So the summer is truly upon us, we have experienced some incredible sunshine and some rather forceful rain spurts, thankfully nothing that has affected our sites so far.
It's been fast paced once more, I don't know why this always surprises us as we seem to function in 5th gear as standard, part of our drive to be efficient and because we love what we do so we're always pushing. Site is progressing incredibly well on our Barnes project and we are nearing the crucial stage of the run up to completion. The final 6 weeks in any project is always so critical with so many plates spinning, we simply cannot let one plate slow down, let alone stop! Constant supplier liaison ensuring deliveries are on time, install dates, snagging, the list goes on, this phase is always incredibly admin heavy. On a personal note we really would love to see this project come to an end as the clients really have been hit with some curveballs with structural issues which caused delays and expense, the clients deserve to be presented with a beautiful home and that is what we will give them, a real team effort!
We have been appointed on a fabulous Chelsea townhouse in a stunning square, this is the 4th time working for this fabulous family who we are immensely fond of, superb taste and always fun. Once more we will be partnering with the brilliant Hawksmoor Construction, and on this one we have also brought in the lovely duo over at Holloways + Holloways Architects. The house is Grade II listed so it will come with many applications for Pre Apps, Listed Building Consents and Planning Applications so we need a separate team to focus on this element. Rebecca has already started on the designs and we are very excited as some of the items on her design bucket list (yes she has one) are being used, we will definitely be sharing this ride with you, follow us on Instagram to keep up to date.
Our small Barn project in Sussex is nearing completion, all the furniture is in situ and we're waiting for the final installation of the large crittal doors overlooking the lake to go in at the end of August, these will look stunning!
Design and scope of works are pouring out for St John's Wood and Nottingham projects we are waiting to get off the ground.
We have had a fabulous trip to Mallorca which is always a treat with amazing designs and architecture, you can't fail to smile as you walk around. The big news, we had a very special trip indeed to the fabulous and breathtaking island of Capri, Italy as we were shortlisted for the inaugural design et al Elite Awards. We were shortlisted amongst the top designers of the world of yacht, aviation, hotel and residential design, the elite of the elite, in the Residential Project category for our Sandbanks project which you can view on our website and I am thrilled to announce that... . we won! Utterly speechless and so thrilled for the team, needless to say there were a couple of days added to the trip to celebrate in style. To be amongst the top designers and elite of the design world globally is an incredible honour, certainly one for the memory bank.
So from our very busy studio to wherever you are, maybe you're sitting in an office or staring at stunning palm trees enjoying magical islands, have a fabulous summer.
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
I simply cannot believe it's taken us so long to update you all, inexcusable but the reality of how busy we have been in the studio, not sure even where to begin, apart from sincere apologies. Here goes... .
What a summer we had, the studio was flying with new instructions and we simply didn’t stop to catch our breath and then we were truly knocked with the passing of our beloved monarch Queen Elizabeth II, a woman like no other and irreplaceable.
Time stood still for a little while whilst we adjusted to the shock, mourning and changes that took hold across the U.K. Following this adjustment we were very much focused on getting designs completed and projects geared up for implementation on our many sites ranging from Sussex, Surrey, West and Central London and Nottinghamshire.
To our absolute delight we won the double with International Design Excellence awards, design et al Design and Architecture Award for our Sandbanks Project (design over £5m) in September and the SBID Design Excellence Awards for our St John’s Wood Coco House the following month. As a small studio to win such global and prestigious industry awards against large architectural and design studios from the Far East, USA, New Zealand to Europe makes it all the more meaningful. We’re so proud to deliver excellence and that personal service to our clients many of whom are repeat clients who we cherish dearly. With tens of thousands of votes cast, we cannot thank you enough if you took time to vote for us!
Following this we learned we had been selected as a finalist for the Elite design et al Excellence Awards to be held in Capri, Italy in July 2023, our Sandbanks project will be up against global players from both the private aviation and super yacht categories, voting will go live in June so we hope once more to have your support.
Rebecca had a house move amongst all of this, a stunning period property, as ever she likes to keep her world private but I’m sure a few photos will sneak out. Our fabulous Associate Director Lauren went on maternity leave and we are delighted that she had a beautiful little girl ‘Elsie’ in November, a gorgeous little sister for Coby. As I type this, it’s been that long since our update, Lauren actually returns from maternity next week!
Amongst all of this we celebrated 15 years in business, something we do not take for granted is what we have managed to achieve in that time, it blows our minds but we do try and stay as grounded as we can. We are so lucky to be supported daily by an incredible business mentor, something we are huge advocates of as a business. This individual is an outstanding business person with a proven track record in their field who we respect beyond measure, importantly this is someone outside the field of design allowing us to view the world and our approach through a different lens. We are very blessed and it’s an absolute privilege that they give their time and that we are able to learn and strive under them.
We had a fabulous new addition to the team with the delightful super talent from South Africa joining us, Jodi, she has slotted straight in and clients adore her, a superb knowledge on the wine front too, a win win!
And then it was Christmas! And what a Christmas it was, December was just magical from London trips, the beautiful Christmas lights in Regent Street and even flurries of snow, very special company and a truly wonderful sign off to an incredible year.
The new year started with a bang with the news we had won Best of Houzz for the 10th consecutive year running, wow just wow, very humbled!
We were instructed to design the new London HQ for an international luxury brand too, based in Primrose Hill, everyone involved adored working on this, it was just FUN at very top speed turnaround! A special shout out to our dream team over at Hawksmoor Construction who delivered to military precision and to the most superb standard. Again, our 4th time working for this client both professionally and personally.
Our current projects progress well. We completed on our South Kensington, Camden and Chiswick projects. We will try and get around to shoots - do bear with us! New instructions include a stunning 5 storey Town House in Chelsea, the 3rd time working for these fabulous clients, Hawksmoor will be supporting us once more! We will be working again for our International brewery client on his personal home in Scotland for the 5th time. We have the 3rd phase for our Claygate clients designing their garden (yes we do those too) with a superb outdoor bar and kitchen area.
Barnes is entering the exciting stage with tiles and 2nd fix starting to take shape - we cannot wait to showcase this gorgeous family home, a real labour of love and such fabulous design savvy clients! This project has proven very technical with many curve balls from structural issues resulting in site delays, additions such as air conditioning which hasn’t been straight forward, having to redraw over 100 drawings due to the structural changes, there have a been a fair few!
We had a fabulous two days with another client in St John’s Wood who flew in from Dubai to spend two days with us reviewing designs and visiting suppliers in London. We are really gearing up designs for our Nottingham family home, such beautiful clients and we cannot wait to kick start this project in Rebecca’s home town!
And as IF this wasn’t enough our Balearic dream edges closer with design concepts approved for clients in Deia and Pollensa - Mallorca, we cannot wait to cut our teeth on the magical island and our Palma studio edges closer to becoming a reality of having a presence on the island.
To finish off this update , we also took time to appreciate (we do every second of every day but this was an excuse) our most long standing team member Harry. Rebecca started the business and 3 years later Harry joined her and has been by her side ever since. The most perfect shadow and team member, every business decision and design direction Harry has been by her side, every new team member Harry has vetted so it’s only fitting that we did a special photo shoot to capture our aging peppered and most loved team member by the super talent Gez Gethings.
So I think that covers almost everything, at least it's a condensed overview without boring you!
So as always, thank you for sticking by us. Keep smiling and as always stay safe and we hope to excite you throughout the year with a few photo shoots we have up our sleeves!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
So sorry, it's actually been 3 months since I last penned this!
A sign of how busy we are as a studio with a few curve balls thrown in for good measure. We have however just recruited two fabulous new faces, welcoming Jodie and Marian to the LEIVARS family who will be joining us at the end of August. Really excited to have them on board and seeing what magic they can add to the mix!
Interior Design isn't always glamorous or plain sailing no matter how tremendous the trade teams and contractors are that we work with. During our Barnes strip out back to brick work we encountered some rather fearful structural cracks running through the building, fast forward a team, yes a 'team' of structural engineers on site, we are now in a position to piece the beautiful old girl back together. Sadly a cost you simply cannot foresee at the start of the project but only as the building is unpeeled. We have top class contractors on board so as a team whilst we can't eliminate the costs for this extra work, we can make it as smooth as possible and try and play catch up so the clients are not displaced for any longer than necessary, a heartbreak for all but something that cannot be ignored.
We have started on site for Phase 2 works for our fab and much fun clients in Claygate, Surrey, this relationship is really based on trust and it's an utter joy! Our Camden Family Home is in full swing and should be complete by the end of October so full steam ahead on an admin level there processing all orders and getting organised for install later in the year. We managed to complete Phase 2 of our Kensington design which once again required a supersonic turnaround, never ideal but from time to time required.
Oh, we were shortlisted for two further International Design Awards, this time, SBID (Society of British Interior Designers), our accredited body, so a real honour. The design et al awards are at the end of September and the SBID in October, so a fun Autumn awaits the team. and again for our St John's Wood and Sandbanks projects, bringing our shortlisted awards this year to 10 no less (we did celebrate a lot!)... . We also had a wonderful feature in The Sunday Times Property showcasing our client who we have worked for now 3 times, so that was lovely to see. Thank you so much for finding the time to support and vote for us in the SBID awards, those votes are now closed and I do believe the design et al vote line opens the 1st August so we would love your time and support once more, never taken for granted.
We had some utter joyful news that our beloved Lauren is expecting her second child so will be leaving us for a little while at the end of November, always exciting to have a baby amongst the team, so huge congratulations to Lauren and Dean and little Coby is getting a new little brother or sister.
We've been busy doing lots of design concepts for our Nottingham, (new) St John's Wood, Hurstpierpoint and Chiswick projects, we will let you know how they progress. We've also had some lovely enquiries from Yorkshire to the Home Counties so watch this space!
We've loved seeing all of your wonderful photos you are posting on Instagram of travel, always so inspiring so keep us smiling and more, more, more please, dreaming of magical islands... .
So for now, enjoy every drop of sunshine as before we know it the autumn crispness will be well and truly upon us.
Stay safe and keep smiling!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
Yet another busy month in the studio with a lovely spring bundle of things to celebrate.
At the beginning of the month we carried out a photo shoot at our St Johns Wood project, yes the one we’ve been talking about throughout 2021, projects always take a little while to get to the shoot stage, well we got there and then a week later the very same project was shortlisted in 4 categories for the prestigious International design et al Awards 2022, it was fair for say we didn’t expect that! Bringing our total shortlisted nominees to 8 this year, roll on September for the awards ceremony - not that we’re wishing the year away, quite the reverse reverse, like New York it’s so good I repeated it twice! This project is somewhat different as we have worked for this CEO of an International luxury brand 3 times now and a wonderful friendship has formed so to be able to celebrate this with her is rather special as she was our second ever client way back at the start.
We have been full on in the studio designing more spaces and beautiful rooms for our Camden, Hastings and Nottingham projects. We’ve been on site overseeing a very tight schedule with a one week turnaround project in Kensington which in truth has not been plain sailing but we got there and have a happy client, the ‘behind the scenes’ moments clients should never know for no other reason than we carry the strain and it’s a testament to the team how we get across the finishing line and the client(s) being blissfully unaware!
We’ve had lots of administration time in preparation for our Barnes family home starting on site in early June, once Rebecca returns from a much needed one week recharge to the magical island… . We’ve appointed a wonderful new contractor for this and we’re very much looking forward to a great team relationship forming and making magic happen on site.
We’ve been appointed on a fabulous apartment in Eaton Square, London, we have 3 live projects for this client now and having worked with them on one previous project - we can’t wait to get started, a family we are very fond of.
Rebecca had the pleasure of taking a very special and much loved client on a closed house private tour of Chartwell House in Kent, home to Sir Winston Churchill, a truly memorable day for so many reasons and an utter privilege and reminder of being proud to be British and what as a nation we have both learnt and achieved since WW2 🇬🇧
So as spring is most definitely upon us, we can very safely safe summer is knocking on the door and we cannot wait to let her in!
For now, keep smiling and stay safe… .
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
WHAT A MONTH!
From London to Paris, sunshine and snow, we've had it all! As a studio we have had a heavy administrative month of order raising and cross checking multiple times, ensuring all schedules are accurate and issuing tender packs for pricing, all of which takes tremendous time and attention to detail for the whole team. It really has been a team focus month too which only strengthens the end result the clients get to experience so a win all round!
We are pushing ahead on new designs for our Farmhouse in Hastings where we're knee deep (literally) in barns/outbuildings and designing for the guest house, spa and designing our first pottery studio for our European clients. Full interior design for two beautiful family homes in Camden and Claygate. We are also fully engrossed in a retrofit for a beautiful Coach House in Kensington, the second time working for these wonderful clients, retro design work is always technically difficult juggling balls to ensure everything runs smoothly and that there is minimal disruption to the house and meeting very rigid timeframes. We are weeks away from starting on site at our stunning family house in Barnes, we're really looking forward to getting going on this project, the most decisive clients which has been a wonderful experience for the whole team and they have trusted us to design some really cool features which we're excited to execute.
On top of this we made time to visit the wonderful and long awaited Maison Objet in Paris for a few days, running a very busy studio with a small team it's imperative that we continuously keep abreast of new suppliers and gain inspiration, so this was simply perfect and we have very much missed this annual trade highlight, 265,000 m2 of fabulousness which really got our creative juices flowing. It was also a wonderful opportunity for me to thank my brilliant team and have some much needed quality time together soaking up Paris in the spring, no work talk, just chatting endlessly and laughing a lot as we walked the banks of the Seine, looking up at the glorious sunshine hitting the most stunning architecture and experiencing all the delights that Paris has to offer. We did however have an impromptu design meeting at Charles de Gaulle Airport en route back, you do what you need to do when you need to do it!
I managed to sneak in a photo shoot too at the London home of the CEO of a leading luxury brand, a perfect little hideaway of a gem in St John's Wood, the brief was contemporary Art Deco and feminine tones with drama, so that's what she got! It's the 3rd time we have designed homes for her and it's always a treat! We're excited to share the images with you very soon. We've had wonderful joinery installed too at our Barn in Sussex which the clients are thrilled about, I just adore designing joinery. So we really haven't stopped this month and if that wasn't enough, this happened... .
I was approached last year to be included in the prestigious design et al 'The World's Leading Design Names' book for 2022 (Volume 12), truly an honour in itself and a career highlight, imagine my delight when the book arrived and design et al had selected one of my projects for the front cover, the project in question was our Esher, Surrey project which we won an International SBID Design Award for in 2019. Simply wow!!! ! I truly love what I do and I'm so proud of the team around me and the sheer hard work and dedication I have shown to my clients over the past 14 years, so moments like these really are the icing on the cake, very humbling and it really has spurred me on to create more wonderful homes and timeless designs for my fantastic clients and they really are, I am very lucky to work with the clients that I do and I'm also very proud to have achieved this and to be representing the Midlands on an international stage. A special shout out to my biggest fan, they know who they are and who spurs me on daily.
So, I'm not sure how to top this but top it I feel I must. April is a busy month for us with flying the nest to create more beautiful memories and adventures... .watch this space and one thing for sure is, we will continue to keep smiling as we have lots to smile about!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
It almost seems trivial to start a monthly journal with so much hurt going on in the world right now, without getting political, the Ukrainians have shown incredible spirit, resolve and strength and they are constantly in our thoughts daily. Praying the conflict comes to an end soon.
We’re having to keep the wheels turning regardless and February is always a blink once and you miss it kind of month, we managed to capture a few Insta posts but we were very much busy heads down into the ‘grit’ of projects, the technical / cross referencing and writing of specification of works and more cross referencing against floor plans and elevations, all whilst keeping plates spinning on our other projects, always a challenge and hopefully we managed to keep all happy.
It’s full steam ahead on our Camden, Kensington, Sussex and Barnes projects with huge amounts of designs going into our other Sussex, Claygate and Hastings projects. Others in the planning will start to come to life, a little like spring, their heads are popping up. Some lovely new enquires too so watch this space!
We’ve had a lot of joinery design to complete which is always fun from what starts as a doodle or two leading to more detailed drawings, well I guess anything progressing from a doodle will be more detailed which our CAD team member Sean will be testament to. He hates when I say, “I have an idea and did a quick sketch”, in other worlds someone else rather likes my odd sketches, naming no names!
We have a busy March ahead with team holidays and our long awaited European trade show in Paris (Maison Objet) which the whole team will be attending which will be a good mix of work, inspiration and cocktail tasting or two!
We’re trying to keep travel to a minimum right now so we’re more studio based for the volume of work we’re tackling which is needed.
So a short journal this month more out of respect for the bigger issues around.
Keep safe and remain humble always and as an incredible and great man reminds me often, keep smiling, it’s all good!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
Well a very Happy New Year to you all! It seems I start every journal with where has the time gone, but truly where did January actually go? It seems we all woke with the trepidation of a New Year to who stole January?!!
So we clearly started 2022 in 5th gear, by midday on the 4th January it felt like June, the humorous reserves were fully being used. The nature of what we do is deal with buildings, building products and of course the beautiful design elements so the industry really doesn’t sleep and neither can we allow our sites to be dormant for too long as we need to get clients and their families moved in and enjoying their homes. But we managed a small amount of recharging which was much needed, we hope you all did too!
We had a very exciting start to 2022 winning two further awards for Best of Houzz Design and Service for the 9th consecutive year which we were bowled over by and something we never take for granted as a small business. These types of awards always make me realise keeping the business small allows us to focus on what we do best and that’s caring about the project, the details, the people and about what and how we do it.
We’ve made a few changes for 2022 with the promotion of Lauren from Senior Designer to Design Manager, Lauren has been with us as a fundamental part of the business for 7 years now and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re more focused on team events too this year, part work related and part inspirational. We decided we want to look up more, being inspired and walking around so we’ve set team time aside each month to do just that. Already this month we’ve enjoyed some fun and inspirational sourcing days full of colour and humour and we’ve booked our places at the brilliant Maison Objet trade show in Paris for March, which will be fun and as always a visual delight.
Projects have started well and we’re nearing completion on the paperwork and tender package for our Barnes project. We’ve kick started on site in Camden and are in full throws of strip out, always without doubt triggers my emotional draw to buildings when you see them stripped back to their core, so beautiful and a wonderful reminder of our architectural heritage in the U.K. We are knee deep in design for a stunning Grade 2 * property in East Sussex both the main house and secondary barn buildings, full design for our Phase 2 project in Claygate, designs for two smaller projects in Kensington and Chiswick (both clients we first worked for 12 and 10 years ago), we’re starting design this week for a spa, sauna, gym and guest suites to include a pottery room for a former client of ours in Hastings, tiring even typing all of this, there is a lot going on within the studio. We have a photo shoot planned this month in St. John’s Wood so we look forward to sharing that with you very soon.
February will very much be about presenting our designs and getting them okayed and then the administration behind that process which makes up around 80% of what we do. Clients remain surprised by the sheer volume of supplier liaison and chasing it takes to raise just one invoice, multiply that by easily 500 plus invoices on an average project, checking every detail, dimension, finish, price, quantity even before the delivery circus starts, you get an idea, my team behind this are incredible and really do deserve a medal! We will be recruiting in the Spring for an additional member to join the team so we will let you know when we will be taking applications.
We hope you enjoy getting a snap shot into what we do, we’re feeling inspired as we get inspired ourselves by incredible people that believe in us daily, that put that smile on our faces and let us know it will be okay, do everything with a smile and you stand a chance, no bottom lips out in our day! We hope to inspire you throughout the year with little injections of what we’ve designed.
For now, bring on those Spring flowers, warm blue skies and dreams of little dips in the sea, fish lunches and cold glasses of wine or a beer or two as the evening sun drops (yes Rebecca is a sun worshipper), oh sigh… .
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
It's here... .Christmas is upon us, and the year nearly closed, we simply cannot believe how fast 2021 has gone! So a brief overview of our year.
We have had live sites in Aberdeen x 2, Derbyshire, Chichester x 4, Lewes, Claygate, St John's Wood, Essex and Marylebone and we end the year with having closed down 10 of those projects throughout 2021 no mean feat for a small team! And we're very excited to have live projects ready to kick start into action for 2022 in Hurstpierpoint, Claygate, Barnes, Blakeney, Chiswick, Kensington, Camden, Weybridge and Hastings so the Christmas break is much needed to recharge.
We have been very humbled this year starting 2021 achieving Best of Houzz awards for both Service and Design for the 8th consecutive year running and ending the year with 4 nominees for (Design et al) International Design Awards for our Sandbanks project, sandwiched in between all that we have been lucky to have received some wonderful magazine coverage and been asked to comment in mainstream newspapers. We received wonderful client reviews which can be read on our Houzz profile. We have cast our net broad and wide to actively hunt out new local and British talent and new suppliers and have been overwhelmed by the commitment and support we have received from our valued and loyal suppliers. Whilst business has been booming the industry has struggled with supply chain issues and it's been overwhelming to see the industry pull together so we can wiggle our way through this and achieve completion of projects with very happy clients, so a wholehearted thank you to the likes of the Nina's, Alina's, Jodie's, Sue's, Nicky's, Chris' and Andy's to name but a few, you know who you are. And we get to do it all over again in 2022, we can't wait, our little team gets stronger and we are certainly finding that laughing helps with the day, big believers in what you put out you get back.
We have changes afoot next year with more growth within the business but we promise to stay true to what makes us unique and we promise to not stop caring! We are working to set studio days and set site days from 2022 with site visits only taking place on Monday and Tuesdays going forward as this gives us much needed design, administration and team time which makes us more efficient as a business.
So our final thanks are to not just our suppliers who help us make magic happen but to our wonderful (fun) and trusted clients, some new and some we have worked with several times during our 14 years of trading, thank you for trusting us, thank you for enjoying this crazy ride of Interior Design and thank you for allowing us into your homes, it will always remain a privilege that you invite us in.
And from our team to yours, to you and your families, stay safe and whatever you're doing during the festive period whether you're snuggled in and nesting on the sofa, going for beautiful walks, spending time with loved ones or time alone, our love and best wishes extend to you all and we much look forward to sharing our news with you in 2022 when we will be back stronger and freshly recharged.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
As I began in May with a "wow I have no idea where 7 months has gone", I find myself typing wow once again I have no idea where the past 6 months have gone, and we're now just 6 weeks away from Christmas, someone stop the clock and reverse reverse! Whilst the super stunning autumnal season is upon us and we're surrounded by the most epic explosion of colours that take your breath away, we're also very much ready for the festive season and all the joys, laughter and sheer work panic that comes with that. Traditionally Christmas has always been our peak season trying to get projects completed so our families are in and enjoying our designs as they spend time with their loved ones and ensuring our build projects are sealed and water tight for the impending bad weather. However, we can't say that any more, every season is 5th gear, there has been such a shift in how we live, how and when we want things to be completed, dictated by our culture and the new ways in which our habits are evolving to reflect the new world we are living in. We continue to move forward with the same vigour and adapt daily as we guide our team and clients through the changes, as they say, always stronger together, and we keep smiling!
So what have we been doing, here goes... .
We have completed on a superstar little cottage project which has been difficult to navigate through, we rarely have tough projects we're proud to say but this little gem has presented many a challenge, sadly due to client discretion we are unable to shoot the project but we are very proud of the outcome and the different design direction taken with all things English cottage, toile and pom poms, it really is a fizzy delight of pattern and colour so you will have to take our word on that one. We have completed a stunning cinema suite with beautiful leather clad walls and brass detailing with an onyx bar being the show stopper, a real project to look back on alongside our delighted client and be proud of the team effort from all. A gorgeous steam, sauna and lounge area with breathtaking dark veneer clad walls and ceilings, a triumph and the makings of a gorgeous contemporary lodge feel. We've managed to complete 4 photoshoots including our recently shot Sandbanks project which can be viewed in our Portfolio, and we have a shoot planned next month for our art deco St John's Wood cottage which we're excited to photograph, and always a treat working for this client - our 3rd time now. We're almost complete on our Old Vicarage project in Derbyshire, our clients have been so much fun, a real treat visiting as you know there will be laughter, so phase 1 almost over with phase 2 in the planning. Our 3rd Chichester Georgian Family Townhouse is nearing completion too, we're at the fun accessory stage so it's really coming together, a great working relationship of trust and bravery as we've nurtured our client outside of her comfort zone and she has truly embraced colour with sublime results.
We are starting new projects in Barnes, Claygate, Camden, Weybridge, Kensington, Blakeney and Hurstpierpoint and revisiting our Aberdeen project to undertake external garden design work which will be fun - we look forward to sharing the experience with you over the coming months and new year.
As a team we have been evolving with Louise developing her love for garden design through KLC School of Design to further strengthen the multidisciplinary team here at LEIVARS. Lauren has honed her skills overseeing projects on site, and Rebecca, well as ever she's just involved at every juncture from start to finish, always looking for new ways, new styles, and tapping into our clients individuality and bringing that to life in the design schemes and always annoyingly with her upbeat charm and a smile (or so she thinks ;-)! We continue to keep the team small, because it works and we like it that way!
We visited Decorex trade show back in September, the first show since the pandemic hit so whilst the show was small and not all the big hitters were present, to be able to touch and feel and say hi to our incredible suppliers really gave us a taste of the past, we won't lie, we loved it, and the sneaky team lunch afterwards.
So what is happening going forward - we have just updated our website with a private portfolio section which can only be viewed on a one to one basis with Rebecca due to non disclosure agreements in place, a by-product from time to time of working on beautiful homes. We respect our clients wishes not to make images public but we are permitted to share these projects with you in person so the private portfolio is a perfect way to present the images to our clients during consultations. We are looking into new innovative ways to showcase our concepts with you, it's blown our minds a little but when we get our heads around it, you will be the first to know and it will become the norm for all of us in our everyday, watch this space. Oh and we've a little bit of exciting news that we have been shortlisted in no less than 4 categories at the International Design & Architecture Awards 2022 (Design et al), now that is a WOW and probably the best note to end on.
So as the year draws to a close and as I sit and type this on 11th of November, we as always are remembering all of those brave men, women and animals that sacrificed themselves so we could have our today, forever in our hearts and never forgotten.
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
So I begin with a 'wow', I have no idea where the past 7 months has gone and embarrassingly, it has been an entire 7 months of simply not having a spare slot in the work schedule to put down our collective team thoughts, but here we go... .
If you've been following us on Instagram you can see it has been an incredibly busy and focused time, not least with an abundance of travel to multiple sites around the UK and trying to balance that with limited travel at the same time has meant we've had more travel than ever, go figure that logic! We've had some great successes bringing projects to a close in Essex and Aberdeen. We've made great progress in our collaborative projects with our trusted Architect team over at Flower Michelin submitting two planning applications, both for rear extensions in Camden and Surrey. We are in talks with our Derbyshire Dale 'Vicarage' clients for the start up of phase 2 which is exciting, or should I say Rebecca is excited as not only does it include a wine room it also includes a cheese room, so what's not to like! On top of that we have been flat out on two central London projects, one cottage in St John's Wood and a Marylebone Pied et Terre which we are designing and project overseeing. We are near completion on another stunning Chichester Georgian Townhouse which has been tremendous fun as the client has really trusted us to drive this project.
In other exciting news one of our established clients who we have had the pleasure of working for on 3 occasions has enlisted us to design a state of the art home cinema room, steam and sauna suite and a Great Tea Room, which is a first so we are getting our creative teeth into designing something very special for them. And we are incredibly lucky to have been contacted by our former Sandbanks clients to help on a further home on the East Coast on the interior design of their utterly stunning barn. As a team we remain so humbled with amazing past and present clients and we're incredibly lucky to have lots of new clients approaching us too. So whilst we are extremely busy as a studio, we remain just as committed to the detail and customer led close relationships we are lucky to share with our clients and our overriding commitment to keep the team small so we continue to strengthen those relationships for the future without compromising on quality.
We have been awarded Best of Houzz Service and Design 2021 for the 8th consecutive year running which we are always thrilled about. We have 3 exciting photo shoots over the course of the summer which is such a relief having not been able to hold the shoots during lock down months so we much look forward to sharing our new work where we can, we hope you like it!
So what's in store, we are very much hoping to continue to support our UK suppliers and navigate ourselves through overseas purchases due to Brexit which has become a bit of a minefield, but we plough on! The team is in high spirits and we are much looking forward to having our travel juices energised by being able to visit our favourite destinations and to sit and enjoy the sound of bird song with mountain views as the sun rises, we can but hope for that elusive sun shine to tease the freckles out!
So from our team to wherever you are, profuse apologies we haven't shared our news for so long, we promise to try harder! For now, keep smiling and stay safe!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS!
As a studio our mindset has always been one of positivity regardless of any hurdles, and in truth we’ve struggled a little bit in this last month. Work continues to be incredibly positive with 11 live projects and weekly enquiries. Our struggle coming from trying to deliver the standard and efficiency that we pride ourselves on for our valued customers at the same time as trying to support our small businesses and suppliers.
We learnt during the initial lockdown that product and material shortages had an immediate impact on our industry and construction but it has taken an even longer time to really get to a stage of catch up. We suspected a second lockdown was pending so have been preparing for that, but have been caught off guard by the limited availability of materials used in our industry that are also key components of PPE, e.g. the foam commonly used for sofa upholstery, so we are being hit with issues of possible non deliveries pre-Christmas as we have no foam to upholster with, never an option any caring or professional interior designer wishes to have to say to their clients! Thankfully our clients do appreciate there is a larger issue at stake which none of us have control over and all we can do is continue to keep doing our best, keep clients informed and work through and jump hurdles as and when we can do so.
It was a lovely reminder when our founder Rebecca shared a card she had written and been sent recently from 2007 which read “There are no shortcuts to anything worth designing”, this much still holds true so patience is needed.
Flights cancelled to get to sites, 8 hour drive it is then. We will keep going where we physically can and if we can safely operate within the rules set, we will.
October truly has been a heads down no time to breath kind of month, pretty normal with our pre-Christmas build up each year. We’re one team member down but we are working 7 days a week and 5th gear and are keeping our head above water, and clients are happy which makes us happy. We’re taking regular COVID tests to protect our precious self employed trades and generally trying to act responsibly to protect all we come into contact with. We are adapting working methods to work with clients in whichever best way suits their needs. So we continue.
Sourcing has been predominantly online but where we have managed to get to showrooms and touch and feel products, we have truly valued every second and we will never take for granted the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre again, our Mecca!
We’re trying to keep smiling every day by order of our business mentor, he knows who he is! And we may break a few rules to find those bigger smiles like putting up the Christmas Tree in November.
So please, a sincere keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Think about others around you and keep a watchful eye as we enter lock down 2 for those that perhaps need that gentle nod, smile or a telephone call/message to say ‘hey I’m thinking about you!’ Shop local and be part of your community as best you can.
Love to you all... .
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
We simply have not stopped to be able to attempt to write a journal...but finally, here we go! August was very full on doing multiple site visits and having an array of furniture finally materialise from some fabulous artisan suppliers of ours, stunning walnut pieces from Fiona McDonald, all hand crafted with antique brass and fluting detailing, mass deliveries from Munna in Porto and bespoke items from our London friends. A plethora of velvet is adorning our projects at present in stunning block colours, perfect for these autumnal evenings that have descended upon us, so a welcome comfort of lots of sumptuous and indulgent textures.
We have been full on with progress at our Gentlemans Club with the kitchen, bar and gorgeous brass stair tread detailing being completed, we're looking to dress the space all being well by the end of October. Restoration at our listed cottage is coming along very well with the beams now completed adding to the gorgeous heritage of this cottage and real craftsmanship with lead window detailing, always a treat to see real craftsman working with their hands and loving what they do. We're in the final throws accessorising on our Essex project too, always a fun time.
We've had the joy of working with some fantastic art galleries in Mayfair, LA and Mykonos to find some key and statement art pieces for one of our international clients, always a joy to help guide our clients in selecting art to both enjoy and invest in.
We have been truly blessed and continue to feel humbled that as a studio we are continuing to receive lots of new enquiries and more importantly secure new projects, we have a beautiful Old Vicarage in Derbyshire, another stunning Georgian house in Chichester with an utter treat of a domed roof reception room which we simply can't wait to design, phase 2 for our fabulous and fun Claygate clients on a substantial extension and we're excited to partner with our friends at Flower Michelin (Architects), a cottage in Maida Vale, our 3rd time working for this beautiful client as she moves once more, phase 3 for our Golders Green project and we find ourselves back working up in Aberdeen in addition to our existing projects so we really have been busy bees. So much so we have added to our team, the fabulous Louise will be joining us and we're excited to have her join the LEIVARS family.
We've had our studio assistant Harry continuing to cast his eye over every detail, with his poker face we can never tell if he approves or not?!
On a sad note September saw the passing of two icons, Christian Liagre and Sir Terence Conran, Rebecca was lucky enough to have met Sir Terence on the day she embarked on setting up her own design studio and he really was a power house in bringing not least affordable but incredible design to the high street, a very sad loss to the industry and design world.
So as we move into the stunning autumnal colours which are always an inspiration with the ever changing scenery and the nights draw in, fires are lit and we convert to red wine, wherever you are in the world, please continue to keep safe and keep smiling! We know it's a difficult time for so many and we are humbled to be in this position of being busy, we will continue to do what we do and help the economy and support as many local and small businesses as we can. If you are a small supplier, reach out to us, let us know what you do and email your product(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org and if we can use them we will!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
Well the year continues its extra ordinary theme, we think it's August but it could easily be any month, 2020 you really are keeping us on our toes. If you're reading this we hope you are remaining safe and are little by little getting back to the new version of normal life as we know it.
Thankfully the studio remains busy as ever of which we are very grateful for. We have been busy pricing new work in Camden, Ashby, Claygate, Chichester and Ashbourne so very varied, we will keep you updated on our progress with those. We have been incredibly busy with site visits on our current projects in Chichester and Essex, a big push to get deliveries there on time and clients moved in stress free. We then have the next phases of two of our projects now we're nearing completion of the renovation and restoration work we can now begin to reconnect with the design schemes for these which we're excited about. It's been a real treat uncovering some utterly stunning beams in a Grade II listed cottage we're working on and they will very much feature as the star in the design schemes. We were all very excited to see the gorgeous black oak floor being laid on our gentlemans club project and gorgeous brass inlay detailing for the stair treads and keeping with the black theme, we were a little bit smitten with the black chevron flooring laid on one of our recent Derbyshire projects.
We're still taking lots of enquiries for new projects so we will be expanding the team very soon to keep up with demand so we can bring more beautiful designs to our amazing clients.
We are also continuing to give clients advice on how best to adapt their homes for long term home working, consideration being given to larger walk in pantry/larders to accommodate less supermarket trips, naturally making that work zone feel less clinical and more relaxed to help with productivity and mental wellbeing. Now with less of us going out and where we used to focus on the indoor out, we are now focusing more on the outdoor in with more entertaining at home, garden home cinemas, outdoor kitchen and fire pits, we are all changing our thought processes and habits and we're encouraging clients to consider these areas for home improvement.
Rebecca has been rushed off her feet throughout lockdown and playing catch up as have the team, we can't see it changing anytime soon, which we're grateful for so it looks like the remaining year will continue in 5th gear. We hope you continue to keep safe and positive and as Rebecca is often told, "keep smiling you... .", that's all we can do!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
I had sat and thought about writing this journal as I do each month, for some reason it didn't feel right, yes there were many designers and studios putting out inspirational images, ourselves included but for some reason it felt more appropriate to sit quietly and work. We were all mindful that so many people were struggling both mentally and financially so we just sat and did what we feel we do best, design and communicate with our clients. We have been very fortunate to have been able to work throughout the lockdown period and focus on drawing and designing schemes for 3 clients in particular and in part we have been very grateful for not having to commute. What this exercise has taught us isn't that you can successfully work from home, we've been doing that for nearly 4 years now, but how much we really do miss our clients, the daily interaction with our suppliers and our on site trades, such huge parts of our day and very much our work family.
So a quick overview on our 100 days of lockdown. We have lost count of zoom calls, made a ridiculous amount of normal calls, have been grateful for Facetime virtual meetings and site updates from remote working trades and our clients which has enabled us to progress with ease throughout. Progress has been a little slow on sites due to the lack of available materials being produced but all sites are now near up to where they should be. We've all become experts in protective wear and use hand sanitiser like it's going out of fashion, we've all developed a measuring eye of 2 meters!
We have been inundated with new enquiries we can't keep up so we are feeling very blessed. We've managed by some miracle to fully renovate and in part restore a Victorian 3 storey little gem in 8 weeks and the client has moved in. We've had fabulous feedback on images shared from previous projects and we have been featured by Derbyshire Life Magazine, a thrill to be in my home county.
Amongst the COVID pandemic the world over was hit with the Black Lives Matter movement and our industry shaken by the lack of diversity and representation amongst our working studios and supply chains. With a great initiative by Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About the House 'Design for Diversity' has been born, a public pledge to show that we / others are actively looking to recruit and attract the right person for the job from a wide spectrum of ethnicities and social backgrounds - coming from a HR background my work ethos has always been to 'include' no matter what your education or racial identity. This public pledge is to allow potential future candidates the comfort in knowing they will be treated equally, please click on the icon on our homepage for full details of the design community pledge.
On a final note, we've had lock down studio birthdays and a rather exciting new edition to the LEIVARS family, our Senior Designer Lauren gave birth to the most gorgeous baby boy, Coby, who could not be more perfect so a huge congratulations to Lauren and Dean. So I'm leaving you with a lot of hope that our lives little by little will return to some form of familiarity albeit not normal. Stay safe everyone, be nice, love and hold those dear to you, love your nests and smile to the stranger in the street, be the difference... .
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
Well I think it's safe to say that sat here writing this our world has changed beyond comprehension and we hope that you, your family, friends and colleagues are all safe and well!
We're lucky within the design industry that we can work from home and remote sites very easily, in fact it is what most of us do day to day, we are however, very painfully aware that many cannot and COVID 19 has brought about change, fear and the unknown to so many and my team and I are constantly thinking about all those affected at this unprecedented time we find ourselves in. Many of our project sites are now closed, though we are grateful to be business as usual designing and completing drawings, holding ZOOM meetings with clients, a time when technology has really come into its own. We will continue to keep open as usual as long as we have supply chains that can continue to operate safely.
Clients are asking for advice on how to handle working from home, the very best advice we can offer is to have structure and purpose to each day, wake with vigour and as much energy and enthusiasm for the day as you can find, make small achievable goals no matter how silly they may feel, the mental sense of achievement of ticking things off will serve you well. Eat well and healthy, nothing too stodgy or carb fuelled which will make you feel more lethargic with the reduced freedom of movement we have placed upon us. Try and exercise, run up and down your stairs, squats, lunges, garden, balcony, anything to get the lungs working and you out of breath, keep focused and allow yourself to switch off, recharging and resetting is healthy for the mind and finally get as much fresh air and enjoy sitting still, the nature around you and the changing seasons, it's inspiring!
Up until lock down we had normal site visits and completion on an investment project in Chichester. A different project for us and given the issues we had with supply and various closures, we used a superb new find for those of you that don't know them, John Pye Auctions, they deal with ex-display, old and newly liquidated stock and returned items from some really great household names, with immediate purchase being an auction allowed us to dress the house for market with a 3 day turnaround, we will be keeping an eye on their weekly stock going forward, highly recommended from our inhouse development team and something everyone can do from home and best of all they have sites throughout the UK, happy browsing and bidding!
We had our long awaited Bioplillia fabric arrive from Kit Miles Studio to re-upholster two chairs for our Claygate project, we can't wait to shoot these, the fabric is so vibrant and fun. We've been posting some photos from our stock images too which we hope are giving some inspiration whilst you find yourselves working from home right now. With Spring in the air we are hoping to keep the team, suppliers and clients energised by designing with lots of colour, patterns and textures. Being home for all of us makes us realise what a retreat home should be and now is perhaps a good opportunity to make changes, rearrange room layouts perhaps, plan that eagerly awaited extension, bespoke joinery, en-suite bathroom or renovation??! We're always happy to assist where we can so whilst you have time do get in touch if you wish to discuss any project needs, there is so much we are able to do remotely, we're happy to chat through informally so do drop us a line or call the studio, we look forward to saying hi! If you need more inspiration, head to www.pinterest.com and www.houzz.co.uk. Houzz have confirmed a huge increase in home owners engaging with their site, we were informed this morning that images from our own portfolio have been saved to users Houzz ideabooks 78,000 times in 30 days alone this month, mind blowing!
So, we leave you for now with my team expressing their heartfelt thanks to the tremendous efforts and dedication of all of those that are working for the NHS and care services, to all of the key workers that are trying so hard to keep our economy going, thank you! We hope we've given you some food for thought and are feeling that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, we are all in this together, stay safe, look out for one another, love and hope really is making the world go around right now.
Keep an eye out for various Blogs that Rebecca has been invited to write for various suppliers too, ideas and a little insight into RL herself and what inspires her!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
Well we’re not sure where to start with February, as quickly as it came around the month was at an end!
It’s been a great month in terms of receiving the fabulous news that we were awarded for the 7th consecutive year running Best of Design and Best of Service from Houzz UK, a testament we hope to our commitment to providing both great design and a level of customer service which leaves us with repeat clients and valued referrals, something we never take for granted. It was also a delight to see our Esher project showcased in the wonderful 25 Beautiful Homes magazine this month.
We’ve had a productive month of signing off two projects, our Goodwood Grade II listed Farmhouse and our Claygate project. We’re nearing completion on our St Johns Wood cloakroom which is the 5th time we’ve worked for this client, they’re almost family! We’re waiting on building regulations for our listed cottage which we’ve been informed we have been designated an Archeologist to work along side us which is a first and we’re much looking forward to learning from them and asking lots of questions! Our design for the warehouse is developing well and we may even share a sneak peak once approved.
Rebecca has been away for two weeks and has come back recharged, refreshed and freckled and she’s jumped straight into pricing new work in Cobham and Chesterfield so we will update you as to how we get on with those potential new projects. There is definitely more confidence in the market which is a relief for many including some of our smaller suppliers, long may this continue.
Rebecca has also met some great suppliers within the Midlands which we’re excited to try out and we’re prepping for trade shows and various events in Birmingham next week. We have studio news to hopefully announce next month too, so watch this space to see what Rebecca has been planning for some time - we hope you’re as excited as we are and that given the news of late we hope you are also all looking after yourselves health wise and remembering to give a gentle nod to those that may need a little kindness, we’re all in this together so let’s all be kind and check on that friend, family member, neighbour or even the stranger you see daily! Kindness and awareness makes the world go around, as does great doses of love, sprinkled with heavy doses of hashtags!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
Well a great start to the New Year for the team. We've had plenty to get our teeth into with site visits between Essex, Goodwood, Nottingham, St John's Wood and Chichester! We've carried out a few site measured surveys so have been engrossed in floor plans and layout options ranging from Grade II listed cottages to warehouse conversions, not one day is ever the same. We've been prepping for some interesting business networking events in the Midlands too which Rebecca is excited about, watch this space in the Spring!
We've been taken over in the studio with an abundance of samples arriving for our Essex project with all designs signed off and we're excited to be working with our great friends once again at Poltrona Frau, always a treat to specify their incredible leather and stitch detailing and of course be inspired by Rebecca's hero Gio Ponti!
We've had some wonderful weather to enjoy with incredible sunsets and amazing skies to wake up to for our early morning motorway commutes to various locations, always an inspiration seeing the first shoots of spring with daffodils and snowdrops emerging en masse. Rebecca has enjoyed a very personal stay too at the incredible Lion Lodge in Port Lymphe, a unique experience waking up within the Lion enclosure, being surrounded by 3 lion cubs being playful and full of fangs makes your heart burst! A very memorable stay, just a few photos to set the scene for this incredible conservation park ran by the Aspinal Foundation.
Rebecca is off on her travels soon to gain some inspiration, so we look forward to sharing a few of those images with you when she returns, as for the team...whilst the mouse is away!!!
Spring is coming...
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
November has been 5th gear throughout. It's like this every year with the lead up to Christmas and the team doing our utmost to bring projects in on time and have deliveries arrive prior to Christmas closure. Rebecca has spent a vast part of the month bonding with the M25 and M1, thankfully she's unphased and uses the time well to catch up with clients and suppliers and call into the studio with "can you just..."
We're very excited to be called back by two former clients, one of which we have worked with 5 times now over the past 10 years, we designed a complex roof terrace for them initially in St John's Wood which is still standing the test of time. We've also been asked back to our Melton Mowbray clients to fully interior design the cottage on their grounds which we're very excited to create an English cottage feel with a slight twist so we much look forward to sharing progress with you over the next 6 months, it's a listed cottage within a conservation area so many hurdles but part of the fun and what we do. We've secured a new client in an area we've not worked in before, a beautiful family home in Essex, so hello Essex, we look forward to getting to know you and local suppliers there. Just when we thought we had closed down on our Claygate project, more phases have been added, so we're doing something right! And another client has asked for us to design a gentleman's lair for him and office space, our creative juices are in full flow, he's so much fun to work for, so all in all, a very busy month securing new work to roll us into 2020. As a team to have repeat business and clients call us back is no better testament to us doing our job well and the ultimate accolade. We've also finished Phase 1 of our Goodwood project with Phase 2 commencing the first week of January.
We've been thrilled with our recent joinery installations which have been received well by 3 sets of clients, our relationship with our joinery team gets better and better and they always step up when we throw new ideas at them, so a thank you to them. We've also worked with some new suppliers this month, all British handcrafted and sustainably sourced materials and the work was faultless so we're much looking forward to putting more work their way in 2020.
It's been an utter joy to watch the Autumn leaves come into full confetti mode and see the stunning colours as we drive throughout the UK and our beautiful countryside, our little island is rather special, as was remembering our fallen on Remembrance Sunday, as a company this is something we are passionate about not just for one day a year but throughout each and every day, lest we forget. And now as the dark nights are fully upon us as are the morning frosts we are fully embracing the sprinkling of fairy lights on our drives. Christmas is such a lovely time and Rebecca's favourite time of the year, a time to reflect, enjoy, share and be grateful, to sit back, log fires, the best of company, to think about family, friends, loved ones, those you can't be with and those you hold dear in your heart, Christmas is special!
We're sending our Christmas wishes now as it will be too late for our December post. So on behalf of our team, thank you for your continued love and support this year, to our incredible clients, we couldn't do what we do without you. To our invaluable suppliers and contractors, thank you. We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! Spend time with those that make you smile and those that fill your heart with magic and meaning.
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
We're absolutely delighted to announce that we won a SBID (Society of British Interior Designers) International Design Award on Friday for our Esher Project 'Best Residential House Under £1m', to be up against such huge design power houses from countries such as the USA, Russia, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, France, New Zealand and the Ukraine we couldn't be more thrilled. Over 47 countries entered and 53,000 votes cast so a testament to hard work paying off. Naturally the team fully threw themselves into the celebrations!
October has been busy for us with a big push on several projects coming to a close, a few more weeks to go and we hope to have our Claygate, Goodwood (Phase 1), Golders Green (Phase 3) and our Marylebone projects signed off. We're looking forward to seeing our Claygate joinery completed with beautiful brass and steel grill detailing which is coming from the USA. As a studio we often find the type of work we do comes in blocks and we've had a tremendous amount of joinery to design which we love so it's always exciting to see our designs come to life. Our next big phase is the technical elements of new projects, such as writing the specification of works and obtaining various permissions, so many different layers to what we do.
We've very much been enjoying this stunning autumnal weather and inspirational visits to National Trust houses such as Calke Abbey and Chatsworth House, always a joy to learn and be inspired by what has gone before.
We've had a great response to our new website so thank you if you have taken time to get in touch, you seem to like the paired down approach and focus on images, so we will keep delivering great designs for you. We have 4 projects being priced for ranging from West and East Sussex to Wimbledon.
We know November will fly by for us with getting projects completed in time for Christmas, so before I know it I'll be sat writing this for November. Enjoy the crisp beautiful Autumnal days and spend time with people that make you smile and have a sparkle in their eye and as it's Halloween, a fang or two!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
September has been an exciting month, not least celebrating our 12th birthday, as a small business we celebrate every milestone. When I started the business back in 2007 I had big dreams but didn’t think we would be consistently shortlisted for International Design Awards so I am very proud of how far I and latterly my team have come.
I also had the humbling news that I had been shortlisted for Designer of the Decade, against some incredible industry names and a privilege to be considered amongst such superb talent.
We experienced a wonderful evening of awards at the beautiful Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. Sadly we weren’t winners on the night but it was wonderful to share the evening amongst such international talent and of course to be shortlisted.
Projects are moving forward nicely. We’ve been spending a large amount of sourcing time ensconced in antiques throughout East and West Sussex which has been fun! Always a beautiful journey sourcing for old pieces for our Listed Georgian Farmhouse.
We’ve had quite a bit of travel between the south and midlands so we’ve enjoyed the scenic views. There’s definitely a change in weather and that slight chill on site visits has been felt and the wellies have made their first appearance! Autumn is upon us.
I’ve been asked to guest speak at Nottingham Business school on Interior Design so that should be fun!
So for now, we leave you with our new website and project images. We hope you like the more simplified format!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
August you’ve been a whirlwind of travel, exciting news, adventures, a photo shoot and an overwhelming amount of administration.
Firstly, we are beyond excited to announce that we have been shortlisted for a 4th time for a prestigious SBID International Design Award for our Esher project shot last month.
We’ve also been busy carrying out another photo shoot in Rebecca’s native county and enjoyed some beautiful English scenes on site visits within West Sussex, with stunning English gardens and stunning flint work.
We’ve enjoyed some fabulous company on a recent trip and culinary delights.
We’ve also enjoyed the fun of Brighton Pride and summer cricket with excitement with Sussex County Cricket Team flying in the T20’s. A true summer enjoyed by all.
So what’s ahead we hear you ask, well one giant adventure for Rebecca. A new website launch, an award ceremony with the glamour of the Design et al Awards mid September. Design Week awaits also to excite the team and give an autumnal creative boost.
Our Stanmore project has now closed with a delighted first time client. Phase 1 of our Claygate project is now coming to a close with Phase 2 commencing. We are pricing lots of new work which is always fun, we don’t win them all but it’s always nice to be in the game.
For now we celebrate and cherish all things that make your heart skip and melt in equal measures.
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
July has flown by, a month of travel, projects starting and completing and clients contacting us already regarding Christmas completion dates, discussing dressing Christmas Trees and when the weather has been 30 plus degrees in the South these conversations have been somewhat surreal!
We've been contacted by two former clients to work with them again, one in St John's Wood, in fact this will be the 3rd phase of work for this fabulous client couple. Our Esher clients who we've been helping design their stunning Victorian Family Home have just added several more rooms to the project which we are delighted about, we're having a lot of fun working with them. We have secured work on a new development on the South Coast, a former nursing home being converted to luxury apartments so we will be designing their show apartment. We've also had a fabulous development confirmed for our former developer on the West Coast and we're very excited to be designing these high end luxury penthouses in Carlyon Bay, Cornwall, the last time we were there we got snowed in, so fingers crossed the weather is a little kinder when we come to dress them albeit this will be in 2020 once construction is complete.
We are making great progress on our Listed Manor House on the prestigious Goodwood Estate, West Sussex with a very successful weekend presentation of design schemes which we were delighted to have approved.
Rebecca has been engrossed in a lot of joinery design and we know she takes that very seriously, so much so she doesn't allow the design team to get involved, though we do keep trying. Lots of details for one project with beautiful grille work detailing in gorgeous metals, watch this space! Also, Rebecca has prepped for our Sandbanks project photoshoot taking place in 2 weeks so a lot of attention placed on that from the team HQ.
We've had a glorious month of sport what with Wimbledon and Cricket, an incredible win for England, it's fair to say for those that love cricket it was one final to remember, immensely exciting and VERY tense, we're very proud of our boys.
So what's August looking like....at this stage, we only have 4 days free for the entire month, that sets the scene for our design studio. August the voting lines open for the Design et al Awards 2019 that we have been shortlisted in two categories for, so we hope to have your support when the lines open, we will be sharing the voting link on our social media accounts, thank you in advance. So from us to you, do enjoy the rest of the summer, Rebecca and her team continue to smile and have a spring in their step, enjoy the glorious sunshine and let's hope it lasts a little longer!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS
What a great month we've had! June can stay a little longer...within days of completing our Esher photo shoot we were shortlisted for 2 International Design & Architecture Awards 2019 for Interior Design Scheme UK and Luxury London Residence, as a small team to be shortlisted amongst 35+ countries entering is a wonderful accolade and the team are very excited to be attending the awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in September.
Our photo shoot went incredibly well and it's always lovely seeing one of our long standing external team members Nick Smith, Nick has been with us since day one and we've grown together so always lots to catch up on. We've been working hard sourcing quite specific items for our Goodwood Estate Farmhouse project, a real eclectic mix of antiques and not the every day quirky finds, so we're definitely going to enjoy finding those one off pieces for our clients.
The team also enjoyed two days back to back sourcing in our favourite London hot spots from Pimlico to the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, always a place of nostalgia for our founder Rebecca having studied at the prestigious KLC School of Design also based in the harbour, always fun getting chance to interact with the new students from the school and say hi to our fantastic suppliers there.
We've also been pricing for new work from Soho to Crouch End, it's so enjoyable getting to experience and view such an array of different architecture within the houses we visit which makes us all the more proud to have no in house style so we can adapt to the different needs of our clients so we make their homes completely tailored to them.
Rebecca has also been engrossed in some technical issues for phase 2 of our Hastings Farmhouse project, a few small headaches and delays but we knew this would be the case for this challenging phase, it will be worth the effort though.
We're making good progress on the company rebranding too and all on schedule for the Autumn so we can't wait to share with you. So for now, enjoy the sunshine and we hope you're smiling as much as we are!
Rebecca and Team LEIVARS