We just offered on a new house, and it's been accepted! Hurray! It's not a big move as we are simply moving from Kensington to Chelsea, and the space remarkably is very similar to where we are right now. However, it's a new part of the area, which is more suited to families and closer to the schools we are considering for Alexander.
With the flurry of excitement, I am also thinking about the most riveting yet challenging part of this move for us: the house requires a full cosmetic refurbishment which allows us to put our personal stamp on every nook and cranny!
As a previous 'refurbisher' (if I may call myself that), I thought it might be helpful to share some of my learnings and new research, to help you achieve the best possible interior aesthetic result, as we take on board this brand new project.
1) Overall Room Planning
The first thing I got onto, once the offer was accepted, was to start thinking about how we would use the space and if the current format was what we want to follow. The house has 3 floors, which provides some room for movement in terms of the layout, but I also considered how we live, our lifestyles and where would prefer to sleep, eat and relax for instance.
2) Theme of our Home
I love a variety of architecture and design ranging from traditional and classic, to contemporary and extremely modern. However, our home is a Victorian property so bearing this in mind, I started thinking about what sort of era we want to bring into the house and how much of a modern edge to add. It thus formulated the general interior design theme as we decided to keep all the unique Victorian features but change and modernise areas that are more utilitarian for instance, to make it a more practical yet comfortable living space.
3) Pinterest Boards
Once this was sorted I started trawl through Pinterest and Instagram and saved inspirational boards that will help to inspire us and drive choices we want to make further down the line. The interior designs on Pinterest are amazing and really help further inspire any ideas you might have. Think of it as a book of dreams.
4) Visit Showrooms & Speak to Specialists
We started researching and then visiting numerous showrooms for further inspiration based on the above ideas that were starting to pre-conceive. I found Mumsnet to be an unlikely resource which helped shape which providers/vendors to select based on quality and real life anecdotal experience, and then checking the vendors online helped solidify a shortlist of providers such as kitchens, for example. We then visited the relevant showrooms. Speaking to specialists there allowed us to understand valuable information about materials, specifications and also further solidified our thought process and ideas. We also invited a number of independent contractors to our home to educate and quote us on on wardrobes for instance, as they work slightly differently to larger vendors, and gave us more bespoke information. They gave us very practical advice to help drive the ideas forward.
6) Bring on board an Interior Designer
We are now at the stage where we have firm ideas of what we want and will be looking to bring on board an interior designer to provide mood boards and shape the actual space from a layout, colour, light and texture perspective. We will be involving him/her in a way that allows us to source some specialists whilst he/she brings on board contractors that they solely has access to. This is also a more budget savvy approach which still allows us some pricing control in the vendor selection process.
It's such an exciting time but can also be so overwhelming. I hope this thought process helps you with guiding your interior selection for your new home too.
The Kensington Diary