Spoilt. By choice!
Written by Peter Wilcock
(click on any image to enlarge)
We are on the move again! In so many ways! New ventures and adventures. Our thinking hats are on again and, as we plan the renovation and styling of potential new properties it reminds me why I have always had a love of imaginative ideas and beautiful homewares.
I started to write this intending to state that this fascination dates back to the early 1990`s when I first met Philip and (within a year) set up my first home with him – but that actually does my childhood days disservice. All through my time at home in North Wales my Dad was constantly renovating the family home – sketching original ideas for the house and garden and turning those drawings into a reality. I wish I still had those sketches as they were facinating works of art in themselves. The majority of what he designed remains to this day in the family home. Sadly I was more of a curious bystander in those days, constantly under my Dad`s feet I am certain (not that he ever minded) and I was more of an observer than contributing anything worthwhile. But I guess that excitement of watching him design and build has never left me, it educated me and over the years my interest and passion has burgeoned through Philip and through several house moves and a number of rental and / or restoration projects. Not forgetting the villa we have on Rhodes…
The property on Rhodes has been the main thrust for the last few years and our work in the UK has been limited more to just our rental or renovation houses. It is no secret that the long-term rental houses have creatively been a total bore for me personally. We were told not to lavish great ideas and styling on those properties – therefore making them rather dull by our standards. A long term tenant is perhaps less concerned about all the sparkle and spectacle provided by us and they just want a rental in nice condition – a clean and clear four walls all in good order.
We were not buying to sell (in the short term) – we were buying to rent. This can be lucrative as a good rental yield can be achieved if you choose wisely. Choosing wisely in other aspects will also give fruition to a potentially bountiful financial increase on re-sale compared to purchase. For us it is not rocket science – it is instinct. It pays off.
But being a landlord, if you have a passion for property and great ideas, can be tedious. Older properties do require more maintenance – hence one of the reasons why our next tenanted rental will be a brand new build. When we buy the next rental it will be pitched at a much higher price bracket than before, intentionally. What we create sells and when we enter a higher level of long term rentals we feel we can have the luxury to litter it with some innovative styling choices.
OKA in Knutsford, Cheshire. Worth a visit!
The ideas we have remain fresh and forthcoming but it is the furnishings that we have been, surprisingly, finding very difficult to choose. Most shops are offering some form interiors component – coupled with the internet`s infinite online stores – the choices available feel seemingly endless. With the task a time consuming pursuit, the overbearing choices can mean hours, days, even weeks are wasted mulling over options. Filtering out what is out there is important to make life a little easier.
An example of my filtering: One well known department store has some truly shocking home furnishings at the moment. If there buyer can bring in, to the mass market, table lamps with a rabbit base and a frilly tasseled velvet shade (above!) then in all honesty I am happy to disregard the rest of there stock on principle. On the flip side John Lewis I am hugely impressed with at the moment. They have some stunning choices that stimulate and impress creatively. So a simple piece of filtering there.
Choices galore! Cheaper online?
With the online choices at bursting point you can easily find something you like – and then google the life out of finding a similar item until you have wasted hours on comparisons! Our filter – if we find what we like we will then either buy it straight away or go on to spend no more than ten minutes looking at alternatives. So this searching for similar items by other designers or comparing prices with other suppliers has a ticking clock on it. Ten minutes to settle on something (usually your first choice I find anyway!). So that is a discipline filter.
Making life a little easier on our tastes and love of interiors is not a bad thing. When you overbearingly focus on (as an example) what style bar-stool you are going to buy then your judgement becomes clouded, you become tired of the process rather than excited by it. Errors occur. If you love design and interiors it can be a difficult decision to distance yourself from the enormous choice available – but learning how to manage, to tighten up on your decisions gives you so much more focus and clarity on some very important choices.
(above) Quill Velvet Cobalt Velvet fabric with feather design from Designers Guild
Dithering is another fail in my eyes. I know I frustrate Phil sometimes but when I visit a nice interiors store and I see something I really like I will buy it. I get indignant when he asks where will we place the desired item? Why not give it some thought he asks? That is a technicality! I like it and the chances are I will find a home for it. Too often I have been held back and the item has then gone. Buy it. It will work somewhere because you love it. And all stores have a return policy if, on the small chance, you were wrong. Dithering on things I always find a bit feeble. The above fabric I spotted a few weeks back and instantly I wanted it for a specific area (re-covering 6 antique dining chair cushions). It is not cheap but it will be a highly effective and luxurious statement – it is a sumptuous velvet featuring a clever digital print of beautifully detailed feathers and quills. One of those instances I could of searched for weeks and weeks but I found what I liked, decided on it and I know it is 100% the right decision. The waiting weeks and weeks is confined to impatiently waiting for it to be all upholstered and delivered back to us!
Of course it is now October and we near the end of the 2017 rental season for VLK on Rhodes www.rhodesluxuryvilla.com The villa launched early in 2008 so next year will be our 10th anniversary celebrations of something that has grown and grown and become its own beast. We remain very proud and committed to VLK and our 2018 guests have a lot to look forward to. Many of our new choices have been made already. No dithering there either!
VLK Rhodes is a luxury villa at Vlicha Bay on the Greek Island of Rhodes
Booking now for 2018 and 2019
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