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Miller Homes' Magnificent Milestone

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2014 is a very special year for Miller Homes as we celebrate our 80th anniversary. 

Much has happened since we first started building homes in Edinburgh back in the 1930s, and now, over 100,000 new homes on, we’re keen to share with you the story of how Miller Homes came to be one of the UK’s leading housebuilders.

Over the coming weeks and months, and indeed throughout this anniversary year, we will explain Miller Homes’ fascinating history in bite-sized chunks.  We will use this blog as well as our various social media platforms to tell our story; celebrating how far we’ve come and detailing some of the milestones we’ve passed along the way.

Keep an eye on both our Twitter and Facebook feeds for a regular stream of interesting facts on the evolution of Miller Homes; and be sure to follow us on Pinterest to see a range of historic Miller Homes photographs.

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How to Bring the Outdoors In

600354_300px As the weather finally starts to improve it seems everyone is eager to spend more and more time outside.  However, although the sun may be shining there is still a nip in the air, so we thought we would share a few handy hints and tips to help bring the outdoors in.

There is no better way to create an indoor/outdoor environment than using fabrics and furniture inspired by nature.  Such materials are not only perfect for this time of year to get you in the mood for summer, but ideal all year round too.

The use of natural materials can be a subtle way of bringing a more outdoorsy feel to a home.  Wood, slate and stone effect materials are all popular for kitchen top surfaces and flooring and can be lovely and cool underfoot on a warm summer’s day.

If you’re looking for an understated look, wooden furniture can add a rustic or outdoorsy feeling to any room. Vintage-inspired pieces dominated the trends during 2013 and we can expect to see a lot more wooden furniture retaining that vintage feel throughout 2014.  

A feature wall can also add a dramatic focal-point to a room.  Using floral wallpaper or one inspired by nature can help you achieve a botanical look in your home.  However, if wallpaper isn’t your thing, nature inspired colours like olive green, mustard yellow and lights browns will help create the look.  Alternatively consider adding some striking wall art to help bring the outdoors in.

Many of our homes, such as The Darwin a three bedroom semi-detached, or the four bedroom detached Glenmuir, include double French doors that open from the living room directly out to the garden. Take advantage of this fabulous feature when entertaining guests or enjoying lazy summer evenings - after all, there’s no better way of enjoying the beautiful outdoors and nature than from your own back garden.  

If you want real hands on inspiration, why not pop along to one of our Choices Centres where we have a whole range of flooring, carpets, kitchens and bathrooms to offer ideas for your home. We’re sure you’ll love the range and how we can help bring a little more sunshine into your home.

For more inspiring ideas on how to bring the outside in, visit our Pinterest board.
 


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Location, Location, Location - Castle Donington

castledonington As we continue our blog series highlighting some of the most sought after places to live in the UK, it’s time to pay a visit to Castle Donington in the East Midlands.

There’s certainly something special about Castle Donington, after all, it has three different counties all trying to claim it as their own. Technically, the village is part of North West Leicestershire. However, it also has a Derbyshire postcode and sits on the Nottinghamshire border for good measure.

Either way, there’s no denying the charm of the area and it’s easy to see why our Weavers Court development on the edge of the village, is fast becoming one of our most desirable in the region. 

Castle Donington can be found at the edge of the National Forest and has a population of circa 7,000 people. Its history dates back over 1,500 years, when the name Donington was first recorded by Saxon tribes. The village has certainly come a long way since the days of Viking hordes making settlements there, but Castle Donington still remains proud of its long history. Not only can it be seen in the architecture of the area, with several beautiful timber-framed buildings and Donington Hall, some of which was built using stone from a former castle, but also the village even has its own museum.  

It’s Castle Donington’s ability to blend its rich history, with everything required for modern day living, that makes it top of the wish list for many buyers in the area.

Firstly, its location makes Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester easily accessible, allowing residents to combine city working and rural living. When it comes to going further afield, you won’t have too far to travel to jet off on your holiday or business trip either, as East Midlands Airport is easily accessible from the village. 

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Castle Donington is a sleepy place to live. It’s certainly peaceful, but it also has a host of local amenities to offer. 

Its thriving high street includes some household names, as well as a great selection of independent stores. There’s also a Farmer’s Market every second Saturday, with a whole host of fresh produce on offer. For those seeking out bargains, nearby Donington Park hosts a Sunday Market and car boot sale. 

As well as proving a haven for hagglers, Donington Park also offers exciting entertainment options for the whole family, from high profile motor-sports events and exhibitions, to concerts and one-off shows. 

The same family friendly atmosphere can be felt throughout the village. Not only is it home to several high performing schools, dental and medical practices, and Breedon Priory Golf Club, which has its own gym and swimming pool, but being so close to the National Forest, there’s over 200 square miles of woodland to explore on your doorstep. 

Throw in an excellent selection of pubs and restaurants and it’s easy to see why Castle Donington ticks so many boxes for so many people. 

For more on Weavers Court and other developments, visit our website

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Become an Energy Superhero this Earth Hour

Earth Hour With backing from celebrity superstars such as The Amazing Spider-man’s Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, WWF’s Earth Hour is fast approaching and this year you can transform into your own superhero by switching off for an hour this Saturday (March 29th).

Earth Hour is the world’s biggest celebration of our planet with millions of people from across the globe coming together in a symbolic and spectacular light-outs display to show support for action on climate change and for more sustainable planet.

CO2 emissions are the cause of climate change and global warming.  The primary source of CO2 in the UK is electricity generation, responsible for a third of the nation’s emissions.  Changing the way we use electricity in our homes can help to significantly reduce our emissions and has the added benefit of saving us money in our electricity bills.

In support of our pledge to create A Better Place through our new sustainability strategy, we have compiled some top tips on how we can all make a difference around the home and take the step towards a brighter future. 

• Turn off any electrical appliances instead of leaving them on standby.  A computer left on 24 hours a day can add £50 a year to your energy bills and appliances left on standby can account for 10% of your electricity bill. 
• Defrost fridges and freezers regularly to improve efficiency and don’t put hot food in the fridge.  Let it cool down first.
• Putting radiator panels behind your radiators could save you up to 20% on energy bills, whilst ditching window blinds and making a style statement with thick curtains will help to keep your home insulated. 
• Invest in an eco-kettle.  Most people boil enough water for six cups of tea when they are only drinking one. An eco-kettle is an inexpensive way of being energy efficient and bringing down your electricity bills*

Since the officially launch in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to engage with more than 7,000 cities and towns. The event is held worldwide towards the end of March annually, encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

Earth Hour 2014 starts at 8:30pm locally on Saturday March 29th. For further information on how you can help, click here.

For further information on our sustainability strategy, A Better Place, please click here.

*Sources: The Energy Saving Trust, ElectrictyInfo.org

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Tackling the Property Ladder

Help to Buy logo The term 'property ladder' is often referred to in house buying circles; namely: how to get on it, and how to climb it!

A recent report commissioned by HSBC is suggests that the ladder just got a whole lot steeper with over 3.3 million 20-34 year olds still living with their parents in 2013. Here we share a few ways that could help you step onto the first rung and tackle the climb!

• Could you get Help to Buy?

If you're a buyer who only has a small deposit you may be eligible for the Government scheme, Help to Buy. The scheme offers assistance for buyers who only have a small deposit of around 5% through the provision of a 20% equity loan from the Government for those who meet the qualifying criteria. This means that buyers only need to secure up to a 75% mortgage from a bank or building society.

• Could you swap old for new?

If you already own your own home you could use our unique Home Exchange scheme which allows you to swap your old home for a brand new Miller one (subject to qualifying criteria). So if your house is bursting at the seams, or you've got more space than you know what to do with, this may just work for you. And, not only can you upgrade your home you can downsize too.

• Keeping it in the family

If you're struggling to save for a deposit then it's possible that your family could help. Our 'Family Deposit' scheme means that if your family are in a position to help you out we will reward them with a lump sum equivalent to five years interest (subject to terms, conditions and qualifying criteria).

As our Sales Director for Yorkshire, Steve McElroy points out; "Buying any home is a massive investment and we are keen to help and support buyers to make their house buying journey as straight forward as possible.

“It is important that we understand all sectors of the market and, with our selection of purchase initiatives coupled with our great selection of homes across the country, we are able to help hundreds of buyers in the UK achieve their dreams each year."

For further information regarding our involvement with Help to Buy and Help to Buy (Scotland), please click here.

For information on our developments please visit our website.

In England & Wales Help to Buy loans are provided by the Government's Homes & Community Agency (HCA) and are secured over your new home.  In Scotland Help to Buy assistance is provided by the Scottish Government and is secured over your new home.  YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.

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