There is something about a show home that draws you in, the signage, the lighting, the fresh white soft-furnishings, the recently laid turf, the urge to go and see if you should start talking to Estate Agents about putting your house on the market. But what if you want to achieve that look yourself – either in your current house, or when taking on a blank new-build? Home & Decorating Magazine spoke to Caroline Verity, Creative Director of Skipton Properties to find out more:
We are often asked how to achieve the look of the Show Home. In fact, many of our customers when choosing their kitchen and tiling often choose the very same look we have created. It is no surprise, visualising how your new home will look is hard. I think we all have a creative streak but having the confidence in your decisions is where we often fall down. Being able to see and feel a design makes the decision a much easier one. That’s one of the reasons why I love to create our Show Homes. Of course, I do this to really show off our homes, but I also love showing our customers how they can put their own stamp on their home.
Kearns Village in Cowpe, Rossendale near Manchester is our latest Show Home. I wanted to create a contemporary country look; a look that is timeless but also complimentary to the architecture and specification. Slimline aluminium windows sit alongside a traditional oak and white painted staircase and square edged skirtings and architraves. To create this look think simply, less is always more. Wooden floors are a must when trying to achieve this look. We always choose Karndean wood effect flooring because it’s easy to install and even easier to maintain. Soften the flooring, like we have done in the Show Home, by placing a rug underneath your dining and seating areas. We all want our homes to feel spacious, your home will feel even more so if you continue your chosen flooring to all areas on each floor. Upstairs, we chose a neutral carpet and again used this in each bedroom and hallway.
When choosing the design of your home it helps to start with the kitchen. Once you have your heart set on how this will look the rest of your home should be much easier to design. Of course, if you aren’t planning to change your kitchen, try and think about how you could freshen it up. A fresh lick of paint and new floor will quickly transform your kitchen. To achieve the contemporary country look I chose a mixture of porcelain and light blue cabinets. Mixing cabinets and pairing them with a simple worktop gives a traditional kitchen a contemporary edge.
Choosing the right paint is key to creating a calming environment. We used a few different colours from Farrow & Ball’s range including Ammonite, Strong White and the very popular Elephants Breath. We don’t often use wallpaper but if you’re a fan we’d suggest you use it on all of the walls in your chosen room and go for a neutral design with a bit of texture.
I think where homeowners can sometimes go wrong is choosing furniture that matches. To create this look experiment with different styles; we paired traditional French beds with contemporary marble and metal side tables. When designing your bedroom start with the bed. You can never go wrong with a simple headboard and crisp white bedding with a few accent cushions and a warm throw for those winter nights.
A final piece of advice: create a mood board. Yes that means getting the scissors and glue out and actually putting together a board full of your ideas. Organise by room. We always start with Houzz as it’s a great source for global design trends. On each of our mood boards we lay out the furniture we have chosen and place it alongside the lighting, the rug and suggested paint colour. If you already have pieces of furniture photograph these and put them on the board. It will allow you to see how each part of your room will tie in together.
For more information on Caroline Verity, or Skipton Properties visit www.skiptonproperties.com