How To Redesign A Room With Christine Hayes

Christine Hayes, director of interior design company, The Blueberry Home, enjoys encouraging her clients to go outside their comfort zone when redesigning a room or house, whilst ensuring the beautiful living spaces she creates will stand the test of time
The Blueberry Home

Christine thrives on designing bespoke interiors that are both stylish and practical. She loves small jobs, such as a simple window treatment, just as much as a full house renovation.

Her recent work ranges from a country cottage in the Yorkshire Dales to an apartment in Saltburn, and she’s currently working on a property in Great Ayton. But she also has clients all over the UK and abroad, one of her favourite jobs, unsurprisingly, being a villa in the South of France.

Christine studied architecture at university but soon discovered that she had a greater passion for the interiors and soft furnishing of a property, as opposed to the bricks and mortar. Her architectural training, however, has proved a great tool to have when she’s planning and drawing her designs for clients.

Christine worked for several high end interior design companies over a number of years but when a friend approached her suggesting they set up The Blueberry Home together, she jumped at the chance.

“I love nothing more than being out on the road, visiting my clients, brimming with ideas,” says Christine.

“Today I’ve got bags of samples, books and paints loaded in the car, so that I can show my clients as much choice as possible, and to give them the best idea of what we’re trying to achieve.

“Rather than creating mood boards, I prefer to present several design schemes to them, so I can judge how the colour and texture is distributed within the room before making our final choices. Site visits are always varied at different times throughout the day, as the natural and artificial light plays a big part in the overall feel. Detail is absolutely key!

“It can be difficult as a lot of people can’t envisage how the room will look, or how a particular colour will be distributed. So that’s all about trust really.

“People know what they like, they take inspiration from magazines, but when it comes to actually pulling together a look for a room, or an entire house, that’s a different thing. So that’s where I come in.

“I enjoy encouraging my clients to step out of their comfort zone if they can. I’ll always give them the ‘safe’ option too but will also show them something out of the box and we usually end up somewhere in the middle. It’s nice for them to have an end result that they wouldn’t have thought about or achieved without my input.

“I always tell them, ‘If this was my home, this is what I would have’, sometimes they go with it and sometimes they don’t, but my main aim is to achieve the best overall result for the client.”

Browsing through photos of the projects Christine has worked on, it’s clear that she has a keen eye for design and can turn her hand to creating a contemporary, fuss-free feel just as easily as she can produce an elegant, period look.

“I’d describe my style as modern classic, timeless and luxurious. Of course it depends on what the client likes but my main challenge is to deliver something that will stand the test of time as people are spending lots of money.

“The design fee element is such a small percentage of the overall budget and my clients find it invaluable to have someone to guide them through the process, which in turn saves them from making silly mistakes which can cost them more money in the long run,” adds Christine.

Christine, who now runs The Blueberry Home as a one-woman show, says her inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere:“I get a lot of inspiration from fabric houses and suppliers as they’re always sending me lots of lovely samples.

“I also love poring over magazines, not just design and interior ones but I love fashion magazines too. And Instagram is great. Sometimes inspiration can come from a bar, restaurant or shop I’ve visited, or even a chair. It can happen at any time.”

While Christine relishes every job she takes on, she loves getting her teeth into a full house renovation.

“It’s really enjoyable helping a client with an entire property because you get the flow throughout the project. It’s like doing multiple projects but you’re only dealing with one client, which certainly has its benefits. With multiple rooms you build the relationship with the client, understand them and often they give me free reign to do what I like.

“That’s definitely my favourite type of client, to have carte blanche, but at the end of the day they have to be comfortable with the finished result and I always ensure that’s the case. It’s very rewarding.”

Most of the work Christine does is on residential properties although she occasionally tackles a café or bespoke office renovation to mix things up a little.

Christine finds herself juggling multiple projects, most of the time, with all her briefs coming through recommendations and repeat business.

She says: “I have a small team of suppliers and tradespeople that I’ve worked with for many years. We recommend each other for new work too so our clients benefit from the seamless working relationship that we all have.”

Christine is hoping to buy a new property in York soon and is looking forward to making her mark and creating a beautiful home, if she has the time!

Once complete, you can be sure it will serve as the ultimate masterpiece to showcase her exceptional interior design expertise.

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