Thinking about some home improvements in 2016?

‘Execute your VISION! Then sit back
and enjoy your home… (ta-da!)’

Here are our top tips to ensure project success…
Plan Ahead: I know it’s boring but running out of the funds you need to complete your project leads to compromise on the finish and quite often means you cannot afford the finishing touches like that beautiful tile splash back for your cloakroom or the new roman blind for your bedroom. Plan ahead and research the true cost of what you want to achieve.
Hire an interior designer to put together a design proposal and cost calculation. This will also save you endless amounts of time researching products, brands and prices. A designer will have all this readily on hand, and should he or she not, will spend the time researching so that you don’t have to.
Keep an eye on your budget: You can very easily get overwhelmed in the midst of a renovation project, especially if you are still trying to work and run a family home. I’d always advise building in some contingency funding to ease the stress of unexpected costs- 15% of the total budget is a good guideline.
Hiring a designer can help you to avoid costly mistakes that will not only help you save money but can increase the value of your home. A designer can keep you on budget and save you time and effort. A designer also knows where to go for resources for everything related to your home. Its what they do day in day out.
Be realistic: Think carefully before making any major changes to your house that will not increase the future selling price. Also make sure what you are trying to achieve is possible structurally or without costly relocation of utilities for example. Engage the services of local professional tradespeople who will charge nothing or very little for estimates.
Whether you have no idea where or how to begin to decorate your home, or whether you have an idea but need help tying pieces together, or you simply haven’t the time to execute your style and vision due to your busy home and work schedule, hiring a designer to manage the implementation of a plan will forge a strong joined-up relationship between you and your architect or contractor early on.
From large scale renovations to advice on selecting paint colours, window and floor coverings or selecting furniture, art work and decorative objects, we can help you achieve your goals.
To find out how Stark & Goodwin can help you execute your vision contact Laura…

Victorian Botanical Art

Or current project Cambridge Street is a Victorian Cottage. Our previous blog post depicts a few before photographs and here at Stark & Goodwin HQ we are busy at the drawing board exploring ideas for the project. As our heart lies in restoration and history we have been looking back at the illustrious era of Victorian Botanical Art for inspiration to create concepts and colour schemes for this renovation.

Flowers became an important part of Victorian life; drawing rooms, walls and fireplaces were adorned with flowers and plants. In our modern age of digital photography, the meticulous detail Victorian artists used to record the flora discovered on expeditions around the world is awe-inspiring. The main criteria was of course scientific accuracy, but many of them are very beautiful in their own right.

Renowned artists of the day included John Day (1824-1888):

John Day orchid paintings
source: wikipedia

John Day orchid paintings
Source: unknown

Brothers Franz (1858-1840) and Ferdinand (1760-1826) Bauer:

Ferdinand bauer

Ferdinand bauer
Source for both images: NCA collection

And Sarah Ann Drake (1803-1857):

Sarah Ann Drake
Source: Pinterest

Sarah Ann Drake
Source: Pinterest

Cambridge St: Before

So this is it! Our first project as Stark & Goodwin; A whole house! We will be preparing and presenting design concepts and colour schemes for this Victorian cottage in Godmanchester. We are also project managing. Working with building contractor Redwood Conversions to organise, oversee and manage the installation of the design scheme proposed.
Our client has bought this property for the rental market, and favours a rich colour palette with some interesting accents. Sympathetic to the era, but with a twist.

This will be a property for a tenant who enjoys good period design and takes pride in their home.

There will be some reconfiguring going on upstairs. The bathroom also needs relocating back to it’s original location across the hall and a stud wall removed to open up the second bedroom.
This is how the cottage looked when our client acquired it.
 Some lovely original features to work with but sadly the house has fallen victim to some terrible DIY over the years and needs some TLC.