INDUSTRY INTERVIEW: Claire Bloom, Interior Designer & Interior Architect / Stylist.

We are pleased to be working with Claire Bloom, an experienced Interior Designer and stylist who will now be sharing key tips about presenting property with Estate Agent Networking. We asked Claire some questions:

Does ‘Interior Designing’ actually help to increase the value of your property or is it just for the benefit of the home owner who wants to make changes?

Yes, without a doubt the quality of an interior adds to the overall value and sale-ability of a property. With the sale prices being so high, particularly in central London, where people are parting with at least £700K for a 2 bed flat then quite rightly potential buyers expect stylish interiors, or the cost of refurbishment to be reflected in the price.

I am often called in to ‘House Doctor’ properties that are not selling because the quality and the styling of the interior is actually devaluing and hindering the sale. Everyone is now very aware of interior design, and even if they would not be able to put together a cohesive interior scheme themself; buyers know good design and finish when they see it. Also from a practical point of view with square footage being at such a premium well thought out space planning and storage solutions are essential.

For home owners who are not selling but want to enjoy their living space, considered interior design will not only makes your life easier because the space functions well, but bring you joy as a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. When I come home my interior immediately calms me from the day, it also inspires me and reminds me of the things and people I love.

Is there a difference between Interior Designing and Home Staging?

There is certainly a difference between Interior Designing and Home Staging. Interior design goes much deeper into the personality of the client and maybe the period of the property as well as the functionality of daily living. Home staging is used to bring a property to life and suggest how the interior may look once furnished. This works very well for new builds, which can often feel a bit soulless, as well as for large open plan or awkward spaces that require furnishing so that buyers can visualize the living areas. Home buyers want to feel they can live and be comfortable in a space and home staging provides this.

Which are the biggest mistakes people make when searching for an Interior Designer? Have you some guidelines to share?

Make sure the designer is qualified and experienced as this job is not as easy as it looks! Interior designers need to not only be exceptionally creative but able to budget, project manage and think like a builder! The designer has the responsibility of measuring correctly and having technical ability whilst incorporating expert visualization, communication and people management skills. Take up several references and make sure you have a professional contract in place before signing up with anyone.

The are many well known celebrity faces that are Interior Designers, what makes this profession so popular?

I think many people are drawn to this profession because it is seen as rather glamorous, and although this is overall a luxury industry, in reality you spend much of your time on very cold building sites or styling shoots on location with no central heating! It is an amazing job though and there is such a sense of achievement, taking an empty space or plot of land and bringing a building to life is incredibly satisfying. I think media characters that have a unique sense of style naturally make the move from maybe fashion to interiors as these industries blend very much these days.

Can people DIY Interior Design work for their own property?

With YouTube and Pinterest people can make more inspired and educated decisions on design without a professional. I would advise DIY-ers to see their home or renovation project in its entirety and keep the scheme cohesive and flowing throughout. There are so many lovely images and ideas out there its easy to get distracted and lose sight of the original design. Also, always use professional trades people for electrics and plumbing or there can be disasters!

Which is the most stand-out property you have ever worked on?

The most stand out property I have ever worked on is certainly Great Suffolk Street in EC1. We took a demolition site and brought into being an incredibly cool eclectic warehouse apartment block containing 6 2-bed flats and commercial space. The developer (Falconet) understood my vision in creating a brand and making the build and its interiors into a modernist industrial design statement. I had a ball sourcing unique surfaces and creating bespoke artwork for the common areas. More projects like this please!!

interior design estate agent networkingExample of Claire’s work.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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