My partner has... very masculine taste, but my bedroom – or rather our bedroom – is absolutely my den. It’s feminine in an old fashioned way. But there are no teddy bears; it’s not twee.
My children ... have the most adverse effect on my designs. I don’t let the fact that I have small boys in my house determine how I decorate it. They’ll throw my beautiful Islamic antique cushions onto the floor as a game.
The cost of moving house ... has shot up. It’s not just the purchase price of a property, but the related costs like stamp duty and Home Improvement Packs (HIPs) which you now have to consider. I’ve been campaigning against the HIPs because I thought they would contribute to the stagnation of the property market, which they have done.
There is no evidence of ... a catastrophic fall in prices on the horizon.
But we need to ... campaign for a reduction in stamp duty and re-inject some confidence into the market.
If you buy a property to sell... don’t have a a crazy bathroom or wallpaper with birds all over it.
To decorate something quickly for sale ... spend money on new towels, a toaster and a kettle, which freshen up the house and can be taken away.
There is a difference between ... decorating for yourself and for a buyer.
As a seller ... create an illusion of the perfect life.
However I often plead with buyers ... not to be seduced by the silver photo frame with a picture of the happy couple skiing or on the beach. Don't buy into the dream life.
Wallpaper is ... coming back. Labour is so expensive now that putting up paper does not cost much more than re–painting a wall.
Never ... plug–in synthetic air fresheners. They give terrible headaches.
There is a decline in ... ceiling down–lighters. Now lamps, side lamps and wall lights are preferred.
If my house was burning down ... I would chuck all the pictures into the garden. Even if the glass broke, the pictures might survive. I’d risk a bit of time opening the safe to get the jewellery out.
Our island is ... not growing. Virtually everybody in the world would like to live here. There is demand, and limited supply of property. When people compare us to America, they forget all their available space. They build millions of houses a year but in the UK last year, we built 160,000 houses.
mydeco combines ... two of my real interests – interiors and property. The 3D tool works well because you can play with decorating and your own room shape.
The mydeco BCIS tool is ... very exciting and will prove to be very useful. Anybody who watches Grand Designs or Property Ladder knows that people do have incredibly unrealistic ideas when it comes to how much decorating and building work will cost.
People have a constant fear of ... being ripped off, believing that their estimate is hugely OTT without understanding market rates. If the mydeco BCIS tool can give an average price across the board, it will be a very good baseline to use for local search – remembering that prices do differ from area to area.
I was flattered to be voted a sexy FHM woman... but people have been taking the p*ss ever since. Two ex–boyfriends have been having hilarious email banter. It has proven that my friends and family don’t take my work or public persona seriously.
See how much your building work should cost with our newly added BCIS tool.
Want more inside info on property and design from the experts? Have a squiz at our interviews with the Mr Grand Designs himself, Kevin McCloud, the father of good British design, Sir Terence Conran, and the infamously outspoken Philippe Starck.
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