The Ultimate House Hunting Guide | With Free Downloadable Checklist

If you are planning on buying a new property in 2019, then first things first; you've got to get your investigative hat on and be sure to ask the right questions!

We know how overwhelming it can feel when you are house hunting and so we've created an easy checklist that you can tick off as you go to make sure you ask the crucial questions before you buy your home. So whether you are a first-time buyer, second-time buyer, esteemed house purchaser or simply looking for your dream home then check out our easy and downloadable guide below so that you don't miss a trick in the search for your new home.

In a hurry? Click here to head straight to the bottom of the page to sign up for your free downloadable guide.

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 The Practicalities 

1.Location, Location, Location.

Always remember, it's better to be the worst house on the best street rather than the best house on the worst street. Not only is it great in terms of house pricing, but it will also mean that you are likely to end up on a street that is safer and better maintained.

2. Local Schools

Location is everything. Make your list of priorities, for example, good schools ( check out the OFSTED reports here), commuting, countryside views, great pubs, good sized garden size. The key is to pick your top 3 musts and then a few more desired (but not essential) points.

Once you've done this, take a score for each house you visit.  This will help keep you focused on your objectives and not too distracted by the lovely interiors. Interiors can be changed, the location cannot.

3. Meet the Neighbours.

You will get lots of honest information from the neighbours so definitely knock on their door and get the down low on the house you are looking at. You will also get a chance to see who you will be living next to.

It's also a perfect opportunity to see what condition their houses are in and see what can be done, for example, conversions or changing windows etc. If they have got a conversion on their house you will likely be able to do the same.

3. Think to the Future.

It may just be you or just you two now, but take it from us, things move on fast! Where will you be in 5 years time? And, what will you need space for?

Depending on their age your family may be increasing or decreasing as they fly the nest.

4. Have a really good nose about

We mean it, open every cupboard and door and use your nose while you do. It is hard to hide the smell of damp or sewage problems.  If you smell something not quite right definitely ask about it.

5. If in doubt get a survey done.

Old houses have cracks - yes, we know but are they serious?  There is only one way to find out - bring in the experts.  If you fall in love with a house and have any reservations at all, we suggest having a survey done.  It is expensive but money very well spent - you will not regret it.

Plus it will come in very useful when it comes to a time when you want to sell.

6. Which direction?

Be sure to view the house at different times of day to ascertain where the sun hits the house.  You will learn which rooms get the sun at different times. If you love nothing more than sitting in the evening sun, then you'll need a South West facing garden.

Other, essential property viewing things to check include, the areas wifi coverage, council tax band for the property, parking permits (if applicable).

7. Community Pages on Social Media

Check out any local gossip pages or community to groups on Facebook. This is an unfiltered way to really get to know the area. But, be cautious too. Every area will have at least some minor problems - there is no perfect city, town or village!

8. Crime Checker

If you are moving to a new area then crime checker is a great way to double check that nothing serious is going on in the new location.

9. Wifi Coverage

We live in a modern world and so essentials like wifi need to be considered. This is especially important if you work from home. Here is a handy wifi coverage checker that you can view here.

10. Transport Links

If you commute by train or bus, then it goes without saying that you'll want to make sure that the local transport links are good.


The Interiors

To the window, to the walls!

When you first walk into your prospective property, you want to keep your eyes peeled for potential concerns. We know that this may sound a little negative, but it's important to not get totally carried away by how beautiful the interiors are. By downloading our checklist and ticking off the important steps outlined below you will be safe in the knowledge that you've got it all covered.

1. Doors and Windows.

When it comes to the doors and windows on your house viewing checklist, what you really want to look for is the seals of the doors and window frames and any signs of water damage.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are the doors weatherproof?
  • Do the doors open and close properly?
  • Is there any damage to the window frames showing evidence of water damage?

Another important thing to consider is the views from your windows.

Questions to ask include:

  • What do you look out upon?
  • Are you overlooked by neighbours?
  • Can you walk around in your pants? Live a free life?!

2. Walls and Ceilings

The four walls surrounding you are the very foundations of your home.

Things to consider include:

  • Check for water damage.
  • Check for cracks in the foundations
  • Do the walls need painting?
  • Are the walls soundproof?
  • Do the walls appear straight? (obvious, but very important!)

3.Flooring.

Flooring can be incredibly expensive to replace.  If it's a doer upper, try lifting the carpet when no one is looking to see what's under the carpet.

Things to ask yourself include:

  • Are there any visible signs of water damage.
  • Does the floor cave in slightly?
  • Can you lift up the carpet to have a sneak peek under the floor?
  • Ask to move any rugs, as it could be obstructing damage underneath.

4. Lighting.

When you are looking around your potential property, don't be afraid to test the electrics. If the home hasn't been lived in for some time, the electrics may be off, but otherwise, you should be able to switch the lights on and off to check for any lighting issues.

  • Check for visible faulty wiring.
  • Flick the light switches on and off.

Make sure you also consider natural lighting too! Here are a few essential questions to include in your house viewing checklist:

  • Is there enough natural lighting?

5. Insulation.

For older properties, in particular, you will need to be mindful of how the house is insulated. Living in the UK, we know how cold and wet it can get during the winter months and so we want our homes to be cosy respites. So make sure that the windows and roof are properly insulated and if not negotiate this when making an offer.

Things to consider when viewing the house include:

  • Are the windows double glazed?
  • Is the roof properly insulated? (Your energy bills will be costly in the winter if not).

6. Water

Be sure to check that there are no pressure or plumbing issues.

Things to check include:

  • Running the taps to check the water pressure.
  • Flushing the toilets to check for any backup or plumbing problems.

7. Loft / Attic

Make sure you check behind boxes piled against walls as this could be concealing water damage. You can always request that the boxes are moved for your second viewing. This is not an unreasonable request and if you're made to feel otherwise, proceed with caution.

Things to consider include:

  • Is there any evidence of water damage?
  • Are they any visible cracks of holes?
  • Are there any signs or droppings from little creatures, such as mice or rats?

8. Storage Space

Take inventory of how much storage space there is. We're not suggesting that you dig around cupboards, but it is very helpful to note how much storage there is in each room.

Questions to consider:

  • Is there enough storage space in the bedrooms? This is particularly important for small bedrooms.
  • Is there extra loft space or cupboards under the stairs?
  • Does the kitchen have plenty of cabinets and cupboards to cater to your families size and needs?

9. Bathroom

If you're not planning on renovating your new bathroom, then make sure you fully inspect and take photographs of the bathroom to ensure that it's fit for use.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Is there enough cabinet and storage space?
  • Is there any evidence of mildew and mold?
  • If there are no windows in the bathroom, check for extractor fans.

 The Exterior

1.The Roof

Repairing the roof of a house can be very costly, so make sure you take inventory of this and ask lots and lots of questions to ensure that there are no issues.

  • Are there any loose tiles?
  • Discolouration?
  • Any visible holes?
  • Have any of the gutters come loose?
  • Does the roof appear to be uneven?
  • When was the roof last replaced?

2. Parking

If you're fortunate enough to have parking included with your new property then you'll need to make sure you research tha

Questions to ask yourself include?

  • If you have a driveway is there enough room for your cars or on-street parking if not?
  • Are there any cracks in the driveway foundations?
  • If you have a garage, does the garage door open and close properly?

3. The Garden

Your investigation doesn't just end at the house! Make sure you check out the garden space too.

Here are important aspects to consider:

  • Does the drainage slope away from the house?
  • Are there any right of ways or is there public access to your garden?
  • Trees. As beautiful trees are, they can totally mess with your foundations and, sadly, mortgage companies don't like that at all! So be sure that there aren't any trees around or near the foundations of your home.
  • Japanese Knotweed. Be warned -don't touch a house with it! If a house has Japenese knotweed you may not be able to get a mortgage. Or, even worse, you may not be able to sell the house if you want to in the future!

And, that's it!

Click or tap the image below and enter your details to claim your free download of your House Hunter Check List:

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Top 5 2019 Resolutions for You and Your Home

We love the New Year, it is a time of positivity and hope, a time for planning and change.  This year, we are focusing on how to improve both our own world but also how we affect the world around us.  We believe that making small changes to your life that will improve your happiness is really important.

This year, we wanted to inspire you with some top new years resolution ideas that are both home/interiors related but also mindful and self-caring.  So if you're yet to think of some New Year Resolutions or have room to add in a few more then look no further! We have created a list of our top 5 interior resolution ideas for your home in 2019.


1. Be Bold With Your Colour Choices in 2019

Colours in the home is a trend that is here to stay, so why not embrace more colour in your home this year?  Colour affects our mood enormously and can be used to inspire, calm and stimulate 😉 - read our blog on How Colour Makes You Feel for more on this.

But don't worry, if you need advice on introducing colour to your home decor, you needn't go all-the-way with colour in your home this year. In fact, even small accents of colour will reinvigorate your interiors and improve your mood.

Our top ideas for adding colour to your home decor:

- Cool Cushions -  Switch up your cushions and invest in some cool cushions in your chosen vibrant hue. It's such an easy and affordable way to add colour to your home and, if after a few days of living with the new colourful cushions you decide that you don't like the look you can easily remove them.

- Two Tone Walls -  Two-tone walls are all the rage and add striking depth and geometrics to your home interiors. A great way to experiment with colour in the home, we recommend opting for one dark colour, such as our brown Briarwood Paint and one complementary tonal colour such as our Broderie Paint. It looks fabulous and is a really great way to add colour to your home.

- The Fifth Wall -  Feeling adventurous? Well then, why not paint your ceilings in a gorgeous hue? The ceiling is known as the fifth wall and is so often neglected. By painting your ceilings you will add layers of depth and interest to your home. Not forgetting, of course, that it's a fabulous alternative idea for adding colour to your home decor.

For more advice on how to use colour in the home, click or tap on these related articles below:

2. Create a Relaxation Zone in Your Home

If one of your resolutions this year is to be more mindful and look after your mental well being, then why not create a space in the home solely dedicated to this pursuit?

To curate a relaxation zone in your home, follow our easy steps below:

- Pick a space -  Chose your zone in your home that is undisturbed and away from easy distraction or interruption. Also, ensure that there is enough space and/or light for what you would like to use this space for.

- Make it Comfortable - what do you plan to do in your space?  You may want to exercise, read, meditate, paint, or just sit and stare. Whatever you want to do, ensure that you are comfortable, choose a special chair or luxurious cushions to make this space your own.

- Use it Everyday (if you can) - Once you've found your perfect spot, and have created your zone ensure that you make time to use it.  We all have good intentions but keeping to our resolutions can be hard to keep, but self-care is important and should be a priority.


3. Cut down on Single-Use Plastics In The Home

We're all aware of the damage that single-use plastic is having on wildlife and the environment, so why not try and be more sustainable with your home interiors this year? A really simple way to achieve this is by cutting down on single-use pieces such as coffee cups, straws and milk cartons.

So here are a few ideas to get you inspired:

- Get yourself a Reusable Coffee Cup that you love - Let's face it, coffee and tea always tastes nicer in your favourite mug. So scour the internet and your favourite shops for a Reusable Travel Mug that you love and take it everywhere you go. You could even make your hot beverage at home rather than buying it from a coffee shop which will save you pennies. We have a lovely re-usable coffee mug that you can shop here if you are interested - Oh La La Stars Travel Mug £25.00. 

- Get a Milkman - Go old school and get a milkman! Not only is this a great way to reduce your plastic waste, but it also supports local businesses and there is just something lovely about having your milk delivered to your doorstep every day. To find a Milkman near you, click or tap here.

- Drink Wine With Corks Not Screw Lids - Even the simplest things such as not drinking wine with screw lids can make a huge difference. So switch to cork top wine and feel smug in the knowledge that you are making a difference to the environment, whilst enjoying your favourite glass of vino!

- Use Bars of Soap To Avoid Plastic Soap Dispensers - Soap in throwaway dispensers is not the most environmentally friendly option out there. So, simply switch to plastic-free bars of soaps which are typically cheaper and have less of an impact on our earth. Alternatively, you can invest in some lovely Soap Dispensers for the home that you can reuse and refill. We have a range of reusable soap dispensers including the Concrete Soap Dispenser £27.00, Antique Style Soap & Lotion Dispenser £29.00 and Apothecary Style Soap & Lotion Dispenser £28.00.

- A few more ideas... 

Carry a water bottle with you, give up gum, ditch the clingfilm and buy biodegradable teabags or loose tea.

Remember even the smallest changes helps.


4. Buy Well

"Buy Less, Choose Well, Make It Last"

-Vivienne Westwood-

Continuing on our theme of being more sustainable in 2019, one of the best ways to be more responsible with your buying choices is to buy well. By this, we mean taking the time to sources homeware, lighting, accessories and furniture for the home that you really love.  Ultimately, the pieces that you choose for your home should be timeless. Something that you can keep and repurpose for years to come.

Here are our top tips for buying well:

- Buy Less - Be smart with your choices and opt for investment pieces that you know you'll love. It's always worth paying more for something that will last.

- Choose Well -  At RSG we believe that the hallmark of a timeless piece is that you fall in love with it over and over again. So, be mindful of fickle trends and always ask yourself 'Does this piece suit my unique style?'.

- Make It Last - Once you've chosen that sofa, armchair, table or other timeless pieces for your home, you've got to make it last.  So take care of your pieces, repurpose it around your home and if you decide to get rid of it then why not sell it, donate it or give it to a friend? You could even, upcycle it! Check out our next new year's resolution idea for more on this.


5. Get Creative

A final resolution for your home this year is to get creative! Creative or DIY activities are a great way to put your own unique stamp on your interiors, plus they are really enjoyable and mindful activities too. A win-win, in our opinion.  It is surprisingly satisfying to create your own homeware and give your furniture a unique twist.

Here are our top creative activities for your home:

- Frame It - artwork doesn't have to cost the earth, frame postcards, love notes, children's drawings, playing cards... the list is endless.

- Paint an old piece of furniture - If you are nervous about introducing colour to your home here is a great way to create a colour pop with the furniture you already own.  How about painting your bedside tables, a coffee table or a chair in a new colour.  Be warned painting furniture is addictive.

- Change your knobs - a quick and easy idea that transforms cupboards, chest of drawers, cabinets and doors.  There is a great choice of knobs and handles available here.

- Upcycle your old furniture with wallpaper - line your cupboards, cabinets and drawers with wallpaper.  In fact, there are lots of great things you can use wallpaper for - read our blog on  5 Alternative Ideas for Up-cycling with Wallpaper


And there you have it!

For tips on how to Make and Keep Your New Years Resolution, check out the January Hot List by clicking on the button below:

Party Like Pikes Hotel | 3 Tips For Your Christmas and New Years Eve Party

It's party season baby!

Tis the season to get your glittery glad rags on and dance the night away. So, if you're hosting a party this year then you're in the right place... we've got all the essential tips you need for your Christmas or New Years party.

This year we are channelling Ibiza to kick off the party season and in particular the amazing Pikes Hotel. Famous for its parties and the location for Whams 'Club Tropicana' this place is sending all the right vibes to get us in the mood. An Ibizan inspired party would not be complete without obligatory cocktails, and of course, to feel right at home a drinks trolley to display your spirts and glassware on.

The beauty about this is that curated Drinks Trolley Style Spots are so easy and simple to create but are incredibly impressive and impactful to look at. So we have curated our Top 3 Ibiza Party Tips below to impress your guests and generally have a good time!


Top Tip No.1. Get Yourself The Mother of All Drinks Trolleys

At Rockett St George we think that drinks trolleys are a household essential!

Not just for Christmas, Drinks Trolleys can be repurposed throughout the year. So, as the name suggests fill it will drink and cocktail essentials! Alternatively, you can use it as an additional side table or surface in your living room. Place a lamp on top and fill the shelves with ornaments and plants. If your drinks trolley is found in the kitchen then it is most likely full to the brim with your favourite tipple. So, be sure to invest in one you will love for years to come.

For a Pikes Style Christmas and New Years Party, there are a few easy things that you can do to repurpose your drinks trolley for the occasion.

  1. Move your trolley into a prime spot in your home at Christmas. Make sure it is accessible to all your guests by choosing your style spot. This may be in the kitchen, living room or dining room, but wherever you choose, create a party space for any potential guests to gather round.
  2. For New Year's Eve, having a drinks trolley means you have the perfect place to congregate when the bells chime for the New Year.  if you usually hang out in the Kitchen on New Years then why not move your trolley into the kitchen? You can then be ready to be on hand to serve up your best boozy cocktails.

Ultimately, however having a drinks trolley at your party means that guests, family and friends can help themselves to drinks leaving you more time to P.A.R.T.Y!


Top Tip No.2. Stock Up On Boozy Barware Essentials

Pikes Parties are known for being boozy and so its absolutely essential to stock up on plenty of barware, cocktail mixers, glasses and booze.

We love to create a make-shift bar on our drinks trolleys so here are our top ideas:

  1. Starting with the essentials, get your hands on an ice bucket, some pinchers to pick the ice up with and lots of your favourite spirits. We have some lovely barware at Rockett St George including a Lavish Gold Ice Bucket, Elegant Vintage Style Clear Glass Decanter or our Skull Decanter & Two Salt Shots (a great gift idea too). All of these pieces will add elegance and style to your drinks trolley.
  2. Glassware! Now if you don't want to risk your favourite glasses being smashed on the night of your party then consider a plastic champagne flute. Don't worry, we're not recommending a disposable plastic flute! We have some beautiful Golden Plastic Champagne Glasses that you can reuse for years to come. Plus, they won't smash if your guests drop them. Now that's what we would call a win-win.
  3. However, if you simply cannot drink from anything other than the finest glassware then we have some lovely glasses too! Our Swirl Wine Glass - AmberSwirl Wine Glass - Nude or the Handmade Clear Conical Stem Wine Glass are all beautiful glasses that will make your drinks look fab.
  4. Booze baby! Obviously, you can't forget the booze. Stockpile your favourite spirits and fizz and don't forget some non-alcoholic beverages for the non-drinkers. Sipsmiths does some lovely non-alcoholic liqueurs that taste just like the real deal.

 


3. Embellish and Accessorise to the Max

Now for the fun part!

So, your drinks trolley is looking fab filled with booze and sparkling barware, now its time to accessorise. The magical finishing touch that will make your drinks trolley stand out at your party, follow our quick and easy steps to embellish your party style spot.

  1. Starting with the backdrop hang tassel garlands, glitter star garlands, hanging honeycomb balls or hanging star decorations above the trolley. Its very easy to do and will catch your guest's eyes as soon as they walk into the room.
  2. Then, using your favourite foliage or faux ivy (we prefer faux purely because of how easy it is to use) wrap it around the trolley sides for a festive spruce up!
  3. Next, get your hands on some light chains. We have a Gold Metal Leaf Garland Light Chain or Clematis Metal Garland Light Chain that would look just lovely intertwined with the greenery on your drinks trolley.
  4. Follow the call of the disco ball! In pure Pikes style, you've got to have a disco ball. Style disco balls next to your drinks trolley display for the ultimate party feel. We have a number of disco ball themed accessories that would work perfectly for this including our Golden Disco Ball Decoration, Mirror Ball Disco Wreath,  Disco Ball Cocktail Sharer  and the Mirror Disco Ball Fever.
  5. Be quirky! Pikes Hotel is Queen of Quirkiness! So don't be afraid to be a little imaginative with your Drinks Trolley Display! From a quirky Rock Gold Hand Ornament, Blue Party Sheep and a Lady Wall Hanging - the more imaginative you can be the better.
  6. Finally, confetti and glitter! Finish your Drinks trolley style spot off with a sprinkling of festive confetti and glitter. We have some Happy New Year Confetti that would be perfect for this.


And there you have it! A fabulously festive Pikes Party in 3 easy steps!

Top Tips for The Best Christmas Ever

With less than 2 weeks to go until the big day, the pressure is on to make it the best Christmas ever!

No one wants to feel stressed at Christmas and let's face it there is a lot to do!  The Rockett St George team have put their heads together to come up with our Top Christmas Survival Tips including plenty of Christmas decorating inspiration, Christmas table ideas and so much more.  This is your one-stop festive guide to get you through the season. After all, at this time of year, everybody should enjoy themselves, especially the hosts!

So, let's get down to it! Check out our Top Tips below:


 Tip 1. How To Choose The Right Christmas Present

Tip 1. Struggling for ideas with not much time to go? We're here to help.

Still scratching your head not knowing what to buy everyone?  Overwhelmed with choice?  We have categorised our Gift Guide at Rockett St George to help you choose by personality type so if you are looking for Creative Gifts, Foodie Gifts, Quirky Gifts, Music lover Gifts and more, then head this way.

We also created a  Christmas Gift Guide blog post for inspiration and stress-free shopping. And, remember be as personal as possible with your gifts. It goes without saying it's the thought that counts, so don't get overly worried. As A host, you are creating an experience to remember and in itself this is a gift to your guests.

 


Tip 2. Get Creative and Show Off (and don't Forget Extra Chairs) 

Christmas is a great time to let loose with your creativity and dress your home to impress.

Our Quick Fix Tips

  1. Go large - use huge paper baubles and stars to decorate, it's quick and looks spectacular.
  2. Forage - cut branches, ivy, holly and anything else you can find in your garden (or in the park, woodland, side of the street...). Mix it with baubles, and ornaments to create Christmas Style Spots throughout your home. Think mantelpiece, stairs, window frames, doorways etc.
  3. Candlelight - If you do nothing else this Christmas, remember to buy candles.  Scented or not candlelight instantly creates a cosy Christmas Feeling.
  4.  Chairs - Count your guests and then your chairs. Then, make sure that you have one or two extras just in case.  If you don't own enough, then ask guests to bring their own.  Co-founder, Jane Rockett, likes to hang a bit of foliage and baubles on the back of each chair with a name tag.

Keep a cohesive look throughout your home with the same decorations carrying from room to room, and don't forget to inject your personality in your decorating, and do Christmas YOUR WAY.

 


Tip 3. How to get the party started!

Everyone loves a Party, So Create Your Christmas Themed Bar.

It's the main event and you want it to be show-stopping so make the most of the one day a year and have a party. Ok, so you need a moment to recover from lunch but then it is party time!

  1. Construct a fun Christmas themed bar area and offer fabulous cocktails (and mocktails). If you need help try our Gin Made Me Do It Cocktail Book. Oh and use cocktail sparklers, everyone loves a sparkler.
  2. Play Games - forget the TV, there is always catch up for the good stuff.  Playing games is the best way to have fun at Christmas and we don't mean Trivial Pursuit, we have an array of great party games available that guarantee to make you laugh until your face hurts (we love that feeling).
  3. Create a playlist - ask all your guest to suggest a couple of their favourite party tunes before the day.  You can then create a crowd-pleasing playlist that keeps everyone happy.
  4. Invest in a Disco Ball - an instant disco can be created with a disco ball and one spotlight, you'll have everyone on the dance floor.

At RSG we believe during Christmas the drinks cabinet should be fully stocked, not only for your invited guests but those that turn up unexpectedly. Have yours displayed on a drinks trolley for full-on glam and easy access for all! Go with the flow, and by creating a welcoming space where your guests can feel at home and relax, you will too.

 

 


Tip 4. How to decorate your Christmas Table.

If you are looking to try something different this year explore quirky table design ideas, here are our quick and easy tips:

  1. Use decorations on your Christmas place settings and try wrapping your cutlery with Christmas Ribbon.
  2. Layer plates to add a sense of style.  Use our decorative gold chargers to add a golden glow to the proceedings.
  3. Top your plate display with a cracker or party popper....or both!
  4. Candles, candles, candles - you can simply never have enough candles at Christmas.
  5. Hang decorations and foliage above the table as space will be scarce when the food comes out.

Christmas should be anything but bland so get creative and style it up to the max.

For more inspiration see our CREATE THE BEST CHRISTMAS TABLE SETTING, EVER! blog post.

 


Tip 5. Don't forget to decorate the spare room. 

If you really want to impress your guest, then use these quick Christmas ideas to spruce up your guest room:

  1. Ensure that the bedding is fresh and cosy.  We suggest adding blankets and spraying with a Christmas room scent or even light a scented candle.
  2. Hang stockings at the end of the bed with inexpensive gifts such as miniature essentials available at Chemists, bags of nuts and maybe a satsuma or two (very traditional).
  3. Create a Christmas display on any available surface or the bed head.  Just a few branches and baubles will make all the difference and add some Christmas lights for maximum effect.
  4. When you are up at the crack of dawn preparing the food, play some Christmas tunes to get everyone in the mood. Check out our December Hot List for the roundup of our favourite Christmas songs!

 

 


Have a fabulous Christmas from all the team at Rockett St George!

Create a Welcoming Home for Christmas

Creating a welcoming home for the festive season is integral for keeping everyone merry and happy throughout the Christmas period.

So with under three weeks to go until Christmas (can you believe it), we have called upon our fabulous co-founder, Jane Rockett, who was recently interviewed by The Metro by Lara Sargent giving her top ideas to Create A Welcoming Home This Christmas. Keep on reading to create a festive and welcoming home that you will love.


SPECIAL SCENTS

“Follow your nose. Smells are really important in the home, especially at Christmas because they connect us to our memories and emotions.

I like to put a Christmas scented candle and some matches in my guest bedroom as it gives off a gorgeous scent even if left unlit. My favourite is our Bliss & Mischief scented candle (£34) which has a sensational mix of pomegranate, pepper and spices on a bed of fragrant woods. Delicious!

When I stayed in Marrakesh recently, the housekeeper used a room spray before we arrived, which was beautiful; I’d like to try it with a warming, wintry scent this year.”

– Jane Rockett, Co-founder of Rockett St George. As featured in the Metro ‘Treat My House Like a Hotel’ by Lara Sargent. -


MOOD LIGHTING

 

“Fairy lights are a failsafe way of achieving a luxe feel by creating a sparkly glow around the room.

Use anything pretty or decorative and hang them on the bed head (if you have one) or on the wall above.”

– Jane Rockett, Co-founder of Rockett St George. As featured in the Metro ‘Treat My House Like a Hotel’ by Lara Sargent. -


WARM TEXTURE

 

“I always add extra cosy throws and cushions to make the guest bedroom feel warm and snuggly; mustard tones and velvet cushions are hugely popular at the moment and ultra-warming.

A patterned or textured rug underfoot not only adds texture and depth to the room, but it also helps it to feel like a retreat.”

– Jane Rockett, Co-founder of Rockett St George. As featured in the Metro ‘Treat My House Like a Hotel’ by Lara Sargent. -


SURPRISE & DELIGHT

 

"As a special festive treat, hang a mini Christmas stocking at the end of the bed and fill with something naughty, chocolate or even some fluffy socks. It always goes down well and makes your guests feel really special.”

– Jane Rockett, Co-founder of Rockett St George. As featured in the Metro ‘Treat My House Like a Hotel’ by Lara Sargent. -

 


PERSONAL TOUCH

It’s always lovely when you notice someone has gone to an extra special effort for your visit. So, why not make your guests feel welcome and loved by making your own wreath or garland? It’s easy to do and so much fun!

We hosted a fantastic Garland Making workshop at Liberty London in November with the floral masterminds that are Bloom & Wild. Here is a sneak peek of the event and a guide on How to Make Your Own Christmas Garland with top tips from Bloom & Wild’s florist and styling tips from our co-founder Lucy St George!


 

3 Ways to Make Your Christmas Decorations Last Forever

There is always a pressure to have new Christmas baubles for the tree every year.

But, have you considered alternative ways of using your decorations?!

A decoration is not just for Christmas, and with a little inspiration, you can use them before, during and after the festive period. Consider how you buy them and what other uses you can find for them around the home. We have created 3 top tips for making your decorations last forever!


 TOP TIP NO.1

Don't feel as though you have to jump on the throw-away bandwagon and buy everything you need in one go. Buy the decorations that you LOVE!

Sometimes it's better to buy a small selection of amazing decorations each year that you absolutely love. Better than buying a huge amount of cheap and cheerful decorations that lack personality.  Nobody is ever wowed by those ones!

So, if you're putting up your first tree this year or simply want to start a collection of decorations that you will keep forever, don't forget the power of fairy lights! Our co-founder, Lucy St George, swears by them and adds 3-4 sets to her tree each year to make it truly sparkle! That way you can build up a collection of amazing decorations over time without having a sparse or sad looking tree.

Bejazzled Leaf Beetle Hanging Decoration / Selection of Light Chains / Gold Glitter Prosecco Bottle


TOP TIP NO.2

Make your decorations work a little harder!

Some decorations are so incredibly beautiful that they really don't (and shouldn't) need to be packed away for 11 months of the year. In fact, this was the inspiration behind our latest collection of decorations. We wanted to source beautiful items that could easily be displayed all year round and add some quirky fun to your home.

If you are a lover of the Gold Converse Style Baubles then these would look great hung on your shoe cupboard doorknob and on your teen's bedroom door. The Queen Bee decoration is another favourite and could be hung absolutely anywhere; adding personality to otherwise ordinary spaces. Another decoration that works all year round are our paper hanging stars - perfect for kids bedrooms!

Gold Converse Style Sneakers / Glitter Star Decorations / Queen Bee


TOP TIP NO.3

Receiving a fabulous bauble for Christmas is actually a wonderful gift that is so often overlooked, but the best part is that it cements memories together.

A lovely idea is to set the dining table with a quirky bauble on each place setting. This not only creates a decorative addition to the table but also doubles up as a gift to your guest.

Hand-choose individual decorations to make it truly personal and add a thoughtful element to your Christmas table that everyone will absolutely LOVE and remember forever.

Newspaper Covered Octopus / Set of 8 Miniature Crackers / Royal Tiger


For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board: Magical Christmas Decorations

5 Top Tips How Rugs Can Transform Your Home

Rugs can transform a room and are wonderful for creating harmony, texture, pattern, colour and ultimately a cosy lived-in feel to your home...what's not to love?!

Here at Rockett St George, we love dressing our floors, walls, sofas and outdoor spaces with beautiful rugs to add character, charm and most importantly personality to your home. From a cosy woollen Berber Rug acting as a fabulous focal point in any room to a durable woven jute rug perfect for a hallway or under the dining table, there are so many spaces in the home that you can accessorise with rugs.

 

So to help you create a relaxed, warming and inviting home we have put together our Top 5 Tips for decorating with rugs in your home...


 NO.1 HANG IT

Pune Mustard & Gold Cotton Dhurrie Rug £195.00

This is a beautiful way to display your favourite rug and is a particularly wonderful trick for renters!

A great alternative to a headboard, hang rugs on the walls behind your bed or sofa to add texture or warmth to your bedroom and living spaces. It's also particularly handy if you're not keen on your wall colours too!

Casablanca Natural Moroccan-Style Cotton Rug £150.00 | Jaipur Green & Red Cotton Dhurrie Rug £195.00

 NO.2 LAYER IT

Black Mandala Pattern Natural Jute Circular Rug £48.00

Can’t decide on one new rug, then why not go for two!

Layering different rugs on top of each other will allow you to cover more of the floor and creates an interesting textural contrast in your living spaces. To really create a statement opt for different shaped, pattern or textured rug which will create strong geometric shapes and layers that draws the eye as soon as you enter the room!

White Mandala Pattern Natural Jute Circular Rug £48.00 | Grey Pom Pom Rug £285.00 | Original Moroccan Round Hand-Woven Jute Rug £120.00

 NO.3 ZONE IT

Natural Jute Printed Rug - Red £110.00

Rugs not only anchor a room, but they can also zone off spaces. If you are curating a larger room then rugs are a great way to achieve this. The trick is to define your spaces such as placing a rug under your armchair and side table style spot to zone off one section of the room and then perhaps a larger floor rug under your coffee table and sofa to zone off another section. Rugs of different colours and textures are particularly useful in this instance to create clear and defined sections.

Chennai Ocean Blue Cotton Dhurrie Rug £195.00 | Colourful Mandala Pattern Natural Jute Circular Rug £48.00

NO.4 THROW IT

Genuine Sheepskin Rug - Curly Ivory £59.00

Cosy sheepskins are brilliant for adding warmth and texture to furniture; such as your bed, sofas, armchairs and dining chairs. Throw sheepskin rugs over the end of your bed, layered over your throws, blankets and bedding to create an uber luxurious feel.

Genuine Icelandic Long Wool Sheepskin - Silver £95.00 | Genuine Icelandic Long Wool Sheepskin - Natural Black £95.00

 NO.5 RUN AWAY WITH IT

Beija Vinyl Floor Runner - Sofi Antique £125.00

Rugs and runners are fabulous for hallways, bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor spaces.

Adorn the floors in your kitchen with rugs to create a warm and homely vibe or opt for a colourful runner in your hallway that makes a statement as soon as you walk into your home. Another fabulous idea is to layer your rugs and runners in your outdoor space to create a chic summer hang out. Choose a rug with colour and pattern that compliments the surroundings, giving you an outdoor living room!

Original Moroccan Berber Runner - Kasbah £495.00

SHOP OUR ALL OF OUR RUGS HERE AND CLICK BELOW TO VIEW OUR PINTEREST BOARD

10 Tips to Transform Your Rented or New Home

If you are a renter you'll be all too aware of the added difficulties of putting your own unique stamp on your flat or home.

Often creatively restricted to one Magnolia wall colour, carpet colour and tile choice it can be really frustrating and at worst the house can end up never really feeling like home. The good news is that there are plenty of easy decorating tricks that you can use to disguise the features of the house that you do not like and to make the house feel more like your own.

So to help you create the rented property of your dreams, we've come up with our top 10 tips to help you decorate your rented home...


NO.1.UTILISE FREESTANDING SHELVES AND CABINETS

lifestyle image of freestanding ladder shelf unit perfect for rented homes

Industrial-Style Ladder Shelf Unit With Round Mirror £275.00

Freestanding shelves and cabinets are a renters dream! Yes, you may not be able to fix your chosen cupboards and shelves to the wall, but darlings don't let this discourage you. Easy to do, invest in some stylish freestanding storage solutions such as cabinets, shelves, ladders and units. You can then add your own magical touch to your rental, by accessorising the freestanding shelves and cabinets with your favourite quirky ornaments, photographs, candles and display pieces.

Freestanding Shelving Units Available To Purchase At Rockett St George

Industrial-Style Ladder Shelf Unit With 2 Drawers £390.00 | Display Cabinet With Industrial Doors £375.00 |Sungkai Woven Cane & Mango Wood Oval Cabinet £850.00

For tips on how to create a beautiful display or style spot, check out our blogs:


NO.2. ADD TEXTURE WITH RUGS

Original Moroccan Berber Large Rug - Marrakech - No.12 £950.00

An easy way to add texture and interest to the home is with rugs! Use runners down the hallway, large rugs in the living room and dress sofas with sheepskin rugs. A deep pile rug will work particularly well if your rented home has laminate flooring and a bold pattern or geometric runner will look great in the hallway instantly drawing the eye as you enter the home. You could even hang the rugs on the walls or ceilings!

Another brilliant idea has come from our co-founder Jane Rockett, who has suggested hanging a rug at the head of your bed as your headboard. Not only is it a super cosy and eye-catching wall feature it will also hide or blend with the wall colour if you are not keen on it.

Discover Beautiful Rugs At Rockett St George

Pune Mustard & Gold Cotton Dhurrie Rug £195.00 |Natural Jute Rug With Black Tassels £150.00 |Jaipur Green & Coral Cotton Dhurrie Rug £195.00

For more tips on how to create a cosy-vibe in the home, check out our blog:


NO.3. LEAN ART PRINT AND MIRRORS AGAINST THE WALL

Lacroix Playing Card Artwork created by Jane Rockett

If you can't face filling in the holes that you make in the walls or simply don't have the budget to do so, then consider leaning mirrors, artwork and photographs against the walls. This is a great trick for those unfilled nooks or walls and can look really showstopping, particularly if you opt for giant artwork. It also works just as well if you sit your mirrors and artwork on cabinets and shelving units which will instantly add visual interest to the room with variations in heights and sizes.

Alternatively, you can layer smaller framed prints on shelves, cabinets and draws and if you have a pinboard why not create an inspiration board with your favourite art and quotes and hang over your desk? It's a super easy way of adding life to the home.

Shop Unique And Eclectic Mirrors and Artwork At Rockett St George

Vintage Style Champagne Mirror £595.00 | Feather Effect Metallic Wings £180.00 |Unframed Dancer 03 Art Print By Amelie Hegardt £54.00

For tips on how to create your very own, Lacroix Card Artwork, check out our blog:


NO.4. UPGRADE YOUR DOOR HANDLES AND CUPBOARD KNOBS

Set Of 2 Brass Jaguar Door Handles £60.00

Replace door handles and cupboard knobs with beautiful knobs and handles. Not only is this an inexpensive way to update your interiors, but it's also super easy to install and once you move out you can easily put the door handles and cupboard knobs back.

Discover Door Knobs and Door Handles At Rockett St George

Set Of 2 Elegant Brass Peacock Door Handles £40.00| Set Of 2 Curved Peacock Door Handles £72.00 | Lying Buddha Brass Door Handle £40.00


NO.5. LIGHT IT UP

The home of Jane Rockett as seen in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

Renter or homeowner, lighting is so important for creating a beautiful home. Rather than relying on one source of light, namely overhead lighting opt for warming glows from table lamps, floor lights and candlelight! These light sources create beautiful pockets of light and shadows which creates a sense of calm and serenity in the home. For overhead lighting, opt for statement pendant lights that really catch the eye and if you are not lucky enough to have a dimmer switch, be sure to use a bulb with a low wattage that will not drown the room in an unforgiving white pool of light.

Don't forget lampshades either! Lampshades can add pops of colour and pattern to the home plus the texture can soften the harshness of stark white walls.

Discover Unique & Quirky Lighting That Will Inject Personality Into Your Rented Home At Rockett St George

All Over Velvet Table Lamp With Fringe - Dusky Rose £120.00 |All Over Velvet Table Lamp With Fringe - Mustard £120.00 |Palm Tree Floor Light £595.00 |Velvet & Rattan Pendant Ceiling Light - Gold Mustard £185.00

For tips on how to make the most of your lighting, check out our blogs:


NO.6. INVEST IN STATEMENT PIECES

Burnt Orange Velvet Chesterfield Sofa £2,750.00

There are some pieces that you just fall in love with. Be it a marble and gold coffee table, velvet chair or leather sofa - whatever it is, these are the pieces that you simply cannot scrimp on. If you really love a piece of furniture, lighting or home accessory it is guaranteed to stand the test of time and you will find yourself taking it from home to home as you move on through the years. These statement pieces are guaranteed to enhance your interiors as well as adding a touch of luxury.

Shop Statement Furniture At Rockett St George

Ochre Gold Velvet Petal Occasional Chair £995.00 |Circular Art Deco 3-Tier Drinks Trolley £250.00 |Midas Gold Geometric Side Table £95.00

For tips on how to choose those investment pieces that will stand the test of time, read our blog:


NO.7. MIX UP YOUR CURTAINS

The home of Quentin Larouix as seen in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

Ugly curtains?! Boring blinds? Then replace them or enhance them! Luckily curtains can be easily taken down and put back up, so don't suffer with ugly curtains, simply take them down and store in airtight clothing bags. The same goes for shower curtains too! If you have boring blinds that lack serious personality - ask permission to add a curtain rail (9 times out of 10 a landlord won't mind as long as you remove and fill in the holes afterwards) and hang some curtains to add a more homely and luxurious feel to your window dressing.

Discover Velvet and Beaded Curtains At Rockett St George

Bamboo Door Curtain - Black & White Design £95.00 | Black Floral Velvet Curtain £135.00 |Bamboo Door Curtain - Tropical Design £95.00


NO.8. TAKE THE DOORS OFF YOUR CUPBOARDS

The home of Helene Morris as seen in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

We heard this rather excellent tip from Kate Watson Smyth (mad about the house) at our Interior Trends Event back in January. Kate advised that if you don't like your kitchen cabinets or cupboards then consider taking the doors off for open storage units. Not only does this create the illusion of more space in your home, it's also a great way to show off your gorgeous kitchen crockery! It's a WIN-WIN!

You can also hang racks and display shelves up which will not only give you more work surface space but is also like art for your walls! Alternatively use artwork, vinyl or self-adhesive wallpaper and cover the kitchen cabinets for a bold and showstopping look. Once you have your kitchen the way you want it - all you will need are some delicious recipes to experiment with! Check out our blog for inspo.

Shop Kitchen Storage Racks And Shelving Units At Rockett St George

Antique Brass Coloured Wire Wall Rack & Hooks £80.00| Kitchen Rack For Cups, Mugs & Glasses £45.00 |Industrial-Style 4-Shelf Barrel Mesh Storage Cabinet £150.00

For tips on how to utilise your space, check out our blog:


NO.9 CHOPPING BOARDS TO HIDE TILES/BALANCE VINYL ON COUNTERS

Discover Kitchen Pieces At Rockett St George

Create a breadboard display in the kitchen to hide the tiles. Not only does it look really fabulous but it's also a really easy and inexpensive way of covering the tiles and paint up. The trick is to stand the breadboard up at a slight angle and layer three or four other boards against it. For interest choose carved or patterned breadboards like the Hand Carved Small Mango Wood Board or our Mango Wood Mandala Chopping Board which will instantly draw the eye. Different sized chopping boards will also add interest and of course, is super practical too!

If you have a large counter then you could also consider balancing vinyl against the back of your kitchen counters to cover the paint and tiles. Vinyl splashbacks are also super low maintenance meaning they are easy to clean and easy to remove once you decide to move out!

Balance Breadboards Against The Walls To Hide Kitchen Tiles That You Do Not Love

Ink Dipped Mango Wood Chopping Board - Small £15.00| Natural Acacia Round Chopping Board £75.00 | Small Marble Effect Bread Board £20.00


NO.10. ACCESSORISE, ACCESSORISE, ACCESSORISE!

Discover Decorative Accessories For Your Rented Home At Rockett St George

Cushions, throws, houseplants, quirky display pieces, photographs, ornaments the more the better! Curate style spots and shelfie's around the home for instant impact! The trick is to play with heights and textures; so use your favourite book as a base and then display quirky accessories on top or create a quirky candlestick display with different sized candles. You could even create an asymmetrical display by building heights at one end of your shelves or coffee table which is particularly eye-catching.

Then add texture by displaying faux coral, crystals, plants and patterned pieces for an attention-grabbing display!

Discover Rented Home Accessories At Rockett St George

Bronze Effect Rabbit Bookends £38.00 |Sexy Blink Glamorous Beaded Cushion £95.00 |Wiggly Dog Sculpture £32.00


Find everything you'll need to create extraordinary interiors at Rockett St George 


Alternatively, discover our top tips to create a rented home on the Rockett St George YouTube Channel: