Fiona Morison, a weekly volunteer with the Islington branch of Age UK, went for an early Christmas dinner this week with a few members of her group to celebrate the festive season.

Fiona meets with local residents that Age UK helps once a week to do various activities or just meet over tea and a slice of cake. This week Fiona, Jean, Bridie, Lil, Maureen, Jan, Teresa and George all headed to Mem and Laz on Theberton Street for a tasty lunch.

The lovely group enjoying their lunch out!

The lovely group enjoying their lunch out!

We hope everyone had a good time and we wish all the participants of Age UK in Islington a very merry Christmas!

The New Year is a great time to get moving, so why not start the New Year in one of these stylish new homes. We have rounded up some of the best properties on the market to give you some inspiration for 2015.

Wayland Avenue, E8 – £1,450,000

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A stylish family home in Dalston which has been renovated to a high contemporary finish while also keeping many period features. The basement kitchen which opens up on to the garden is not only stylish but also has underfloor heating and a built in pantry/wine cellar. For more details click here

Cross Street, N1 – £850,000

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This rarely available maisonette on the trendy Cross Street in Islington could benefit from some modernisation but has the potential to be a stunning home. The original parquet floor in the living area and the roof terrace are two features which make this property really special. For more details click here

Culford Mews, N1 – £1,450,000

Modern and architecturally designed within a cobbled mews in De Beauvoir, this property is as striking on the inside as it is on the outside. The modern design of this house is set over three floors and includes a secluded roof terrace and a warehouse-style ground floor. For more details click here

Charlotte Road, EC2A – £1,200,000

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If you are looking for a City loft, this ticks all the boxes. This large two bedroom apartment has slick design features such as the handmade kitchen, glass doors and exposed brickwork, as well as enjoying a prime position in the heart of Shoreditch. For more details click here

Highbury Crescent, N5 – £1,150,000

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This quirky two bedroom period apartment in Highbury shows that smaller spaces can still be bold with design. It also enjoys private access to the surrounding communal gardens. For more details please click here 

Last week our Islington office played host to a fantastic evening of champagne tasting all to raise funds for the Islington NSPCC.

The tasting was led by Tim Hall, UK Champagne Ambassador 2013-2014 who tickled the guests’ taste buds with five especially selected champagnes.

Laura & Lesley from the NSPCC and Tim our champagne specialist greet the guests

Laura & Lesley from the NSPCC and Tim our champagne specialist greet the guests

40 guests came to support the event and learn from Tim which champagnes they should be tucking into this festive season, all while helping to raise vital funds for the important work of the NSPCC.

A rapt audience at the champagne tasting!

A rapt audience at the champagne tasting!

Thank you to everyone that attended and to our generous sponsors of the evening, Marks and Spencer, Paul, Ottolenghi and Waitrose who kindly provided supper for the evening.

To find out more about the NSPCC and their work please visit their website here

Upper Street, Islington

Upper Street, Islington

Owners of empty properties in a north London borough could face fines, or even prison under new proposals.

Islington Council wants to halt the rise of new homes sold as investments and left empty – so-called “buy-to-leave” properties. The council believes a third or more of new property developments are ‘potentially vacant’.

But critics warn that it is difficult to know why properties are empty.

Under the proposals, new homes could not be left unoccupied or unused for longer than three months and would have to be occupied for at least 14 days in any three-month period. Any property going against this rule would be subject to legal action, such as a fine, seizure of the property or a prison term.

James Murray, the council’s executive member for housing and development, said the proposals were the first of their kind in the UK.

He said: “Where this starts is with the principle that we have a housing crisis in London and we desperately need more homes.

“A lot of these empty houses are new properties that are going up in flashy towers with concierges at the front desks and it’s very hard to get accurate data of what is going on inside.”

To avoid prosecution, property owners would have to prove that the property is not vacant through the provision of utility bills.

But Robert Jones, director of Property Investments UK, warned the plans will not be easy to police.

He said: “There’s a whole host of reasons why a property might be empty – not just overseas investors – it might be empty due to refurbishment or probate, it could be due to ill health.”

Mr Jones added that it would be very difficult to implement and that leaving a property empty does not always make sense, as owners would want to utilise the flat as a rental property.

The new proposals would only apply to new properties, not to second hand homes. Consultation on the proposals begins on the 8 December until 30 January.

Original article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30342050

 

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

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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

If you happen to be walking past our office at 321 Upper Street this August make sure you check out the fantastic art project ‘People’s Museum’ in our window, courtesy of the talented artists of Highbury Grove School.

People's Museum

People’s Museum

The project was initially managed by a Year Eight specialist school of students. Towards the end of term they were collecting objects and photographing their environment to show alternative viewpoints, to document their day to day lives and their immediate surroundings. This visual research will form the basis of two exhibits by the group; US and HERE.

People's Museum brightening up the window at 321 Upper Street

People’s Museum brightening up the window at 321 Upper Street

The composite image in our window, inspired by Peter Blake, represents the variety of information gathered and the techniques used. Thank you to all the pupils who took part in producing this amazing display for us, make sure you pop down and pay us a visit!