With two show homes due to open at Story Homes’ Paddocks View development in Middleton St George this spring, we spoke to interior stylist Suzanne Webster about how she incorporates Story Homes’ signature style alongside the latest design trends.
How long have you been working with Story Homes? I’ve been working with Story Homes for a few years now. Initially we developed a style in the Cumbrian show homes, and then as we opened show homes for new developments in the North East and North West we have adapted and tailored the style to suit the regional areas. It has been a really exciting period to be involved with the company.
Why do you think show homes are important for customers? Show homes are very important – especially for a house builder like Story Homes which is not just selling a house, it’s selling a home and lifestyle. I feel very blessed to be able to be a part of the process. My job is important to help customers realise the potential of the space and imagine their families living there.
What do you have planned for the new show homes opening at Paddocks View? At Paddocks View we have two show homes, a Boston and a Taunton house type which are two of Story Homes’ best selling four-bedroom detached homes. The layout and design of Story Homes’ house types make my job easier from the start. It’s such a high quality blank canvas with well proportioned rooms and areas that have bi-fold doors or bay windows which bring in a lot of light.
For the Taunton show home, we have used a largely neutral colour base which I’ve accentuated with deep charcoal and aubergine to add a classic sophistication. Because the rooms are so spacious, we can use charcoal wallpaper on a feature wall without making the lounge look small. In fact, it adds a great dimension and contrast alongside the other neutral walls, a light carpet and dark furniture. In a show home I tend to choose a colour palette and then reflect it throughout the house, which gives a sense of continuity and flow. This is a great tip to incorporate show home style into your own home.
In the Boston house type we have introduced more colour. Inspired by designer Matthew Williamson we have used a lime and teal colour palette, which sounds like it would clash but mixed right it looks fantastic. For furniture I’ve sourced a lot of white, chrome, mirror and glass pieces and incorporated the colour elements with furniture, curtains, art and soft furnishings. Investing in a statement sofa or dining rooms chairs can add a really striking element to a room. It can also work very well in a child’s room if you accent with a rug, bedspread and some cushions. This keeps the room in keeping with the rest of the house but still suitable for play!
What is it like working with Story Homes? It takes about four days to fit out two show homes on a development, but the preparation before we walk through the door takes months. First I look at the house styles to see what space I’m working with, and then start to create mood boards. Once the concepts have been agreed with the team at Story Homes it is time to shop! Our go-to stores are Barker and Stonehouse and John Lewis which help us to create that aspirational but accessible look and feel.
When we walk through the door it is a blank canvas although flooring, paint and wallpaper – chosen months prior – are finished. The team gets to work straight away unloading vans full of furniture, lamps, bedding and cushions – it can get pretty hectic but it all comes together beautifully. It’s a great feeling once we have added the final touches, made sure everything is perfect and handed the keys over to the Sales Executive on site. That’s my job done and it’s onto the next development.
Click the video below to watch a behind the scenes video of Suzanne Webster decorating one of our show homes.