As some know, as well as working for MWT, Phil & I also run 2 studio apartments in Newtown, Powys. (www.penygelli.co.uk)
When we first set up 8 years ago, we looked at the studio apartments as a blank canvas - interior design was not our strong point, and we didn’t really know who our visitors were back then; are they going to older, younger, working lads, holidaying couples? 🤷♀️, So, to play it safe, we went for a neutral colour scheme - safe, but to be honest quite boring!
Over the years we have have added new furniture, lamps, curtains as so on but it wasn’t until I entered the rooms for the first time in a while (partly coronavirus, and partly because Phil usually deals with that side) that I noticed what a mish mash of style and colours we had! 😬
Something had to be done, but with still uncertainty about the year ahead,how long we may be open and what the rules would be, we didn’t want to spend a lot but we definitely needed to do something. stat.
..first off the carpets 👍 So the day after we went straight down to our local carpet shop , ordered new carpets and within a week they were in – well, that was easy, I’m on a roll, or so I thought.
What next? Oh jeez I have no idea what style do I go for, Modern? Traditional? *eek* I haven’t much of an eye for interior design so after discussing it with Phil (who didn’t think there was anything wrong with what we had 🤦♀️) I went to my default – if in doubt, use the technological resources available…Facebook interior design groups here I come.
Perfect, I’ll post some pictures and ask the group for advice and bish bash bosh it’ll be done.
To be fair it didn’t take me long to get some pointers, unfortunately they came thick and fast; the lamps are too small, the table needs changing, you need new chairs, change the wardrobe, get rid of the sofa, change the bed 😫..ok ok people I get it….
Ok... no drama, I'll start with new dining tables, easy, I’ll just get on Google, find a style, check out the local furniture places and just get a new dining table, how hard can that be???
….3 days later “Why are there so many dining tables!!!” 😫
With time ticking on, and our first guests of 2021 checking in in 2 weeks, I still was no closer to sorting out my issues and stress was starting to kick in.
I got back onto social media and came across a post in the interior design group from a company ‘The Living House’ about a design service they offer online. Having zero experience with interior designers - and being from Mid Wales, I thought interior design some kind of black art, and not something that our kind of 'middle of the road' business used, but I checked out their website and saw that for a small fee I could send some pictures, tell them a little about who we are and what we’re looking for and then ask 3 questions.
What was great was not only were there suggestions, but links to the products and these products weren’t some kind of crazy designer products that just wouldn’t make sense with the kind of accommodation we are, but these were all reasonable priced and easy to get hold of.
I was still unsure when I got the report as to whether it would work, but then I thought 'what was the point in asking an expert if I wasn't going to listen to their advise?!' – So I did and I don’t regret it!
The only small issue I had was with the table and chairs being suggested, unfortunately they weren’t going to arrive in time so I went back to Catherine and within an hour she sent back an alternative suggestion!
In one apartment we decided against a new sofa, as we allow dogs to stay we went for a sofa cover which is much easier to take off and put through the washing machine. The cushions and throws can all be fogged and put through the washing machine between guests so this was the perfect solution for us.
I can’t thank her enough for her professionalism and quick response. I couldn’t have done it without them (I really couldn’t have! 🙈) and just these few bits and pieces really lift the rooms and give them more character.
We are still to repaint the rooms as suggested but I have the paint waiting 👍We have definitely noticed an increase in longer stays and more ‘holiday couples’ booking the apartments whereas before we used to get a lot of workers – Whether this is because of the times we’re in, or whether this is because of the work we’ve done 🤷♀️ but we definitely feel more confident now when when we’re checking guests in.
This is my personal review of the experience I had with Catherine @ the Living House, and I thought this was such a good and useful service that it might be good for other members who are looking to give their businesses a spruce :)
Before and After Photos
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