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Give Your South Devon Bedroom the Star Treatment

Give Your South Devon Bedroom the Star Treatment

It’s estimated that the average person spends 26 years of their life asleep and nearly seven years trying to get to sleep, so your bedroom needs to be somewhere you really want to spend your time.

Your bed and its surroundings should be comfortable and enticing. Think of a luxury hotel – their whole business relies on good sleep, a restful environment, and feelings of relaxation.

So, if your bedroom needs an overhaul, why not create your own five-star sleep retreat? We’ve looked at some ways to give your bedroom that luxury feel.

  • Bed basics

A good quality mattress and plush pillows are the first step to a luxury bedroom. If you’re going to spend any money at all, then these are the things you should really splash out on. Get yourself to a bed shop and try out the mattresses. Do you want something firm and supportive or soft and cosy? Don’t be shy, definitely try before you buy. Once you’ve got the foundation right, everything else is easy.

  • All white

While you might not want to pay out for 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton, there is something special about hotel sheets. First off, they tend to use three (a sheet on top and another under the duvet or blanket), and secondly, the sheets are almost always white.

If you’ve got pets or kids, white sheets might seem like madness. But they’re pretty easy to bleach clean, and when ironed and tucked properly, they look gorgeous. Add a neutral colour throw at the end of the bed, and you’ve got yourself a hotel-worthy bed.

  • Accessorise

Before you invest in loads of unnecessary cushions that you chuck off the bed every night, think of other ways hotel rooms add hints of luxury. A posh glass and water carafe (not your standard jug) sitting on the bedside table, matching hangers in the wardrobe, a plush rug, scented candles, art on the walls and so on. Add a few of these to your room to give it a more sophisticated look.

  • Lighting

Keep the lights low and preferably dimmable for a real hotel feel. Freestanding lamps, bedside lights, overhead lights… there’s lots to think about. To get it right, focus on the different functions of your room, such as somewhere you sleep, get dressed, work out, work from home etc. Choose lighting that serves the different functions.

  • Window treatments

Once you’ve got the lights right, now think about how to get it dark and cosy. There’s nothing worse than being woken up from a deep slumber because of unwelcome light. Hotel rooms often use sheer curtains coupled with blackout curtains, or blackout blinds with sheer curtains on top. Layering your window treatment is a great way to add that luxury feeling and keep out the light.

What are your best tips for making a bedroom really comfortable?








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Fun Facts for Eurovision Fans in South Devon


To some, it’s a gloriously camp celebration of global diversity. To others, it’s a naff cringe-fest with more cheese than a ploughman’s.

Whatever your views on the Eurovision Song Contest, you’re bound to hear a lot about it this weekend when Liverpool hosts the final.

The city famed for its musical heritage is staging the event as last year’s winner, Ukraine, is unable to do so due to the war.

We’ve compiled some fun facts from Eurovision’s history to mark the occasion.

  • The first ever Eurovision in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1956 was a tame affair. Only seven countries competed in what was primarily a radio show.
  • The luck of the Irish has prevailed many times over the years – with the Emerald Isle winning on seven occasions – more than any other country.
  • However, things went downhill for Ireland in 2008 when its entry, a creepy muppet-on-acid puppet called Dustin the Turkey, failed to make the final.
  • Celine Dion won for Switzerland in 1988. Many people were baffled by her victory, as Celine is a proud Canadian. But it’s a little-known rule that only the song’s writer needs to be from the country they’re representing.
  • Despite its name, countries such as Australia and Israel compete in Eurovision.


  • Sam Ryder, the chippy TikToker who represented the UK last year and finished second, used to own a vegan café in Essex called Lone Wolf Organics.
  • The UK’s entry this year, Mae Muller, was born in 1997 – the last time that we prevailed at Eurovision, thanks to a performance by Katrina and the Waves.


  • The UK’s 2000 entry, Nicki French, scored zero points with the prophetically titled tune Don’t Play the Song Again.
  • The worlds of sport and singing collided in 2008 when the Russian entry featured gold medal-winning figure skater Evgeni Plushenko (with a rather striking mullet) pirouetting around singer Dima Bilan. Russia won.
  • When the UK hosted the contest in 1968, Cliff Richard was pipped at the post by just one point, losing out to Spain. The result sparked allegations of a fix.

If you’re a Eurovision fan, message us on facebook or insta to tell us where you’ll be watching the contest this year.

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Get Summer-Ready with These Easy Peasy Garden Jobs


Remember lockdown when we had nothing to do? Gardening became a fun pastime, and having outside space was a luxury. Well, now that the spring sunshine is back and you don’t need to wear four layers to keep warm, it’s time to make gardening cool again.

Bask in those rays (however weak they may be) and get your hands dirty. Dust off that spade and get the broom ready.

In this quick read, we explore some easy ways to get your garden looking its best.

  • Sweep away the autumn

If your garden isn’t full of mouldy old leaves and weeds, then you’re one step ahead already. If it is, it’s time to absorb some vitamin D and get sweeping. Bag up those autumn leaves, or better yet, if you’ve got the space, start a compost bin so that you’ve got plenty of nutrient-rich garden soil to use later in the year.

  • Patio TLC

For gardens with a patio area, start preparing for the summer months and wash away the grubbiness of the winter. Freshen up any wooden furniture with a lick of varnish or give it a completely new look with brightly coloured paint.

If you’ve got a pressure washer, transform your patio from dull and lacklustre to shiny and (nearly) new. Please double-check if your area has a hosepipe ban in place – if not, it’s deffo time for an outside spring clean.

  • Go potty (for plants)

For those of us with small gardens, potted plants can make all the difference. Pull out the weeds and get rid of any debris to give yourself a fresh spring start.

While the more green-fingered readers may have planned ahead and planted their bulbs ready for bloom, don’t fret, you can still get that gorgeous spring look. Choose pre-potted seasonal bulbs like snowdrops, hyacinths, dwarf narcissi or similar potted bulbs and transfer them into containers or beds.

If you’ve got earthy borders, fill them up with perennials, ornamental grasses and seasonal flowers to add colour and tonnes of texture. Also, sow in annual seeds for the later months.

  • Love your lawn

For those of us with a bit (or a lot) of grass, it’s probably in need of a bit of love and a good cut. If you’ve got a lawnmower, then it’s time to get mowing; if not, it might be worth getting a professional in to get it summer-ready. Trim the edges with a pair of shears and your garden will be picture-perfect in no time at all.

At Chamberlains, we love a spring clear-up, inside and out. What are your favourite ways to get your garden summer-ready?


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Four Reasons Why Savvy Sellers Hit the Market in Spring

selling in spring

Spring officially starts next week, and with it comes a host of joys: longer days, trees in bud and flowers in bloom.

And if you’re selling a property, there’s something else to celebrate – a spike in buyers looking to make their next move.

Traditionally, spring is the busiest season for property sales (pre-pandemic data shows that properties listed in March sell the fastest*).

While successive lockdowns and the Stamp Duty holiday disrupted this seasonal order, normal activity is now resuming.

So, what’s the appeal of selling in spring? Here are four reasons why it makes good sense.

Better weather

Animals aren’t the only ones who like to hibernate in winter. Freezing temperatures and shorter days mean many buyers delay their property search until well into the new year. But by March, they’ve thrown off their blankets and onesies and are eager to line up viewings. 

Picture perfect

If you want to wow potential buyers, your marketing photos must be high quality. Having your home photographed in spring, when natural light is abundant, will result in snaps that wouldn’t look out of place in a posh interiors magazine.

Green scene

If your property has a garden, then it makes sense that buyers see this key feature in spring when it’s bursting with life. A well-tended garden can add significant value to your property, so make sure it’s tidy and colourful. And don’t forget to look after the front of your property, too. A few plants, along with a freshly painted front door, will create a good first impression.

The time’s right

Many buyers are keen to start the ball rolling in spring in the hope that they can finalise their move before the August holidays or the start of the new school year in September. There are also lots of bank holidays in April and May (don’t forget the extra one this year on 8 May for the Coronation), which are good for viewings.

If you’re considering selling your home, contact us here at Chamberlains today for a free valuation.


* Rightmove


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Inspiring Women from the UK

international womens day

International Women’s Day is an event marked around the world – in the news, all over social media and in most schools. And so it should be.

Accelerating equality, raising awareness around discrimination, and helping women feel safe and celebrated is something we should all be doing more of.

This year’s IWD theme is about embracing equity and recognising women’s different circumstances. So, here we look at some of the UK’s most impressive women of the last ten years (there are so many, we had to narrow it down!).

Queen Elizabeth II

Whether or not you’re a royalist, you’ve got to admire a woman who worked her socks off for seventy-odd years and well into her nineties. Her death left many people around the world mourning the loss of a grandmother figure.

No matter what your view of the royals, the Queen is, and always will be, an essential part of UK history.

Beth Mead

From Her Majesty the Queen to the queen of the football pitch – Beth Mead. The first ever female footballer to be crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Beth was a huge part of the Lionesses’ success in Euro 2022 and the tournament’s top scorer.

The Arsenal player was also awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List and is a true inspiration to girls wanting to become professional footballers.

Baroness Doreen Lawrence

Since losing her son Stephen in one of the UK’s most high-profile racially motivated murders back in 1993, Baroness Lawrence has dedicated her life to campaigning for victims of racist crimes and fighting for police reform.

Baroness Lawrence has been at the forefront of many initiatives to improve race relations and has also taken part in important reviews into issues like the effect of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic communities. She was awarded an OBE in 1993 and made a life peer in 2013 for her tireless work.

From the team at Chamberlains, we wish you all a very happy International Women’s Day.



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How Baby Banks Are Helping Struggling Families


You’ve no doubt heard of food banks, but do you know what a baby bank is? Read on to learn how baby banks work and if you could start your own.

For many expectant parents, the prospect of welcoming a new life into the world fills them with delight – and anxiety.

While they can’t wait to cuddle their new bundle of joy, they’re also worried about the cost of bringing up a baby.

Parenthood is an expensive business with clothing, nappies, bedding, toys and a buggy all adding up. And over the past year, the rising cost of food and bills has made things even tougher for families on low incomes.

That’s where baby banks can help.

There are more than 200 baby banks across the UK. (You’ll find a map of baby banks in the UK here.) In Teignbridge, we’re lucky to have a baby bank in Teignmouth – you can find out more about them here:

They work in much the same way a food bank does but instead of handing out parcels of fruit and veg, they distribute pre-loved baby essentials.

Goods distributed can include cots, Moses baskets, buggies, play gyms, high chairs, stair gates, baby baths and clothing.

For many parents on low incomes, getting help with even a few of these items is a great relief and creates a safer living environment for their children.

 Using a baby bank

As with food banks, most baby banks require a referral from an agency or charity to use them.

Showing support

Most parents accumulate cupboards full of baby paraphernalia over the years, and because children grow so quickly, much of it is almost as good as new. Donating items that are in good condition to a baby bank is a great way to give back to the community – and get rid of some of your clutter.

Most baby banks have clear guidelines on their website detailing the items they accept as donations and how to drop them off.

It’s important that you only donate items that you would be happy to receive. Take tatty and knackered goods to the dump or recycle them.

Take the initiative

If there’s not a baby bank near you, but you believe there is a need, why not set up your own? Reach out to a local church or voluntary organisation and get the ball rolling.

From all of us here at Chamberlains, thanks for reading.




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Make Your January Dog Walks More Fun

national walk your dog month

Whether you’ve got a pooch who wears fancy jumpers, a big blonde Labrador or a tiny handbag-sized companion, this month is all about them. If you didn’t know before, now you do: January is National Walk Your Dog Month.

All you doggy people are probably a bit baffled, as being responsible pet owners you walk your four-legged companions daily – but what with the cold, dark days ahead, it could be tempting to delay your dog walk or cut it short.

Walk Your Dog Month started in the USA, with the aim of preventing behavioural problems and obesity. Now, it has reached our rainy shores, and it’s all about getting you and your dog out and about.

In this quick read, we look at the importance of dog walks and how to make them more fun.

Does your dog need more exercise?

Just like us, dogs need regular exercise, the time and length of which depends on their size, breed and age. So, if you’re a pet owner who only takes your dog for a quick bathroom break or a brisk walk around the block, you could be adding to their weight-gain problems. Add an extra 10 to 20 minutes to your regular dog walk to ensure they’re getting an extra workout.

Also, if you notice that your dog is chewing on more shoes than normal (or getting into the bins, gnashing on a chair leg etc.) their behaviour could be a sign of needing more physical activity. Sadly, some dogs may become more withdrawn if they don’t get the right amount of physical stimulation, and no one wants a depressed dog.

Make walks more fun

When it comes to dog walks, it’s easy to stick to the same route each day, but that’s not much fun for anyone. Explore somewhere new, whether it’s a park, a street of fancy houses or a big open field, the change in routine will liven up that cold daily walk.

Other ways to brighten up your walk include taking a friend, buying your dog a new fetch toy or doggy jumper to wrestle them into.

Tip: As it’s a special awareness month, why not make your walks worthwhile? Start a fundraiser for your favourite pet charity, so every walk you do in January raises money for something worthwhile.

Challenge yourself

Walking is the easiest form of exercise for you and your dog. Track your footsteps with a watch or your phone, gradually increase the time you spend walking and you’ll hit 10,000 steps easily.

At Chamberlains, we love a good walk. How do you make your dog walks fun? Comment below.

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The Six Best Christmas Films of All Time

christmas films

Here are six of the best festive flicks to feast your eyes on over the holiday period.

There’s something reassuring and cosy about snuggling up with a box of choccies and watching a Christmas film with loved ones.

It can be an old favourite you know word for word, or a classic that you’ve never managed to see before. As long as it’s feelgood with a happy ending, then you’re on to a good thing.

Here’s a list of some of the best festive films of all time. How many have you seen?


Will Ferrell steals the show as Buddy, a man-child in tights who was raised among elves at the North Pole. When Buddy heads to New York to find his biological father, he’s like a kid in a sweet shop. All sorts of shenanigans follow in this silly, charming caper.

Home Alone

When Kevin McCallister’s (useless) parents leave him home alone while they jet off to Paris, a series of comic escapades ensue. Eight-year-old Kevin revels in his new-found freedom until two hapless burglars try to target the property. Can Kevin outsmart the bad guys? Will his parents make it back? And why are American houses so very, very big? A good watch for all the family.

It’s a Wonderful Life

Released in 1946, this movie is often lauded as the best Christmas film of all time. James Stewart plays a small-town businessman ready to give up on life until a guardian angel changes his mind. The film’s emphasis on community values still resonates today.

Miracle on 34th Street 

Another black and white classic, Miracle on 34th Street is a gentle tale about a kind gent called Kris Kringle, who plays Santa in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. When he starts telling Macy’s customers and staff that he really is Santa, Mr Kringle’s claims and sanity are tested in court.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Michael Caine is a British film legend, but his performance in this retelling of Charles Dickens’s novel is undoubtedly his best. He plays it straight as grumpy Scrooge while Kermit, Piggy and the rest of the Muppet gang ham it up in Victorian costumes. And if your heart doesn’t melt at the sight of Robin the Frog as Tiny Tim with his little wooden crutch, then we need to talk. 

The Snowman

This perennial favourite tells the story of a small boy who makes a snowman in his back garden, which then comes to life. There’s something about the charming illustrations of Raymond Briggs, combined with the haunting soundtrack, that makes this animation quite magical.

Have a wonderful Christmas! 


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Saving Energy Could Mean a Higher Selling Price


Energy is a hot topic. From price hikes to conserving energy, every day there seems to be a new thing to think about. And now, research has shown that being more energy efficient could even bump up the value of your home.

Boiler company BOXT found that increasing the EPC rating of your home to C or above could boost your house price by 23%. So, if you’re thinking about selling your property, you may want to consider improving its energy rating to maximise value.

For property newbies, an EPC is a measure of how energy efficient a property is. The ratings lie on a scale of A to G and are accompanied by a report on how to reduce fuel usage and decrease carbon emissions.

In this two-minute read, we look at some quick and simple ways to enhance your property’s energy efficiency level and/or reduce your energy bills.

  • Install a smart meter

Smart meters are a great way to let you and your supplier know how much energy you’re using and how much you’re spending. The government ordered all gas and electricity suppliers to provide smart meters to their customers, so they’re free of charge and do away with the need for individual gas and electric meter readings.

  • Switch to LED

If you haven’t done this already, then you’re missing out. Advantages of LED bulbs include lower energy usage, longer lifetime, different colour lighting and increased durability. This small change could make a huge difference to your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Upgrade your boiler

While this is one of the more costly changes on our list, it is the top way to improve the energy rating of your home and reduce your heating bills. But if you can’t afford a new boiler right now, get a professional in to give it a full service and ensure it’s running at optimal level.

  • Draught excluders

Probably the easiest way to keep your home warm and reduce energy loss, draught excluders quite literally plug the gap, preventing heat loss and reducing draughts. You can get movable draught excluders to put in front of doors and self-adhesive ones to stick around windows. If you’ve got a fireplace that you don’t use, think about ways to block heat escaping from the chimney.

  • Curtains

Thick curtains prevent heat loss from windows and keep your home nice and cosy. It may mean paying out for new drapes, but thick, lined curtains will make a difference to the comfort and cost of heating your home.

If you’re thinking about selling, speak to one of our team members at Chamberlains to find out how much your home is worth.


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How to Buy an South Devon Property without Blowing Your Budget

south devon property

Buying a home comes with a lot of dreams, needs and wants, but there’s another consideration, too – budget. Whether you’re taking your first step on the property ladder or moving on to bigger and better things, how can you make every pound count?

Maximising your budget might seem impossible; after all, a downstairs WC is a must, and you’ve always hoped for a driveway. But are these wants and desires preventing you from finding something you can actually afford?

Like everything else in life, buying a property needs a bit of compromise. You don’t have to bin your dreams of a garage or home office; you just need to think outside the box.

In this quick read, we look at ways to maximise your budget and get the home you’ve always wanted. 

Be real

Before you start house-hunting, jot down a list of things you must have and things that you’d like but aren’t necessary. This may help open you up to properties you might not have previously considered viewing.


If you’re driven by location, you’re always going to be limited in choice and price. Can you look beyond the area? Could you get more for your money if you extended your search? And in a time where WFH is the new norm, changing location could really help you save some pennies.

Get DIY ready

A property that’s perfect in every way will have a much higher asking price. Those kitchen appliances may be shiny and new, and the rainfall shower may look luxurious, but they will add to the purchase price.

Save money by looking at homes that need a bit of work. You don’t need to commit to a huge renovation project, but taking on some work yourself could mean you pay less upfront.

Look to the future

Ok, you wanted a big kitchen and were hoping for an extra room downstairs, but do you need these things right now? Look into properties that have the potential to extend (outwards and upwards), and this can be something you do later. You’ll be adding value by increasing square footage, so you can reap the benefits if you ever decide to sell. Also, check if there are permitted development rights which can save the hassle of a future planning application.

Buy what you need

Be wise with your budget, don’t pay out for things you just don’t need. A huge garden is a great idea, but not if you’re going to struggle to maintain it. Similarly, paying a premium for being close to transport links may be unnecessary if you work from home. Don’t get tempted by extras that tip your budget over the edge.

If you’re looking for a new home, call us at Chamberlains. We’ll help you find something within your budget.