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One of the problems many parents face in the long summer holiday is that their children are separated from their friends, particularly in rural locations.
Being off school and away from lessons may be fun for a short while, but the sheen of appeal rapidly wears off without friends to play with. Now that the holidays have approached their end, organising a last hoorah and getting the kids together again can be an entertaining exercise as school starts up once more.
The summer holidays are, and rightly so, generally all about children. That niggling annoyance we know as ‘responsibility’, and the equally irksome ‘duty of care’ call us to arms, making sure that the kids are happy, healthy and fulfilled.
Most of it comes naturally; we want our children to thrive and it gives us pleasure to see them doing so. But every so often, once in a while, when sleep has been short and tempers are shorter, every parent feels a need to reclaim their christian name, to be called …
The long summer school holidays can be trying for parents. It’s not that you don’t want to spend the time with your children, more that it’s not always possible. With work commitments, who can take a six week break in one go? Who has the funds to spend on daily outings and activities? Who has the time to abandon household chores? We all have to work and we all have to live, so how can you make it all add up?
One of the simplest ways is to holiday at …
Spring and summer are particularly busy times for us, here at Apropos. With the prospect of fairer weather, home owners feel inspired to take the plunge and add that long-wished for extra room.
They sit with our design team and talk of the perfect conservatory, or the dream kitchen-diner, the orangery that will bring the family together and create the ideal space for everyone to relax in. They have mental pictures of serenity, or fun, or purely improved practicality and they think of absolutely every aspect, including how much the …
The summer holidays are with us again, bringing with them that perennial question: what are we going to do with the children?!
You’ll notice the use of the interrobang (the combined ?! symbols); a punctuation trend frowned upon by the educational establishment, but incredibly useful when posing a mildly panicked rhetorical question. Because, while in theory a six week break spent with one’s offspring can sound like a perfect delight, in practise, once the boredom kicks in you may find that none of you are smiling.
The solution? Get the …
It used to be said that ‘people who live in glass houses should not throw stones’. However, were they to try exerting themselves today then they may just find that they’d struggle to create any more damage than a scratch to the glazing – thanks to the tough and durable qualities of the glass used in Apropos’ contemporary glass houses
The glass houses designed and created by Apropos are of the highest quality; and are built to survive the rigours …
This spring, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) is hosting a programme of exhibitions and events celebrating the major British architects and architectural developments of the last 260 years. It’s a fascinating story covering all aspects of the craft and projects from all over the world, led by British design teams. Through drawings, watercolours, photographs and models, the programme demonstrates the prowess of Britannia and how our comparatively small country has made its mark, from London to Hong Kong.
*Gasp!* What a scurrilous accusation, we thought, when reading through our lovely supporter’s comments on Facebook and discovered that someone, who shall remain nameless, had likened one of our conservatories to a… a… to a McDonald’s!
Now, while we’re all partial to the occasional ‘golden arches’ indulgence, when it comes to architectural statements, it’s not really the look we’re going for. Ok, so we admit that a few of the elements are the same; we use a lot of glass and aluminium plays its part in both Apropos and McDonald’s …
No matter what you’re up to this week, we all know that the school holidays can be a hectic time, when all you want to do is sit back and relax, you find yourself instead burning the candle at both ends; if only to cram in a few extra moments of entertainment for the little ones.
This year, the weathers warmer than usual, …
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was a truth universally acknowledged that the size of a man’s orangery was directly proportional to the size of his wealth.
His choice of architecture would say to his neighbours ‘Look! Aren’t I rich?’ or ‘Look! Aren’t I clever?’ or occasionally, ‘Please don’t look; I’ve run out of money!’ Some men would use their homes to impose themselves on the landscape with sprawling manors which would straddle two counties, while others would defy gravity, pushing ever-more skywards with gob-smacking feats of architectural endeavour.
Christmas is almost here, and, as always, celebrations will be concentrated in dining rooms everywhere.
With families tucking into their Christmas dinners, dining rooms will be at the heart of the yuletide revelry on the best day of the year; with some families enjoying the added festive ambience that bespoke, glass and aluminium dining rooms by Apropos bring to their Christmas Day activities.
With a long history of creating marvellous dining rooms, Apropos can design bespoke dining rooms to fit the …
The autumnal equinox offers little to be excited about; the weather gets colder; the days gets shorter; the nights get darker; and we get… erm… miserabler?
It does, however bring one little thing that we’ve all come to cherish: about a month after that twelve hour tipping point, where day and night share equal hours, Daylight Saving is introduced, meaning that we all regain the hour we lost last March. ‘Hoorah! …
We’re big fans of the outbuilding here at Apropos, from pool houses to garden studios and even the humble garden shed. We’ve seen our fair share of beautifully designed summer houses, cabins, outdoor entertainment spaces and modern garden sheds over the years and we like to think we know a little about the design of these spaces too.
Which is why we were hooked on this year’s Shed of the Year 2016 competition – which showcases sheds from up and down the country across nine different categories, none of which …
With the weather finally on the up and summer sizzling at highs of 32 degrees we thought we’d put together some of the summers hottest home interior trends. So sit back, grab yourself an ice lolly or two and take a look at our range of awesome summer time accessories.
When it comes to summer, it doesn’t get much better than a set of bi-folding, or folding sliding, …
With summer supposedly here, and the unpredictability of British weather once again on the tip of everyone’s tongues, at Apropos, we feel that something new to moan about is much needed. And what’s more, we think we’ve found just the thing. Or rather, just the things – and they’re ugly little things at that.
In fact, you might even find yourself wishing for cooler weather when the sun sets in, and her little air bound minions do …
Conservatories have been a very British phenomenon ever since the building of The Crystal Palace in London back when old Queen Vic still sat on the throne, and British innovation was at its height.
Now, The Crystal Palace itself was far too large to make it as a domestic structure, Queen Victoria rode her carriage through – litter in tow – to …
With summer finally just around the corner, garden rooms are being utilised for relaxation and entertainment in gardens everywhere.
So for if you’re not getting the full potential from your garden room, or are still considering whether or not to purchase one, we’ve highlighted five ways to enjoy garden rooms in the summer.
Children’s Play Rooms
With the summer holidays just around the corner, garden rooms can …
A home can make a real splash with a pool house created by Apropos, and as the focus turns towards lazy summer days, relaxation and leisure, maybe now is the time to consider the benefits of a pool house.
A modern pool house can be used all-year, proving its worth in both the summer and the winter months. In the summertime, pool houses can be opened up to create a fabulous relaxing experience that combines the cool calm of the pool house with the warm freedom of the outdoors. …
As our lives get busier, so too must our homes get bigger – to accommodate all of the people we meet along the way, the technology we simply must have and the offices, gyms, wet rooms and walk in wardrobes that we as 21st century humans can’t seem to live without.
This though has given birth to a rather peculiar problem. The rise of technology and communication devices has …
At Apropos and Atelier we’re most definitely dreaming of a chic Christmas this year here at HQ. We spent last week dressing up our resident Atelier Garden Studio in all things merry and bright for a fabulous competition we’re launching over on the Atelier site today.
The garden studio on site here at Apropos looked absolutely stunning adorned with enough twinkle lights to deck our halls twice …
Yep, we said it! It may only be mid-October but the supermarkets are already stocked full with tubs of quality street and Christmas dog treats! So, as crazy as it sounds, it’s probably time to start thinking about the Christmas presents and the Christmas shop, stocking up on cards and deciding who’ll host, sprucing up the house and finding yourself a tree.
If you’re one of the two thirds …
Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow and hope that someone else will do for you in the mean time? It’s a sound philosophy but every philosophy has its limitations and there are certain things that no one else is ever going to do for you. Fixing all of the problems, irritations and shortcomings in your home is one of them.
Your chance of winning the …
There once was a couple who lived in a house. The house, when they bought it, wasn’t that much but it was what they could afford, and it was theirs. They felt pride in ownership, and they raised their little family in their little house as harmoniously as ever you can when you have three children… which is to say with tears and tantrums and regularly slammed doors interrupting the laughter and love that pervaded. The house was never meant to be the ‘forever home’ that property search programmes have …
Moving away from the considerable lifestyle benefits of the domestic structures for a moment, conservatories can be the most remarkable pieces of architecture. Whether bold biomes or elegant arches, conservatories come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re featured all over the world. These are some of our favourite examples of the building that we’ve made our own.
For many people the great conservatories begin and end with the Crystal …
Autumn days (does anyone else have the urge to sing that old school hymn when they hear those words?) are near upon us, but rather than lamenting the passing of summer it’s time to embrace the season; jewelled morning grass; sparkling cobwebs; silky chestnut shells; long, thick socks (sexy!); and lazy pub lunches in front of an open fire. Autumn is a time for chunky knits, hot chocolate and walks in welly boots; it’s a time for comfort and catching up with friends, comparing notes on how summer was spent.
Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment, which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. They can act as an early warning for other wildlife losses. They can show us – beautifully – when things are going well. Every year Butterfly Conservation runs the Big Butterfly Count in July and August, it’s designed to be a barometer on the state of Britain’s wildlife, as well as some of our most-loved insects.
The problem is that …
Now, before we begin here, you must just understand that when we planned this article we were under the foolish misapprehension that summer might actually be sunny. Flaming June wasn’t supposed to turn into ‘flaming wet July’, and back in March all of the newspapers were running near-hysterical headlines about the predicted hottest summer on record, so when we drew up our article planner this one seemed like a fairly safe bet.
Things are slowly warming up, but we’ve hardly had the sizzling start to summer that we’d all been led to expect, and the turbulent weather means that outdoor plans have been a little tricky. What better time to make the most of your Apropos conservatory?
Conservatories can be used for all manner of things, so if yours is gathering dust, it’s time to blow away the cobwebs and put it …
If you’re anything like us, you’d have read with horror, earlier this year, the news that the world’s chocolate supply was under threat. Not only are we eating more of the stuff than ever before (we’re talking in generalities here, not just the Apropos office!), but new strains of disease have been attacking the trees of the primary cocoa-producing countries, and if these diseases can’t be stopped, there’s a very real risk that chocolate could become a thing of the past.
The cost of living is, apparently, on its way down, but for most of us it doesn’t really feel like it. Gas and electricity bills more or less remain the same; water rates are all unchanging. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a way to not just cut your household outgoings, but to actually use your home to make a profit? The icing on the economic cake would be if you could do it greenly.
The way that we use our homes changes through the different stages of our lives. It’s not just the space requirements and how much time we spend within our homes, but how we actually use the rooms available to us; the type of cooking we do; the forms of entertaining; whether we work from home; how we use the garden. The problem with buying a property is that you can really only think about what you need from your home now, at the point of purchase, which often means that …
It’s funny to think that there was a time – and not that many years ago – when the kitchen was a place of little appeal.
If you were anyone who was anyone you wouldn’t have dreamed of setting foot in the realm of the workers; food was served to you in your dining room, and you gave little thought to its provenance, especially if you were of the gentlemanly persuasion. Visitors were kept very much away from the preparation of food, and the only parties held in kitchens were …
Current conditions notwithstanding, we’ve had some beautifully clear skies lately, and with the spring unfurling around us we should be due an awful lot more, making this the perfect time for a spot of star gazing.
For the serious amateur astronomer star gazing involves huddling on a hill top with a thermos flask and telescope. At Apropos we prefer to do things the comfortable way, and having the …
Be. Our. Guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test,
Tie a napkin round your neck cherie, and we’ll provide the rest…
Ah, you can’t beat a bit of a Disney singalong! And with Mother’s Day this Sunday it’s time to treat your mum like a Disney Princess. No; we don’t mean that you should lock her in scary tower with nothing but a hairy Beast …
The British public are often accused of being obsessed by the weather. The problem is that because of our geographic location we’re subject to uniquely changeable conditions, so try as we might, predicting the British weather is something of a thankless task.
In winter most of us retreat indoors, knowing the weather will be awful regardless of the form it takes. But, when spring and summer roll around and we …
It may still be chilly, and there’s a certainly chance of snow still to come, but there is a definite whiff of spring in the air and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to start gardening! Yippee!
Although there’s nothing like a bit of digging and clearing to warm the muscles, for many it’s may be a little soon to be out turning over the soil, but that doesn’t mean that your gardening adventure needs to be delayed – the end of February and beginning of March …
Winter is often a time for introspection, which would probably account for the fact that there are two ‘Blue Mondays’ in January alone. Cold weather and dark days leave plenty of time for solipsism, and we’re often not pleased with the results. Here at Apropos, we take a different approach; John Boswell sums it up nicely:
Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.
In an idle hour this week, we’ve been discussing our favourite Apropos reflections, …
“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
Reading can feel like a bit of an indulgence these days; life is so busy and there’s so much to do; balancing work and family takes up every minute. There are some things it’s worth making time for though, and in our view, reading is one of them.
Hoorah! It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day! Well of course it is…
So, here’s a question from everyone at Apropos: what are you going to do to appreciate the squirrels in your life?
Unless they happen to be small and red, squirrels often get a hard time of it in the UK. Although they are an invasive species, they didn’t actually choose to be; grey squirrels are here because of …
At Apropos we’re often asked advice about how to make sure a renovation project runs smoothly. Much of the advice varies according to client’s needs, but there’s one thing we always, always say: keep the neighbours on side. Talking to your neighbours, keeping them informed, and making sure that everything stays friendly is the easiest way to secure a happy future.
Sadly, that advice isn’t always followed, and although all Apropos clients are sensible and lovely, we’ve been reading about a few people who have fallen foul of the nightmare …
January seems far too soon to be talking about the big spring clean, but with Christmas just gone most of us have had an influx of new things, and we’re left with the question ‘what can we do with all of our new stuff?’
It’s not that you don’t want it; it’s just that there’s nowhere to put it. Until this point, it’s been piled on the dining table, sitting in bags, or lurking in the conservatory, but January 14th 2015 is National Organise Your Home Day, so now seems …