LDF 2013 Lecture Series – Designing for a Show Home


Hello Friends. I hope you are enjoying your weekend so far, a bit of an early post as I’ve got a jammed packed weekend ahead.

Here is the third instalment of my London Design Festival lecture series. Today I wanted to share a talk that was given by Karen Howes from leading Interior Design company Taylor Howes titled “Designing for a Show Home”.

When I decided to attend this talk, I thought that it would be about how to design an interior for a generic client. I mean, a show home is something that needs to appeal to many potential buyers right?

But what I quickly learned was that it’s much more complicated than that. You actually have 2 clients you are designing for with very different needs. One is the developer who is looking to make a profit and the other is for the potential buyer.

It’s a fine balancing act and here are some things I learnt…


  • Get into the mindset of who you are designing for – both the developer and the potential buyer.
  •  The most important space in the design is the Entrance Hall as it is the first and last place that a potential buyer sees.
  • Make guest toilets dramatic, it’s a small space that can usually take a little more creativity and drama in the house.
  • Use dramatic lighting with chandeliers to make the space feel grander.
  • When creating the plan, the first thing to do is to place all the furniture on the plan to design the space.
  • Colour palette is important, go neutral and accessorise with bolder accent colours.
  • When designing a bathroom, it’s all about the little details such as ambient lighting and shaver socket.
  • Detailing and accessorising is important from towels in the bathroom, right down to stocking champagne bottles in the fridge.




  • You need to be clever with your budget and ensure that every millimetre in the space is accounted for to provide value to the client.
  • Never underestimate the dressing of the property at the end and in terms of time and budget. They are just as important as the design process.
  • Developers usually work on £ per square foot calculation.



If you want to see more of the portfolio you can check it out here and if you happen to be in the market for a new abode, you can still buy some of the apartments starting at a couple of million here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series so far. What has been the most interesting thing you’ve learnt?  Have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back here next time. xD

Image Source: Taylor Howes


4 responses to “LDF 2013 Lecture Series – Designing for a Show Home

  • tina @ colourliving

    Again, for me, a subject matter I’m very familiar with.

    I love it how you go to these talks, take notes and then share them with us. Thank you for doing so!

    What are you up to this weekend? It sounds busy. Wish you would come to the Best of Britannia event at the Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell tomorrow. They are celebrating everything designed and made in Britain. Worth a visit.

    Look forward to your next installment.

    • interiornovice

      Hi Tina, I am glad that you are enjoying the series. I’m so sorry I didn’t get a chance to visit the Best of Britannia. I am in the process of putting together a design for a friend so my weekends have been taken up with visiting showrooms and learning how to 3D model – it’s been a lot of work but also fun! xD

  • nylonliving

    love the photos! sadly not in the market for a new place though. I hear you are going to the photo session with The Start Up Wife in 2 weeks. I am too if I can sort out babysitting. Maybe we’ll be able to take such stunning photos with some practice too!

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: