In­te­ri­ors queen Vic­to­ria is happy to share her trade se­crets

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sally Coulthard

VIC­TO­RIA Rose is a woman on a mis­sion. As we browse through her rather gor­geous new shop in North York­shire, she tells me it’s time some­one took the in­tim­i­da­tion out of in­te­rior de­sign.

“If you be­lieved ev­ery mag­a­zine you’d think you had to have pots of money to have a stun­ning home,” Vic­to­ria ex­plains with gusto. “It’s just not true. Great in­te­ri­ors are well within the reach of ev­ery­one’s bud­get. You just have to have the right ad­vice.”

Luck­ily, Vic­to­ria’s quite happy to spill the beans. And for free. As a stock­ist of Far­row & Ball paint and wall­pa­per, and a trained F&B con­sul­tant, she spends a large part of her day talk­ing to cus­tomers about colour. There’s an art to choos­ing the right shades, fin­ishes and ef­fects, not to men­tion how to co­or­di­nate colours with fab­rics and fur­ni­ture.

“I do have some golden rules,” she con­fides, “but I’m quite happy to share them.”

But doesn’t this ap­proach mean she’s talk­ing her­self out of a job? “Not at all,” she laughs. “The more con­fi­dent a cus­tomer be­comes with their de­sign choices, the more likely they are to come back to buy some­thing else. I get peo­ple trav­el­ling from miles just to buy paint and have a chat about their lat­est projects. I love it.”

So, if Vic­to­ria had to re­veal ten trade se­crets for affordable in­te­ri­ors, what would they be? Here they are:

Al­ways start with your fab­ric. Fall in love with your fab­ric and take your colour pal­ette from there.

Don’t over­com­pli­cate. Choose two neu­tral colours for a room and add a third “pulling down” colour. The pulling down colour should prefer­ablybe a stronger colour such as a red or blue.

Al­ways have some­thing ugly in a room. This will pre­vent the “show­room ef­fect”. Al­ways have some­thing tattered, hu­mor­ous or just plain weird to cre­ate a con­ver­sa­tion piece. It could be a stag’s head with a hat on, a mar­ble bust with a pair of sun­glasses, a bat­tered old arm­chair – in fact, any­thing as long as it’s unique.

Don’t make a fea­ture of tech­nol­ogy. A tele­vi­sion is not art so don’t hang it on the wall. Hide tech­nol­ogy away if you pos­si­bly can. A lo­cal joiner can eas­ily knock up a sim­ple cabi­net or adapt a cup­board to hide your tele­vi­sion in.

Never scrimp on paint. Buy the best you can af­ford. You want two things from your paint – flat­ness and depth of colour, and you only get those with good raw ma­te­ri­als and lots of pig­ment.

Re­mem­ber, you live in York­shire. So for­get Mediter­ranean colours or stark Scan­di­na­vian in­te­ri­ors, the light in this part of the world works bet­ter with warm neu­trals. Bril­liant white won’t make a room feel big­ger; it’ll just make it feel cold.

Use lo­cal shops and sup­pli­ers. Whether it’s a fab­ric shop or fur­ni­ture re­storer you want, sup­port lo­cal trades­men and busi­nesses. City cen­tre shops tend to charge more for the same ser­vice or prod­uct you can find lo­cally.

Snap up an­tiques. Ev­ery room should have at least one an­tique. They’ve never been cheaper – you can cur­rently pick up a Ge­or­gian chest of draw­ers for the same price as an IKEA one. There’s no con­test.

Ditch fea­ture walls. Wall­pa­per­ing just one wall al­ways looks like you’ve run out of money! Use wall­pa­per ev­ery­where in a room or not at all. If you’re strapped for cash, small rooms can look fan­tas­tic wall­pa­pered – loos, pantries, bath­rooms, even the in­sides of cup­boards.

Ex­press your per­son­al­ity. You should be able to go into a room in your home and know who you are. You and your fam­ily’s iden­tity should be stamped all over your home – whether it’s pho­tos, art­work, me­men­tos or heir­looms.

Vic­to­ria Rose In­te­ri­ors, 2 Howe End, Kirk­by­moor­side, North York­shire YO62 6BD. Tel: 01751 432134 www. vic­to­ri­aro­sein­te­ri­

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