dressing rooms for both men and women, with features such as lighting independent of the other rooms, soft close cupboards and drawers that hold everything. Built-in wardrobes are always a blessing in a bedroom but imagine having that as well as floor to ceiling mirrors and revolving rails with your shirts and skirts in colour order? When you choose to have a dressing room, you are choosing to have a private space dedicated just to your belongings and you can feel like you’ve arrived just for having that room in the house!

Whichever way you choose to go for your renovation, you should choose the item that’s most practical. Ladies with little ones would always go for the extra bathroom space, especially during pregnancy or on those very long night feeds. Working couples could always opt for his and hers dressing rooms so that they can coordinate and free their bedroom of furniture that holds all their clothes. Whatever option you choose, you should think carefully about what you want from your home and whether you are adding value or simply adding a little touch of luxury. Either way, you’re onto a winner with either of those choices!


Protecting Your Property: Making Sure That Your Home is a Safe Haven

As the old saying goes, home is where the heart is. It shelters us, our loved ones, pets and almost all of our personal possessions. So it’s not surprising that we want it to be as safe a space as possible. We want to feel comfortable within our own four walls, protected from the outside world and all of the threats that potentially inhabit it. We also want to protect it from the inside out. Ensuring that problems inside are as low risk as possible. So, if you are intent on creating a home that it is a complete safe haven, follow these few essential steps.

Home Security

Theft is on the rise and our homes will always be the main target of potential thieves and burglars. Any good criminal will know that we keep our most valuable belongings locked away inside our houses, so many will try their luck at getting inside and leaving with what is not theirs to take. This is why it is highly recommended that you make use of an effective and reliable home security system. This will trigger an alarm if someone steps foot inside your property while you are out of the house or asleep in bed. If you are heading away for a while, you should seek out extra protection. Social media let’s others know when you’re away from your abode and has resulted in an increase in people’s properties being broken into while they are away. Use residential security services to eliminate this worry from your mind. These services will keep an eye on your home while you are away, offering frequent checks carried out by a security officer and even the positioning of a guard dog on your land.

Install CCTV

CCTV is a brilliant option for those who want a full record of activity outside of their property. Installing CCTV on your home’s exterior not only wards off trespassers, but will identify those who do try their luck and continue unfazed by the camera’s’ presence. The protection provided by CCTV can also extend from your property to possessions that remain outside, like vehicles. If any damage is caused, you will have a clear image of the person at fault and can then pursue prosecution or compensation with solid evidence at hand.

Fire Safety Devices

Not all threats come from the outside: fire is one of the most dangerous possibilities for your property and this is just as likely to emanate from inside your home as outside. Ensure that your home has plenty of working fire alarms (otherwise known as smoke detectors). These will alert you to any potential danger of a fire, allowing you to stop the problem before it develops or evacuate the property if things have already developed. If you are extremely vigilant, you could also install fire extinguishers in your home and have fire blankets at hand in the kitchen.

Following these steps will automatically ensure that your home is a much safer environment for you to live in. Remember, these are just starter points. There are further steps that you can take to further promote your personal safety.