Steve Coogan – Director of Hampstead Estate Agent Madison Carter – discusses the NW3 ‘hood with Carly Madhvani.
Tell us a bit about your business?
A personal interior design service with modern furniture expertise. From layouts to finishes, sharing contacts to organising installation. Carly has takes away the stress and confusion and creates an interesting, practical, well-balanced beautiful home. Opening my home as a showroom is the ideal way to show examples of how to add colour, texture, design and quality (and where to save too).
What do you love most about Hampstead?
The people. They’re creative and straight talking. No time for tittle tattle: always time for a laugh. Plus the clothes shops, oh and the schools… and the restaurant choice is pretty amazing.
What makes it different to other areas of London?
The energy… it’s infectious. The fresh air, parks and open spaces really help with that too. It has many historic, architectural places which add interest and character.
What were your motivations for starting the business?
Being told that I was really useful in ways which helped other mums like myself enjoy their homes more. I live and breath interior design, it gets me going. To start a business which enabled me to share my passion is really where my heart is.
What are your biggest challenges as an independent?
Juggling my time between: Creative, admin, accounts, social media, marketing, branding, trade-shows, supplier relationships. All very important! I try and outsource as much as possible. All I really want to do is play with finishes and textures, drawings and images all day! But my client’s wouldn’t receive their furniture on time!
Besides yourselves, what’s your favourite independent Hampstead business?
Olivers Cafe in Belsize Village – which is owned by an autistic guy. He sells his own paintings in the cafe. It has a great atmosphere, good specials and the best hangover breakfasts! He is an inspiration.
What could local people be doing more of to help Hampstead traders?
Just show their support really. Think first – can someone close by be a good fit for my needs.
5 reasons why you should start your interiors project with a furniture consultant.
Knowledge of where to source furniture. Other than our established golden oldie brands where we know their service standards and often pull strings, we love finding new places and starting relationships so we can bring you the best of new trends
Layouts can be tricky, especially if you have a through room or an unusually shaped room. 2D plans help, sketches are good too but the most visually useful way I have found is when I rearrange my showroom to your floor plan. This really works.
Organising multiple orders from a selection of suppliers is a useful skill. To achieve an interesting mix of modern and high street with up-and-coming designers will give depth and contrast to the look, rather than bulk buy.
You save money by placing one order with a furniture consultant and they do the leg work.
Delivery, installations, access, tradesmen, material samples, timing, finishes, sizes… All of these are important issues and are included within the our free design service.
Does your home reflect your style? Here’s how I create interior balance for an interesting contrast between finishes and details.
Let’s say a friend lent you a cookbook and recommended a recipe. You bought all the ingredients to make the most moist and delicious cake, but after preparing, measuring, making and baking… the cake is a pancake. It’s edible, but the flavour just isn’t as enjoyable as you know it could be.
This is how I explain what can happen in the world of interiors too. You have the ingredients: the furniture, the rugs, the lighting, a painted wall, curtains… but how can you achieve a balance that gives it that extra flair of looking and feeling… well, special?
Often, I share pointers with my clients on the flow of a layout, but it’s more than that. There are simple things you can do right away to tweak the look of your home for the better. Mirrors and paintings should be hung at eye level,. Fabrics should always have multi-thread. Flooring should help your eye to travel from one identified space to another.
A designer with experience in choosing textures and finishes, who can work with your current furniture and suggestwhere and how to add colour and pattern, can boost the style and ambience of your home.
As a rule of thumb, I aim for one third detailed or patterned finishes, one third plain and one third textured. This is achieved using a variety of materials such as marble, fabrics, metals and woods. Likewise, a colour palette of 5 colours per room, 3 of these being carried through the home is a great starting point.
When it comes to adding items, I create an interesting balance between detail and texture with large rugs and marble side tables. Adding ceiling pendants, floor and table lamps are an instant room-changer too.
As one client has said, “Carly suggested ideas that worked with our existing furniture. It made it a home and totally enhanced the feel of the room – at little cost.”
Why not drop me a line here and see for yourself how your home could benefit from some finishing touches.
NW3 Interiors caught a moment with the director of Goldschmidt & Howland Philip Green to ask his views on Hampstead lifestyle and luxury properties.
Carly Madhvani & Philip Green attend the Norwood Property Lunch together.
Q: Through your work, you have been inside some of London’s most beautiful and prestigious homes. What design elements always stand out for you when you first assess a property?
A: We get to see so many styles of homes and love period homes. We love the use of modern furniture and art mixed with traditional period features. Kitchens play a huge part of a family home and love clean lined modern design.
Philip Green says that “Kitchens play a huge part of a family home”.
Q: The Goldschmidt & Howland Instagram account is a pleasure to follow – you always seem to have particularly lovely homes there. Do you have professional stylists working with you, and do you have your own furniture and props that you use?
A: Instagram is proving a great success for Goldschmidt and Howland and we are getting a great response. Our marketing includes professional photography and we have different photographer’s with different styles so our pictures are very varied. We do recommend stylists to homes where they appear soulless. It’s amazing what furniture and art can do to change the feeling of the home.
Q: Are there any homes that have really stood out for you over the years?
A: We get to see Gothic, Georgian, Regency, Victorian, Edwardian and modern homes. We sell some of the finest homes in London and we love rare secluded homes. What we love most is homes that from the exterior look very plain but when you go inside you are taken to a level of luxury that you weren’t expecting. We have just begun marketing a magnificent home in Kenwood Highgate with period and modern features and a wonderful 200ft rear garden with a children private adventure playground. Amazing !!
Q: What is so special about North London for you? How would you spend a perfect 24 hours in North London?
A: I love North London and have dogs so often walk on Hampstead heath, Kenwood and Highgate Woods this makes you realize how special the area is. Country walks but 20 minutes from central London. Dogs groomed at Hair of the dog in Highgate, visit to Camden market for wonderful eclectic ideas, Dinner at Villa Bianca in Hampstead.
View handsome homes in Hampstead at Goldschmidt and Howland estate agents, NW3.
A stunning open plan area of a home being sold by Goldschmidt & Howland.
Q: To sum up can you share any secrets from your “Little black book” of interiors shopping in London?
A: Love Zebra One Gallery in Perrins court for wonderful art or take a trip to Walton fine art in Walton street. Also love Solomon Retro in Crouch End fab upholsterers. “Wonderful hidden secret and place is like something out of an old curiosity shop.”
View available properties to buy in Hampstead here.
Love to live in homes like these? Ask Carly Madhvani for a design consultation here.