Craving a stylish holiday without the hefty price tag of a designer hotel? I met serial entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow who founded Luxe Home Swap, a worldwide house swapping service for people with homes they’re proud of. Discover how to make a home exchange work and why her bedroom is ridiculous.
If you’re going away… you don’t need to stay in hotels; do a home exchange for a different holiday experience which lets you be as a local in a new area. For £99 a year, Luxe Home Swap offers a home exchange service all around the world.
My top tip for a happy home swap is… communicate; Get to know the people you are swapping with through email and phone calls. In essence, you’re doing a life swap – the more you know about someone the better. Discuss details like linen and rubbish and there will be no nasty surprises.
People’s everyday style is different to… what they want on holiday. We see lots of style swaps on the website as people often swap their urban, pared down apartments for flamboyant country properties.
I live in… a mews house in Marylebone with my husband Chris, two-year-old son and 18-year-old stepdaughter. It was derelict when we bought it three years ago. When renovating, the outer walls were almost the only bits left standing; we took everything else out. The challenge with mews houses is light. Ours started off nasty, dark and dank so we installed a retractable glass roof and a glass side.
We’ve had to adapt the house… since we’ve had children. It’s out with the gym and in with the nursery.
It is totally ridiculous and impractical but… my favourite room is our bedroom which is a very indulgent floor with two adjacent baths, a wet room with a glass roof and a dressing room.
My interior style is… contemporary with a twist. When I was single, my homes were stark but now I’m more into colour and comfort. For example, we’ve covered our beautiful limestone staircase with a carpet runner.
My favourite furniture designers are… fairly classic. I own Eames rockers, Philippe Starck ghost chairs and Vivienne Westwood’s flower rug for The Rug Company.
I would be lost without… my dressing room and custom-built shoe cupboard.
People are always surprised that I… don’t know how anything in my kitchen works. Until my husband moved in, the kitchen cupboards were full of shoes.
To update a room… add statement furniture. Wallpaper little rooms – we have the silver and white iguana wallpaper by Timorous Beasties on the top floor. My dressing room is a hot pink flock by Osborne and Little.
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