Suzanne Webster is Story Homes’ interior stylist. She has 20 years of experience in the homes industry and has worked as an interiors editor, art director, set designer and writer.
What makes your company stand out as a ‘best in class’ in the interior design industry?
As Story Homes’ interior designer I work closely with their sales team. What we’ve put together is a really nice high-end finish with top quality items, such as Barker and Stonehouse furniture, harlequin fabrics and wallpapers and so on. We give a real luxury feel to the furnishings which complements the high specification homes. We get a lot of people sending really nice emails asking where items are from – from people who have visited the show homes.
What are the latest trends in interior design?
At the moment, gold and bronze hues are working really well in the show homes for Story Homes. They add to the luxe look and Story Homes is really pleased with the outcome. They’re versatile as well – for example, in ‘The Meadows’ show home in Lazonby I used gold accents and a lot of red and brown colours to bring warmth into the homes. Next I’m working on their Appleby show home and using luxurious fabrics including velvet – with the gold introducing a bit of bling.
How can your services help housebuilders meet their marketing agenda?
I’d say that most people who go looking for a new house want something aspirational but also something that they can achieve themselves, which I always bear in mind. Getting the look right really supports homes sales and I always give the sales team cards with a list of everything that is in their houses so they can tell people where to buy items from.
A good show home also supports the Story Homes marketing team with beautiful photos to use across their marketing, website and promotional pictures. Story Homes also produces a fabulous lifestyle magazine called ‘Story Living’ which really brings the Story Homes brand to life.
How does your service compare, both in the early design stages of a development and once the show home is operational?
In the earliest stages of a development I will visit to see the design of the home and also the wider location. Whitehaven, for example, is by the sea and that helps to inspire the mood boards I put together which are then approved by the Story Homes team.
Once the show home is operational I can effectively offer customers a full service. If people come in and are inspired by the house I can tell them where to get each item – everything in the house can be bought from retailers ranging from Barker and Stonehouse to the White Company.
Do you have any recent case studies that illustrate your designs?
I’ve designed a fabulous show home at ‘The Beeches’ in Kendal. It has a beautiful kitchen-dining room, a gorgeous big open-plan space at the back. It’s an aspirational house, where I used lots of blues and made the most of the Harlequin Anthology wallpaper ranges 1 & 2 – they’re very nicely put together with a wide variety of blues and golds.
We used that that as the basis and then with the family room at the back I chose a lovely Barker and Stonehouse table and a lot of quality British linens for the curtains, together with beautifully-upholstered furniture. Visitors responded really well to the bedroom wallpapers upstairs, which have an almost sparkly finish – we got a lot of positive feedback.