Our Social Spotlight blog series is back. Over the next few months, we have an exciting line-up of wonderful Cala Instagrammers who will give you an insight into their Cala home, their interior inspirations and tips for those looking to buy a new build.

This month we caught up with Karen from Home with a Pom. Read on to find out why she choose The Darroch housetype, her favourite space within her new home and her top interior trend for this year.



  • Name: Karen
  • Instagram account: @homewithapom
  • Housetype: The Darroch
  • Development: Hazeldene Lea, Newton Mearns
  • #CalaPets?: A two year old Pomeranian called Nugget and a 10 month old Chow Chow called BoBo

Hi Karen, thanks for taking part and sharing your insights! We’d love to know why you chose a new build home? And why The Darroch specifically?

My fiancé and I had been looking for a home together for a while and we explored different options from new build homes to homes with a bit of history. After doing some research and watching our friend’s negative experiences with older build homes, we realised that we wanted a blank canvas that we could add our own stamp to without any of the hidden surprises that can happen when purchasing an older home.

The Darroch ticked a number of boxes for us. Most importantly, it offers the space for us to start a family, a commodious kitchen with lots of storage space to hide our clutter and a spacious main bedroom that we can relax in. As we have two dogs, we also wanted a large garden space that will allow them to run about but was also manageable for us at the same time.

Its seems like you’ve had a really positive home journey, tell us what you love about Cala Homes?

I love that the staff at Cala Homes were very friendly and really patient when answering all of our questions we had throughout the buying process. We were particularly interested in the sizes of each home and we liked to compare the square footage of different homes to see what was ultimately the best value. When viewing the showhomes, it was also simple to see that they had thought about the practicality that is required in a family home. For example, having ample storage and wardrobe space, as well as spaces for additional cupboards and furniture.


It’s all about location, location, location. Did this play a big part in your decision? Or did you choose Cala Homes based on the high specification, offering and incentives?

When we first began looking at homes, the location was not our top priority. But after doing some research and looking at our home as a long-term investment, we fell in love with the location of Newton Mearns and therefore Hazeldene Lea won us over.

The high specification definitely contributed to our decision-making process, and we found that Cala offered better specification compared to other developers. When we were considering different homes, we realised these additional extras, such as integrated wardrobes and tiling in bathrooms, meant we were better off getting a home that comes with all these extra little things as standard.

Our friend’s recommendation played a big part in our decision too. Hearing our friend’s positive experience with Cala and reading other reviews on Trustpilot gave us a really positive impression of Cala Homes. The Recommend a Friend incentive was also an added bonus.

Can you tell our readers how your overall buying experience was, and did use any of Cala’s offers or incentives?

We were able to visit the showhomes and development multiple times before making that final decision to reserve The Darroch. The staff at Hazeldene Lea were accommodating and were able to answer all of our questions which helped us decide on the house type we wanted. When we were choosing our tiling and cupboard colours, we were able explore different options and the staff helped us bring our vision to life. The only downside was that our estimated completion date was delayed due to reserving our home during lockdown.

Cala were flexible with their offers which felt very tailored to our individual needs. For example, being able to choose our own optional upgrades for the home instead of being restricted to stick with just the one curtain and flooring pack.

We love how you’ve designed your home. How did you decide on the colour scheme and tiling of your kitchen and bathrooms?

I like to keep ‘fixed’ features such as tiling, flooring and cupboard doors towards a more neutral palette and use decorative items such as chairs and wall décor to layer the room to add my own personality. Tiling and flooring are features in a room that can’t be changed as easily as decorative items, so in the future when interior trends become ‘outdated’ or my preferences change, it will be a more cost-effective way to accommodate my style without breaking the bank!

We would love to know where you look for home inspiration?

Before buying, we visited various showhomes to get inspiration from different interior designers and integrate elements that we liked from each style. Now I enjoy browsing through Instagram for decorative ideas and creative ways to decorate our home. Once I have a general idea of what I want, it is much easier to narrow down my choices and I feel less overwhelmed when going into shops or searching online for that right piece of furniture/décor.


Do you have any favourite interior trends at the moment?

I like the idea of using sculptural shapes around the home and the use of bolder colours to add some character to the room. Overall, I think my favourite interior trend is the modern glamourous décor that combines metallic, neutral and an accent colour. Think brass accent decor, marble surfaces, velvet furniture and dramatic lightings. I feel the softness of velvet balances the coldness of metal which provides an interesting contrast and texture. Using velvet in my home also allows me to add some bright and intense colours to the room to give it a more comfy but luxurious feel.

This might be a hard one…What features of your home do you love best? Or do you have a favourite room?

This is a tough choice! There are so many features of the Darroch that we love. Overall, I think the kitchen is our favourite room because the island creates an open space that is welcoming and makes me want to cook more often. It is also the room that we use the most. The amount of kitchen cupboards that come with the Darroch is a bonus too. After looking at multiple developers and different house types, nothing can beat a Cala kitchen - it just ticks all of the boxes for us.

Other features such as the vestibule is great because I don’t need to worry about the dogs escaping through the front door. Having a generous hallway upstairs gives the home a grander impression, which was something we didn’t realise we would appreciate. The Darroch, for us, is definitely a home that is practical and easy to maintain while giving us the space to grow as a family.

For those reading this who are thinking of purchasing a new home, what would be your best advice?

After spending so long looking for our ideal home, I would recommend always doing plenty of research. Compare different locations, developers, internal and external finishes and layouts. It’s also useful to visit the surrounding area so you can get a feel of what’s nearby before you move in.

Secondly, always make a list of all the things you want in a home. We always wanted a house with practical living spaces and plenty of storage throughout – most new build homes don’t have a lot of storage. Thankfully, Cala caters to this, however have a think about ways you could create more storage if needed.

Finally, be patient and never rush into reserving a home that you might regret, remember you need to live in it every day!


For more information on our homes for sale at Newton Mearns or any of our other developments across the UK, visit our Homes for Sale page. Look out for our next Social Spotlight blog coming soon and make sure to tag us in your photos @calahomes

Cala News & Lifestyle

The design of a home doesn’t stop at the door... We are passionate about sustainable and inclusive communities. Our homes look good together, mature well over time and sit well within their surroundings.
First time buyers make their dream move

First time buyers make their dream move

Couple reserve first home during lockdown separation

Couple reserve first home during lockdown separation

Couple up-size to Café Fields

Couple up-size to Café Fields

Purchasers embrace flexible living at Amlets Place

Purchasers embrace flexible living at Amlets Place

Arrow up
CALA Homes