I’ve been spending a lot of time recently working for one of my clients, Persimmon Homes, providing a staging and styling service for some of their new showhome sites.
It’s exciting work. Fast-paced, often with a quick-turn around and sometimes working on sites were the plaster has barely dried. But what I really love about this work is that each design project is totally different so my creativity can be unleashed!
I’m not going to lie, when I first began working on commercial interior design projects, it was a radical departure from working on interior design projects for residential environments. To go from the greys and neutrals that private clients often request for their own homes, to providing striking design statements needed for a show home was a steep learning curve. I’ve created showhomes that include a mini car theme at Persimmon Homes Longbridge development, on the site of the old MG Rover car factory and a commonwealth games theme at the Perry Park development, close to where the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held. Have a look at my portfolio to see what I created.
But there are some things which are constant, no matter whether it’s residential or commercial interior design. As an interior designer, the most essential, is my ability to listen to what my client wants. No matter what I think or what pre-determined ideas I might have, it is essential to listen to my clients and interpret their words in my plans and concepts. I’m fully aware that commercial clients have to ‘sell-on’ my designs and use them to ultimately sell the plots and homes. So, when I’m creating interior designs and staging ideas for them I have to bear this in mind. I try and interpret their brief, mindful of what it is their customers are going to be looking for over the coming months; what trends are emerging that might influence a home buyer’s decision to purchase or not; what are the ‘wow’ factors that new home buyers are looking for; and ultimately, what is it that will set my client aside from their competition.
I will almost always create a mood board when I’m working on an interior design project. It’s kind a work-in-progress amalgamation of my clients’ wants, interior design trends that I see up-and-coming and a dash of inspirational quirky ‘must-haves’ that I just know will be perfect for that project. Many times, there’s several versions of the final mood board before I present to clients. I may start with a focus on colours, then move onto adding textures with fabrics, window treatments and soft furnishings, then add in focal pieces. At each stage, previous ideas either work and get carried through or get discarded. I’m not precious about an idea. If it isn’t right (and I get a gut feeling as the project evolves), I’ve learnt not to hold on. With interior design, less is definitely more, so refining and editing my mood boards is an essential part of the process.
I source my design ideas from many different places. Online is definitely a first stop but I have my favourite high street and boutique retailers that never fail to provide me with creative ideas too. I’m also building a steady bank of reputable trade suppliers that are my go-to favourites for things like fabric and floor coverings. Showhomes obviously get a lot of traffic so having experts on hand to advise on heavy duty versions of my ideas is essential to ensure the showhomes still look good a few months down the line.
If you’re looking for interior design help, advice or ideas for staging and styling a home, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how I can help. My home staging and property styling service is available to estate agents, private homeowners or new home builders.