Phew it’s been a mad time in the property world!

The stamp duty holiday has come to an end and during this period we have seen unprecedented activity in the property market with prices soaring.

You may have found yourself, like me, priced out of the market in the area where you want to live. Alternatively you may be one of those who have managed to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and move to your dream property.

If you have found yourself in either of those positions what next? If you have decided to stay put then you might be considering what you can to make your existing property work in the meantime. If you have just moved then you might need some help getting the property right for you and your family. Do you need help?

What Do You Need?

Image of a grey cartoon person with a bubble coming from their head. Inside the bubble is a red question mark denoting that they are thinking.

It can all seem overwhelming. Whether you have just come to the realisation that moving just isn’t possible at the present time or you’ve just moved into a new property which you are aware needs some work to a greater or lesser extent, the first step is actually working out what is going to be beneficial. Expert input as well as objective advice can be hugely beneficial.

Options

Sample floor plan showing the layout of one floor in a home.

It might be that a simple refresh of your decor is all that is required but even that simple step can involve lots of decision-making and therefore take up a lot of your time. Even with decor you don’t want to make the wrong choices and have to redo things. It might be that repurposing a room (changing it from a bedroom to a home office) or creating a workspace in another room is what’s required. Moving up a level, perhaps it’s the layout that doesn’t work for you but you don’t know how to go about changing it. You might need extra space in which case perhaps an outdoor room that can function as a home office, gym, family room would give you the extra space you need and enable you to utilise the main property differently. I can help guide you through these decisions either directly or in combination with the expertise of other professionals such as architectural designers.

The Cost Of Moving

Garlic showing a calculator and pen on top of a notepad with a model of a house next to it

If you have lost out in the rising property market it’s frustrating and disappointing I know. Let’s take it as an opportunity to prepare ahead. We all know that moving house is expensive – there are stamp duty, legal fees, removal costs, survey fees – and these all add up to a significant amount. So, looking on the bright side, think about investing that saved cost in your existing property. Take the figure that you were intending to spend on buying a property and calculate these costs, get quotes if necessary. Add to that figure any savings that you were intending to add to the pot. This can be a starting point for what you invest in your current property. You don’t have to spend the whole amount.

Adding Value

Graphic of three piles of coins each pile being slightly higher than the previous one. There is a model of a house on top of each pile

If you were planning to move you may have thought that there wasn’t any point in doing any work to your property or decorating because it wouldn’t add value. This is a common misconception among sellers. Making changes can definitely add value provided you make the right ones. This is true if you are intending to move in a short period of time but the longer you envisage being in the property the less so. If the property is going to be a long term home it becomes more about your individual circumstances. There will always be a ceiling price so do your research so that you don’t end up spending more than you can expect to recover in your sale price. Making the right changes, even decorative ones, can add value or at least make your property more saleable.

What Holds You Back?

Image of a wooden surface on which is a mug containing black coffee. To the side is a Post It note on which is written the words "What Holds You Back? and a pen

When it comes to the interior of your home what holds you back from making changes?

If you have done any decorating or DIY previously, cast your mind back to the previous occasion. If you’ve just moved into your first property and either it’s a new build lacking character or it’s a property that needs a refresh what is worrying you? There can be a wide range of factors which can include :-

  • Making a mistake
  • Too much choice
  • Lack of inclination 

The problem is that these factors hold us back so nothing changes. Enlisting the help of an interior designer can free you up and enable you to make progress.

Making A Mistake

Image of a wall on which a number of blue paint colours have been painted in blocks to try out samples

Fear of making a mistake is common with any interiors project and holds us back. This is true in so many areas of our lives. And any interiors project whether it’s simply a paint job, wallpaper or buying a major piece of furniture such as a sofa or a bed represents a significant outlay and naturally we don’t want to find that we made an expensive mistake even if it can be corrected. We can lack confidence in our choices. “Will these things go together or will they clash? “

Too Much Choice

Image of an array of paint charts in various colours

There is no doubt that for all elements of an interiors project – paint colour, fabrics, furniture, accessories, flooring, lighting, there is an awful lot of choice and even a bewildering selection of sources for what ever you may be looking for. In addition to physical stores there are online stores, there are platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest plus catalogues and interiors magazines. The list can seem quite overwhelming. Having someone to help you make sense of all that can really reduce the stress.

Lack of Inclination 

Not everybody is interested in interior design or decor. This may sound a strange thing for me to say but it can be true. This isn’t to say that people aren’t interested in how their houses look, they may want a nice home to live in and where they can entertain friends and relations but they may not be particularly interested in the actual mechanics of it, they may prefer to have something that done for them. If you are one of those people you may not have thought of asking someone to help you.

Fears?

We are all to a greater or lesser extent, afraid of the unknown, even if there is an element of excitement as well. For example, if you are looking to work with Virtual Assistant and haven’t done so before you may not understand what’s involved. If you are someone who has not used the services of an interior designer before then you may understandably have certain concerns. Two of these might be:-

  • Cost
  • Will I like it?

What’s It Going To Cost?

Image of a person's hands, they are holding a pencil in one hand as if writing and using a calculator with the other

Whenever we are thinking about a product or service that we haven’t used before then it is unsurprising that the cost may be an issue. We may worry that it’s simply going to be too expensive and admitting this to someone you have approached can be difficult. I am very transparent with my prices whether it’s for home staging or E design. My prices are available on my website. I know that if you are trying to find out information about the cost of a service and there is no such information available on the website, or you are invited to contact the business for a quote, you may not want to do so for fear of finding the price is too high or being subjected to a heavy sales pitch. I would much rather be upfront with potential customers. I do offer a range of packages because I understand that we all have different budgets. My E design packages are intended to be an introduction to the world of interior design for those who have never considered it. 

Taste

Image of a table with a selection of objects including paint chart, paint brush, fabric swatch and vases

You could be worried that you are going to be presented with a design that represents the taste of the particular designer rather than yours, or even that the designer will be critical of your taste when they visit your home or when you explain what you would like.There are certain designers who have a particular style, whether the sophisticated neutral look or one that likes to use lots of colour and be maximalist. That’s great because with those designers you know what their look is and you go to them because that’s the look you want. I enjoy variety so I like working with individuals to create a scheme that is very much tailored to them whatever their preference is.

And finally …

What’s it like to work with me? The most important aspect for me is that the client feels that they have been listened to. There is a well-known saying “Two ears, one mouth “ . It’s important that I listen very carefully to the client so that I have fully understood the brief. I hope that the client will want to be involved, make their own suggestions, become part of the experience. However if they just want me to get on with it then that’s absolutely fine. My aim is to be friendly and approachable

Like to know more? Then give me a call on 07745 876182 to arrange an informal introductory chat. If you would like more hands-on assistance with home visits then I cover Wirral, Cheshire, the North-West and North Wales