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Introducing your interiors fairy godmother – moving house just got easier!

Moving house can cause a lot of stress especially when faced with a doer-upper but we have unearthed your fairy godmother when it comes to adding that design magic to your home.

THE WHO?

Step forward Beth Barker Designs, who can be as hands-on or hands-off as you like but can still guide you in the right direction when it comes to making those critical design choices for your home. Beth has worked in architectural interior design for over twenty years and has that unique blend of being able to guide you on the structural reconfiguration of your home combined with the interior design know-how – plus an enviable address book of contacts to match. 

THE HOW?

Beth provides an interior design service tailored to each individual client, whether it’s purely soft furnishings for a single room or a complete design service for the entire property. They specialise in a turn-key service, which means they do all the work – based on your vision – you just turn up and open the door. Bingo! 

But, if required, they can project manage every aspect from planning and bringing in the right architect through to completion so if you are completely overwhelmed, they can hold your hand every step of the way, but you can also immerse yourself if you want to add your own creative stamp to the proceedings. 

WORK IN MOTION

The Living Room ‘before’

Enough of us waxing on though as the proof of the pudding is Beth’s work itself and since we love a house snoop, we gladly accepted Beth’s invite to see one of her projects coming to life. George and Charlotte, in their early 40’s, had recently made the move from Sussex back to Kent to be near their families. Charlotte had worked with Beth before and so when she found her dream home, she knew exactly who was going to help bring her design dream alive. 

The Bathroom ‘before / during’

THE PROJECT

The house is believed to date back to the King Charles 1 era and is positioned in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with four bedrooms and two bathrooms and although in relatively good shape, it needed to align more with George and Charlotte’s style and taste. Beth is well versed in working with listed buildings as well as planning and conservation bodies, so nothing phases her when it comes to challenges -in fact, they are welcomed as an excuse to think outside the box. 

George and Charlotte moved in January 2021 and over many lockdown FaceTime calls with Beth, the brief was set to re-do the sitting room and create a new shower room and en-suite plus walk-in storage from the main bedroom where it was lacking in this area. Luckily for George and Charlotte, Beth loves nothing more than pouring over a floorplan to determine how to reconfigure it making best use of the existing space.

In a non-Covid world, Beth always travels to the house in question, regardless of the budget of the project, so she can meet fact to face in the property and talk through styles. Her ambition is that ‘you shouldn’t know who the designer is when walking into the room to allow the owner’s personality to shine through. My job is to translate what the client is looking for but just doesn’t how to execute it and bring it all together.”

The Bathroom ‘after’

Mood boards with different price and design options were presented for each room and Beth had also craftily spotted how an internal wall on the upstairs floor could be pushed back to create a shower room, done very much in keeping with the style of the house, at the top of the staircase, but still allowing for a spacious en-suite on the other side. The en-suite now includes a jaw-dropping roll-top bath overlooking the fields, with a trio of three glass globe lights overhead – one of Charlotte’s favourite components of the design process – as well as a walk-in shower and stylish washbasin with storage.

The Bathroom ‘after’

This wall manoeuvre allowed extra space for a walk-in wardrobe from the main bedroom to give the couple that vital clothes storage and shows how future proofing plays a big part in Beth’s work as she recognizes that her work should not only bring aesthetic appeal but also add value to the home. Although I don’t think Charlotte and George will be looking to sell anytime soon and who can blame them…

Within the sitting room, the idea was to make the room feel less like a corridor as it linked the kitchen to the rest of the house and make it more of a destination room to relax, entertain and be dog friendly too! Wooden flooring was put in place that blended with the kitchen floor linking it all together with a large, faded rug from Oka to give the room that homely feel and be a central focus in the room. Ambleside by Little Greene (one of Beth’s preferred suppliers) was chosen as a calming and inviting colour for that room, plus reflecting the greenery outside within the extensive garden. 

The Living Room ‘after’

Beth also centralized the lighting on the ceiling to ensure the room had more of a focal point with arresting artwork on the wall to divert your eyes. The artwork was already Charlotte’s by an artist called Hatti Pattisson, who creates hand-finished art prints, and Beth re homed the piece having used some of the colouring from the painting within the new room design.  

This style of working is also helpful on the purse strings too as Charlotte says, “Once we had the mood board with recommended items to buy, we could then manage our budget accordingly and prioritize what we wanted to buy first rather than purchasing them all in one go.”

THE RESULTS!

Charlotte tell us, “I have friends begging for Beth’s number after they have seen her work in our home. We had lots of ideas, but I couldn’t visualize how to bring them to life and Beth’s mood board really helped us collectively determine the right look and ambiance for each room. Plus, we were given design options along the way, so I still felt in control of bringing my own creativity into the projects and I got to witness the fun part of seeing it all come together at each stage.”

We’ll just let the photos do the talking shall we….?

THE NEED TO KNOW

The design process can take six weeks and every step of the way, you have different cost and style options. Prices are available upon request according to your brief.   

53 Stone Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2QU, bethbarkerdesigns.com, +44 7736 502161, bethbarkerdesigns@hotmail.co.uk

Photography by Heather Hughes

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