Bloor Homes’ interior designer loves the ‘blank canvas’ of a new home

Posted 6 January 2016 by Keith Osborne

Interior design expert Lorna O'Toole tells WhatHouse? how she helps homeowners and housebuilders to make the most of their new build home...

For many house-hunters, one of the main attractions of buying a brand new home is to be able to stamp their personality on its decoration and furnishings from day one, building on the neutral walks and floors to stamp a truly unique character on every room.

It’s the same feeling which inspires Lorna O’Toole, who with over 20 years’ experience in the interior design industry, knows a thing or two about making a house a home. She is a director of Redditch-based Euphorium Design Consultancy, which undertakes many show home designs for major housebuilder Bloor Homes.

“A brand new house is a blank canvas for a buyer to stamp their own personality onto,” says O’Toole. “I always encourage my clients to be a bit different and choose furniture and schemes which really reflect who they are. I believe you should be able to walk into someone’s house and get a feel of who they are as a person from the way they choose to present their home.

“I encourage clients who hire my design services to bring me items they truly love, so I get a sense of their personality and taste. I’m a big believer in finding alternatives to expensive designer items, whether that be by upcycling existing furniture or by hunting out quirky antique shop finds. I also encourage clients to take inspiration from their travels.

“For instance, years ago I went to Zanzibar and the colours and style I experienced there influence my designs to this day.”

When it comes to designing a show home interior for Bloor Homes, such as Terlings Park in Hertfordshire, O’Toole has to take a slightly different approach.

“Before I think about the interior design, I drive to the site to get a feel for the area and who might be interested in purchasing a home there,” she says. “I then devise a projected buyer profile, including their name, hobbies, job and likes. From there, we put together a mood board which we will give to Bloor Homes to get their feedback and perspective. After any tweaks, we design the entire interior scheme based on the buyer profile we have devised.

 “I’ve worked with Bloor Homes for a long time all over the UK, and the quality of its properties really does shine through on all the projects I’ve worked on. Their homes prove that new build properties can be full of character and design quirks.”

Visitors can view Lorna’s design for themselves in the show homes at Terlings Park on Eastwick Road in Gilston, (sat nav CM20 2QR), which are open seven days a week,  between 10.00am and 5.00pm. The current selection of four- and five bedroom homes are for sale from £500,000.

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