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Five key questions to ask your interior designer

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Charmaine White gives 5 key questions to ask your interior designer

Attempting something for the first time can be overwhelming and hiring an Interior Designer is no exception. Will your visions will align?  Are they qualified professionals? How long will the project take to complete? And most importantly; what is billable? 

Identifying what a client and Interior Designer partnership is going to look like should always be considered at the very beginning. Most Interior Design studios will earmark a certain amount of consultation time without charges before design fees commence.

Interior Designers are experienced professionals who have met with a variety clients and so of course will have their own pre-prepared questions as without detailed thought before an initial consultation clients could feel ‘put on the spot’ and have inaccurate or unrealistic expectations. 

I’ve put together five key questions to ask any Interior Designer as well as five important questions to ask yourself – for clarity and peace of mind from the very beginning of the process!

1. HOW DO I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR DESIGN SERVICE? 

There is a difference between hiring an Interior Designer to that of an Interior Decorator – Interior Designers are technically skilled, experienced and formally trained in executing bespoke structural visions.   All good Interior Design practices will be able to demonstrate skill, knowledge and experience through a portfolio of work. 

If you are presented anything that you don’t understand, technical drawings for example, ask the designer to explain these to you – this will provide you with an even better understanding of both the designers technical knowledge and experience. 

Five key questions to ask your interior designer
2. DO YOU HAVE A PREDEFINED DESIGN STYLE OR ARE YOU ABLE TO DESIGN BASED ON MY AESTHETIC ASPIRATIONS?

Some clients seek a particular Interior Designers services as way of achieving a particular predefined style – which in most cases the designer is well known for, whilst others prefer to work with a designer as a means to finding their own unique aesthetic.  

A reputable designer will be able offer both, catering to the individual client their own vision through various principles. At The White House we consider many factors when designing a space; with an emphasis on textiles, colour, function & ambience, we’ve developed a reputation for capturing the nuances of our clients needs and aspirations.

Five key questions to ask your interior designer
3. ARE YOU ABLE TO WORK TO MY BUDGET, WHICH IS… 

It is extremely important to approach design budgets with a realistic and transparent approach. Experienced designers are able to design spaces which meet budget requirements and will provide honest feedback from the beginning if a budget doesn’t align with the clients aspirations. 

An Interior Designer won’t be able to provide an exact figure for the project as a whole from the very beginning as it takes time to develop a design and to identify the specific associated costs. They will however be able to explain what is billable such as design fees, admin and project management as well as how they invoice and purchasing procedures.

Five key questions to ask your interior designer
4. HOW DOES YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN PROCESS WORK? 

Every interior design studio will have their own processes and structure and will be able to explain this in advance, clearly and concisely. Interior design is a process and takes time, anyone promising short time scales for deliveries should be approached with caution – it’s likely that the work produced will not be thorough. 

Good designers will be working with multiple clients in tandem and producing works catered to each individual client, managed effectively with specific studio time allocated to each client.

Five key questions to ask your interior designer
5. HOW MUCH INVOLVEMENT IS REQUIRED FROM ME? 

The purpose of paying for an Interior Designer is to outsource the time, knowledge and skills required to create a truly tailored, beautiful and functional space so make the most of the opportunity. 

Your Interior Designer should be happy to do everything possible for you, whilst encouraging any feedback and thoughts at key stages during the design process – to ensure their vision aligns with the project brief. As a client it is important to make time for meetings with your designer and to eliminate any distractions so that honest and thoughtful feedback can be used to progress designs in a timely manner.

Guest Columnist & Founder of The White House. Award-winning Interior Designer Charmaine White has an illustrious background in interior design

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Home & Property

Mulberry Homes shares top tips on dealing with stress at home

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Eat healthy in your Mulberry Homes property

Luxury housebuilder Mulberry Homes is sharing its top tips on defusing stress at home this National Stress Awareness Day, taking place on Wednesday 2nd November, to help its residents beat the mania of modern life.

Clear out unwanted clutter - Mulberry Homes

  1. Clear out unwanted clutter

There’s never a perfect opportunity to declutter and sort through all your belongings, but it can be a very cathartic experience. Removing unwanted items from your home can help you focus on the things that really mean a lot to you.

A clear and organised space can help you feel more relaxed, and it’ll be much easier to destress without being surrounded by clutter.

Maintain a healthy sleep schedule - Mulberry Homes

  1. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule

During particularly stressful times, it can be easy to slip into bad habits like not getting enough sleep, which can make the stress worse.

A full night’s sleep will help you to recharge quickly, and provide you with enough energy to get through the busy days.

Eat healthy - Mulberry Homes

  1. Eat healthy

It’s easy to take comfort in junk food, especially with the convenience of takeaways. But eating unhealthily will put your body at a disadvantage when it comes to coping with and recovering from stress.

A healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, is a great way to improve wellbeing. 

Make use of your garden - Mulberry Homes

  1. Make use of your garden

Being in the outdoors is proven to be beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Surrounding yourself with greenery and breathing in fresh air is an excellent thing to make sure you do every now and again, especially if you’ve been indoors all day.

Stay Fit in your Mulberry Homes property

  1. Stay active

Many of us nowadays lead very inactive lifestyles, both at work and at home, looking at screens. However, short bursts of physical exercise are proven to boost your mood.

Releasing those endorphins into your system is an excellent way to unwind and to prepare yourself best for dealing with the upcoming stress of the day. Try going for a run in the morning, or a walk after work.

About Mulberry Homes

This year, Mulberry Homes has been running a monthly community fund, called The Mulberry Community Chest.

As part of the programme, charities and public organisations local to its developments are invited to apply to receive a one-off donation of £1 to £1000, and each month, a judging panel will select a beneficiary to secure the requested funding. For more information or to submit an application, visit https://mulberryhomes.co.uk/news/distinctly-local/.

About Mulberry Homes

Established in 2011 and based in Warwickshire, Mulberry Homes is a medium housebuilder that provides quality properties across the wider midlands. It specialises in individual and small developments with their own looks and personalities and builds traditional homes with modern layouts.

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The Almere Milton Keynes launches Neighbourhood Hero initiative

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The Almere Milton Keynes support local businesses

‘All about the community’, The Almere prides themselves on making living easy for their residents. With residents set to move this month, the exciting new community boasts co-working, communal and event spaces within the building.

The ground floor ‘Gathering Place’ is bookable to the local community and to residents, whilst upstairs on the 11th floor sits an amenity space for residents, where part will be for co-working, roof terraces to hang out, barbeques and yoga classes. Additionally, there will also be a fitted kitchen and dining area which can be closed off for a private dining experience.

The Almere Neighbourhood Hero initiative

With community at its heart, The Almere aims to build relationships and work collaboratively with local businesses to guide residents to the best spots and products in town. The Almere’s new Neighbourhood Hero initiative has handpicked local, and predominantly independent businesses to connect residents with the true value of living in Milton Keynes, highlighting all that there is to offer.

Milton Keynes' DeRoka is part of The Almere Local Hero initiative

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic having had such an impact on small, independent businesses it’s key to get people back out there and supporting locally. The Neighbourhood Hero initiative is a fantastic example of this, helping businesses to thrive and regain their position within the economy. Current Heroes include Bogota Coffee Co; DeRoka; Fuuudgelife; Suds; Sweat Studios; Doorstep Cocktails; Mollys Pantry; Pup Club; Headonist Hair and Beauty; and Moxy Hotel.

Benefits of the Almere led scheme include:

  • Feature on The Almere website, with regular spotlights and tags on social media channels
  • Exposure to over 600+ residents, and the ability to send offers and deals to them, without incurring any marketing costs
  • Welcomed as a core part of the community, allowing the businesses to use the communal spaces to hold pop-up events for residents and the local community
  • Include collateral in the ‘move in packs’ for new residents, for free
  • Invited to all community events at The Almere, and work together on collaborative event activations

Community Manager, Holly Birmingham explains, “Community is so important to us at The Almere – it is all about  meaningful connections both within our own four walls and the wider neighbourhood. At The Almere, we aren’t just a building,  we are a new community in the heart of Milton Keynes. We want to support the brilliant local businesses around us, create lasting relationships and of course, show our residents the best our town has to offer.”

The Almere Local Hero initiative

The new scheme offers an exciting experience for local businesses to work on an exclusive basis with the upcoming, Milton Keynes hotspot, offer discounts to residents and in turn help show the rest of the UK what Milton Keynes has to offer!

About The Almere

A pioneering new rental community for Milton Keynes, The Almere, is a collection of 294 rental apartments built across two buildings with neighbourhood and outstanding service experience at its core.

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Home & Property

Make your home feel more organised with these storage ideas

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Make your home feel more spacious and organised with these clever storage ideas

Spring is the ideal time to declutter your space and get your home ready for the hosting season ahead. Whether homeowners are looking to maximise space in the living space or bedroom, premium home interiors brand, Neville Johnson, has a range of stylish storage solutions that will ehance any space in the home and ensure each room remains clutter-free.

LIBRARY WITH BESPOKE SHELVING

Libraries provide the ideal space for homeowners to unwind in and enjoy reading their favourite novel. Installing bookshelves is the perfect way to avoid libraries becoming messy and cluttered. Consider installing bespoke shelving which can be adjusted to suit the style and size of your library to enhance time spent relaxing at home. Alcove shelving is also ideal for smaller libraries. While it provides an optimal storage solution for books, shelving can also be used to display stylish ornaments to tie in with the interior décor of your home.

This modern library space painted in Sorrel White, for example, provides ample shelving for all storage needs, which makes the home feel minimalistic and tidy. Combined with sage green and a rustic oak finish, this uplifting and stylish design is an ideal option for Spring.

Make your home feel more spacious and organised with these clever storage ideas

STYLISH STORAGE FOR SMALLER BEDROOMS

Smart storage solutions are an ideal way of making smaller bedrooms look more spacious and in turn less cluttered. Not only can bespoke bedroom storage enhance your day-to-day living, but it can also make your room more stylish and inviting.

This contemporary bedroom painted in Willow, for instance, features practical, built-in headboard cabinetry and fitted wardrobes with an extensive vanity unit for a chic finish. This pretty, feminine design is the perfect option for homeowners looking to maximise space and enhance their bedroom’s interior décor.

Make your home feel more spacious and organised with these clever storage ideas

DECLUTTER YOUR LIVING SPACE

It’s a good idea to incorporate stylish storage solutions in the heart of the home to avoid the living space from becoming messy. Consider placing plants, books and vases on open shelving in the living space to keep surfaces clear and maximise space.

Neville Johnson’s Dining Room and Library, for example, offers a bright and airy living space with ample storage room for everyday essentials and stylish ornaments.

Make your home feel more spacious and organised with these clever storage ideas

Make your home feel more spacious and organised with these clever storage ideas

BESPOKE FITTED WARDROBES

Fitted wardrobes are an ideal way of keeping your clothes neat and organised, while also maximising space in the bedroom. Opting for bespoke fitted wardrobes enables homeowners to create personalised storage space for clothing, shoes and accessories, which makes the process of getting ready more enjoyable.

These fitted wardrobes from Neville Johnson, painted in Lithadora Blue, for instance, offer bespoke storage and shelving, all wrapped up in a timeless and sophisticated design. If the blue Lithadora paint colour isn’t to your taste, this design is also available in more than 60 beautiful colours including Eucalyptus green, Dove grey and Arctic white.

Make your home feel more spacious and organised with these clever storage ideas

Simon Tcherniak, Senior Designer at Neville Johnson, said: “The big advantage of fitted wardrobes is of course that it can fill the space and cope with any idiosyncrasies. It is amazing how much storage you gain by going high up the wall, and if you make it no deeper than it needs to be, your room will still feel spacious.

“If you need to access your higher-level storage on a regular basis, then a built in ladder can be useful. Similarly, pull out shelves will help you to make use of deep spaces.”

With over 35 years’ experience in designing fitted furniture, Neville Johnson is the market leader in bespoke storage solutions. Offering free design visits and free design brochures, the brand’s furniture renovations combine the flair of the UK’s top designers with the time-honoured skills of traditional craftsmen, all brought together with your personal selection of materials, colours, and finishes.

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