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Bring 4th of July celebrations to your home

American bedroom

With the 4th July approaching, here’s some ideas for taking inspiration from American Independence Day.  

Home décor

Country inspired home décor is growing ever more popular. There are so many ways you can add a country’s colours or flag into your home décor, from subtle accessories to statement wallpaper.

Accessories

A great subtle way to bring the American theme into your home is with accessories such as wall art and candles, or you could use a large flag of the country of your choice as a wall hanging.

Soft furnishings

Bedding, throws and cushions are an easy way to bring a theme into your home, which can be simply changed.

If you like statement furniture and upcycling you could upholster a chair with American themed material, such as a stars and stripes flag or bandanas.

Decorating

If you want to make a bolder statement with your American-theme you can do so with wallpaper or painting with red, white and blue. We have an American themed room in one of our show homes - it’s a perfect look for a teenager’s bedroom.

For decorating tips and information read our blog.

Entertaining

The fourth of July is an awesome excuse to host an American themed get together. Here are our tips on entertaining at home this Independence Day.

Table decorations

Good House Keeping suggest using red, white and blue crepe paper to make your own table runner, their instructions are really simple and it’ll be easy to tidy away when your guests leave.

Cover your outdoor cushions with bandanas - to do so all you’ll need is two bandanas and ribbon, this will instantly add American spirt to your garden. 

For more 4th of July themed DIY projects for the whole family click here.

Food

There is nothing more American than having a BBQ to celebrate 4th of July. Read our National BBQ week blog for lots of grilling tips!

Other classic American themed dishes include:


Dessert

You can use your desserts to bring out the American colours. Make blue and red jellies, ideally leave them to set in clear bowls and you can use their vibrant colour to add to the table decoration. If you’re a baker, make cupcakes and ice them with red, white or blue icing.

If you fancy a more refreshing dessert try the classic Key Lime Pie, follow Jamie Oliver’s recipe to really impress your guests.

After all that delicious food it’s now time to kick back and relax in your garden.

If you are new to home décor read our decorating top tips blog

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Success in NHBC Pride in the Job Awards

NHBC

We have once again proved our commitment to excellence as 15 of our site mangers have received Quality Awards in the 2015 NHBC Pride in the Job Awards. Dedicated to recognising and rewarding outstanding site managers, the Awards, which are in their 35th year, are the UK house-building industry’s most prestigious honours.   

It always gives us great pride to see our site managers receive recognition for their hard work and commitment to building our homes safely and to the highest quality.

Site managers are judged on a number of criteria including consistency of high standards, leadership, technical expertise, interpretation, health and safety and ‘the X factor’ – something special which sets the site manager apart.

Later on this year the winners of a Quality Award will be given the opportunity to compete for a coveted NHBC Seal of Excellence Award.

Our 15 site managers who received a Quality Award are:

David Mathie - Dalmore Mill, Penicuik
Jim Martin - Roselea, Rosewell
Kris Aitchison - Liberty Park, Bathgate
Paul Ritchie - Wheatfields, Seaton Delaval
Simon Robson - The Meadows, Durham
Bill Hughes - Birkacre Park, Chorley
Ian Lively - The Potteries, Lancaster
Wayne Eccles - Millers Green, Morecambe
Mark Atherton - Barley Green, Warrington
Andy Halladay - Montgomerie Gardens, Clitheroe
Dan Johnson - Norton Green, Sheffield
Simon Ryan - Harlow One, Harrogate
Vic Young - The Meadows, Ollerton
Garry Bowler - The Portlands, Chesterfield
Matt Barnes - Admirals Wood, Sarisbury Green 

Well done to everyone involved and we wish them the very best of luck in the next round later in the year!

Chris Endsor
Chief Executive
Miller Homes

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Enjoy the Wimbledon action from your home

Tennis

With Wimbledon starting next week, tennis fever is once again sweeping across the country. For those of us who can’t be court side there is no reason why you can’t bring a little bit of Wimbledon to your home. Here is our top tips Wimbledon-themed get together.

What to eat

When you think of foods associated with tennis, first to spring to mind is the Wimbledon classic of strawberries and cream. The tradition of serving strawberries began in 1953 and the cream was added to create the winning combination in 1970. If you’re a baker add a tennis theme to your food – our favourites are tennis ball macaroons or tennis themed cupcakes. 

If you’re making larger meals as part of your Wimbledon party, you could make player inspired meals – haggis, neeps and tatties for Murray, burger or hotdog for Serena Williams, paella for Ferrer etc. BBC’s Good Food has a full selection of Wimbledon inspired food ideas.

You can also decorate your table with a tennis theme using an artificial grass runner and fill vases with tennis balls.

What to drink

A fruity refreshing drink is perfect for all the family on summer days. We suggest filling a jug with ice, mint leaves, sliced cucumber, sliced orange and strawberries and then pour over lemonade – although our preference is for pink lemonade!

If you’re looking for a health kick try a green booster fruit drink, the following ingredients should serve four. One whole cantaloupe melon, two celery stalks, one apple, 1/4-inch piece of ginger blend then top with sparkling water, you can rim the glass with salt, use lime wedges as a garnish and serve away.

What to wear

Wimbledon has always held a strict dress code for players although the rules have been relaxed in recent years for Centre Court spectators. White is the first colour that comes to mind when you think of tennis, you could go all out with full on whites or just wear a white top or jeans. You can add in other Wimbledon related colours such as the official colours of the club, purple and green.

Otherwise dress like a spectator following in the court-side fashion footsteps of Kate Middleton or Kim Murray.

Props and games

You can encourage your guests to bring tennis racquets and ball – just make sure there is no indoor tennis! If you need a break from watching the matches from the sofa you could invite your guests outside for a game of swing ball.

If all this tennis fever is leaving you feeling inspired, look into local tennis clubs in your area. It’s a great way to get active for all the family! Our location blogs highlight some of the great clubs and activities available near our developments.

Visit our Pinterest boards for inspiration on entertaining at home and summer recipes to try.

Image by Lemsipmatt and licensed via Creative Commons. 

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Preparing your home for guests

Preparing for guests

It can be great fun having guests to stay in your home. As a host you want your guests to feel comfortable, relaxed and welcome. Our tips on preparing for your visitors will help to make you a super-host.

Give your home the once over

Give your entire home a thorough clean by hoovering, mopping, disinfectant all countertops and bathrooms. If you’re looking for tips on giving your home a once over read our cleaning blog

Preparing the guest room

Make sure you have a guest bedroom or sleeping arrangements sorted before your guests arrive. If you have a guest bedroom make sure it is ready by giving it a good clean and putting on fresh bedding. Scatter cushions and a throw can help to dress the bed. You could also buy fresh flowers and a scented candle which will both look and smelling lovely.

Other items to lay out for your guest

- Towels

- Dressing robe

- Slippers

- Hairdryer

- Mirror

- Note of wifi password

Make space in your spare room by moving personal items which will give your guests a little space to unpack some on their items, making them to feel more at home.

If you don’t have a spare room work out other sleeping arrangements, e.g. you might need an inflatable air mattress which are relatively inexpensive, comfortable and can be inflated easily.

Bathroom

Your bathroom should be welcoming to guests, so put away personal items, empty the bin and you could find a fab use for all the miniature products you have collected from hotels, by leaving them out for guests to use.

Having a colour scheme in your bathroom can make it more visually appealing. You can add a colour scheme into your bathroom with towels, bathmats and accessories.

Stock up

Prior to your guests arriving stock up on food and drinks with them in mind. Find out what they like and check if they have any allergies. To help make meals less stressful for yourself plan ahead and stock up on additional drinks and snacks.

If this is the first time your guests have visited or stayed over at your home, give them a tour, showing them where they will be sleeping and where they can find food and drinks, this will make them feel comfortable.

All that is left to do now is enjoy hosting and entertaining your guests.

We hope this blog has helped to prepare you for your guest coming to stay.

If you are looking for any inspiration for home décor or recipes visit our Pinterest boards.

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Location location location Uddingston

Strathclyde Country Park

Located on the eastern front of Glasgow, with easy access to the city and beyond,Keepers Gate offers a central locale where there is no shortage of activities.

Nestled between two of Scotland’s largest road arteries, the M8 and the M74, Keepers Gate is built on the site of the former Glasgow Zoo.

Just a stone’s throw from the border of North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire the development benefits from a plethora of sports facilities and leisure activities literally on the doorstep.

The Time Capsule in Coatbridge offers fun in the water park with fantastic family friendly flumes and a wave pool, a chance to learn ice skating with skate hire for adults and children, or work those muscles in the centre’s fitness sessions.

If the outdoors is more appealing, Strathclyde Country Park boasts beautiful walks around the grounds, or for those seeking the thrill of the water, the park was home to the Commonwealth Rowing Championships at last year’s Games.

Nearby Drumpellier County Park offers picnic spots along its two lochs and guided ranger walks for those looking to learn more about the park and its rich abundance of flora and fauna.

For those with a love of birdies, bogies and eagles, there are over six excellent golf courses in the immediate vicinity to choose from. In fact Keepers Gate is adjacent to Calderbraes Golf course, Glasgow’s best 9 hole golf course that welcomes non-members to its pay and play course.

If it’s doing something to wile away a rainy day, shopaholics can spend their time at Glasgow Fort or the Buchanan Galleries, while the children watch the latest film release or go bowling at the Showcase complex.

Alongside all the activities and things to do, the area also benefits from support from the Broomhouse Community Council, an active and dynamic group of local people working tirelessly to ensure that their local area is continually improving for all its residents.

For many, location is key. Whether you are bringing up a small family, or planning to do, then there’s lots to take into consideration before making a move. Is it in a nice neighbourhood? Does it have a good community spirit? Can you travel easily to and from home? Is it well enough connected to make the daily commute doable? All these and more are on offer at Keepers Gate.

Success in new house building is often gauged by how many times the properties come back up for sale and the people move on. At Keepers Gate, we’ve found that once buyers get into their dream home they don’t want to move anywhere else.

Image by Carol Motherwell licenced via Creative Commons. 

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