With salary rises trailing behind house price growth, over the past twenty years London has seen the number of homeowners aged 25-34 plummet by over 20%. For first time buyers looking to establish themselves on the London housing ladder sooner rather than later, Clarion Housing has recently unveiled Blackfriars Place, comprising 35 one and two-bedroom apartments in Southwark, that are ready to purchase through the shared ownership scheme. Boutique design consultancy, Suna Interior Design, were tasked with designing the show home for the scheme. Their brief was to appeal to the first-time buyer target audience and offer inspiration to first time buyers about how to decorate their own home, without breaking the budget.
Rebecca Tucker, Director at Suna Interior Design comments: “When it comes to designing your home on a first-time buyer budget, try choosing a few key investment items which will have the greatest impact on the room and also stand the test of time. In the living room at Blackfriars Place, we opted for a leather chair and large arched mirror, these can be relatively inexpensive items, but add personality to the space. It is best to invest in these items first, and off-the-shelf products can then be used to furnish the rest of the apartment, such as throws and cushions. Opting for mix and match items that have been carefully curated will create a unique feel.”
“First time buyers can find some interesting furniture items wandering around vintage markets, in second-hand shops or even searching Ebay - it takes a little time, patience and a discerning eye, however taking the time to shop around is a good investment of both your time and your money. The headboard in the bedroom at Blackfriars Place is the perfect example of this as this was actually purchased on Ebay. We then reclaimed the item and stained it to our desired colour, which really helps to bring character and individuality into the bedroom.”
Rebecca explains: “Today buyers often want individuality within the design of their home, so be brave - adding a splash of colour or choosing a bright, geometric patterned wallpaper can be an inexpensive way of bringing some personality into a room. Remember this doesn’t have to be limited to just walls, also consider ceilings and woodwork as they are a great way to inject colour. In the bedroom at Blackfriars Place, we opted for neutral colours which makes the design easily interchangeable, yet still injected colour by adding a yellow throw, which was set against the backdrop of monochrome and grey bed linen. We also added a bright yellow ottoman to add another pop of colour into the living room, which is a great item for maximising on space as it can be stacked away and pulled out when you have visitors.”
Rebecca continues: “In terms of artwork, there are masses of reasonably priced suppliers of interesting graphic or artwork prints, or online companies that will print your own images, so get busy with the camera phone! Whether it’s an urban shot of graffiti or a textural abstract close up, artwork can add another dimension to a space and bring life to an interior. You could even take an image or photograph and manipulate it with an app or downloaded software, then have it printed supersized for a unique piece of wall art which has maximum impact. You can hang oversized artwork on walls, curate smaller frames into a gallery for a nest effect, or use alternative methods of hanging. At Blackfriars Place, we added bulldog clips to the artwork in the living room, which worked in replacement of a picture frame – they are budget friendly and also help to create a distinct minimalistic atmosphere. In the bedroom we framed album covers which can be inexpensive and adds a unique flair.”
Rebecca concludes: “You can also use items which you already have; repurposing is the new upcycling – taking something and using it in an unexpected way. Take covers from your favourite magazines and paste them onto a wall in the bathroom for an instant and inexpensive wallpaper or use Campbell tins as plant pots for your kitchen herbs. You can also use discarded clothes, such as old jeans, to patchwork a throw together or use some of your grandparent’s best chintz curtains to make a one-off cushion.”
Clarion Housing’s Blackfriars Place in Southwark is a development aimed at young professionals and families who yearn to live in the heart of London, but are priced out of The City by private and rental markets. Enjoying a Zone 1 location, Blackfriars Place comprises one and two bedroom homes that are ideally positioned for London living, with Elephant and Castle, Southwark and Waterloo stations nearby. Prices start from £148,500 for 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom apartment with a full market value of £594,000.
For more information on the work of Suna Interior Design click here.
For more information on Blackfriars Place, please contact the Clarion sales team on 0300 100 0309.