Moving house or redecorating can be a stressful experience, especially when you don’t know what it will look like until it’s all done. These apps, however, can help make everything a lot easier – from colour testing paint to measuring the best sunlight spots, there’s an app for that. Here’s our pick of the best:

1. Houzz

Winner of the “Best App” award at the inaugural Google Play Awards, Houzz is a game changer in home design. Like a combination of lots of other apps doing similar things on the market, Houzz lets you get inspiration for your room design, browse products, and then try them out in your home simply by taking a photo of the room. It also has an advice section where you can get opinions and help from the Houzz community on your ideas.

2. Sun Seeker

The Sun Seeker app is great for photographers and architects alike – but also for those who like to have a lot of sunlight in their home. The ‘map view’ on the app will track the sun’s rays across a certain geographical point, like your home, so you can see which parts of the house will get the best light.

 

3. Dulux Visualiser App

This app’s colour picker technology matches colours from photos you take with their paints. You can then try out these colours on the walls of your home. They also offer suggested colour schemes to accompany your new paint choice, and deliver the paints or colour testers to your door.

4. Homestyler

Homestyler rebuilds your home as a 3D playground for you to experiment with – just with one snap of the room. You can test out real furniture as 3D models in the room, test out light fixtures, and see how furnishings and colour schemes will look in your space. You can also browse the Design Stream for inspiration, share your designs with your family and friends through Facebook and email, and comment and “heart” other peoples’ designs. For more inspiration you can also browse through portfolios of professional designers in your local area.

5. Art Beamer

ArtBeamer is also an augmented reality app that lets you preview how artwork will look on your wall. Artists using the app will give a specific code to their pieces, which you can find either from the website, or asking at the gallery/exhibition. Simply type the code into the app and you will be able to “beam” the artwork onto your wall.

6. LikeThat Décor

This app allows you to shop for furniture on the go, by taking inspiration from things you see around you. Snap a photo of a piece of furniture you like, and the app will show you thousands of similar and complementary products, with details on where to shop for them.

7. Photo Measures

Photo Measures is a great way to keep track of your home’s measurements, allowing you to note dimensions down on photos of your rooms, to remember the exact layout and size of all the different spaces in the house.

Despite the inevitable days of grey skies and rain, relaxing in the park is always on the cards during the great British summer. East London has a variety of green spaces to enjoy, whether it’s for getting out of the office on your lunch break, exercising, or meeting friends for a picnic. Here’s our pick of the best places to relax in the sun:

London Fields

 

With a Green Flag award (making it one of the best green spaces in the country) and a licence for barbecues, London Fields is usually buzzing on a warm day with people out drinking, eating, and relaxing. On the weekends, there is a Saturday market selling a variety of products from hot food to vintage clothing.

Islington Green

 

 

A small slice of greenery between Upper Street and Essex Road, Islington Green is the perfect place for a quick lunch break, with lots of food options nearby. There is ample seating space, and despite being near a high street, it has quite a tranquil feeling.

Clapton Pond

 

Like London Fields, Clapton Pond holds a Green Flag award, and is nestled in the fork of Lower Clapton Road. Following a restoration project in 2004, the park is now a vibrant and well used community space. The adjacent high street has a variety of food options, making it a great stop for a lunch break.

Victoria Park

 

Also known as ‘Vicky Park’, Victoria Park stretches across East London and the Hertford Union Canal, bordering Bethnal Green, South Hackney, Cambridge Heath, and Old Ford. With two cafes, two playgrounds, sporting facilities, a skatepark, a bathing pond, and over 80 hectares of space, everyone is catered for and there are plenty of ways to relax on a sunny day.

Newington Green

 

Straddling the border between Islington and Hackney is Newington Green, which has a pleasant village green feel. Community groups hold fairs there, and there is plenty of lawn space to sit and relax, as well as a café and a children’s play area.

Highbury Fields

 

Highbury Fields is the largest open space in the borough of Islington, at 29 acres. Between the tree lined avenues, it holds recreational facilities, including tennis courts and Highbury Pool, as well as plenty of lawn space to relax.

To see our top properties that are close to a green space in London, click here.

With the weather finally starting to catch up and the glorious May bank holiday weekend behind us, it’s time to head up to a nearby rooftop to celebrating the longer days and to start building up your tan. East London is home to some of the best rooftop bars in London, many with spectacular views. Here’s our pick of just a few for you to try…

Netil 360 – London Fields

Ben Revill, a carpenter and designer, opened Netil360 in 2014 as an informal, ‘bring your own bottle’ bar, until it was granted a license in 2015 by Hackney Council. Now it’s a workspace, café, gallery, and rooftop bar, with its very own rooftop dog, Tres!

Open from midday Wednesday – Sunday, Netil360 has a no-exclusivity ethos – they don’t take bookings, so get there early. There’s no guest list, and entry is free.

As well as a large selection of drinks, they also serve pizza and lunchtime specials, with new recipes every week. All of their packaging is made from plant based materials.

Transport: London Fields overground or Bethnal Green tube

http://netil360.com/

The Culpeper – Spitalfields

As well as being a pub, kitchen, and guest house (there are five rooms on the second floor), the Culpeper boasts a beautiful rooftop greenhouse and dining area. Here you can enjoy amazing drinks and food from their wood fired grill, plus a number of events and workshops throughout the year, including astronomy nights and gardening workshops.

The relaxed, rustic environment makes it a perfect place to have lunch, dinner, or just have a catch up with friends over a drink. During the summer months, they do not take booking – so make sure you arrive early to avoid missing out.

Transport: Aldgate East tube

http://www.theculpeper.com/rooftop/

Dalston Roof Park

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

Dalston Roof Park began as a collection of allotments cared for by a group of local volunteer gardeners, and has now grown to one of the hottest rooftop venues in Shoreditch. With many famous acts gracing the astro-turf of this trendy rooftop bar – including Rudimental, Jessie Ware, Johnny Flynn, Basement Jaxx, and Disclosure – it’s the perfect place for music lovers. The bar is run by the Bootstrap Company, who aim to provide workspaces to a diverse mix of tenants and help them grow. The profits made on the bar and on the door all go towards funding the Bootstrap Company’s charitable aims.

You can book the entire roof for a big event (it holds 210) but not individual tables/areas.

Transport: Dalston Junction overground

http://www.bootstrapcompany.co.uk/about-drp/

Roof East – Stratford

For those who like a bit of entertainment with their cocktails – this summer, Roof East will transform once more into a hugely popular adult playground, with an outdoor cinema and a crazy golf course.

Roof East was formerly an empty rooftop car park, but with support from The GLA Pocket Park Fund and the Stratford Renaissance Partnership Urban Space Management, who teamed up with Groundwork London, an Urban Park was installed on the rooftop. Recycled pallets and scaffold boards and recycled decking from the Olympic Park footbridge were used to make planters full of shrubs and saplings to decorate the space. In a nod to the former car park, there are also three cars on the rooftop filled with plants.

They also have a busy calendar of events and activities that’s filling up fast, with something for everyone: from morning yoga classes, acoustic sessions, to disco nights and community screenings.

http://www.roofeast.com/

Transport: Stratford tube/overground/DLR

Golden Bee – Old Street

Just a few minutes’ walk from Old Street station is Golden Bee – a stylish cocktail bar and roof terrace. If crazy golf at Roof East isn’t your cup of tea, this is a much more sophisticated option. Perfect for winding down after work by the fire pit during the week, or dancing the night away at the weekend, Golden Bee is always busy, with a great atmosphere.

The Golden Bee has a happy hour from 5-7pm on Tuesdays-Thursdays, with 2 for 1 cocktails and discounts on beer, house spirits, wine, and champagne.

It’s worth noting that Golden Bee is an over 21 venue.

http://www.goldenbee.co.uk/

Transport: Old Street tube

Boundary – Shoreditch

Boundary is a combination of three award-winning restaurants and bars, twelve individually designed guest bedrooms, five studios, lofts and suites, a British food store and a bakery, with a welcoming, homely vibe.

The rooftop bar offers an amazing panoramic view of East London, and the heated orangery is filled with a variety of citrus trees including lemon, clementine, calamondin, and mimosa trees. When the weather is good, the rooftop also provides a garden space, making it the perfect place to relax in summer. If the evenings get chilly, there are blankets and a fire pit to snuggle around.

You can book a table here.

Transport: Shoreditch High Street overground

http://boundary.london/

Shoreditch Sky Terrace

 

Crowing the top of the Courthouse Hotel, which used to be Shoreditch’s original magistrate’s building, is the rooftop bar, accessed via a glazed bridge from the hotel.

As well as taking in the incredible views over the city and snapping some photos of Canary Wharf, The Shard, and the BT tower as the sun sets, you can listen to DJ sets and sip on bespoke cocktails, such as the Ball and the Chain (sloe gin and prosecco), or for those who like more of a kick, the Solitary (rum and chilli).

Bookings (including large groups and exclusive hire) can be made by calling 0203 310 5555 or emailing shoreditch@courthouse-hotel.com.

https://www.designmynight.com/london/bars/shoreditch/shoreditch-sky-terrace

Transport: Old Street tube and Shoreditch High Street overground

Shoreditch House

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to be a member or to know one, there’s always the ever popular Shoreditch House, with its rooftop pool, bar, and restaurant…

 

 

Now it’s May, and spring is officially here (even the weather is catching up), it’s the perfect time to give your home a spring clean – and a general makeover. Here are some of our top tips for rejuvenating your home, and adding something new to the mix:

1. Inject some green

Houseplants have seen a massive boom recently, with everyone wanting to decorate their homes with all things green and growing. We’re loving the new trend for terrariums – little mini plant beds that are usually displayed in glass bowls or geometric containers.

Make your own at a terrarium workshop by geo-fleur near you.

Lots of interesting new plant emporia are also springing up – make sure you visit Grace and Thorn or Conservatory Archives in Hackney Road.

2. Re-jig shelf space

As well as adding the aforementioned greenery, jazzing up your shelves and mantelpieces can make a big difference. Update photo frames by adding more recent photos, and add decorative objects like candles and books to really enhance the space. De-cluttering and spacing objects out will bring a more minimalist feel.

3. Upgrade your bedding

Walking into a bedroom, the first thing you notice is the bed – so a change of bedding will make a big difference. This is also a  quick and effective way to change up a bedroom’s colour scheme.

4. Finish your floors

Over time, wooden floors get scuffed and worn out, and this isn’t something we often notice straight away. Waxing your wooden floors or applying a sealant will leave them gleaming again, and will make a huge difference to the overall effect of the room. Or, for a more dramatic change, why not paint the floor instead.

Farrow and Ball offer a wide range of floor paints in contemporary shades. Check out the colour samples at the Islington shop.

5. Give the cushions an upgrade, too

Although small, cushions make a big difference. Colourful or patterned cushions can really bring a sofa to life, and add something special to the room. Changing the cushions and other small accessories can change the entire colour scheme of a room, and a bring a different feel, without spending too much!

6. Get organised

There are lots of ways you can organise your stuff to refresh your home. Labelling containers and jars in the pantry will make cooking feel a lot easier, and help you keep track of supplies. Take the opportunity to put photos into albums, and to throw out anything in your wardrobe you don’t wear anymore. Spring means new beginnings, so it’s time to declutter and pass on old belongings to friends or charity shops.

7.) …Don’t forget the garden

Outdoor furniture often gets neglected during the winter months – so give your chairs and tables a good scrub down to leave them looking new again, perfect for when your guests come to visit.

Spring is the perfect time for planting, so if you have an old sandpit that’s been outgrown, or an area you’re not sure what to do with, why not create a herb garden or a flowerbed.

 

Issue 02 of The Linen Draper: The Urban Food Issue has landed in our offices and online!

To read about some amazing artisan food producers that are here on our doorsteps in north and eats London, as well as find the best property on the market, pop into one of our local offices or click here to read it online.

A sneak peak of some of our top stories inside the issue…

A feature property with big a difference

A feature property with big a difference

Our lead story this issue...Urban Food Fights Back!

Our lead story this issue…Urban Food Fights Back!

A fishy trip to Forman & Son

A fishy trip to Forman & Son

 

If you are interested in your business or charity featuring in an upcoming issue of The Linen Draper please email Gina at thelinendraper@currell.com

This month we round up the hottest new winter interior design trends for the approaching season and find the North London properties to match.

Excellent Entertaining Space

Not really a trend but a winter party season essential. Why leave home, when you can throw the party of the season under your own roof? This beautiful house in Albion Square has a stunning reception space with beautiful hardwood floors and a large kitchen which leads out into the garden; perfect for entertaining.

Stunning reception space at Albion Square

Stunning reception space at Albion Square

Albion Square, E8 £1,850,000 Call Hackney on 0207 241 4111

Subtle Tones of Grey

Grey is the hottest colour in interiors this season and adds a touch of luxury to even the smallest of spaces. Buy into this trend at Mulberry Mews, a brand new London development by Taylor Wimpey of five luxury townhouses in Highbury, where the show home has been beautifully decorated throughout in shades of grey.

Mulberry Mews show house

Mulberry Mews Show House

Mulberry Mews, N5 £2,350,000 Call New Homes on 0207 261 6611

TAY001-MULBERRYMEWS-LOGO-GOLD-blackbackground

Statement Bathtubs for Winter Interior Design

This season is all about the statement tub; the more colourful or stand-out the shape, the better. A free standing pewter bath, like the one in this Hackney property, is hard to beat.

The stunning bathroom in Quilter Street

The stunning bathroom in Quilter Street

Quilter Street, E2 £1,200,000 Call Hackney on 0207 241 4111

Open Fireplaces

You can’t beat an open fire in winter, especially in your own home. This property in Tooting Bec, has not one but two stunning, original Victorian fireplaces. One warms up the the main living space and the other the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom in Thornton Avenue

Master Bedroom in Thornton Avenue

Thornton Avenue, SW2 £660,000 Call Battersea on 0203 668 1000

Despite the threat of rain, Battersea and Clapham still have fantastic events on offer this weekend come rain or shine!

16th, 17th & 18th August – Feast at Battersea Park. The largest selection of restaurant, street and artisan food in one venue with pop up restaurants, farmers markets, BBQ tents and loads more. There will also be childrens entertainment as well as cider and wine tatsing for the adults.

Sunday 18th August Open air cinema screening of Top Gun in Battersea Park. Starts at 7pm in teh Boules area of the park. Screened with subtitles.

Proposals for a new leading fashion destination known as the Hackney Fashion Hub have been submitted for consultation by Manhattan Loft Corporation and Chatham Works.

The plans, which cost tens of millions of pounds, aim to deliver a retail led fashion destination that will include shops, art galleries, restaurants and design studios where local designers can showcase their work.

The development will consist of two seven storey buildings and pedestrianized open space, designed by renowned architect David Adjaye at Adjaye Associates.

The designers of the scheme believe that Hackney Fashion Hub will create hundreds of news jobs in the local area, create space for local designers and fashion start-ups and attract more people to spend their money in this part of Hackney.

The hub builds on Hackney’s already fashionable reputation and the hope is to make Hackney Central into a premier retail destination in the capital.

To see the propsals for Hackney Fashion Hub click on the link here: http://hackneyfashionhub.co.uk/pdf/Hackney-boards.pdf

To see the Textile Building Penthouses, at the heart of Hackney Central click here: http://www.currell.com/london-development/victoria-park/the-textile-building-duplexes-e9/ISL130388

Saturday 3rd August 12pm – 10pm Holi One Colour Festival at Battersea Power Station. Festival inspired by the Hindu spring festival, expect lots of coloured powder being thrown around and DJ’s.

Saturday 3rd – Sunday 4th August Ride London 2013. This cycle ride will be taking over most main road routes in London so find a spot on the side of the road to enjoy the view.

Saturday 3rd August 12pm – 6pm Putback Festival, free community family friendly festival on Clapham Common.