• Wood panelling, avocado bathrooms and built in bars named as fixtures most likely to put UK homebuyers off
  • On average UK homebuyers would reduce their offer by a massive £5,000 if a property still had an avocado bathroom
  • 324,000 UK homes still have outdated avocado bathroom suites

Research into the nation’s most hated retro décor trends by has revealed the 10 interior design trends most likely to devalue your home are:

  1. Wood panelling (46% of UK homebuyers wouldn’t buy a property if it still had old fashioned wood panelling)
  2. Avocado bathrooms (44%)
  3. Built-in bars (41%)
  4. Woodchip (41%)
  5. Artex ceilings (40%)
  6. Heavily patterned carpet (35%)
  7. Textured wallpaper (34%)
  8. Crazy paving (33%)
  9. Brick fireplaces (33%)
  10. Built in wardrobes over the bed (30%)

According to the study, UK homebuyers would look to knock £4,877.46 off the purchase price of a property if it still had an outdated avocado bathroom suite. One in six of us (16%) would expect to pay at least £5,000 less and 6% of 25-34 year olds would seek a price reduction of at least £10,000.

New year – new bathroom?

It would seem despite the nation’s love for all things interior design, just over one per cent of the British public (1.2%) still have one of the infamous avocado suites lurking in their bathroom – this equates to a staggering 324,000 of the notorious green eyesores still at large in the UK.

The Avocado Amnesty

Following the results from the research, has launched an ‘Avocado Amnesty’ to help the nation upgrade their bathrooms. The bathroom retailer has pledged to help every avocado bathroom owner get a stylish new bathroom they can be proud of – from a complete bathroom makeover, to free baths and more.

If you are, or you know someone who is still living like it’s the 70s, head to the Avocado Amnesty here.

Almost three quarters of the UK (75%) think avocado bathroom suites are ugly and three out of four people (71%) say if they bought a new home and it had an avocado bathroom suite, it would be the first thing they’d rip out. But despite this, a fifth of UK homeowners (20%) confess they’ve never updated their bathroom, and around a quarter of the UK (23%) admit to being embarrassed by their outdated bathroom when their friends come over to visit.

Commercial Director at, Harshad Gorasia commented “Once upon a time, avocado bathroom suites were the height of fashion and a statement feature for homes up and down the UK, but now they tend to look tired, outdated and in need of recycling. Given that so many of us have never updated our bathrooms, it’s not surprising to see there are still over 300,000 in the country. More than half of the nation says a relaxing bath is their favourite way to unwind and de-stress, so we think everyone should have a bathroom they’re proud of, where they can relax, switch off and have a good soak at the end of a long day.”

Image: St James’s Market, London Portland limestone: Fancy Beach Whitbed; Grove Whitbed; and Jordan Whitbed from Albion Stone (Stand E6)

Returning for its 12th edition, the Natural Stone Show remains the only UK exhibition and conference dedicated to natural stone. Thousands of architects, designers, developers, stonemasons, wholesalers and retailers will flock to London’s ExCeL this April to see exhibitors from across the globe and enjoy 3 days of seminars; each seeking inspiration and advice for their next stone project.

If your marketplace is stone slabs, tiling or block; CNC machinery; diamond tooling; the latest fixing systems; sealants, adhesives, cleaning materials or another related product or service, then the Natural Stone Show is for you.

Natural Stone Show

Image: The Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge – England using Crosland Hill Hard Yorkstone paving from Johnsons Wellfield (Stand E25)

Natural Stone Show

Image: Private project, London   Silver travertine crafted by Ateliers Romeo (stand P16)

Register here for free tickets.

Forbo Flooring Systems has developed a new Flotex Plank collection, allowing users to create stunning, contemporary floor designs for areas where safety, hygiene and well-being are priorities.

Combining the comfort of carpet, the durability of a resilient floor covering and the design versatility of a plank format, the new design collection lends itself perfectly to contemporary workspaces, as well as high traffic areas such as hotels and transport hubs.

Offering six new designs: Triad, Box-cross, Lava, Seagrass, Concrete and Wood, in plank sizes of 100x25cm, the collection provides endless design possibilities, from colourful and complex layouts to minimal, sophisticated aesthetics, which use shape and pile direction to create a stimulating floor pattern.

Julie Dempster, Marketing Manager at Forbo, said: “With people now spending an estimated 80-90% of their time indoors, the industry is now recognising the impact creating healthy interiors can have on the well-being of a building’s occupants. This new collection combines the outstanding indoor air quality performance of Flotex with surprising designs and a modular format, so users don’t have to choose between functionality and high design.”

Flotex has been awarded the prestigious “Seal of Approval” from Allergy UK as, with the correct cleaning regime, it will not harbour dust mites. Thanks to the anti-microbial treatment Sanitized®, Flotex also offers constant protection against mould odours and bacteria, including MRSA and E-coli

Julie concludes: “At Forbo, it’s the company’s ambition to design and manufacture floor coverings that benefit every individual by helping to provide safe, hygienic and comfortable living and working environments. The Flotex Plank collection contains 67% recycled content (by weight) and is 100% waterproof, which means that only water and standard materials are required for an effective clean, using minimal hazardous chemicals that would have a detrimental effect on the building’s environment. “

For more information please telephone 0844 822 3928, email or visit

COMPAC’s Unique Calacatta quartz worksurface offers a stunning contrasting grey veining design on a pure white background, characteristic of marble.

Inspired by the beauty and elegance of natural stone, Unique Calacatta combines traditional skill with innovation to create a worksurface that makes it possible to decorate homes, apartments, hotels, restaurants, bars and many public spaces with elegant overall compositions that transmit serenity and harmony.

The striking contrast of pure white with the powerful grey veins will give any space clad with Unique Calacatta a truly magnetic personality.

Architects and designers can specify Unique Calacatta for a wide range of projects with the confidence that every reference for this new worksurface is unique, because just like in nature, each slab presents different nuances and patterns in design.

Added to this is an enviable set of technical specifications, the natural hardness of quartz comes hand in hand with a waterproof, hygienic finish offering even greater resistance.
This means that Unique Calacatta is especially appropriate for intensive use areas such as kitchen and bathroom worksurfaces, floor tiling or wall cladding.

For further information about Unique Calacatta visit or

A coffee-table visual delight is published by Armstrong Ceilings.

Proof that ceilings are no longer an afterthought in the design and build process is contained within the glossy new A Book for 2017 from Armstrong.

While they hide unsightly soffits, reflect light, help to control the air quality, acoustics and temperature of a building space, and resist bacteria, ceilings are now all this and so much more – stunning designs guaranteed to inspire no matter the environment.

And those stunning designs, dozens of them, are showcased within the 82-page coffee table-style brochure that snapshots new-build and refurbishments projects from the retail and leisure, education, office, healthcare and transport sectors throughout Europe.

UK projects include metal tiles and baffles at the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington, Axiom Knife edge canopies with integrated lighting at CFC Underwriting’s offices in London, wood tiles on a black bandraster grid at Global Mining and Resource Company’s offices in London, and a bespoke orange metal ceiling and wall at The Contact Company’s call centre in The Wirral.

Other European projects include metal baffles and open-cell metal ceilings at Ernst & Young in Poland, Optima canopies at Pitney Bowes in Italy, metal baffles at H&M’s central European main store in Hungary and mesh metal ceilings for multi-media centre Mediathèque de Caen in France.

Armstrong’s office in Prague also features in the book, with, understandably, the complete portfolio – mineral canopies and baffles, metal canopies, wood tiles and the first ceiling system comprising mineral tiles and grid to be awarded Cradle to Cradle certification.

The manufacturer’s 150-year-old pedigree means all this comes with unparalleled expertise so the design process is simplified in a “Less is more” fashion.

A two-minute video presentation of the A Book is available to view via

The A Book for 2017 is available to download from and also features on the Armstrong Ceiling Systems app available from both the Apple store as well as the Google Play store, or by clicking on one of the links below with your mobile device or

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is announced last week that Murphy House in Edinburgh by Richard Murphy Architects is the 2016 RIBA House of the Year, sponsored by Hiscox Home Insurance. Take a look round with Buildingspecifier:

This five-level house is a surprising addition to an otherwise conservative sandstone terraced street in Edinburgh’s UNESCO-listed New Town. Built on an awkward plot at the end of a terrace, Richard Murphy has designed for himself a deeply personal space filled with tricks, surprises and references to his own design heroes. From a hidden bath in the master bedroom and a folding corner wall, to sliding bookshelf ladders that glide around the subterranean library, this house is filled with a unique and spirited charm. Murphy, inspired by the work of the late Carlo Scarpa, a 20th century Italian architect has created a house full of pure, beautiful craftsmanship.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said “The Murphy House is this year’s best example of how to overcome challenging constraints – from planning restrictions and an awkward site in an urban location – to build a stunning house. Plus the architect overcame one of the biggest obstacles: a demanding client – himself!

“Nearly a decade in the making, this house is a true labour of love for Richard. Part jigsaw puzzle, with its hidden and unexpected spaces, and part Wallace and Gromit with its moving pieces and disappearing walls, this is a model house of pure perfection and a worthy winner of the RIBA House of the Year 2016.”

Architect Richard Murphy commented: “We celebrated our 25th birthday last month and to receive this award is a wonderful present with such astonishing levels of public interest. It’s our 21st RIBA award, and takes its place in a long line of awards for buildings small and large and for whole variety of types including domestic, educational, health, arts and a new British Embassy. It emphasises yet again that the practice demonstrates both great versatility and consistently high quality in all its work current and past. It’s been a huge pleasure to develop a lifetime’s themes and now it gives me great pleasure to live there.”

House of the Year judge, Philip Thorn from Hiscox described his reasons for picking Murphy house as this year’s winner, saying “Murphy House was a real box of tricks with a unique, playful character. Although a small property, it was deceivingly large inside due to the clever use of space. Every room contained a surprise and the attention to detail was exceptional. The roof terrace was a real oasis of calm and I loved the long list of environmentally friendly touches. A true pleasure to visit and I would imagine a lot of fun to live in.”

Take the tour below:

The patients and staff of Chorley Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre can view the colourful life of the ocean’s coral beds, thanks to Forbo Flooring Systems’ digitally printed vinyls that allow designers and specifiers to create completely bespoke floor coverings without compromising on quality.

David Simmons, Interior Designer at Frank Whittle Partnership said: “We wanted to create a stimulating and vibrant environment for the patients and staff of the hospital, and one that they would be proud of. A range of Forbo’s floor coverings was specified for the project including Eternal and digitally printed vinyl, as the vibrant colours and the ability to create bespoke designs fitted the brief perfectly.”

For the children’s waiting area, an underwater scene of colourful tropical fish was digitally printed onto vinyl flooring to create a playful environment for the young patients to enjoy, and to distract them at what could be a traumatic or upsetting time.


Throughout the corridors, reception and main waiting areas of the centre, David chose to use Eternal in Silver Chestnut, because of its heavy wear resistance and superior appearance retention – key requirements for a busy hospital environment. The natural wooden aesthetic of the floor covering acted as a backdrop for the contrasting bright and vibrant Eternal colourways installed in the wards and consulting rooms of the centre and at the reception desks. Shades such as Petrol Sparkle, an eye-catching blue, and Honey Sparkle, a mustard-like tone, were installed to brighten up the wards and create a very individual environment.

David continued: “We also interspersed blocks of bright Eternal colours throughout the waiting areas. These blocks matched colours used in rooms on the wards as well as the reception desks and other furniture.

“We are very pleased with the overall design of the hospital and we were very fortunate to have a forward-thinking client that was brave enough to embrace the colourful design scheme.”

Forbo’s Eternal range is coated with a PUR Pearl finish which makes floors easy to clean and ensures low lifecycle costs – ideal for hospitals where budgets are tight and where staff and patients require a hygienic environment in which to work and be treated.

For more information please call 0844 822 3928, email or visit

Armstrong Ceilings has further simplified its ground-breaking TechZone™ system, which was the industry’s first easy-to-specify-and-install ceiling solution with integrated technical services, to be offered as a standard solution.

TechZone™, which was pioneering when it was launched in 2009, is now available as four standard layouts which easily organise lighting, air diffusers and returns into 100mm and 150mm wide technical zones.

A range of compatible fixtures from Armstrong’s partner companies for the building services elements (Trox for air diffusers and XAL and Zumtobel for lighting) have also been prequalified for fit and finish to give a clean, monolithic look using standard ceiling panels and suspension systems.

All specifiers have to do is design the layout from either Armstrong’s CAD/Revit library or their own imagination, then choose the field panels, technical panels, suspension systems and perimeter treatments.

Field panels are Armstrong’s Ultima+ and Ultima+ OP, Perla and Perla OP 0.95 and Optima mineral tiles and planks with Microlook 90 or SL2 edge profiles. These tiles and planks deliver environmentally and acoustically as Perla OP 0.95 was the first mineral tile in the world to be Cradle to Cradle certified, the Ultima+ range was the first mineral ceiling tile range in the world to be Cradle to Cradle certified, and the suspension system – the Prelude 15 XL2 grid – is now also Cradle to Cradle certified, making the complete system (tiles and grid) the ultimate green ceiling system. In addition, Perla OP 0.95, Ultima+ OP and Optima all deliver to sound absorption Class A.

The improved TechZone™ system has enabled Armstrong to meet the growing trend for linear lighting.

At the same time, Armstrong has teamed up with XAL Lighting to launch the On Centre linear lighting solution. It makes it even easier for architects and specifiers to create inspiring ceiling designs with higher ceiling heights, zero plenum interference and on-centre continuous or non-continuous layouts.

The unique solution is designed to be installed as a full new system but it can also be retrofitted to existing 600mm by 600mm ceiling modules to bring an even cleaner monolithic visual to open and closed-plan spaces in buildings such as offices, schools, hospitals and retail outlets.

The integrated system allows the high-performance XAL Leno Grid Led luminaire to be installed from below to eliminate the requirement for ceiling re-work when it is specified with factory-finished Armstrong ceilings panels (Ultima+, Ultima+ OP and Perla OP 0.95) and the Prelude 15 XL2 suspension system. It also integrates with Axiom pre-engineered perimeter systems and transitions and can be incorporated into canopies.

Architects and designers simply follow the TechZone™ specification phases of choosing a standard layout or creating their own, then choosing their panels, suspension systems, perimeter treatment and accessories. Armstrong’s 600mm by 600mm mineral tiles are typically used throughout, with the 600mm by 550mm brought in when there is a linear light to fit. Lighting strips can be as long as 2,400mm.

The new premium system gives an ultra-contemporary visual with the narrow 100mm linear lighting centred on the grid using standard ceilings and suspension systems to create custom looks. The lighting goes between and parallel to the grid main runners so only requires an additional hanger for installation, making it as quick and easy to install as standard systems.

TechZone™ incorporating linear lighting has its own dedicated CAD drawings available from Armstrong’s Architectural Specialities office and is covered by Armstrong’s 30-year system warranty*.

*For the Armstrong components, not XAL’s.

For more information please visit

Mapei’s products were specified to help represent the epitome of sophisticated city living in an apartment redevelopment. Mapei products were distributed by Boyden Tiles, Croydon with the project being led by WB Simpsons.

Keraquick and Latex Plus were used on approx. 340m2 of flooring to lay the Domus porcelain 600 x 600 tiles in all the main and ensuite bathrooms plus all of the balconies within the apartment block.

800m2 of wall tiling were fixed using Mapei’s Ultralite S2 – a high performance, lightweight cementitious adhesive with very low emissions of volatile organic compounds. The adhesive, specifically developed for large size tiles to be laid on large surfaces without back buttering, was used to bond Domus Tiles 3m x 1m ‘Kerlite Slim’ porcelain tiles to the walls of the apartments luxury bathrooms and ensuites.

Mapei’s Topcem, was specified as a screed for an area of 120m2 onto external balconies. The quick setting screed allowed the installation of Domus Tiles 200 x 800mm ‘Wood Sense’ porcelain tiles just 24 hours after application.

For more information on Mapei resilient products, other products or training days, please visit, email or tel. +44 (0)121 508 6970.

Encasement is the UK’s only FSC® certified manufacturer of pre-formed plywood pipe boxing and boiler casings, so you can box in boiler pipe work quickly and easily while also ensuring compliance with your company’s sustainable procurement policy.

Every Encasement boiler casing carries a full FSC® ‘Chain of Custody’ certification from the Forest Stewardship Council to verify that the timber used is from sustainable and managed sources, so you don’t have to worry about compliance.

They’re quick and easy to fit on-site too. As our pipe boxing an boiler casings are pre-formed and pre-finished in durable melamine, they can be fitted in less than half the time of site made alternatives and are easily removed for boiler servicing and maintenance, which saves time and money on every service visit.

Further savings can be made as our casings can be easily fitted by heating engineers or plumbers at the same time the boiler is installed, rather than having to arrange a separate visit for a joiner to box in the unsightly pipework. ‘One visit – one fit’. It really is that simple.

With Encasement boiler pipe casings, less is definitely, more:

  • Less time
  • Less cost
  • Less travel
  • Less disruption
  • Less hassle

Encasement FSC® compliant boiler casing. Simple, quick and cost effective – Job Done!

For more information on our boiler pipe casings, please visit:
View our FSC® certificate here
Learn more about our sustainable products here.