Home' Abode : November 23 Contents THE HERALD
More than ever before householders want
a "wow" factor in their home. Gone are
the days when the old saying "Be it ever so
humble, there is no place like home", rang true.
People want their abodes to be havens, yes, but
not so humble. This is where the region's interior
designers have been coming into play more and more.
No longer are they the privilege of the rich and
famous; everyday residents are seeking out their
In these uncertain times our homes are a haven
from the world's troubles, but now people want them
to look more than "good and comfortable", they want
The gloomy economic forecasts have driven more
people into their homes to not just live but to enter-
tain family and friends, so they want the space to
reflect their personality and what gives them joy. But
the would-be decorators are finding this task a little
easier said than done. The combination of a vast
range of products and the subsequent costs involved
have left those wanting to transform or update their
homes often confused and concerned their deco-
rating prowess may be left wanting.
"People more often than not know what they want,
but sometimes it can all be a little overwhelming to
bring it all together," Maitland interior designer Fyona
"There is so much out there and if the look doesn't
work it can result in a costly mistake. They also want
something that won't date, so it has to be done well in
the first place."
Newcastle specialty indoor/outdoor concept store
Habitat owner Michael McFayden says the "wow"
factor is very much what people are after today.
"We realised when we started five years ago that to
sell product we had to offer interior design services
so people could translate their passion for particular
styles and looks into their own exciting interior," he
"The style, colour and personality of the home are
just some of the things that are taken into account,
but it starts with a vision and that is where our interior
designer's flair comes into it.
"To avoid expensive mistakes, we manage the project
from the concept to installation. This involves every-
thing from colour visuals to furniture layouts.
"It does save money, but also time. We also have
access to many fabrics and pieces that are not gener-
ally available to the public."
McFayden believes customers like that designers
have the confidence to say "it will work".
"You need the guts to do it, but at the same time you
can't go off half cocked, because you will end up with
half a result."
He says his store is popular because it carries many
one-off decorator items.
"People like that, but they also like the design to
reflect their personality. They don't want a showroom,
they want a home."
Habitat's interior designer, Melissa Webster, says
people are spending a lot more time at home so are
happy to invest in their space.
"I guess comfort is the main aim, but they also want
longevity out of their pieces. They are often looking
for that timeless elegance, but at the same time
durability. It comes down to sustainable design with
ecologically friendly items, but ones that are beauitful
Webster believes people "worry if they are not get-
ting it right" and often just want reassurance.
"We can look at the big picture or one or two rooms.
We can reassure them or offer other suggestions.
There are also people who are time poor and just
want it finished."
Webster says the move to transforming homes is not
so much about materialism, but that people want a
place of rest and relaxation in an otherwise hectic
"The natural, rustic designs of recycled timbers
Not so humble
Interior designers are coming into play as
people want to turn their homes into more
stylish havens, finds Jane Parsons.
BEFORE AND AFTER: A room before
a Melissa Webster makeover, top, and
the same room after, below.
334 Brunker Road,
Phone 4952 9299
Jetmaster Old Style Interiors
...for all your renovation needs
Heritage Hardware • Fireplaces
Handmade Tiles • Clawfoot Baths
Mirrors • Switches & Sockets
House Names and much more!
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