The top designer Tricia Guild

The top designer Tricia Guild tells Christopher Middleton how an inspired interior can sell your home.

It’s official. Never in British property history has it been harder to sell your house at the price that you’re asking.

According to the latest report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, property values are set to fall by 4.5 per cent this year, and 10.5 per cent in real terms by the end of 2015. This could be the longest period of falling house prices ever seen in this country.

Clearly then, over the coming months, it’s going to need a lot more than the waft of freshly brewed coffee and baking bread to persuade purchasers to part with their money. So what’s the average vendor to do, in order to persuade buyers to view their property not through cold, hard, logical lenses, but through rose-tinted glasses?

How, in short, can you get someone to fall in love with your house? Well, who better to ask than Tricia Guild, OBE? She started her company, Designers Guild, in a tiny shop on the King’s Road, London in 1970. Today, she runs a worldwide £ million-a-year business.

Tricia takes on large-scale redesign projects, working her makeover magic on everything from City penthouses to lakeside pavilions. And the secret of getting buyers hearts to beat a little faster, she says, is not to go for demureness and inoffensive colours, but to pull out the stops when it comes to expressing your personality.

There is nothing more exciting than creating your own home, in your own style.

1 Be bold

I think it’s important when you’re creating a style for your home, to listen to your aspirations rather than your fears. I often hear people say: ‘Oh, I would never dare use such-and-such a colour, I think I’ll stick with beige’.

2 Camouflage the defects

If a room has low ceilings, fill it with long, low-level furniture. If a room is a bit small, fill it with see-through furniture: wirework dining chairs; glass-top tables.

3 Rein in those rafters

If you’ve got big, Tudor beams in your ceiling, paint the space between them a pale shade of pink. It creates warmth and softness.

4 Don’t be ageist

You can give a modern interior an additional layer of individuality by adding the odd antique to the mix. Just as you can give period rooms an extra edginess with a few modern pieces.

5 Get out more

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can’t underestimate the value of going out. I’m always getting ideas, not just from going to design shows in Italy, but from going to the theatre, to the opera and to museums.

6 Give corridors a chance

They don’t just have to be functional walkways. They can be painted in great colours, and given their own personality.

7 Can the cliche

If you want to sell a loft apartment, dont put a black leather sofa in there. It is not only a cliche, but it dominates the space, and creates a heavy, overtly masculine feel.

8 Take the indoors outdoors

It’s all part of the house. A good way of building an extra (albeit outdoor and temporary) room, is to erect a simple, metal frame and hang banners of linen from it.

9 Bring the outdoors indoors

By using wallpaper with a leaf print, or yellow and green colours, in rooms overlooking the garden.

10 Dare to discard

If you have a sofa or a piece of furniture you can’t stand, throw it out. There’s no point spending money on making your home look better, when you’re having to work around something you don’t like.

Be bold!
“There is nothing more exciting than creating your own home, in your own style.”
Don't be agist | Get out more!
Bring the Outdoors Indoors

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