Interiors with Sarah Jane Nielsen, owner and director of Sarah Jane Nielsen Limited, at Staveley.

There is much to consider when kitting out your bolt hole or rental property. Obviously, it makes a huge difference if it is somewhere you intend to ‘share’ with holiday lets throughout the year or you intend the property for you and your family’s sole use?

We are catering more and more for both scenarios as our client base becomes more discerning and wider spread. There is a larger crossover between what is the minimum one has to achieve to obtain the necessary star ratings of our tourist board or British tourism office and those who will only consider five-star luxury. Take a look at the official websites and print out your preferred rating requirements. Our intention is not to appear too elitist and unapproachable, we would rather be thought of as sympathetic with our advice in whatever form it suits the owner and their intentions or to what extent they may be considering some professional help.

Often, it is a personal journey the property owner wants to experience and enjoy. They have their own vision and are confident in their approach to the refurbishment, decoration or fit out of their property. That I naturally understand completely, as half the excitement is discovering what you are capable of and the pride of the finished result. But, we are not all the same, thankfully we all have our own strengths and weaknesses and the older we get the more we realise we need others to achieve most of our goals. Teamwork is a great thing and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.

Teamwork is a great thing and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of!

There may be one or a number of issues, such as distance, allocating time from your own career, business or home life, a lack of confidence or not knowing where to start or stop. It is apparent that we can become useful as interior professionals.

The questions come thick and fast.

Once I have found my special place, how do I allocate a budget, what is too much or what is too little? Where do I look to source suitable finishes, furniture and decoration? How do I go about finding trades? I would only work with someone that is recommended and I don’t live here! To what extent do I leave them to it? Can you recommend good local people and do you project manage please?

We understand that you may only require the minimum of hand-holding and we welcome involvement on a minimum fee call out basis. This allows us to see the property, hopefully with the client to advise on a course of action to enable you, yourself to make contact with trades or suppliers and move forward from there. We are always on hand to advise by telephone or arrange a visit to the studio to discuss sticky spots you may be experiencing. For a fee we will provide you with a wish list or spread sheet of design details or action, plus a costed procurement sheet if requested from which you can purchase through us or you can take away and obtain your own quotations or supplier costs, whichever is more beneficial to you.

We are happy to direct you to whatever extent helps you, whether it be with regard to style, practicality or interior layout and lighting.