GA Interiors


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Easter is the season for change and renewed growth. It's the time when you're thinking of extending and refreshing your home. You want more space or a new colour scheme to give you a boost after the chilly winter months. Today I'll share with you my PROJECT MANAGEMENT TIPS to help you achieve your dream home. When you're in control of your project then you make better decisions and optimise your budget, creating a space the you love and adore. I have a wealth of information to share with you so I've split it into a 3 part series. Today I'll help you understand how to set up your project. This ensures you're prepared and in control of what's happening.

If you are planning a makeover soon, remember to pick up my interior design book A HOME TO CHERISH (available on amazon as paperback of kindle) that will help you create your stylish and healthy home. 

My next BEGINNERS INTERIOR DESIGN  course is kicking off on Wednesday 1st May. I'll teach you the basics of design to help you create a room that you love. Check out the details below and remember to sign up quickly because it's always popular.

On Sunday 5th May, I've been invited to speak at GRAND DESIGNS LIVE.  It's the fifth year that I've been invited back to speak as an expert on interiors. Such an honour. I'll be giving free advice on kitchen design in ASK THE EXPERT, as well as talking on STYLING YOUR HOME FOR SALE to attract buyers who fall in love with your home.

I've started writing my next interior design book. Like my first book (A Home To Cherish), it's based on stories. It focuses on modern day work environments (coffee shop, dining room table, home office) to reflect on work/life balance and how it affects your productivity. 

I decided on this topic for my next book because I know that it's a major concern for many people. How do you work productively when you have children running around? How do you keep focused on work when the washing pile is staring at you? How do you shut off from work at the end of the day when it's so easy to keep going whilst eating at your desk?  

I'm looking for anyone who works from 'home' and would like to be one of my stories. Working from home could be sitting in a coffee shop for inspiration, having meetings in a members' club, working at your dining table or even having a dedicated room in your house as an office.   If you know of someone, or you think you'd like to be considered then just message me and we can have a chat.

Wishing you a happy Easter filled with laughter and joy x

 Thank you for your continued support and encouragement
Wishing you a healthy and happy weekend  

Gwendoline x

BIID Interior Designer
House Doctor Consultant
Conference & Event Speaker

(PART 1)

Whether you're extending your home, modernising decor or updating the look of a room, Easter is the time when you think of refreshing your home.

When it comes to designing and managing your interior project, most people take a chance and wing it, with fingers crossed. You hope that the money won't run out before you've bought everything you need. You think that the project will be finished in time for your big event. You want it to be a walk in the park: quick, easy and stress free. 

Even if you've never managed a project of magnitude before, how hard can it be? Surely it's just choosing a few products and fluffing a couple of cushions. 

Did you know that 90% of interior design projects fail? 

They fail in the sense that you're not happy with the space even after you've decorated. You've traipsed endlessly around shops looking for stuff, overspent on your budget and almost lost your sanity with stress... and you're still not happy with the results! It's not your dream home.

Most people begin a makeover of their home by trawling the internet or shopping for stuff that they like. It's a reasonable place to start but it means that your design, most likely, won't be cohesive and balanced.  

In my interior design book, A HOME TO CHERISH, I share with you how to begin creating your dream home from a design perspective. 

Today, I'd like to share with you how to create your dream home from a project perspective. In particular, I'll share with you how best to set up your project so that you keep on track and limit overspending. 

Interior design projects rarely go to plan and are riddled with disaster from the beginning, because interior d esign is a creative process with many external factors continuously influencing your project. 

Your  project overruns because the glazing is delayed. Your money runs out because of an unforeseen catastrophe. You're knocking your head against a wall and can't resolve a problem. It's an anxious time because your home is disturbed and your happy life disrupted.
Knowing some basic skills of how to plan and control your interior project will help to save you time, maximise your budget and reduce project stress.

There are three stages that will help you successfully manage any design project. Firstly, there's project start up, followed by project tracking and then finalised with project closedown. Each phase has a different purpose that helps to structure and influence the success of your interior design makeover.
Project Start Up

Most people start a makeover by trekking out to the shops to buy stuff for their room but, if you take a moment to step back and plan then you're going to be prepared to deal quickly and easily with any problems that occur. You're likely to encounter some issues during your project because you can't always predetermine every aspect of the makeover. Some things happen that you don't expect.
The aim for Project Start Up is to set a baseline, with a focus to understand how long the project will take and how much it will cost. 

Firstly, I recommend that you make a list of all of the different elements in your room that will need changing. I usually type it into an excel spreadsheet that's easier to manipulate. In my excel spreadsheet I have a worksheet for each room, with a summary sheet that collates budget and time data from the separate worksheets. 

For your project list, consider:
- structural changes (taking down walls/add windows/install chimney breast)
- plumbing (radiators/sinks)
- heating (fireplace/boiler)
- walls (paint/wallpaper)
- windows (curtains/blinds)
- lighting (down lighters/ceiling pendant/table light/floor lamp) 
- flooring (tiles/carpet)
- accessories (pictures/vase/bedding) 

The list for each room details all of the information that you need to know about for each design element. For example: if I'm buying a sofa then I'll have information about the supplier, the name and size of the sofa, my colour and fabric choice, any special features (type of leg or button back finishes), how much it costs and any discounts, delivery charges and delivery time. This gives me all of the information that I need to make sure I buy the right item. It helps in working out my project budget and it also keeps me informed of when to expect delivery of the sofa. 

You need information on the design, the budget and time.   
If you have a large project with structural changes, that's managed by a builder or architect, then I recommend you ask for a 'schedule of works' so that you can keep informed on what's happening with your project. Even if you have a fixed price contract, It's important to see how your project is scheduled so that you know when you're likely to get your home back and looking lovely, and also to understand delays when things don't go to plan. 

Issues that affect time will delay you from moving back into your home, which could have a knock on affect if you're living in rented accommodation whilst the build or makeover is progressing. That's why I recommend you review the three factors of design, budget and time for any interior design project.   

For today, have a go at putting your project list together so that you understand everything that needs to happen to create your dream home. This list will form the baseline for your project. You'll use it to take control of your project and be able to track your project progress. It will help you make quick and informed decisions that will save you time, money and a bucket load of stress on your interior design project. 

If you get stuck or feel overwhelmed when creating your project list,  just get in touch and I'll help to set you up for success.  

With over 25 years' project management experience, I've managed everything from simple makeovers to complex multi-national projects. I know how to get you out of the tsunami and into the calming sea.

Remember, 90% of interior design projects fail. One of the reasons they fail is because they're not set up properly to being with. Projects are inefficient and out of control before they've even begun. You go head on into the design without taking control of the project, so step back and take a moment to think about what you want to achieve.

Plan your perfect project. 

Next week I'll share with you Project Tracking. This is when you have to take control of your project because issues start to arise as the design gets underway. I'll share with you how to keep on time and within budget.

The following week, I'll take you through Project Close Down. It's often overlooked but can help you save a whole lot of stress once problems occur after the project has finished.

 Wishing you a stylish and healthy year


BIID Interior Designer
Conference & Event Speaker

I teach the First Steps In Interior Design course in collaboration with Oaklands College, based in Saint Albans.

It's a 6 week, once a week, leisure course that will teach you the fundamentals of design to help you create your own beautiful interiors. I take you through all of the important considerations from colour theory to lighting, choosing the right curtains or wallpaper, as well as planning the perfect room space.

Some students come along with a friend as a sociable way of learning something new, others are keen to see if they can make a career out of interior design, and it's a great way to have some personal time away from the hustle of a busy family.

You'll go home each week with loads of knowledge, ideas and inspiration. Each week I tailor activities to help you feel comfortable using your new skills with confidence. Also, at the end of the course you'll have created a mood board design for a room in your own home.

This course is always popular so, if you're interested in joining up then sign up soon.

I look forward to meeting you in person and sharing my expertise.

Wednesday 1st May 2019
(7:30 pm till 9:30 pm)
To reserve your place click on the link above or contact:
Oaklands College
Smallford Campus
Hatfield Road
St. Albans
Community Learning Team
01727 737154
  Looking forward to seeing you for 
a whole lot of learning.

Interior Design Expert & Lecturer



Grand Design Live (ExCel, London) is the award winning home event for ideas, inspiration and expert advice. 

Based on the Channel 4 series and presented by Kevin McCloud, the show offers visitors top expert advice, new product launches and specialist exhibitors in six project zones. Whether you're planning a self-build, renovation or are adding the finishing touches, you'll find ideas and inspiration for your very own Grand Design.

Being asked back to speak as an expert is an honour, and this year I'll be sharing ideas and inspiration to attract buyers who'll fall in love with your property. 

Sunday 5th May
11:30 - 12:15 pm and 2:30 - 3.15 pm

I'll showcase the latest styling trends to create an attractive home, helping you achieve a quick sale for the best possible price in a competitive market.

Hope you can join me
Gwendoline x
Interior Design Expert & Speaker

If you know someone who's creative, enjoys watching interior programmes on the telly, reads design magazines, or wants to create a beautiful home, please feel free to forward this onto them for inspiration.




Stay Stylish 

TELEPHONE +44 (0) 7841 519802 
In This Issue
The Perfect Project
Beginner Design Course
Speaking: Grand Designs Live
Quick Links