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2017 we commissioned Beth to design an upholstery fabric for the main lounge in a residential care home in Oxford. Yes, another Oxfordshire project, but we do work in other counties! The client wanted to create an

elegant, relaxing and tranquil lounge space, away from the hubbub of the rest of the home. I knew exactly what I was looking for but could not find it anywhere in a performance fabric. We briefed Beth who produced this beautiful, fern leaf design in watercolour, which Evans Textiles then printed on a waterproof upholstery base cloth. The fern, together with a bespoke colouring of Skopos Tatton for the curtains, helped to create a space which residents love spending time in. We turned to Beth again for some of

the fabrics at Henley Manor, my particular favourite being a toile de Jouy, which involved Beth drawing iconic landmarks from Henley-on-Thames. I was so excited to receive the sample – can you tell?! We also love working with Panaz. Their

seemingly endless archive of designs, together with their recently launched ReMake service, opens up massive opportunities for designers to create their own fabrics and wall coverings. I shall admit to being completely

pedantic about colour matching so this service is perfect for me. At Henley Manor, I had a very particular aesthetic in mind for the main reception area. Having found initially what I felt was the perfect paper, by the time it was needed on site, it had of course been discontinued. Any designer reading this will, I am

sure, relate, having found themselves in a similar boat, be it tiles, feature fabrics or lighting. By working with Panaz, we were able to ensure that the finished wallcovering was absolutely spot on since we supplied them with the Dulux references for the panelling and internal doors, which they matched to. My design detail box was well and truly ticked. As well as suppliers of wall coverings

and fabrics, we have also worked with furniture manufacturers. David - my husband and business partner - spent the first 30 years of his working life as a cabinetmaker and whilst his days of being behind the bench are a thing of the past, he still designs all the bespoke furniture for our care home projects, including free-standing pieces such as the garden bench and fitted pieces such as bookcases and TV units. For Henley, we were also looking for a

certain style of scroll armchair - one for the bedrooms and another for two of the lounges. We approached Edison & Day

to see if they would be interested in producing some chairs to meet our brief. We had a couple of very specific styles

in mind so we sent their head of business development, Steve Nixon, our wish list and worked closely with him during the development of the new models. A few months later, Steve arrived at HomeSmiths HQ with the chair prototypes ready for me to road test and later in the year we saw the finished articles in their new home. Most of our clients engage us since

they do not have an in-house design resource. From time to time we are appointed to work with an internal interior designer. It is always great to receive testimonials from clients, yet this one from Georgie Williams-Wynn, interior design manager at Savista Developments, meant a great deal to us. Not only was our relationship with Georgie collaborative, her feedback very much underlines what HomeSmiths is all about. “I had the pleasure of working with

Jacqui and David on a recent care home installation - from construction through to completion. They were extremely professional and thorough, honing in on intricate details that emphasised their fantastic schemes. Jacqui is especially meticulous with her design for dementia. I would highly recommend their design services for future projects,” she said. TCHE

Contact details

Telephone: 01444 440880 Website: LinkedIn: homesmiths

June 2020 • 1 1

©Hallmark Care Homes

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