Seaside Sanctuary; Tina Clark overcame many obstacles with this beachside house

Set on buying a home with a decent-sized garden

Sometimes you have to ignore the advice of others and go with your gut instinct. That’s the lesson Tina Clark learnt after she bought a dilapidated house in the beachside Sydney suburb of Tamarama seven years ago. After years of living in apartments during her stints working as an equity trader in Paris, New York and Hong Kong, she had her heart set on buying a home with a decent-sized garden so she could have dogs.

Buying a home with a decent-sized garden

But most of the places Tina liked didn’t have much in the way of land size. Then she found this place. “Because of the difficult access and the terrible condition of the house, no one could see the potential, so it was quite a bit cheaper than a lot of the houses in the area,” Tina says. “Friends of my mum’s – both real estate agents – tried to talk me out of it on the day [of the auction]; they thought I was completely mad.” But she bought it – “the location sealed the deal for me”.

House Renovation and Obstacles

Once the initial excitement of the purchase was over it was time for hard work – lots of it. The plan was to make the house habitable so Tina could rent it out. Fortunately, her mum, Muffi Barbour, is an interior designer so had lots of great contacts. “We had to replace the ceilings and the roof – in the kitchen you could see the sky,” she says. “The kitchen basically fell apart when you touched one cupboard so my friend Anthony Churchill from Arc Cabinet Making built me a kitchen.”

replace the ceilings and the roof
replace the ceilings and the roof

The house was rented out for three years, until Tina moved in. “I then decided to renovate the bathroom as the cracked tiles were not only ugly but becoming dangerous,” she says. “I started in June 2007 and just kept renovating until December 2007. I had breast cancer that year and found that the renovations were a happy distraction from my treatment. I didn’t really have any overall plan – it just evolved as the months went on.”

The garden also needed a lot of work. “It was basically a few hills of cement and overgrown bamboo and weeds,” Tina says. “It took two guys about three weeks just to get the rubbish out.” Then Anthony Clarke of Grow Landscape Design wove his magic and spent a month putting a new garden in. While Tina had a core team led by her builder – who was a “gem” – she had a few tradie problems, too. The man who was supposed to install the slabs of marble in her bathroom was famous for never turning up, and the guy who built her stainless steel fence twice lied about it not rusting out.

During the build Tina didn’t have a clear idea about what the place would look like. “I just wanted it to be a relaxed, comfortable space without being too precious. It’s a bit difficult with two big dogs to have anything fragile,” she says. Tina has always loved the minimalist mid-century houses of LA and Palm Springs, so they were used loosely as inspiration. “I wanted a casual Aussie beach house but still wanted to include my old favourite artworks and furniture,” she adds. Due to Tina’s illness and, more recently, study, she has spent a lot more time at the house than she expected. “I am at home a lot – it’s a complete sanctuary for me,” she says. “Now I don’t want to leave!”

A Stylist’s Home; Marie Nichols transforms a boring, beige box rental on a tiny budget

WORKING AS AN interior stylist is all about being resourceful. You have to know the best places to shop and how to stick to a budget. So when it came to transforming a small rental, real living contributing stylist Marie Nichols was able to put into practise some of the many tricks she’s learnt over the years. And the results are colourful, cosy and very creative.

Starting POINT


Marie Nichols and her partner Simon Ward were ready for an overseas adventure and decided to spend 12 months living and working in Australia. Marie had been a stylist for a UK interiors magazine; Simon is a graphic designer. They left a Victorian semi-detached home in Kent, a 40-minute commute to London, and landed in Sydney in October 2009. When they first arrived the couple were living in a hotel until they could find permanent accommodation.

new home at a new city
new home at a new city


Moving from a two-storey home to a onebedroom apartment was not going to be easy. “We both work from home so it was essential to find a space we liked and that inspired us,” Marie says. At the top of the list were period features, good natural light, French doors, a balcony and water view. After weeks of looking, a little notice in the local paper for a onebedroom apartment in Paddington caught their eye. At the inspection Marie knew it was the right place and applied straightaway.

Rewaming a rental


“In the UK we own a property that we did up from scratch so renting is a new experience for us,” Marie says. “It made me reassess how I decorate. Unable to paint walls, use wallpaper, etc, I’ve had to work out how to add colour and pattern in other temporary and cost-effective ways.”

The couple arrived with only one suitcase each. “The apartment had an oven but that was it,” Marie explains. She adds that she was impatient for the place to look “just so” and hit the shops immediately, including Ikea, Freedom and second-hand stores.


Marie couldn’t live without colour or pattern so she had to be creative with the ways she added it. She bought a “super cheap” bed and wardrobe from Ikea and transformed them with paint. “Normally I go for crisp white bed linen but with plain walls the patterned bed linen from Ikea helped lift the room and add the splash of colour it needed,” Marie says. “The bedroom colour scheme was actually inspired by a pair of shoes and a silk scarf that I had in my suitcase.” For the living room she bought wallpaper from Publisher Textiles and a sheet of MDF from Bunnings to create a feature panel behind the sofa.

Living room
Living room

A Stylist Sources


When it came to finding pieces to decorate her home, Marie headed to some of her favourite places she uses when sourcing for photo shoots. These included Junktique, which has a huge, ever-changing array of affordable retro pieces, Doug Up On Bourke (revamped vintage items) and Bunnings for the basics. For more of Marie’s favourite shopping haunts, flip over the page.


Marie approaches the decorating of her home in a similar way to how she tackles photo shoots. “It can be a concept or idea, but generally for me it starts with a pattern or colour – they always play a huge part in my styling,” she says. “I love to sketch out my ideas and then I build digital mood boards so I can see how the scheme will come together.” When she creates these looks on Photoshop she includes furniture, key accessories and paint colours.

Creative Savings


Marie got creative so that she didn’t have to spend money on furniture that she’ll eventually have to sell before returning to the UK. She made cushion covers out of silk scarves and artworks out of wallpaper and photo collages. She even made butterflies out of bark! “When we first arrived I kept seeing trees with peeling bark, which is something we don’t have back home,” Marie says. “I thought it was so beautiful and wanted to do something with it so I cut out little butterfly shapes.”



In the bedroom Marie hung some of her favourite cards by UK artist Rob Ryan. “I made the text piece, inspired by Rachel Castle, for Simon’s 30th birthday,” she says. Marie also framed a bright pink doily she found in Vinnies for $2. One of the bedside stools was also a kerbside find. “Simon loves vintage but draws the line at picking things up off the street. I, however, don’t, so I’m constantly humiliating him by wandering in with something I’ve found!”

Design Ideas for A Comfortable Sitting Room and Living Room with Sofas and Recliner Chairs

Living Room, or Sitting Room, an Important Part of A House

The living room, or as some call the sitting room, where it meets the family to enjoy either reading, watching TV, or any activity that endeared them. Reflect the living room is always personal taste and the owner of the house, they are considered the most used room. So have you designed in a way Troukk and relieve your household. Should consist of the living room sofas, chairs, tables and the side of moderation, library, lamps, rugs, and either in a deluxe room designed as designed dianne bishop possible that there is a fireplace and a piano.

Most comfortable sofa and a best recliner are must-have items in living room/ sitting room
Most comfortable sofa and a best recliner are must-have items in living room/ sitting room

Space of a living room

Must be at least the length of the living room about 4.5 m. This size will allow us to arrange for a roomy sofas, easy to move in addition to a healthy distance between the TV and seating as in the design designed leslie benston. For small living room in a small apartment must be at least 3.8 m in length. As for the luxury place sitting in length shall be a minimum of 5 meters.

We must selected Mrihhkoshert Sofas essential for living rooms, proportionate with the colors of the wall and in line with the main theme of the decor. We also take note of a well-to Vartfalla sizes 38 cm and 80 cm depth of the seat. The length shall be according to the space available in the room, sofas prefer heavy (made from natural wood, for example) because the solids give it a longer life span for use, and bear the daily stress.

Sofas couch or reclining chairs are suitable for large living room
Sofas couch or reclining chairs are suitable for large living room

What type of Sofas and Recliners?

Contemporary sofas and recliners

There are two types of sofas and recliners, contemporary sofa and contemporary reclining chair be characterized by the appearance of a simple armchair armchairs, square-shaped and rises to the rules of either high-or which is small in size smirk so it is suitable for small apartments, as in designing designed because space is limited. To find models for small space, visit Cuddly Home Advisors for recliner reviews.

Classic sofas and recliners

The classic style is characterized by thick seats, and also characterized armchair wrapped in a circular motion with a number of them for distributor. For colors also subject to either the use of cool colors such as purple, green and blue. Then the room will look like a quieter and rebound, these colors fit small rooms. The warm colors such as yellow, red and orange thereby giving a sense of heat and intimacy and energy are suitable for cold country, but it is important in the living room to choose the right colors you you are, we see here the use of white with color it bounces in the living rooms of Sraha But if the cloth is from the face of the hearing when starch cleans why not?

Selecting between contemporary style and classic style for your sofas and recliners
Selecting between contemporary style and classic style for your sofas and recliners

Adding some more with beauty couches and accessory light to make the room bright

Add some inscriptions also increase the beauty couches with accessory light. The distance between the couch and table center should not be less than 36 m. The side tables must be in the level of sofas as we see here in the design rachel reider. Design a living room for a great of sizes and colors, and when you choose furniture often try before you buy to find out what suits you best.

Privacy enjoyed by this room allows you to put all of the personal look that suits you and meets the requirements of your family without restrictions or limitations … has included these requirements, there are a number of devices such as TV, video, phone … where the remains you the option of placing them in the cupboards of wood so you do not devices appear only in times of use or choose glass cabinets allocated to them, which adds to the elegance of the place without the hardware to hide from sight.

And to add more comfort and practical to place Take care of the distribution of the sessions in the corners of the room as in the design and also the distribution of natural light that reaches across the windows in the morning and artificial light at night to be direct them properly is not reflected on the TV screen and help at the same time a good vision, reading and relaxing.

That was a household like the idea of ​​the food in the living room, why not put a small table and some chairs are of the same spirit of the room, and possible also be used for other purposes such as writing, as we see here in the design rachel reider what draws here center table is a two tables small separate can be moved as starch, Alatrenha process?


Finally, the beauty and splendor of modern modernity, skin-and-white living room open to other rooms, television and table glass animation, lighting, distributed, evolution and consistency within the designs dkor Enjoy…


Make an entrance; Jazz up your front door

A little effort can create a big first impression

RENOVATING? FURNISHING? Don’t forget the front door. After all, first impressions count.

A pleasing entrance that reflects your personality – and hints at your decorating style – will make you feel good every time you leave the house or come home. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Here are six ideas.

modern country entrance front door
modern country entrance front door

idea 1: charming!

The theme: modern country

Are you after an entrance that looks cheery whether it’s winter or summer? If your exterior walls are white and you have greenery, a front door painted in sunshiny yellow can look delightful. Add a bright gingham curtain, sky-blue doormat and dramatic pow-dercoated orange lamp post and you get a funky country feel.

Hints at Chooks out the back.

Idea 2: colour confidence

The theme: chic modern

Team dark walls with bright lime for striking effect. Mix in sleek chrome and you’ve got a super-chic entrance. On door window, a simple frosted panel lets light come flowing into the hallway while preserving privacy. The sculptural mirrored aluminium wall decal is designed for outdoor use; you can also buy feather-shaped designs.

beautiful entrance wood front door
beautiful entrance wood front door

Hints at… A quirky and minimalist modern decorating style inside.

idea 3: natural

The theme: rustic organic

Be inspired by nature. Give a plain door interest by using a natural wood stain and then apply a stencilled leaf motif. (Leave at least a day between staining the door and applying the stencil to allow the stain to cure.) Fixtures such as a bamboo-look bronze door pull, timber-look door-number plaque and earth-toned accessories complete the look. Directional diffused lighting close to the entrance bestows a welcoming glow as you arrive home.

Hints at A calming interior filled with organic shapes and natural colours, textures and materials.

Idea 4 Bolid statement

The theme: primary colours Be bold with colour! Use strong shades to breathe life into a bland housefront. Choose a flyscreen in unfinished timber and paint it yourself to match it to your door. Finish with bright useful objects and rainbow mat.

Hints at… A home full of confident colour-blocking in furniture, artworks and accessories.

idea 5 here I am!

The theme: classy contemporary Sleek and modern finds a graphic expression in oversized gloss-painted black door numbers. It’s dramatic and subtle at the same time.

Stylist Front door
Stylist Front door

Hints at An interior that mixes lacquered/shiny surfaces with edgy furniture and bright pops of colour.

idea 6: opposite attract

The theme: colour contrast For striking results, paint the detailing on your panelled door the same colour as the walls. You can chip a little of the paintwork from the pre-existing wall and take it into your paint store to colour match. And you don’t have to be limited to the standard numbers sold in hardware stores. We added an additional layer of contrast in the form of reflective house numbers. We previewed and ordered our “50” numbers from Numbers 1 using its online image generator.


The Human Factor in Furniture Design and Workstation Development

Develop a Workstation at Home

Diffrient’s design mandate came from Robert B. Cadwallader, SunarHauserman’s vice chairman, after the latter concluded a number of years ago that office system had to be ready for the age of automation. He wanted to develop a system that started with the computer, rather than simply modifying a conventional system to accommodate it after the fact. His only charge was: “Design me a system.” Then, said Diffrient, “I was on my own: When Bobby chooses someone he trusts, he gives him latitude.” Diffrient took his latitude and ran, spending the first year of his five-year conception-to-production plan studying how people used systems and what was then available on the market. He realized that the problem with so many existing office systems is that they are based on structural panels, from which components, such as worksurfaces and storage cabinets, are hung, making it extremely difficult to adjust each workstation to its user. So diffrient decided to “put the system on the floor,” making each workstation a piece of furniture in its own right, with desk, chair, and overhead storage adjusting in unison. The panels, or screens, then become lightweight, flexible elements, since they don’t have to support anything, and simply provide visual and acoustical privacy.

Build a workstation with a powerful computer, beautiful desk, and best recliners for comfortable working
Build a workstation with a powerful computer, beautiful desk, and best recliners for comfortable working

Features required for the workstations

The components of the system break down into five smaller systems. The freestanding, adjustable worksurfaces or table move up or down from the legs, and their wood or laminate tops can tilt for reading or writing, either manually or with an electric motor. Wings, in a variety of shapes, cantilever out from the worksurfaces, creating more flat working area; bridges make corner connections between related worksurfaces. An integral track system supports accessories such as task lights, phone stands, video supports, etc., to clear the worksurface, “a valuable piece of real estate,” in Diffrient’s words, making the workstation more efficient without having to make it bigger. The panel system is used when and where needed, and attaches to storage units and light columns. The storage system consists of freestanding low and high units, as well as drawer and file units mounted under the workstation, and overhead storage mounted on the workstation, you automatically adjust the height of the storage unit accordingly. The lighting system consists of two task lights–one track-mounted, the other attached to the overhead storage–and an ambient light column that also houses wiring. Finally, the seating system–a task chair and an unorthodox reclining chair–are designed on the same principles of variable adjustment as the other pieces. Check tips on repairing or maintaining a house.

freestanding, adjustable worksurfaces or table for a workstation
freestanding, adjustable worksurfaces or table for a workstation

About 75 percent of the design, according to Diffrient, was determined by the sight lines to the video screen (or CRT) and keyboard. This led him to design the video and copy stands so that they could be symmetrical about the center of the worksurface, rather than having the CRT fixed in the middle and the copy stand off to one side. This also produced a video support that adjusts up and down, tilts, and swivels. Usually, the CRT is stuck atop the computer, an arrangement that proves comfortable for only about 50 percent of workers. With this system, the user has a side-by-side option.

The task chair represents an effort, in Cadwallader’s words, to “get rid of the bells and whistles.” Once the initial adjustments have been made, its only operating adjustment is for seat height; the seat automatically tilts forward and back to accommodate the movements of the worker, both at the keyboard and at ease.

Recliner chair and its Benefits

The reclining chair, the most unusual component of the system, is Diffrient’s answer to Cadwallader’s request for “a chair that I can read in,” which also became a chair in which he or anyone else could work at a personal computer. Since the chair didn’t work with a conventional desk, Diffrient designed a veritable workstation’s worth of accessories to go with it: a swivel table, video stand, adjustable light, and, of course, an ottoman. He cites a study made of college students’ study habits, in which those who reclined while working were found to have grades equal to those students who sat up straight. Approaching the recliner as a task chair problem. Diffrient called it a perfect “90 percent project–in which the performance criteria were so well developed that the product designed itself 90 percent.”

A most comfortable recliner is a must-have item for a great workstation
A most comfortable recliner is a must-have item for a great workstation

The look of the Diffrient system is frankly industrial: while the detailing is quite elegant, and its accessories downright snappy, it won’t win any beauty contests. But then, it wasn’t mean to. “Form is not just the way it looks,” insists Diffrient, who cites human factors and the lightest possible performance “weight” as his guides. “The best design is not found in products that scream, ‘Look at me, I’m designed!’ but in products that are just ‘there.’ I won’t go past a certain point of aesthetic elaboration.” Furthermore, making the system any more elaborate than necessary would increase its cost, and this product is designed to compete with the major systems in the industry–to perform just as well, at the same price, but with the crucial advantage of adjustability. The panels will cost half as much as those of other systems. The luxuries of this system are its accessories and “extras,” such as the motor-driven tilt-tops and CRT stands. One of its most important options is its capacity to house disk drives and printers in boxes suspended under the workstation wings, with the keyboard and CRT placed on the adjustable worksurface in the center. While other manufacturers are currently working on integrated electronics and “intelligent furniture” (P/a, May 1984, pp. 161-166), Diffrient emphasizes that electronics are only part of the picture: “You still need a lot of office stuff–lighting, storage, paper, management, etc.–and this system offers all those things.”

Find a good recliner for your workstation based on recliner reviews
Find a good recliner for your workstation based on recliner reviews

Just how wholeheartedly the furniture-buying market will agree with all this will have to wait until the system’s introduction this month at NEOCON. But the fact remains that the Diffrient system possesses the elegance of common sense, and these days, that counts for plenty.

Revival; A creative couple transform their daggy and dated 1970s house into a contemporary, light-filled family home

A Contemporary, Stylish Interior Four-bedroom Family Home

This four-bedroom family home has got it all: spacious, light and airy living areas, large garden, an enviable location in the beautiful seaside village of Mt Eliza on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, and a contemporary, stylish interior. If the house was for sale now it would be snapped up in minutes. But when the property was on the market three years ago it was a very different story. “People walked straight out of the open inspection saying it was a dump and too much work,” recalls homeowner Jo Verhoeft. “I called it the derelict house on the hill,” she says. “It was built in the early 1970s and was really dark inside with dated decor, ugly brick and plaster arches, dreary, dark wood panels, and wallpaper everywhere – even the shower was wallpapered!”

Designing a 4 room house
Designing a 4 room house

Despite the neglected state of the house, it was structurally sound, with a good floorplan and in a great position on the hill, so Jo and husband Bart, not daunted by a DIY challenge, instantly saw its potential as the perfect family home. “We moved in just six weeks after our third daughter Lola was born and immediately began planning what renovations needed to be done,” Jo says.

Reuse Some Usable Pieces of Furniture to save on costs

To save on costs the couple did the majority of the work themselves, hiring local builder Ray Hughes for the bigger jobs such as replastering, and constructing a pergola and two new gables. “We stripped the house back to basics,” Jo says, “removing the brick arches, ripping up the old carpet and lino, and taking down the wood panelling. We did keep the panelling on the hall ceiling and study wall, classic chairs, recliners, and round tables as we wanted to embrace some of the original features that worked in the house. It’s a special surprise to see a modern influence married gently into an old home.”

The look the couple wanted to achieve for their interior was “a light space with cool forms, textures and luxuries throughout”, Jo explains. “Bart and I were both born in the 1970s and are drawn to mid-century-modern pieces.

Interior design and furniture arrangement for a family with babies

With young children, the house also needed to be durable, easy to live in and easy to keep clean. The tired interior was given a contemporary facelift with newly rendered walls painted a warm white (Dulux “White Watsonia”) for a fresh, light and airy feel; dark flooring for practicality and to contrast with the white; and modern fixtures and fittings in the two bathrooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows were installed in the main living area to let in light and to maximise the garden views. With the budget getting tight the couple didn’t think they’d be able to afford to update the kitchen, but a good friend offered to make new cupboard doors for them. “Bart fitted and painted the doors in a white high gloss to match the walls and I bought new handles and a sink and mixer from eBay for a song. We had the old orange benchtop relaminated and a new Laminex breakfast bar installed where we knocked down the existing bar,” Jo says. “Our new, modern kitchen cost less than $2500.”

Select a modern style for the kitchen
Select a modern style for the kitchen

Continue reading Revival; A creative couple transform their daggy and dated 1970s house into a contemporary, light-filled family home

STORE MANAGER: So, whose responsibility is that?

House releasing
House releasing

A commercial lease is a tricky beast, and tenants need to be clear about the extent of the potential liabilities they are accepting, reports Philippa Aldrich

As the credit crunch begins to bite, all businesses will be carefully reviewing their overheads. Premises costs are usually one of the biggest.

One of the most expensive mistakes commercial tenants can make is to assume that certain major areas of expenditure are the landlord’s responsibility. So what should tenants be looking out for?

Repair and maintenance

All leases will set out the tenant’s obligations in relation to the maintenance of a property. But the precise meanings of words generally used to describe a tenant’s repairing obligations have been settled over many years of court decisions, and the implications of certain phrases are not always obvious.

For example, a covenant ‘to keep the property in repair’ includes an obligation to put the property into repair if it is in a state of disrepair at the start of the lease. A tenant who has entered into a lease which contains this obligation and has decided to proceed without a survey, may find themselves paying for repairs of which they were not even aware.

An obligation to `keep the property in good condition’ can require works to be carried out even if there is no disrepair.

A covenant to `renew’, on the other hand, may extend to rebuilding the whole property if that is necessary to achieve repair. And the word `repair’ itself may include remedying and removing the cause of an inherent defect, such as a defect in the original construction or design of a building. This will even be the case if the building is several years old and the tenant has had no involvement with its construction.

Common parts

In multi-let buildings, the landlord will often take responsibility for the maintenance of the structure and the common parts of the building and then recover the cost from the tenants via the service charge.

Service charges are one of the most often contested areas of commercial leases, and there is little statutory protection for commercial as opposed to residential tenants.

Again, close attention to the wording of the lease is important to make sure that the landlord is not only obliged to maintain those services which the tenant needs to operate from the premises – such as lifts, car parks and shared air-conditioning – but also that the cost is shared fairly.

For example, in a mixed use building with ground floor shops and offices on the upper floors, the retail tenants should not be paying for the costs of maintaining the lifts which solely service the offices.

It also worth considering carefully the areas of expenditure listed in the lease where the landlord is entitled to recover the costs from the tenant. For example, tenants should not assume that the cost of an expensive upgrade of the common parts of a building, which is designed to attract more tenants, will necessarily be borne by the landlord.

Business rates

In commercial leases, business rates are generally the tenant’s responsibility and tenants might also anticipate that they are free to claim the benefit of any rate reliefs. But it is common for commercial leases to provide that the tenant will compensate the landlord for any empty property rating relief that the landlord `loses’ after the end of the term because it has been awarded to the tenant. This can be costly.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)

The DDA requires a `provider of services’ to take positive steps to make its services accessible to disabled people, which may include making physical adjustments to the property’s access. This new duty is not only the concern of landlords – it falls on whoever is providing the service – and this can be the landlord, tenant or even both.

rental agreement
rental agreement

Fire prevention

It is usually the tenant’s responsibility to comply with all relevant laws in relation to a property, including those relating to fire prevention. The statutory regime has recently changed.

Under previous legislation, if a fire certificate had been issued, tenants could be confident that the property complied with the fire standards. But fire certificates have now been superseded by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force in October 2006.

The order imposes a new regime of self-assessment, more in line with health and safety regulation, and a tenant is likely to be the `responsible person’ for ensuring compliance in relation to the property it occupies. And compliance can be expensive. For example, in an extreme case, the tenant may be required to pay for the installation of a sprinkler system.


Where property has been previously contaminated, a remediation notice requiring it to be cleaned up is generally served on the landlord rather than the tenant.

But commercial leases will often provide that the tenant is responsible for complying with all legislation in relation to a property, and in particular for carrying out any work required by law.

Such a clause would make the tenant liable for the clean up of historic contamination, even where the notice was served on the landlord. However, if a remediation notice is served on the landlord and the notice is not complied with, it is the landlord and not the tenant who will incur criminal liability.

In addition, there may be circumstances when the tenant could be liable to carry out remediation works by virtue of other obligations in the lease, for instance a covenant to comply with health and safety legislation or to maintain the property.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

The obligation to produce EPCs will now apply to commercial as well as residential premises. In the case of new leases, the production of such certificates is the responsibility of the landlord.

But EPCs also apply to the disposal (or `assignment’) of a lease by a tenant and also the grant of a sub-lease – where a tenant grants a new lease to a third party.

In the case of an assignment, the assigning tenant needs to provide the EPC to the incoming tenant. Where a tenant proposes to sub-let its property, it has to either negotiate with the landlord to obtain an EPC for the whole building (as long as there is a common heating system) or obtain an EPC for the part of the building that it being sub-let.


Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 came into force on 21 May 2004, and created a significant new duty to manage asbestos risk in `non-domestic premises’.

This includes determining whether asbestos is present in a building or is likely to be present, and managing any asbestos that is identified. The broad definition of `duty holder’ means that, under Regulation 4, a wide range of people will be liable and, like the DDA, this can include tenants as well as landlords.

Continue reading STORE MANAGER: So, whose responsibility is that?

Plan now for the future: Researches are required in any field including Home improvement

Researches for home improvementResearches for home improvement

Management issues are discussed in excerpts from ‘Managing for the Future: The 1990s and Beyond.’ The trend for organizations to employ independent outside contractors for many maintenance, clerical and support work is expected to become the norm in years to come. Such unbundling of support services from the corporate structure generally leads to more productivity because similar staff on payrolls have little motivation to produce without the promise of advancement. For businesses to earn a return on their research dollars, success depends on other things besides knowledge and luck. Given the changes in the world’s economy and organizations, new skills for executives are demanded. Three important skills for executives in the coming years are looking outside the business for management plans, assuming responsibility for obtaining information about a new position and building continuous learning into the system.

Today even more than ever before, Peter Drucker, the world’s most influential management thinker, is being looked to and listened to by business leaders and economic scholars grappling with the challenges of change. This major new book brings together his latest, most stimulating and enlightening views on the new world business order and management imperatives of the 1990s and beyond. This is the final excerpt from his latest book. From “Managing for the Future: The 1990s and Beyond” by Peter F. Drucker. Copyright (c) Peter F. Drucker, 1992. Reprinted by arrangement with Truman Talley Books-Dutton, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.

…The trend is accelerating sharply in all developed countries. In another 10 or 15 years it may well be the rule…to farm out all activities that do not offer the people working in them opportunities for advancement into senior management. This may indeed be the only way to attain productivity in clerical, maintenance, and support work. And increased productivity in such work will increasingly become a central challenge in developed countries, where such work now employs as many people as manufacturing does.

Effective Research Pays

Some businesses…get a fiftyfold, or even a hundredfold, return on the research dollar. Many more get little or nothing. The key to success is not all knowledge, intelligence, or hard work–and least of all, luck. It is following the 10 Rules of Effective Research:

* 1. Every new product, processor, or service begins to become obsolete on the day it first breaks even.

* 2. Thus, your being the one who makes your product, process, or service obsolete is the only way to prevent your competitor from doing so.

* 3. If research is to have results the…distinction between “pure” and “applied” research had better be forgotten.

* 4. In effective research, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, economics…are not “disciplines.” They are tools.

* 5. Research is not one effort–it is three: improvement, managed evolution, and innovation. They are complementary but quite different.

* 6. Aim high! Trivial corrections usually are as hard to make and as staunchly resisted as fundamental changes.

* 7. …Effective research requires both long-range and short-range results.

* 8. Research is separate work, but it is not a separate function.

* 9. Effective research requires organized abandonment–not only of products, processes and services, but also of research projects.

* 10. Research has to be measured like everything else.

Many researches have been focusing on home improvement
Many researches have been focusing on home improvement

While mergers and takeovers, imports and exports grab headlines, business alliances rarely do. Nor do they generally show up in statistics. Yet for small and medium-sized businesses they are increasingly becoming the way to go international, and for big business, they are the way to become multi-technological.

…These are all dangerous liaisons…but the problems can be anticipated and largely prevented:

Before the alliance is completed, all parties must think through their objectives and the objectives of the “child.”

…Equally important is advance agreement on how the joint enterprise should be run.

…Next, there has to be careful thinking about who will manage the alliance.

…Each partner needs to make provisions in its own structure for the relationship to the joint enterprise and the other partners.

…Finally, there has to be prior agreement on how to resolve disagreements.

Corporate capitalism was the buzzword of the 1960s…Under corporate capitalism…economic superpowers were run by autonomous managements…Corporate capitalism was a delusion from the beginning and an arrogant one to boot. When attacked, no one supports it–as U.S. managements found out as soon as the raiders appeared…Speculator’s capitalism is the wrong remedy. Its side effects threaten to kill the patient. Speculator’s capitalism is probably not even very good for the shareholder. At least that seems to be the conclusion of America’s major shareholders, the pension funds.

…The proponents of corporate capitalism 20 years ago thought that they had the right answers. Speculator’s capitalism has proved them wrong. But they may well have asked the right questions. Now that speculator’s capitalism is in turn proving inadequate, and indeed a threat to America’s long-term economic future, we have to tackle these questions again. On our answers to them the future of free enterprise…may well depend.

We cannot build it yet. But already we can specify the “post-modern” factory of 1999. Its essence will not be mechanical, though there will be plenty of machines. Its essence will be conceptual–the product of four principles and practices that together constitute a new approach to manufacturing.

Each of these concepts is being developed separately, by different people with different starting points and different agendas. Statistical Quality Control is changing the social organization of the factory. The new manufacturing accounting lets us make production decisions as business decisions. The “flotilla,” or module, organization of the manufacturing process promises to combine the advantages of standardization and flexibility. Finally, the systems approach…[integrates] the physical process of making things…[which is] manufacturing…[with] the economic process of business…[which] is creating value.

Like others, managing our house effectively is a hot topic in smart home
Like others, managing our house effectively is a hot topic in smart home

New Management Skills

…In the light of changing world economy, the advent of the information-based organization and the need to systematize innovation and entrepreneurship, what skills and abilities will an executive need to be effective in the next years? The old skills are, of course, required, but there are some new ones which are likely to become increasingly important. I can think of three.

* Skill 1: Management by going outside…Learn to be outside where the results of the business take place. Nothing is more wasteful than a visit to the Barcelona subsidiary. But work for two days, standing behind the counter, and it is surprising how much the manager will learn about that company.

* Skill 2: Find out the information you need to do your job…People must learn to take responsibility for their own information needs…Most managers still believe that they need an information specialist to tell them what information they should have. But information specialists are providers of tools. It is the manager’s job to figure out what information he needs to identify: 1) what he is doing now; 2) what he should be doing; and 3) how he can get from (1) to (2).

* Skill 3: Building learning into the system…Learning must be continuous. We have to recognize the unwelcome fact that the knowledge of those who are five years out of school is by definition obsolescent. Continue reading Plan now for the future: Researches are required in any field including Home improvement


Auctions can be a fast way for a retailer to turn stock into much- needed cash and the quality of goods for sale is often high, says Caroline Munro

Whether times are exceptionally good, or horribly bad, furniture auctioneers are bound to benefit. But it’s not only auctioneers that can enjoy the benefits of a less than ideal climate – auctions can be an effective and fast means for retailers to convert stagnating stock back into cash.

auctions for furniture stuffs
auctions for furniture stuffs

For Roger Darrington-Mosley, Midland Furniture Auctions (MFA) md auctioneering is his passion and good customer service his business. `To me, I am an auctioneer and that is what I will always be,’ he says.

Darrington-Mosley has worked in auction rooms since he was 15, but he supposes his love for it grew from when his grandfather, who was a farmer, took him to livestock markets.

`As my mum always said, “the right peg in the right hole”. Auctioneering is all I’ve ever done and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,’ he says. `It’s the whole game – it’s matching a product to a buyer, coaxing them, educating them, giving them as much information as I can to make a deal work.’

Already behind the lectern at the tender age of 19, Darrington-Mosley hasn’t looked back. He worked for a number of firms, until eventually he grew unhappy with the way things were run and decided to start his own auctioneers.

MFA’s first gavel sounded in January 2005, and the business has since grown in leaps and bounds. Its premises in Alfreton, Derbyshire, will have doubled in size by June this year. `But in terms of turnover, it’s more than quadrupled,’ he says. `And that is predominantly down to the fact that we are pitching ourselves in the middle to upper market – that’s where we work best.’

While the past year has meant hard times for people in the furniture industry in the UK, for auctioneers it has meant good returns – or at least that is Darrington-Mosley’s standpoint. A clear sign of bad times is when MFA receives a delivery direct from the docks.

`We really do well – unfortunately – when businesses are struggling because we provide a very quick turnaround from physical stock into money. And we’ve been seeing an awful lot of gear – especially imported gear – coming directly to us from the docks because people have obviously ordered three or four months ago predicting better sales than they have perhaps had,’ he says.

At times like this, auctioneers are a good means of getting rid of stock very quickly. MFA holds an auction once a week, which last about four hours. In that time, it will sell between 3,500 and 5,000 pieces of furniture. These sales are made on-site and via a live web auction. Each lot sale lasts for about a minute, from the start of bidding to the gavel falling.

`We try to make it as quick and painless as possible,’ he laughs.

The company’s personal record for the amount of lots sold a week is 2,500, which, he says, `equates to a vast amount of furniture’. For retailers, it is a very convenient and quick way to get rid of stock, and in most cases their stock will be gone within a week, or a fortnight at worst, he says.

quick way to get rid of stock
quick way to get rid of stock

But it is not always a case of auctioneers doing well only when times are hard. He says there are various reasons why retailers would utilise the services of an auctioneer: some aim to get rid of old stock and clean out various lines, while others would prefer to auction goods rather than hold a sale.

`One or two of them are of the opinion that customers will wait for a sale, and they will probably buy anyway if they don’t have a sale,’ he says. `Depending on the price range of the product, they can get a good return for them.’

For other businesses, it may be a logistical issue because many modern retailers no longer have warehouses for storage. Stock also comes from large retailers who are looking to get rid of products used for photo- shoots and for display.

`They’re often in all the best styles, in the best covers – they’re beautiful,’ says Darrington-Mosley.

Yet, at the same time, he concedes that the credit crunch and the worsening state of the furniture retail market in the UK are revealing definite trends. `The volume of new A-grade product that we sell is 10 times what it was a few years ago.’

And although he has noted a larger number of cheaper products, many of which originate from the Far East, he says this does not necessarily mean a fall in quality of items sold at auction.

`The vast majority of the containers coming to us are of an exceptionally good quality for the price point that they are at. There is good and bad in all – but certainly the clients we deal with who import goods from China, import very good stuff. Certainly, the man on the street will be amazed at some of the items made in China.’

While this may be a good time for auctioneers, Darrington-Mosley points out that it is not always the case for some who are stuck behind the times.

`The antiques game has been the traditional bread and butter of auctioneers for a long time and, unfortunately, they’re all going,’ he says. `One side of the auction game is shrinking and dying and the other side is starting to take off. Auctioneers are having to branch out. At the end of the day, there has always been a type of snobbery in auctions, where its product is looked down upon whereas, to my mind, I sell some fantastic quality furniture.’

He says he would much rather be selling a top quality brand than a house clearance of the effects of someone who has died, or of house transformation.

Auction is selected as a way for house clearance
Auction is selected as a way for house clearance

`It’s a funny old game,’ he laughs. `I think that all auctioneers, sooner or later, will have to realise that people expect more these days, and those who don’t offer additional services at cost effective rates will fall behind. In my opinion it’s been a comfortable, overpriced market for a long time. You have to work for your income now, and that is what we are doing.’

He feels that another problem with auctioneers is that many are still not embracing new technologies, which Darrington-Mosley believes is to their detriment.

`It’s a very antiquated industry and auctioneers traditionally hate investing in their companies,’ he says. `I can still think of a dozen or so outfits in the Midlands near us that don’t even have a website. We have invested heavily in new technology and we are as up to date as any other furniture company can be. We’re following the furniture trade instead of following the auctioneering trade.’

But he adds that this does not mean traditional values are lost, and insists on good customer service and `the human element’.

Continue reading PROFILE: MIDLAND FURNITURE AUCTIONS – Bringing down the hammer