Seven houses decorated with jaw-dropping bling

When more is more

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The chalet's golden bathroom.

For years, the prevailing trend in interior decor has been towards schemes as neutral as Switzerland. Walls are white or light grey, furniture is pale wood.

But that's not to everybody's taste. Some people prefer to express their personality more freely in their home, giving it a rather more maximalist style.

From an indoor beach to gilded ceilings, we look at seven houses where more is very much more.

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Hampton Court

One of the beach rooms at the chalet.

Few people realise that the extraordinary chalet at Hampton Court Palace is privately owned - but it is, and it's up for sale. You might think that it's unusual enough to start with, but the way it's been decorated by the current owner takes it to a new level of weird.

From the party rooms containing 40 tons of sandy beach to the gold floor in the master bathroom, the whole place is pure fantasy. Two of the four bedrooms have built-in Japanese 'pod beds' and colour-changing fluorescent lights; doors are made of Swarovski crystal and baths of Indian copper. You'll have to contact agent Sotheby's for the price.

South Kensington, London



Practically every inch of this penthouse flat gleams, thanks to golden doors, a silver kitchen and chandeliers all over the place. Light from the many large windows bounces off the glossy black floors.

The bathrooms feature acres of marble, and there are mirrors everywhere; most of the furniture's shiny too. The three bedrooms are all en-suite, and there's a gym and jacuzzi on the uppermost of the two terraces. But all this glitter will cost you a cool £10 million through agent Foxtons.

Would you live in this unusual house?

Salford


Is it the Trianon palace? One of Donald Trump's hotels? No, it's a large red-brick house in Salford. Outside, only the enormous portico hints at the splendour of the main reception room inside - nearly 30 feet long, with elaborate plasterwork and gilded furniture lit by two huge chandeliers.

The rest of the house is comparatively conventional, apart from one bedroom with a similar elaborate style. There's a bright modern kitchen, two other reception rooms and a conservatory, and two of the seven bedrooms have en-suites. Agent Normie & Co describes the house as 'magnificent' and is asking £1,250,000.

Mayfair, London



Agents Knightsbridge Estate Agents describe this flat, with great enthusiasm, as 'A One-Off, Unique, Super Modern & Contemporary Top Floor Penthouse'. It has three bedrooms, its own lift and two terraces with lovely views.

And unique it certainly is, with virtually every surface and item of furniture in the living room having a reflective finish, from the wallpaper to the dining chairs. The designer furniture, paintings and mirrors are all included in the £3,950,000 price.

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Sheffield

A dramatic hallway.

You know you're in for a bit of drama when even the kitchen has a gold chandelier, fancy plaster ceiling and inlaid marble floor. In this Grade II listed country home near Sheffield, much of the bling is built in, with elaborate plasterwork and fireplaces, a sweeping staircase and galleried hall. But the owners have certainly embraced the grandeur, with dramatic wallpaper, curtains and carpets, and gilded furniture.

Seven-bedroom, six-reception Parkhead Hall is set in three acres of gardens; the price is available on application from agent Blenheim Park Estates.

London NW1

The flat's dramatic lighting.

It's the lighting that really gives this three-bedroom flat its bling. Inset into ceilings and skirting boards, they change colour, giving rooms a different mood at the flick of a switch.

The luxury doesn't stop there, with not one but two cinema screens, measuring 200 inches and 120 inches with 11,000 watt surround sound and Sonos multi-room audio. Music, heating, the multi-coloured lights, televisions and blinds can all be controlled by smartphone. The flat costs £2,200,000 from agent Alvi Real Estate.


Ashley, Cheshire

The living room of the Cheshire house.

Cheshire's footballers and their wives are known for having dramatic tastes, and this four-bedroom house in Ashley certainly lives up to that. Its enormous main reception room boasts marble pillars and rustic beams and is kitted out with enough animal print to fill a zoo.

There's an extraordinary sweeping staircase, and the master bed sits on a marble plinth. Outside, the five and a half acres include a tennis court and river frontage. It costs £1,500,000 from agent Jackson Stops & Staff.


Downton Abbey property for sale

Downton Abbey property for sale