02 Jan

The best blog posts of 2018

It’s the first week back after the Christmas break, and with everyone setting New Year’s Resolutions we’re looking back over the wonderful year we had in 2018. Here’s a roundup of our most favourite blog posts from the last year…

Windows, doors and roof lanterns:

1. French windows – a brief history

Is it a French window or a French door? – whatever you prefer to call it – this is a classic design feature with a rich history steeped in traditional architecture.

2. All about entrance doors

The front entrance door is one of the most eye-catching features of a property’s exterior –  it is the thing that visitors naturally gravitate towards, so its appearance can really make or break the kerb appeal of a property.

3. Do your windows and doors measure up to today’s tough performance tests?

Why performance tests – such as acoustic testing – on your windows and doors are vital for building regulation compliance and attracting potential buyers.

4. What are roof lanterns?

Regarded as both an architectural feature and a practical option for brightening up a room, a roof lantern should have clean lines and perfect composition. They can be crafted into any size to suit the architecture of your property and can completely transform an area of your home, but what is a roof lantern exactly?

Westbury News:

1. Westbury staff at the heart of what we do

Last year, Westbury was delighted to be re-accredited with a Silver Investors in People Award, recognising that we have created an outstanding place to work. To reflect our continuous growth, we recently promoted two of our senior members of staff.

2. Westbury getting women back to work

Westbury is a Silver Accredited Investor in People and we recognise our importance as a local employer in the South East of Essex and our role in getting local mothers back into work.

Tree of the month:

1. Tree of the month – Sapele

Strong, beautiful and in high demand, we look at the African Sapele tree and the ways in which the manufacturers can reduce their use of this slow-growing beauty to ensure its survival.

2. Tree of the month – Oak

Universally revered, the oak’s special qualities have been recognised since the dawn of time and has been worshipped across religions and cultures for hundreds of years.

3. Tree of the month – Liquidambar

A rather unknown species, this tree’s bright colours during the autumn months are spellbinding and its sweet-smelling resin is used to produce perfumed and scented products. With the season of colour coming to an end as we move into the Christmas period (who’s excited?), November’s ‘tree of the month’ is liquidambar, also known as sweet gum… and hazel pine… and, well, a lot of other names too.

Window to the world:

1. Window To The World – Oman

With its stunning architecture, iconic desert scenes and world-class fly fishing, if you’re looking to lead the pack rather than follow them then you’d do well to give Oman a visit.

2. Window To The World – Beaulie-Sur-Mer

Nestled along the Cote D’Azure, this untouched French village sits among dusty, rocky foothills. Based midway between Nice and Monaco, a beautiful Mediterranean-blue sea stretches out before Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, which was once a popular destination for old Hollywood icons and royalty alike before St.Tropez became en vogue. Now it’s a quiet and unassuming destination, ideal for those looking for an authentic experience filled with culture, food and Belle Époque architecture.

3. Window To The World –Yukon

November usually marks the beginning of the aurora season in most countries, with some tourist locations across Scandinavia not fully up and running until December. In the lesser known destination of Yukon in northwest Canada, however, you can sometimes start seeing the magnificent displays as early as September.

Home improvement:

Image credit: Artichoke

1. Earth Day – Accoya the eco-friendly way of working with wood

Earth Day is on 22 April, an initiative dedicated to promoting sustainability and the environment. Find out more about Westbury’s sustainable woods and processes.

2. Timber myths

There is a popular misperception that solid hardwood is the best product available for external joinery. It’s not. The two things you need from timber joinery are stability and durability.

3. 10 building tips to make your home eco-friendly

5 June is World Environment Day –so we’ve pulled together our top tips from some of the eco-friendly builds that we have seen and worked on.

4. Westbury’s Hidden Heroes: Croft Hardware

What does quality really mean? It’s a term used so frequently these days, so how can you trust that what you are purchasing really is a quality product?

5. How to design the perfect boot room

Traditionally found in country houses and estates, the boot room is a quintessential part of any grand property. It’s the gateway between the outside world and your home, so don’t neglect this important room – keep it looking super stylish with our expert tips.

Culture:

Image courtesy of The Frog Hoxton restaurant

1. Westbury’s pick: The Ting Xi Bamboo Pavilion

The stunning Ting Xi Bamboo Pavilion is nestled within a leafy suburban forest close to the centre of Xiamen – a quaint coastal city in China.

2. Plastic pollution – end of the throw away culture

Thanks to David Attenborough and the BBC’s Blue Planet, there are very few of us left on this planet who aren’t aware that there is a problem with modern living and our ‘throwaway culture’.

3. Architect Focus: Will Alsop

Earlier this year we sadly said goodbye to one of the UK’s most unique and innovative architects, Will Alsop. So in this Architect Focus we’re taking a look at the colourful stamp he has left behind on the world of architecture.

4. Daniel Watkins moves to new restaurant, The Frog Hoxton

The man behind cheese doughnuts and chicken butter undertook a challenge of gastronomic proportions in August this year, by opening three distinct eating and drinking establishments all under the same roof in London.

5. 6 autumnal country walks with pubs

Breath-taking landscapes, quiet glens and rocky hills are the core basis of these autumnal country walks. No Sunday afternoon walk is complete without finishing things off in a cosy country pub with mulled wine and a log fire crackling away in the hearth.