ABOUT ME .....
Or from the psychiatrists chair !! I find this type of thing hard to write, so I have picked some examples of projects I have worked on ... Just to give you a flavour!
Styling Interiors & Fashion
A company, which covers all aspects of Design, we expand on your ideas and tastes with flare and individual style.
I have been lucky enough to be involved in many interesting projects both commercial and residential. I have also worked on my own projects with these, I work with a style in mind for resale. When working on a project for a client I work usually within a brief; which I always like to give a design twist so that each project has it’s own totally individual style.
A Quick Insight into A Few of My Projects
I was the interior designer on the very stylish and classical “Badminton Court”, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, which was immediately Listed by the Local Authority upon completion! (What fun!!) It was formally the old Goya Perfume Factory, which was transformed into a prestige office premises for a number of Blue Chip company's. The key to this project was the mix of the old and the new, which is something I think works with many demographics. It also had a budget of £35,000.00 to spend on paintings ... Bliss!
One of our own projects was the conversation of the 100th room to the McAlpines fabulous estate in Henley-on-Thames, the former summer house, prior to becoming Badgemore Park Golf Club. It was originally built as a Greek Temple so it was a challenge to redesign, extend and refurbish, particularly with stringent planning conditions! But I like a challenge!! Story of my life really. Stone Gargoyles were cut into the walls, a sand blasted oak staircase was installed. The roof was raised and a large fully glazed conservatory with floor to ceiling glazing and with heated mosaic floor was constructed. We Installed a pair of huge Herculean figures, rescued from a derelict cinema in Devon. A massive Indian door which was one of a number that had been reclaimed from a Temple in India, we chose the one with the least ‘naughty’ carvings, if you get my drift! We filled the house with the most beautiful antique furniture and fittings, intermixed with the essential modern accessories and conveniences.
The garden was fully landscaped with the inclusion of a massive quarter acre x 10m deep rockery with caves and waterfalls. A massive undertaking, the largest stone was 7.5 tonnes, the smallest was just under a tonne. It pumps 7,500 galleons of water a minute! What a garden feature! This was a very wild project! The house and garden was beautifully flood lit at night, it was/is spectacular!!
This project sold to a member of the band Abba ....
A move to France for a total refurbishment of a French Farmhouse in Brittany, I had all the curtains and fabrics made in the UK along with the lighting and some of the furniture which we had shipped out from the UK. But I had the best fun going around all the Brocantes and local shops in the area purchasing the genuine antique French furniture and ornaments for the property. I saw some amazing items, mouth watering antiques, that the French were just ripping out of their properties and you could pick up for nibs! We took 12 English tradesmen to compliment our French artisans... Frankly a baptism of fire!! What I could tell you about that job!! Maybe that should be a blog! But one thing I will say is I became a very good mediator between our mixed work force. It is fair to say, the French and English have very different work ethics! In between sorting out disputes I took to imbibing large amounts of wine, which seemed to be a cultural requirement of the area, it would have been rude not too!! We finished in time and on budget, including filling the fridge with wine and food so our clients could just walk through the doors and enjoy their new home.
Gurrow Point, The Dittisham Peninsular Estate in Devon. 78 acres overlooking the river Dart. Which, frankly looked at the time like an institutional home for escaped convicts, Ugly! The brief was to totally transformed the property and the out-buildings into a very opulent 7 bedroom home with guest and staff accommodation including a separate office and games room area. We undertook further planning applications on behalf of the clients for further accommodation and leisure facilities including pools and a spa. The budget on this project was just over £3 million, for the Interiors only. Plus extra finances for reconstruction of the outside area’s.
A team of specialist artists were brought to site to decorate the walls and ceilings with murals of Fragonard paintings and the like, put frankly it was a wild OTT experience! Everything was bespoke made, I even designed the carpets and rugs; brilliant fun! In more recent years it has become a prominent Hotel.
If the truth be told we did have a lot of evening meetings in the local restaurants in the area, Keith Floyds being one of our favourites, not least for it beautiful food, but for very colourful entertainment .....
The General Hullabaloo Cafe, In a moment of complete madness, I decided I wanted to have a restaurant/cafe of my own, I have worked on concepts for restaurants, prior to this. I found some run down premise, in the centre of town which were storage units with two outside area’s. But had no planning consent for a licenced premises. And there was opposition to this, by one particular woman. So we rented the area outside and bought a Hot Potato van. We put in staff and ran the catering van for nearly a year; which established a precedence for a food licence, we then managed to rent the storage units, knock them through into one, installing modern kitchens and a funky dining area, painted some of the walls and the floor black. Putting in ornate gilt mirrors and large hand painted copies of Rembrandt paintings. We had funky food, live bands every Friday and Saturday night, and such a fun time.
The only fly in the ointment was my idea had been to go down in the evenings and have the odd glass of wine or two after work. The actuality was it was a 24/7 job. The licence was sold on and the property was turned into a Lock Fyne Sea Food Restaurant....
The Mendip Hills, Somerset
The restoration and redevelopment of Nordrach Manor House, a former TB hospital, which had quite a history. It was in very poor state of health when we purchased it. We transformed it into a stunning 6 bedroom family home with office quarters. After a fight with the planners, which we won a unanimous vote for a very contemporary planning consent to build, a large leisure complex with sumptuous self contained guest suite. Nordrach is set in just over 7 acres of woodlands and landscaped gardens with a central courtyard. Again maybe I should do a blog about this project, the house had such a great vintage! And ... we did have some wild parties there, one of which was captured in charcoal by a still-life-time-frame artist drawing us all instead of taking pictures, just another piece of monochrome “colour” in my life!! Cheers...
The Cathedral City of Wells, Somerset
In the last few years I have undertaken a number of smaller redevelopments in the beautiful Cathedral City of Wells, Somerset. These have mostly been houses and cottages that had been neglected over the years and were looking for some tender loving care and a revamp giving them a new lease of life. Happily all of which have been sold for the full asking price. I love the stage setting and styling of these properties with a few key pieces, it gives potential purchasers such a better understanding of what can be done with the house and sells the property in my opinion faster.
We are currently working on two five bedroom new builds in Wells, which will very soon be on the market ... I will keep you briefed ...
Well this is just me all over....de rigueur for all our projects, I have an eye for it and I am good at it, take a look at the photographs on the site! Over the years I have styled private homes, restyled commercial properties; I have been asked by number of estate agents and people moving house to go in and restyle their homes for the sales brochures. I have also had the privilege of styling for a number interior magazines, as well as writing articles on interior design and life-style for national news papers.
Bringing in key focal pieces to make both the photo shots and the houses sing works; don’t over fudge with to many bits and bobs is my advice. I have many contacts who are only to happy to provide me with some of their beautiful furniture and accessories to dress these pictures.
More recently I have begun to incorporate people and fashion, some fun shots for a band. And of course in my more recent repertoire, I have done the ubiquitous “off the wall”, Shoe Porn, which to my total surprise has been a resounding success, some picture receiving more than 10,000 hits on Twitter. I am now blowing some of the pictures up and doing some exclusive runs of some of the shots, for sale on this site...
Jewellery & Fashion
I was very privileged to be asked by a great friend to design her some ‘out there’ jewellery, look no further than me! I took on this opportunity with relish... Porcupine quill earrings. Lacquered steel, silver and gold studded cuffs. Stunning wood and turquoise bangles. Smokey and Rose quartz necklaces linked with hand made silver clasps. I have used heavy commercial chain with dyed turquoise sculls covered in 24 carat gold leaf ... Just to name a few. I am totally open to any medium ... just give me a challenge .... Some of the collections sold at Kabiri and Erickson Beamon in London. Others have gone into many other high street boutiques. Not a bad result! I intend to bring out some future collections... Keep your eye out on the sale page as all this items are exclusive one offs they do go quickly.
This has always been a passion of mine; an art medium I have enjoyed on a personal level for many years. I have a quirky view of things! Photography has also been a useful tool for selling the properties, jewellery and indeed now the photography itself. Again I have been so lucky to be asked to take photographs on a professional basis for many different projects, magazines included the promotional advertising for the largest antiques fayre in South Africa! I like to think that I bring something different to the table, in many different genres.
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT
We have undertaken and been involved in a number of commercial developments. We design, plan and do much of the architectural ‘bones’ of almost all of the projects. The Wynne-Jones Centre in Amersham, Buckinghamshire - a new build of commercial units on the old Press Centre previously owned by Robert Maxwell. The very Stylish Badminton Court, Amersham, as mentioned above. Shaftesbury House, Islington, London, a funky top quality apartment development of 58 flats with beautiful landscaped communal areas. A great fun project. It was exciting to be involved in the total redevelopment of a former London brothel into the Head Quarters building of Cartier Jewellers in London’s trendy Avery Row, Mayfair. (Someone has to do it!!) These are to name but a few!
Well I can’t take any direct credit for this but we certainly do it!! Landscape design schemes for the likes of Guinness Head Office, Park Royal, London, Freda from Abba in Henley-on-Thames. We have worked with the owners of Motherwell Football club on their private property. Not to mention some very happy customers who now have beautiful gardens, sometimes eccentric!
I am not supposed to say this, but this is the most difficult, bit of the whole site to write ..... So back to The Physiatrist Chair ....Once the men in white coats have caught me!!! Personally I think my work speaks for it’s self .... So I can’t wait to meet you ..... Bring it on ....