The Block's Darren Palmer has revealed four ways to spruce up your home on a budget. Darren, 42, one of Australia's leading interior designers, advised investing in ready made curtains to create a luxury look for less, and rearranging furniture to make the most out of small spaces. The Sydney-based TV star also recommended switching to solar panels, which will help you to save hundreds of dollars on your electricity bill. Leading Australian interior designer Darren Palmer (pictured) has revealed how to spruce up your home on a budget, including drawing up a floor plan to maximise space 1. INVEST IN A FLOOR PLAN While any structural change costs significant time and money, Darren said rearranging your floor plan may be worth it in the long run. He advised requesting a quote from Hi Pages, an online network that connects householders with relevant tradespeople. 'Getting a fixed price and a clear contract around a defined scope of work allows you the best chance to fit your works … [Read more...] about The Block’s Darren Palmer reveals how to spruce up your home on a budget – and his simple trick for saving hundreds of dollars on your electricity bill
Buy ugly homes
A divorcing scientist left trapped living with her parents because her rich husband claimed their £1m marital home was his alone has beaten him in a court fight for half the house. While multi-millionaire Luca Manetta jetted between London and his home in Italy, 'desperate' Dr Katia de Filippo had to lean on her elderly parents after her ex turned their former home into a building site then refused to sell it. A court heard businessman Mr Manetta is 'a man of considerable means,' but that Dr de Filippo was left to get by on a 'modest' academic wage, relying on her folks to look after her child after their 2016 breakup. Dr Katia de Filippo persuaded a judge to force Luca Manetta to sell his home so the proceeds could be split between them following their divorce The mother wanted the house to be sold and the proceeds split so she could buy her own property, but Mr Manetta - who inherited a vast fortune from an uncle - claimed it was an investment property and his … [Read more...] about Divorcing scientist left living with her parents because her multi-millionaire husband claimed their £1m marital home was his alone wins court fight for half the house
It was gratifying to learn that the RIBA Stirling prize has been awarded for Norwich council’s Goldsmith Street during the centenary year of Christopher Addison’s Homes Fit for Heroes initiative (Award for best new UK building goes to council housing project for first time, 9 October). As Oliver Wainwright reports, the council could build more housing if right to buy was reformed – or, better still, abolished. When the scheme was first introduced in 1979, Norwich councillors – led by their housing chair, the late Lady Patricia Hollis – took a stand against the Thatcher government by refusing to treat sales as an urgent priority. The minister responsible, Michael Heseltine, sent in Whitehall officials to oversee sales for several years. Let’s hope that in future councils will be able to circumvent legislation on forced privatisation.Dr Michael PassmoreGreenwich, London • At last, a social housing development that deserves all the accolades … [Read more...] about The gold standard in social housing design
‘How to talk about it? That’s been a struggle from the start.” Jeff Edwards, 58, pauses and shifts his weight in the armchair. We’re sitting in the front room of his house in Aberfan where for the past hour Jeff has been describing for me some of the difficulties experienced by the village in trying to negotiate the ongoing tightrope between memorial and healing, between sharing and silence, in the wake of the disaster that befell them 50 years ago. “Personally I found speaking about it better for me,” he continues, “in terms of my recovery. But other people, well, they just cannot speak about it at all.” It was the last Friday before half term – 21 October 1966 – and, like hundreds of other children across Aberfan, Jeff set off for school that day looking forward to the holiday ahead of him. School would finish early, at midday, after which lay the promise of a whole week of playing with his friends in the orchards and farmed … [Read more...] about Aberfan 50 years on: how best to remember the tragedy?
In the aftermath of last week’s dinner party from Hell, everyone has taken to the park, only in separate groups. Ryan and Louise have put on their unfortunate salmon-coloured Lycra and are prancing over felled oak trees, as if they were choreographing the second act of La Bayadère. This is how ultra-fit people expel their anger, it would seem. They’re fuming about what happened between him and Liv the other night, over the deviled eggs. Liv, on the other hand, thinks everything’s Ryan’s fault. Ollie tells her she needs her chakra sorted out, but adds a throaty inflection to the ‘kra’ part of the word for extra savoir-faire. Salmon Lycra? Ryan and Louise are prancing over felled oak trees, as if they were choreographing the second act of La Bayadère Victoria wants a cat and Mark Francis is not amused. ‘I know a fabulous taxidermist,’ he tells her, already preempting the moment the poor thing throws itself out of her second … [Read more...] about Made In Chelsea: Liv gets her chakra cleansed (only for Ryan to clog it up again by branding her ‘an actress’) while Habbs and Sam’s reconciliation leaves a BITTER taste in Tris’ mouth