Commercial Interior Design

Choosing An Interior Designer – Ensure It’s A Good Fit

Calverley Park 11

Many people find the thought of working with an Interior Designer intimidating as it conjures up lavish and expensive designs and an inner belief that these revered people surely only work with the “rich and the famous”! Well, you couldn’t be more wrong as these weird, whacky and wonderful designers can help you with all sizes of projects ranging from overseeing a complete home renovation to getting the colour scheme right in a particular room.

Caroline Pickering from Style My Home, an Interior Design company based in Tunbridge Wells feels her best work results from a compatible working relationship with her clients and here she looks at things you should consider before choosing an Interior Designer to work with.

Interior Design Tailored To Your Requirements

Like most things, it’s important that you choose an Interior Designer who is the right fit for you, one that you feel comfortable with and who will listen to what you want, working around the practicalities of your lifestyle and of course making suggestions and introducing ideas that you probably hadn’t thought about. It is key that your personalities work well and gel together and you both are singing from the same page. Some people just want a sounding board, others want the designer to do it all for them and others are looking for a more balanced working relationship. Whatever you want, a good Interior Designer will tailor their help and advice to the level that you demand.


Considerations You Should Make

  • Determine your budget
  • Communicate if you are not happy with their choices
  • Discuss what you like and don’t like
  • Be specific about your personal style
  • Know which colours you can live with
  • Know how much your designer will charge
  • View examples of their work

Saving You Time and Money

Using their product knowledge, service and contractor experience, an Interior Designer should be able to guide and educate you though the whole process. A skilled eye and their experience could actually save you a lot of time and money. Choosing the wrong colours or fabrics can be expensive mistakes.

Arrange A Meeting and First Consultation

On a first consultation, take some time to get to know your designer and communicate any personal preferences and quirks you may have. You may have photos or magazine ideas that you feel inspired by. At the end of the meeting, you should have formed a good opinion of whether the two of you can work together to design that masterpiece. Always remember that your designer will want you to be totally delighted with the end result. She will not want you to feel intimidated so be decisive and share your ideas together.


What To Do Next

Caroline Pickering from Style My Home is an experienced and listening Interior Designer who works with her clients to achieve the results that they are looking for. She will carefully consider your lifestyle and preferences and feels an initial consultation is all-important to confirm that there will be a 2 way working relationship. To make the changes to your home that you have always dreamed of, call Caroline on 01892 510070 or email



Home Staging – Creating An Illusion To Sell Your Property


Rightmove, the UK’s largest property portal reports that a staged home will secure more viewings and on average sell for 8% more than a non-staged home. That should get you thinking and the mathematics are simple as staging a £500,000 house could bring you an extra £40,000. So, if you are looking to sell your home, it really makes sense to think about staging for your property. The majority of people aren’t looking for a ‘house’, they are looking for a ‘home’. It has been a long time since people gathered property details from the estate agents, as today they look online first. It’s therefore essential that your house is presented well and the photographs immediately grab people’s attention and make it stand out from the rest.

Staging Statistics For Selling A Property

  • In 2018, 95% of estate agents agreed staging results in faster sales
  • 100% of estate agents agreed staging increases the property price
  • 44% said that properties had increased above their value by 10% after using a home stager

Staging Enables People To Imagine Themselves Living In A Property

 You want to sell your property and so it may be tough getting your head around spending money on a property you are ultimately going to leave. Many people are unable to see a property’s potential when they view it and that’s where a staged home leaves nothing to the viewer’s imagination. They can see immediately how it will look with their things in it and they can visualise the space better. People will be able to imagine and envision themselves living there and the lifestyle that will go with it.


What Is Staging?

Staging is all about getting the house ready to sell with a emphasis on the appearance so that it is immediately welcoming to potential buyers. A professional stager will use accessories, including pictures, lights, rugs and cushions so that the property is presented at its best.

Staging is about rethinking rooms and looking at them with a fresh eye and creating stylish spaces that will appeal to as many people as possible. A key element is helping to distract the viewer from negative issues that cannot be changed including main roads, small gardens, lack of light etc. If a house is empty, it is really difficult to create a warm welcoming feel; furnishing will just create a space people can imagine living in.

Staging Options

  • Declutter
  • Depersonalise
  • Regroup and arrange furniture
  • Use lighting
  • Decorate in neutral tones
  • Accessorise and hang pictures
  • Finish all projects

Why Choose a Professional Home Stager?

If you have now decided that your house needs staging, the next step is engage a professional home stager.


  • Impartial opinions
  • Qualified in all areas that require attention
  • Can highlight the positives and deflect from the negatives
  • Have experience and expertise
  • Have an inventory of furniture
  • Have connections
  • Can get trade discounts


The current state of the housing market dictates that staging isn’t something that should be thought of as a nice thing to do but an essential thing to do. Statistics prove that staged homes not only sell more quickly, but achieve higher prices than non-staged homes.

Staging is all about presenting your most valuable asset into something that is worth it. So why wouldn’t you try to present it at its best to gain the best price you can? You wouldn’t sell a car full of junk and that hadn’t been cleaned if you wanted to achieve the best price possible, would you?

What To Do Next

Style My Home has a great range of accessories to use in a dull dark environment or to simply to throw life back into a tired sitting room. By renting furniture and accessories, you are not investing in things you may not want when you move. Style My Home will visit you at your property and offers a free initial meeting to discuss your options, subject to distance. Call Caroline at Style My Home on 01892 510070 or email

That ‘Sold’ sign could be outside your house sooner than you think!

Spotlight on London Design Week 2016

During March, London becomes the international capital of design, when it welcomes London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour’s Design Centre. Whether you’re a designer and looking for specific products for a client, re-designing your own home or just passionate about interiors, you will be sure to find something special at Chelsea Design Centre, with over 500 of leading brands in the interiors sphere. Style My Home visited London Design Week during one of the first days to explore some of the highly anticipated new collections, here are some we think are definitely worth noting:

When it comes to lighting, there was one clear winner for us at London Design Week. Porta Romana’s new Elemental collection includes a variety of shapes, patterns and colours taking inspiration from natural elements, with aspects resembling honeycomb, insect cocoons, crystals and burnt wood, and colours clearly representing cool clear blues of air and water matched with the hot rust tones of earth and fire. Decorative, luxurious pieces, the pendant lighting from Porta Romana’s Elemental collection will be sure to create a statement!

After visiting London Design Week, it seems like orange is definitely the colour for 2016! Although it’s already a statement colour, teaming it with bright blues and teal creates a beautiful statement look. Style with neutral furniture and accessories with simple geometric prints, like we spotted in Fox Linton/Jim Thompson, for an interior that’s both modern and rich.

As we’ve already said, orange and bright blues seem to be enjoying a moment, as we found them showcased in fabrics across the Design Centre. 2016 also seems to be the year for rich and fun patterns, both modern and traditional, Osborne and Little’s new collection demonstrates a retro/mid-century vibe with geometric shapes and pastel tones mixed with bold brights, whilst Colefax & Fowler’s new collection includes rich, luxurious velvets with traditional and oriental designs.

When it comes to wallcoverings, 2016 is all about creating a feature, with both texture and patterns taking centre stand. Brian Yates’ new Vinyl collection of non-woven wallpapers include a denim-inspired design, with muted colours that create the perfect piece to showcase on one statement wall or across the room with either muted furniture and fabrics or statement oranges and blues, the ‘must-have’ colours for this season. With Cole & Son’s new collection, we see more inspiration from nature; with shimmery mineral surfaces, woodgrain textures and coral inspired patterns. When it comes to tiling, there’s only one brand to aspire to at the Design Centre; Ann Sacks’ collection are so beautifully simple that they speak for themselves.

Make sure to take a look at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour’s website to see some of the iconic new collections from international leading interior brands!

5 Ways to Create an Inspiring Workspace in 2016

It’s 2016 and that means a new year filled with a list of goals, new clients and lots of work to do. If you are finding it hard to get motivated or you want to increase your productivity, getting your workspace in order will be massively beneficial to both your happiness and your business.

For some inspiration, here are our 5 best office design tips that will transform an uninspiring or average workspace into a productive and nourishing space that works for you and your business – now you can finish your to-do list with lots of time to spare!

Green plants

Adding green plants to an office space is something everyone should want to do. Research has shown that simply adding greenery to an office increases employees’ work engagement; being physically, cognitively and emotionally more involved in their work. (via Exeter University). Not only do they provide an increase in productivity, cleaner air to breathe and reduce stress, plants also improve the look and feel of your workspace, for both you and your clients – and they’re affordable!

*Photos found on Pinterest


A simple way to update a dull or outdated interior is to introduce colour; either in the form of a whole new colour scheme or simply one colour. Colours can have a positive psychological effect on workers, with different colours prompting specific feelings and emotions; for example, red and oranges create an energetic environment, blue and greens have a calming and relaxation influence, yellows and bright accents create a sense of happiness for employees who may be feeling bored or unhappy, and pastels lighten an area without being too intense. We’d recommend to stick to one colour or scheme which can be showcased either in furniture, a statement wall or across the room accents.

*Photos found on Pinterest


Office furniture doesn’t always have to be minimal, neutral and purely functional. Carefully consider the space itself – does it have an unusual shape, special features or amazing windows that need to be celebrated? Can your business be represented through your furniture – for example, if you are a photographer, find furniture that showcases past work and provides an interesting storage solution like painted shelving units or a feature cork wall, if you’re an interior designer, create a space that demonstrates your aesthetic, with cozy and welcoming furniture from your favourite brands or trusted suppliers.

*Photos found on Pinterest


Natural light can play a key role in our mindset when at work or in a home office – not only does it directly affect what and how well we are able to see, but it indirectly affects our mood, hormonal balance and behaviour, especially in terms of happiness and productivity. The prospect of adding natural light to a workplace does sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to mean adding new windows or creating innovating glass structures – add more mirrors to reflect light, paint walls white for a bright backdrop, add white or light coloured furniture, or install light wooden flooring.

*Photos found on Pinterest


To create a cozy space, that feels stylish and complete, add a mixture of textures. Offices tend to feature an abundance of metal and smooth textures, so incorporate things like wood and textiles – textures that have different patterns and are interesting to both the eye and to touch. It’s all about finding the perfect balance that you like, either one simple textile introduction or by changing something more dramatic like an architectural element. A quick way is to add textiles; a throw on the sofa, extra cushions, tablecloths, or tie a room together with a rug; add a geometric or ethnic print for a statement look. For a more permanent look, add parquet flooring, paint a patterned wall, ceiling mouldings or wooden beams.

*Photos found on Pinterest

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Assembly Hall Bar Refurbishment

Having been a visitor to the Assembly Hall over the years, I was very pleased to win the contract to refurbish the bar at Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall recently. The bar was in desperate need of a facelift and I wanted to address the Art Deco features evident inside this building which were hidden in the existing décor.

The brief was specific and practical, lots of people using this space from the WI meetings drinking tea and coffee in comfortable surroundings, young children buying ice cream and sweets during a matinee, to the several thousand strong audience in the Auditorium demanding speedy alcoholic refreshments during the interval.

I wanted to make the public feel it was a stylish venue to arrive when going out for an evening of entertainment. During the day the council use this space for various events and meetings, so I also felt the staff should feel they were working in pleasant surroundings.

Refurbished art deco bar at the Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

As budget was limited and the main bar is so large we refurbished the existing bar, added a stainless steel wrap to the top and a kick plate and painted the bar dark grey. The coffee bar was rebuilt and fitted with a new Corian worktop.

This was a much more practical space for coffee, ice cream and confectionary sales and with the addition of a new Perk and Pearl coffee machine, I think this bar will be a very popular addition to the space.

The coving and architraves were picked out in contrast paint colours, the original Bakelite bar made more prominent with the addition of new black radiators and black bar stools. I wanted the original windows to become a more definite feature as well as dress them to allow maximum light into the bar. The windows were dressed with deco shaped pelmets. Glass ceiling chandeliers above the bar grouped to give a striking focal point, creating a glamorous atmosphere.

We wanted to reinstate the original marble walls in the Foyer with a feature wall in the bar we used large porcelain ties to one wall, lit with led lights to create a soft lighting feature creating a more intimate seating area with contemporary upholstered seating fitted to the outside walls.
The addition of sofas and small footstools has also allowed flexible seating but created more sociable seating areas near to the coffee bar. With the addition of some bright coloured fabrics, checks and plain blocks in the upholstery we added brightness and interest to the area. The carpet was designed and made for us inspired by original Art Deco textile designs, this was also selected to continue through to the Auditorium and Circle which has really made the space look really special and works very well with the new Auditorium seating.

It was the official opening last week and the feedback was really very positive from staff, press and the public. I hope the public will now feel, when they buy a ticket for a show, that they will have a very positive experience, they will enjoy the bar area and will want to meet their friends pre theatre, as well as feel the Auditorium is a special place to enjoy their theatre experience.

If you have any feedback or questions please do not hesitate to contact me at: