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Wellness A Focus For Luxury Property Developers 31st January 2017

The concept of wellness is one that many luxury property developers have embraced in recent years, including gyms, spas and outdoor spaces in their schemes.

But now there’s a deeper understanding of what wellness means within the sector – and that’s leading to a shift in the design and construction of living spaces, particularly at the top end of the market.

This is according to CBRE, with the Telegraph reporting on research that the organisation has conducted into how wellness in all its forms can be incorporated into our living spaces. This encompasses intellectual, emotional, social, physical, spiritual, environmental and occupational wellbeing.

Lisa Holland, MD of residential at CBRE, explained that the way a building is designed, from its acoustics to the natural light it lets in, can affect our wellbeing. She added that sustainable living is becoming increasingly important for our personal wellbeing, and that developers are looking at ways to maximise a building’s sustainability.

Ms Holland added that it isn’t only the building and its facilities that has an effect, but also how a home is decorated that affects wellbeing and that it should “promote balance”.

“Calm palettes that flow throughout interconnecting rooms, coupled with subtle materials and textures are not only emotionally reassuring, but will help to encourage equal use of rooms,” she stated.

The newspaper highlighted some of the best new developments in London that have wellness in mind. They include Embassy Gardens in Nine Elms that has a luxury pool – the so-called sky pool – suspended between two towers, and Lincoln Square in Holborn, which features 17,000 sq ft of fitness and spa facilities.

Earlier this month, we highlighted some of the luxury design trends gaining traction in the capital, which included a snow cabin and rainforest shower experience.



Posted: January 31st, 2017 Category: News Comments: (0)

4 Swimming Pool Safety Gadgets 29th January 2017

An important aspect of luxury swimming pool design is safety, especially if you have young children and pets that could be at risk if you don’t factor this in when planning your pool construction at the outset. These days, there are countless gadgets out there to help you maximise poolside health and safety – here are just a couple of ideas to consider.

Pool Eye universal pool alarm

This works in both in-ground and above-ground pools, featuring voice prompts, immersion and an in-home remote unit. It can be used alongside other pool alarms and is battery operated so you don’t have to worry about wiring and electrical outlets. It simply installs easily using a deck mounting bracket.

Poolguard PGRM

This is an underwater motion alarm that uses a sonar grid to detect when there is a breach, at which point an alarm will sound. What’s great about these is that because they use sonar instead of motion, there’s no chance of a false alarm.

Safety Turtle swimming pool alarm

The Safety Turtle has a battery life of up to four years and is worn on the wrist by your child, or someone else who’s swimming ability may not be that strong. When the Turtle is immersed in water, a loud alarm instantly sounds and will carry on until it’s reset.

Skamper Ramp

If you have a breed of dog that isn’t the best of swimmers, then something like the Skamper Ramp could be a good investment as it allows them to get out of the pool easily. Other animals can use it too, so if you live in the countryside you could save a few lives.

Posted: January 29th, 2017 Category: News Comments: (0)

Could A Swimming Pool Make You Less Stressed? 24th January 2017

If you find life stressful at times, either due to work or personal commitments, you could benefit from spending time close to water.

There have been various studies in recent years that highlight the healing power of bodies of water. One such example was a study lead by Professor Michael Depledge that found people who lived close to water reported better health than those who didn’t, as reported by the Guardian in 2013.

Meanwhile, Wallace J. Nichols, author of the book Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do, told Tonic magazine last year that we change the way we think when we’re near water.

“Our brains switch into a different mode which can involve mind-wandering, creativity and sleep, which are all known to be important to health, resilience and productivity,” Mr Nichols asserted.

With all of this in mind, if you are lucky enough to have the space for a luxury swimming pool at your home, you could benefit in many ways by having water so close by.

Aside from giving you somewhere to exercise regularly, simply being able to sit next to a pool of water when you need some time for contemplation, or to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, could be hugely helpful.

To get the most out of your pool area, make it a relaxing and peaceful space. Choose a ceramic tile design for the pool itself that you find soothing, and make sure the pool house has comfy places to sit and relax, as well as plants and calming lighting to create a truly relaxing environment.

Posted: January 24th, 2017 Category: News Comments: (0)

Swimming ‘A Top Exercise For 2017’ 19th January 2017

Swimming has long been a popular form of exercise, but it seems 2017 will be the year when more people return to the sport – and are doing more than just swimming a few lengths a leisurely pace.

The Irish News has named it as one of the top exercise trends for the coming 12 months, noting that the growth in wearable tech to monitor performance isn’t going to skip the swimming pool.

More people are likely to invest in waterproof watches so they can keep track of their lap times and break their swimming session down into a bit more of a workout than just concentrating on distance.

Doing sprints and drills, as well as having a planned warm-up regime, are likely to become ever more common.

Two-time Olympic silver medallist James Guy told the newspaper that there are a number of health benefits to swimming.

“Swimming dramatically improves cardiovascular fitness and increased overall endurance, but it also helps build muscle strength and definition,” he explained.

And if you’re lucky enough to have your own luxury indoor swimming pool, why not make it something of a haven where you can really throw yourself into your exercise by customising it with interesting ceramics and designs?

If that isn’t enough to convince you to take the plunge in 2017, the Mirror highlighted another reason why swimming is a good move. According to the newspaper, regular swimming is a great way to lower high blood pressure if you suffer from it.

The key, however, is to regularly exercise to help improve your circulatory system.

Posted: January 19th, 2017 Category: News Comments: (0)

7 Ideas For Luxury Backyard Entertainment Areas 12th January 2017

Blue swimming pool in modern spa interior. Resort and wellness. Blue clear water indoor pool in spa center. Healthcare and rest, relaxation concept.

If you want your bespoke swimming pools to really stand out and be the talk of the town, you’ve got to pay as much attention to the surrounding area as to the pool itself. Making sure the rest of your garden and backyard is as luxurious as possible will only serve to highlight the pool – so here are a few ideas if you’re mulling over design concepts at the moment.

A family fire pit

Creating a space where the family can congregate and spend time together outside is a great idea, especially if you like al fresco dining. A fire pit is a brilliant way of achieving this, and it’ll keep you all warm when the summer sun goes down. You could even consider having in-built speakers in the walls of the pit benches and even create storage areas for towels and family games.

A Japanese garden

These are very tranquil, peaceful spaces that are also incredibly beautiful. You’ll love spending time in your Japanese garden if you get the design details just right. Consider pairing the likes of bamboo, sand, rocks, trees, water, flowers and bridges to create the perfect look. Trees and plants like Japanese maple, blood grass, banana plants and flowering quinces all look wonderful – and don’t forget to add a few koi carp in your pond if you have one.

Add rope lighting around your garden

Rope lighting looks brilliant at night and is easy to find and install, so you could easily add interest to your outside areas in one fell swoop. There is also the added benefit that it will help people see at night and stop them from tripping over potential hazards.

Have a lawn games area

As inviting as your luxury pool may be, people aren’t always going to want to swim. Provide them with other entertainment areas for pastimes like lawn games (boules, croquet and that sort of pursuit), and they’re sure to have a fantastic time.

Install an at-home sauna

What could be more luxurious than having a sauna on site? After doing a few laps of the pool, you and your family can unwind with ease if you have one of these at home. We’re particularly taken with the new trend for sauna cabins, which can easily be installed at home. Why not see if there’s one out there that takes your fancy?

Create a loggia

A loggia is an architectural feature that is typified by having an outer wall exposed to the elements, supported by columns and arches. They are a consistently popular option for homeowners and couldn’t be easier to create. Consider having an outdoor space with its own ornate fireplace, plush outdoor seating, a coffee table and some plant life and ornaments… an outdoor living room, if you will.

Use climbing plants

If you have big brick walls surrounding your home, soften them up by using climbing plants like fig ivy to hide the brickwork. It’ll look spectacular and really add to the sense of luxury you’re trying to create.

Posted: January 12th, 2017 Category: News Comments: (0)

Luxury Design Trends – Snow Cabins & Rainforest Showers 4th January 2017

natural pool

It never hurts to look at what property developers and interior designers are all up to when it comes to working out how you want your own home and luxury indoor swimming pool to look. It’s all about finding inspiration from a variety of different sources, which can prove very useful indeed.

According to a report in the Guardian, some of the latest trends for luxury apartment living in London now includes a rainforest shower experience and a snow cabin… which might give you a few ideas as to what you could feature in your own home as well.

Apparently, those who buy an apartment at One Blackfriars in the capital (which has views over St Paul’s Cathedral), will also be able to take advantage of a wine-tasting room, a virtual golf course with its own whisky bar, a 20-seat cinema and a hot stone massage parlour. And that’s not even to mention the 20m swimming pool, steam room, sauna, valet parking and a 24-hour concierge.

Meanwhile, over in Battersea’s Nine Elms district, a new-build luxury apartment will also include access to a transparent swimming pool spanning two towers, membership of a private club and a stunning rooftop orangery.

Other luxurious trends sure to be big news in the year ahead include pairing opposing design ideas together to really create a statement – something like putting a wood frame fabric sofa next to a more industrial table made of metal and glass. It’s all about clever juxtapositions of opposing ideas so really stop to think about it before you make any final design decisions.

Posted: January 4th, 2017 Category: News Comments: (0)

Enjoy A Splash At Calvados’ Luxury Hotel 4th January 2017

Image result for Calvados’ Luxury Hotel

It might still be the thick of winter, but it is never too early to start dreaming about what to do once the sunshine returns and summer is upon us. Those who like to escape the temperamental weather of the UK often choose France as a holiday destination, and this year you might consider staying the luxury Chateau d’Audrieu.

This four-star hotel and restaurant is located in Calvados, and is probably unlike anywhere you’ve ever holidayed before. The 18th century home is truly luxurious, boasting a long and impressive history, well-maintained architecture, and 12 acres of country park.

Unsurprisingly, it has many selling points, but one of its biggest is its large outdoor pool. You can take a dip in the heated water, set in the heart of the park and surrounded by luscious greenery.

Its location is very tranquil, and you can easily while away the day lying on a sunlounger, listening to the birds and relaxing. From time to time, you can do laps of the pool, or you can indulge yourself at the hotel’s spa.

Indeed, it has teamed together with California Paradise Spa, which is just a short drive away in Bayeux. Here, you can spoil yourself with several treatments, whether you want a refreshing facial or a rejuvenating massage.

Of course, it isn’t just its leisure facilities that attract holidaymakers from around the world, and its classical decor, large bedroom suites, and recently renovated dining rooms are all inviting to visitors.

This is a great place to head to if you want to immerse yourself in history, take a step away from the hustle and bustle of life, and really feel the decadence of an age gone by.

If you are lucky enough to have your own luxury swimming pool without having to travel to enjoy one, take a look at our range of ceramics, here.

Posted: January 4th, 2017 Category: Advice Comments: (0)