Take peek behind front doors in the interiors capital of the North
retailing for around £4,000 but there is no shortage of money in the town or coming in from outside.
Customers already travel from across Yorkshire, from footballers wives territory in Cheshire, the affluent Ribble Valley in Lancashire and the most exclusive areas of the North East. Many combine their trips with a weekend break.
“We are seeing a lot of that and part of our plan is to encourage people to stay and make a day or weekend of it. We hope to encourage people to make use of the hotels and restaurants,” says Stephen.
Visitors to the town will find that all interior tastes are catered for. Harrogate has the only branch of OKA in the North of England. The store, beloved by the home counties set, is owned by Samantha Cameron’s mother Lady Annabel Astor. There are a number of kitchen specialists including Stephen Neall and Chantry along with national companies like Smallbone and John Lewis of Hungerford. Harrogate Interiors and Rasmus specialise in contemporary furniture and if you want classic contemporary or country style then James Brindley, Richard HARROGATE is the UK’s happiest town, according to property website Rightmove.
Researchers quizzed 40,000 people on 12 different factors such as neighbourliness, safety, amenities, cost and the amount of space they have in their home, and the spa town came top.
Second happiest was Stockport, whose postcode Grafton, which has recently expanded to cope with demand, and Woods of Harrogate are among those that can oblige.
Soft furnishings shops are abundant and include the recently opened Fabric and Co., whose stock includes fabrics from local designers like William Watson-West. area encompasses Alderley Edge, which sits in Cheshire’s stockbroker belt and is known as premiership footballer territory
Overall, people living in the North are happier than those living in the South, according to the survey.
The unhappiest places to live were East London, Croydon and East Central London.
Interesting accessories can be found at Lime Lace, which has a combination of vintage and modern pieces, including etched glassware from local maker Vinegar and Brown Paper. CocoonU is another treasure trove with everything from cashmere throws to ceramics, many by small-scale designer makers.
If you want something to hang on the walls, then galleries are also a growth market in Harrogate and include 108 Fine Art, which stocks artists such as Joash Woodrow, Nicholas Jolly and Alan Davie, and the Workhouse Gallery, which is staging a Street Art exhibition.
It’s all a far cry from the days when antique shops were the town’s biggest retail attraction. People used to come here for the antiques but that market has changed.
“People come here for the great interiors shops now and they are a lot more fashion orientated. They like to mix old and new pieces”, says Chris Holmes, of Chris Holmes Decorative Interiors, which specialises in decorative antiques and the more unusual the better.
Customers come from all over Britain and beyond to his shop on Cold Bath Road, which stocks everything from medieval carvings to his latest acquisition, a collection of antique mirrors from a country house in Ireland.
“Sales are going through the roof,” says Chris. “People like the town and enjoy finding something different. The independent interiors shops here offer good quality and ervice and that really counts for a lot.” WORK has started on two of five new luxury homes, starting at £1.5m, at Fulwith Mill, Harrogate.
The four to seven bedroom properties by Zammitt Homes will boast an A rated energy performance certificate and heating bills are predicted to be virtually zero thanks to a host of eco features, including solar panels, high grade insulation and low emissivity glass. Energy bills for traditional houses of this size would typically be £5,000 to £10,000 a year.
Buyers of three of the homes will be allowed a hand in the design and can request additions including a swimming pool. An open weekend is being held on April 27 to 28, hosted by Beadnall Copley, tel 01423 503500 for an appointment. THE Government’s Help to Buy scheme could be available to almost every street in Yorkshire, according to analysis by Deloitte Real Estate.
The £5.4bn package is designed to help people get on the housing ladder by making funding and guarantees available for purchases up to the value of £600,000.
However, the North-South divide in property prices means that £600,000 threshold covers a far greater percentage of properties in Yorkshire than it does in the South East. Help to Buy includes a scheme starting in April 2014 to lend borrowers up to 20 per cent of the value of a new build home, while the other provides a mortgage guarantee for those small deposits and is set to be launched in January.
SITTING TARGET: A Carmel sofa from Poliform North, £3,858 plus VAT, top; above from left, fabrics from Fabric and Co., Harrogate; a Cheese stool, £306 plus VAT; and a Concorde table £2,585 plus VAT