INDUSTRIAL-STYLE REDESIGN OF EXCLUSIVE BRISTOL HARBOURSIDE APARTMENT

July 2015 - March 2016

When I met Simon I could see immediately how excited he was about his new pad. He’d bought a c. 75 sq ft, two-bedroom apartment, off plan, in Bristol’s exclusive new Wapping Wharf development. This as yet unbuilt blank canvas was to be his first proper home, and he was asking me to help him put his stamp on it. 

I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

AN UNCLUTTERED INDUSTRIAL SPACE WITH PLENTY OF COLOUR

Like so many clients, Simon knew exactly what he wanted, but he had absolutely no idea how to get there. Having rented for years previously he’d never had a lot of opportunity to be adventurous with his interior design. He came up with the brief of: “an uncluttered industrial-style space with an injection of colour”. Oh, and he wanted everything to be sourced and available as soon as the apartment was ready to move in to.

Simon had a few lovely pieces of furniture:  a floor lamp, some pictures, two beautiful trunks and a beautiful handcrafted dining table. I love it when clients have clear ideas and some key items that they want to showcase. It gives me a really clear view of their style and provides a great start point for design inspiration. 

 

THE INTERIOR DESIGN PROCESS

After meeting up with Simon in Bristol I had a good idea of the kind of thing he was after.  He’d showed me some images of the style he liked and explained that storage was key as the apartment was fairly compact.

As we’d established the right style I didn’t feel that concept boards were needed so we moved straight on to the design. That meant I could play around with the apartment plans, the kitchen finishes which had already been chosen, and all of the other bits and bobs from our conversations. I spent some time sourcing furniture, rugs, and accessories before presenting the design to Simon. 

He loved it. Phew!

So I started to purchase all the items, including lots of bespoke pieces to make sure the apartment was truly individual. Simon wanted to be fully involved because he was so excited about the whole thing and could feel it coming together. With constant communication and a lot of negotiation we came up with a scheme that works perfectly in its Bristol harbourside setting. And allows Simon to feel immensely proud of his new apartment.

 

THE CHALLENGES THROWN UP BY NEW BUILD INTERIOR DESIGN

One of the main challenges when you’re working off plan is that you can’t actually see the space you’re working with. When we first met all Simon was able to show me was the sales brochure. I would have loved to pop along to Wapping Wharf, stand in the apartment and get a feel for the light and space, but for a good few months it wasn’t to be. Instead I spent much of my time on the phone to the sales office asking for precise measurements so that I could make sure furniture would fit. 

This level of detailed planning was crucial. It meant that when we did get everything in, there were very few pieces that had to be returned. 

The second challenge was that all of the interior walls had been newly plastered and painted white. This meant they couldn’t be repainted for at least 12-18 months. So we had to be a little more creative in order to inject the desired colour. 

 

GETTING THE DETAILS RIGHT

There are a few elements that really made this design scheme come together, and made sure that it truly answered Simon’s brief and gave him the home he was looking for:

  • The dining table was brought back to life by painting the legs in jade green and sanding and oiling the top. 
  • We created a gallery wall with four bespoke shelves painted white to blend with the wall. On these I placed a mass of artwork of all shapes, sizes and colours. Many of these were locally inspired prints by Bristol artists.
  • The yellow curtains work really well in the lounge; they tie the scheme together and bring the whole thing to life. They also inject that all-important colour into the space.
  • We commissioned local company Flotsam, located in Kingston Lisle, to create some amazing bespoke pieces including an industrial style multi-textured headboard, beautiful geometric hand painted headboard and customisation of an industrial-style dresser to add some vital storage to the lounge.

WHAT DID THE CLIENT THINK OF HIS FIRST INTERIOR DESIGN EXPERIENCE?

Simon was very pleased:

“One of the wonderful things about this experience has been that we’ve had the opportunity, with your great help, to make sure that all of the individual elements that I already had…tie in so very nicely to all of the new elements that we’ve added to the interior decoration. 

I had no great conception of how the whole interior design was going to come together. So the wonderful thing about having your help for this was being able to talk to you and share ideas that I had had and things that I have. And to elicit your help in deciding how those objects…how those colours could all work together as part of one interior design scheme.

[You] very quickly come up with an interior design that was far more complete and far more accomplished that anything that I could have done by myself. And it’s lovely to walk in each day and be reminded of the fact that hard work has been rewarded with a very beautiful interior.”

WOULD YOU LIKE SOME INTERIOR DESIGN ADVICE FOR YOUR NEW HOME?

If you’ve just bought a new home, why not think about giving it a makeover?

Get in touch, I’d love to help give you the home you dream of.

If you would like to hear more of Simon’s thoughts about his new apartment, why not listen to my chat with him here.