Essential Spring scents to transform your house into a home

Essential Spring scents to transform your house into a home

United Kingdom
  • Sea salt, peppermint, freesia & lemon verbena top the list of spring scents (Alexander James Interior Design)
  • Diffuse rosemary oil in the office to boost brain power (Northumbria University)
  • Boost your performance in the gym with the smell of peppermint (University of Mohaghegh Ardabili)

After the cold, grey winter months, spring brings with it a welcome assault on the senses. From the feeling of sun-warmed skin to the chirping of birds and the scent of freshly mown grass and blossoming bluebells, it’s a time for celebration that the winter is behind us once more.

“Spring is a wonderful time of year, and one to be enjoyed within the home as well as outside. The season is all about awakenings, and that can be reflected beautifully with scent. From vases piled with locally grown, freshly cut flowers to artfully styled diffuser reeds and statement candles, the olfactory delights of spring can bring a real sense of joy and renewal into the home.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

According to Alexander James Interior Design, this spring’s hottest scents are those which evoke warmth, freshness and calm. They’re suited to a range of uses, from individuals looking to awaken their senses within the home, to those seeking to make their property more desirable to buyers or renters.

2017 spring season quick wins for scent include Jo Malone’s wood sage and sea salt home candle, which brings to mind holidays by the ocean, and The White Company’s spa relax diffuser, which offers a relaxing hint of lavender to calm and peppermint to refresh, according to the Alexander James team.

Also high on the spring scents list is Daylesford Organic Farm’s freesia alba scented botanical candle, with an uplifting, refreshing floral scent that’s akin to a spring day encased in wax.

“Diptyque’s fabulous lemon verbena candles are also a must this spring. The zesty lemon scent awakens the senses and brings to mind the mingled scent of lemons ripening on the branch, alongside newly budding blossoms marking the start of the next year’s bounty.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

Studies have shown that different smells can evoke feelings of happiness, safety, calm and relaxation. Citrus scents are ideal for brightening moods and providing energy, so are particularly well suited to kitchens and living areas. Lavender and jasmine are known to create feelings of relaxation, so are perfect scents for bedrooms.

Meanwhile, peppermint stimulates the mind and body. It lifts the mood, enhances breathing and even increases athletic performance, according to sports science studies at the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, so is the perfect scent for a home gym.

A study by Northumbria University has shown that the scent of lavender oil significantly decreases memory function, while diffused rosemary oil can markedly enhance it. Thus rosemary is the ideal scent for home offices and other areas of the home where mental functionality needs to be at its best!

Whatever your goal – whether a bright, energizing kitchen or a calm, sleep-inducing bedroom – scent can play a powerful role in ensuring that your home is the perfect environment.

“The right scents can transform a house into a home. No interior design project would be complete without serious attention to olfactory elements, so no home should be either!”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at, email or call 020 7887 7604.

Spring flower secrets from Alexander James Interior Design

Spring flower secrets from Alexander James Interior Design

United Kingdom
  • Tulips, hyacinths and long, elegant stems are spot on for spring
  • Large leaves and plentiful foliage are the latest essentials
  • Consider high-end silk blooms for lasting beauty

As March brings the first hints of spring sunshine, buds are swelling on branches all around. The turning of the seasons means that it’s time for the use of florals within the home – as well as without – to come into focus once more.

Florist Lisa Caulton is part of the team of outstanding interior designers at Alexander James Interior Design. With spring approaching, she shares her secrets on using flowers to maximum effect and the most inspiring 2017 floral trends.

How long have you worked for Alexander James Interiors?

I have been working for AJI for 4 years now, and absolutely love it. It is great working with such a great team and alongside such talented designers.

What is your background as a florist?

I have worked in floristry for the past 20 years, designing and creating displays for corporate events, hotels and designing weddings. I’ve also worked in local florists. Working with silk flowers has allowed me to be much more creative, with floral designs creating life-like displays in beautiful luxurious properties.

How does the process work in terms of creating floral arrangements for a project?

Our designers come to me with their mood boards and images of the property. Flowers are then selected based on interior style and colour scheme. For some projects I go and create the floral displays on site, especially if it is a big project. Flowers are used in every room, with the quantity of flowers depending on a client’s budget.

All flowers used are silk faux flowers, as real flowers would perish in our show home projects. The silk faux flowers we use are very high quality, so they are still very realistic and deliver the same great effect.

Flower arrangements are made to co-ordinate with the style of interior. We cover everything from rustic and country style to eclectic and contemporary.

What are your favourite flowers?

My favourite flowers are tulips, and my favourite plants are succulents, both of which are spring-like and currently on trend. I often go to flower shows to keep up with current trends and have attended shows in Paris and Holland. I often find inspiration for my work at these shows.

Do you incorporate your personal taste into your work?

No, it is important to always follow the current trends of flowers and plants in interiors. It is also important to think ahead to the next season due to our lead times. It is important to remain unbiased, using only the brief and mood boards to coordinate the flower arrangements for a project.

What has been your favourite project to date?

I really enjoy large projects, where I need to create arrangements to the scale of the property. Recent projects such as The Chapel at Mill Hill and Windlesham’s Woodrow mansion have been amazing to work on, as I have been able to create such large arrangements and stunning centrepieces.

What is your favourite interior design style?

My favourite interior style is eclectic, such as the style used in quirky London apartments.

What are the latest trends in floral design?

Trends often depend on interior style. For example, in a rustic property, stone pots, lavender baskets and flower jugs are perfect.

Current trends are very plant-orientated, with lots of foliage and big leaves. Trends often move with the seasons: spring projects will feature spring flowers such as hyacinths, tulips and the prettier, more elegant flowers.

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at, email or call 020 7887 7604.

Town vs country – the investment dilemma

Town vs country – the investment dilemma

United Kingdom , ,
  • Risk-averse investors drawn to city centre buy-to-let developments (Aspen Woolf)
  • Interior design giving landlords the edge (Alexander James Interior Design)
  • Strong returns tempting investors to newer asset classes in the countryside (Properties of the World)

There’s an age-old debate about whether city living trumps country living, or vice versa.

UN figures show that our world is gradually becoming more urban, with 54% of the global population currently residing in urban areas. The figure is projected to rise to 66% by 2050, emphasising the pull of the city on those seeking economic opportunities and a wealth of cultural and entertainment options.

Just as city and country living appeal differently to different folks, so too do the prospects of investing in such diverse locations.

“Investors looking for city centre properties tend to be those who are keen for long-term returns with lower risk. They’re seeking an established asset class – buy-to-let – which has been around long enough to be proven as a model that generates consistent yields. The solidity of the asset class is paramount, even over and above considerations like the tax relief reductions for landlords, which the government is phasing in from 2017 onwards.”

Oliver Ramsden, Founder and Director, Aspen Woolf


As well as buy-to-let investors looking for brand new developments, cities tend to attract those investors who want to take an active role in their property investment. Buying a house and refurbishing it can result in capital gains as well as healthy rental yields and many investors enjoy the buzz of managing their own properties. It can be a competitive occupation, and those at the forefront of the industry are continually seeking new ways to ensure that their properties stand out from the crowd. Engaging professional interior design consultants is the hottest new trend.

“We are working with a growing number of individuals who never imagined they would be employing interior designers to create a beautiful interior for their home. Interior design used to be the preserve of the very wealthy. Now, there’s a growing trend for people at every level of the property ladder to use expert services of this nature.”

Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design


Those investors who favour properties in the countryside tend to have a different focus than their city investor counterparts. They’re prepared to take on newer and more innovative asset classes in the pursuit of higher returns and lower taxes.

“Hotel investment can generate excellent yields, and buyers are free from the concerns of Stamp Duty Land Tax and the hit to income that void periods can cause. Strong returns and fewer taxes to worry about is an attractive combination. Many countryside investments also come with a personal usage element, meaning that investors essentially get two weeks of free holiday accommodation thrown into the deal each year.”

Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World

The restrictions on tax relief for residential landlords has the potential to mark a step-change in investor preferences. From 2017 to 2018, only 75% of finance costs will be deductible from rental income. The figure will reduce annually, until it reaches 0% for the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

As city centre buy-to-let developments become gradually less profitable for all those other than cash buyers, will former city investors head for the hills? Only time will tell.


On the market:

The perfect city investment: Set on the edge of the vibrant Liverpool city centre, the New Eldon Grove offers the perfect balance of past and present comprised of 45 apartments including 1,2 and 3 bedroom units. Carefully designed to preserve the heritage of the site while serving the needs of a new generation, from just £94,950, New Eldon Grove provides investors with an assured 2-year NET rental of 7%. Available through Aspen Woolf.

Escape to the country: In the Valleys of South Wales, lodges and land plots at Afan Valley Adventure Resort allow investors to be part of a thrilling new adventure experience. Lodges are priced from £149,000 and offer 8% NET returns for seven years, with two weeks’ personal usage. Land plots offer a mark-up of 10% per annum for three years, from just £25,000. Both available through Properties of the World.


For more information, please contact:

Aspen Woolf: +44 203 176 0060 or

Alexander James Interior Design: 020 7887 7604 or

Properties of the World: +44 (0)20 7624 5555 or

2017’s ultimate kitchen trends

2017’s ultimate kitchen trends

United Kingdom ,
  • Zoning being used to create cutting edge kitchens
  • Metallic finishes featuring strongly this year
  • Kitchen tech providing everything from hidden hobs to vanishing taps

The kitchen is the heart of the home. The epicentre of a family’s nourishment, a space for informal socialising with family members and close friends, and the place from which all manner of delicious scents and flavours emanate.

An outstanding kitchen should also be a feast for the eyes, as well as the other senses, explains John Harvey, Managing Director at Lida Cucina. He comments,

“We’re seeing some amazing innovations in terms of kitchen design and dressing at the moment. 2017 is going to be an exciting year from new tech to exciting materials, there has never been more choice when it comes to kitchen interior design.”

The kitchen designers at Lida Cucina are experts at creating kitchens that both serve a practical purpose and look superb. Based on their knowledge, MD John Harvey has put together his list of top kitchen interior design trends for creating the ultimate 2017 kitchen.

Lida Cucina’s 2017 ultimate kitchen interior design trends

  1. Zoning

“The concept of the traditional working triangle has gone,” comments John Harvey. “It’s all about zoning in 2017 – the ultimate kitchen this year will have a prep zone, a cooking zone, a wet zone and a refrigeration zone.”

The type and number of appliances in the kitchen has changed dramatically in recent years. Oven types now include single, combi, steam, sous-vide, microwave, and those complemented by warming drawers. The cooking zone needs to accommodate these and a wide range of other appliances.

The prep zone is also gadget-heavy, with everything from juicers to spiralizers needing to be accounted for, along with a prep sink. The main sink is obviously in the wet zone, along with the dishwasher.  Meanwhile the refrigeration zone is home to the fridge, freezer and wine chiller.

  1. Islands

Islands remain a hugely popular trend, and 2017 sees them combined with the zoning concept to create a kitchen that is at once practical and beautiful.

The ultimate kitchen this year has islands linked by bridge-style counters and a breakfast bar. A formal, built-in table connecting the islands is also on trend.

  1. Kitchen tech

Kitchen tech is certainly not limited to portable appliances. Hidden features and opening functions are allowing kitchens to appear incredibly sleek and stylish, with only a wave of the hand or the push of a button needed to make taps, sinks, hobs and more miraculously appear.

Under-worktop induction hobs will be a key trend in 2017, according to the Lida Cucina team, with just a small panel used to control an essentially invisible hob.

Boiler taps are also coming of age, with more manufacturers joining the marketplace and driving both innovations in design and reductions in price. Top brand ZIP’s latest tap, for example, now supplies not just boiling water, but also hot, cold, chilled and sparkling filtered water.

  1. Metallics

Kitchens are all about metallics when it comes to appearance in 2017. Warm metal finishes, achieved either through multi tonal lacquers or the use of actual metals, will be present for doors and cabinetry. For doors, a range of superb, ultra-thin metal doors is about to hit the market and will be an important trend this year.

“2017 kitchen design is all about sleek design that accommodates the latest advances in technology while also looking stunning,” concludes Lida Cucina’s John Harvey. “Taking a professional approach to designing or redesigning your kitchen can make it the true heart of your home, while also adding value to the property. It’s going to be a big year for kitchens!”

For more information, visit Lida Cucina at, email or call 0118 932 0828.

Add romance to your room this Valentine’s Day (for less than you’d think)

Add romance to your room this Valentine’s Day (for less than you’d think)

United Kingdom
  • Look, feel and scent of a room all impact on its romantic credentials (Alexander James Interior Design)
  • Romance doesn’t have to cost the earth – fresh flowers can be used to great effect
  • Create a mood board to get a sense of the completed room before you spend a penny

The approach of Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to give your property a makeover and bring some romance into your home.

There is a growing trend for individuals with smaller homes to seek out the professional talents of interior designers, and this is the ideal solution for those looking to add romance to their rooms.

However, you don’t have to be a pro to add some pre-Valentine’s Day romantic touches, as

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director at Alexander James Interior Design, explains,

“There are some really cost effective quick wins when it comes to adding romance to your home. Look at your rooms not just with your eyes but with all your senses. How does a room feel? What scents are in the air? Then drop in a little instant passion and love with a few additional touches.”

Fresh flowers are the obvious place to start. In this traditional Buckinghamshire home, dressed by the team at Alexander James, oversize vases of cream roses, with the fireplace in the background, add the scent of romance beautifully. Giant displays of lilies, roses and gypsophila all work wonderfully, as do simpler touches like single vases of red, pink and cream tulips.

Scented candles are another quick win. They look and smell appealing and the vast range available means that they can be chosen to suit any colour scheme. Antique silver hurricanes and glass holders with long, elegant stems both work particularly well when it comes to creating a romantic feel.

Candles are perfect for providing soft lighting, which adds a really romantic element to a room. Table lamps, uplighters and standing lamps can also be used to great effect and again don’t have to cost the earth.

“When it comes to selecting accessories, soft furnishings and artwork, picture how it’s all going to connect before you buy everything,” advises Alexander James Interior Design’s Stacey Sibley. “Put a mood board together with the pieces you have in mind – from lamps to rugs to paintings – and build a vision of how well it’s going to blend and how romantic it’s going to feel. If one or two elements don’t fit, don’t try and force them in. Find alternatives instead.”

For those going for a large-scale overhaul, Stacey advises steering clear of anything too dark when it comes to colour schemes. Pastel colours work well for romantic interiors, with splashes of bold colour used sparingly for a touch of passion. Metallic fabrics are big news this season and silvers and golds, when used delicately, can add a lovely element of romance to a room. Little touches like antique silver photo frames can also make a big difference.

“Ultimately, the room needs to emanate a sense of warmth and safety,” concludes Sibley, “but with a streak of passion thrown in as well. Creating the ultimate romantic interior is a really delicate balance but can have a fantastic impact on a home when done well.”

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at, email or call 020 7887 7604.

Bring a little feng shui into your home this Chinese New Year with Alexander James Interior Design

Bring a little feng shui into your home this Chinese New Year with Alexander James Interior Design

United Kingdom
  • Create positive energy flow through furniture placement and colour schemes
  • Turn to the professionals to achieve a stylish, harmonious home
  • Increase your wealth through feng shui – or through interior design!

The ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui adheres to the principle that all things are connected through qi (energy). Good feng shui can lead to good luck for individuals, families and even whole countries. Meanwhile, poor feng shui can lead to bad fortune.

Whether or not you believe the mystical aspects of feng shui, there’s no doubt that bringing feng shui principles into your home can have positive results. Stacey Sibley, Creative Director at Alexander James Interior Design, comments,

“You don’t have to believe in feng shui to benefit from its principles when it comes to things like furniture placement or colour schemes. Whether or not the placement of your sofa can really have an impact on your fortunes, it can certainly have a positive effect on how you feel in your living room. Similarly, the colours you choose for your home can enhance the living experience of the whole family.”

When it comes to furniture placement, living rooms and bedrooms can be quick wins. Place sofas and beds against solid walls to anchor them, rather than leaving them ‘floating’ in the middle of a room. Then avoid blocking natural pathways in the room and use mirrors to enhance the flow of natural light and energy.

Feng shui has at its heart the harmony between people and nature. So too do this season’s interior design trends. Natural textures and woody tones are ideal for creating a balance that soothes the spirit and sets the scene for creating happy family memories within the home.

This is demonstrated beautifully at one of the prestigious, Grade 2 listed Albury Park apartments in Surrey, where the original mansion house has been elegantly converted into apartments in Surrey. Dressed by the talented interior designers at Alexander James Interior Design as part of their ‘full rental’ service, the sumptuous apartment flows delightfully from one room to the next with rich, natural hues, tones and textures creating a positive flow of energy throughout the home.  From the artwork to the polished wooden walls and curved brickwork of the pool room, the property uses the best of nature to create a harmonious environment.

However, good feng shui certainly doesn’t mean avoiding bright colours altogether, as Alexander James’ Stacey Sibley explains,

“There are plenty of ways to achieve positive energy in your home using colour. Opt for fire colours (red, orange, yellow and pink) on the southern side of rooms and water colours (blues and greens) on the northern side. Fire colours are for more active spaces and water colours are for calmer spaces, so bear that in mind when choosing colour schemes and decorative objects to place in your home.”

While there may not be a host of scientific evidence that shows the impact of feng shui on health and wealth, there is certainly evidence that good interior design services can have an impact. After the Alexander James team dressed the Albury Park Mansion apartment, it shot up in value by 65%. Belief in feng shui aside, those looking to sell their property – no matter how large or small it may be – would do well to opt for a professional interior design service this Chinese New Year!

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at, email or call 020 7887 7604.

Interior design resolutions: 2017 is the year to ‘think pretty’ says Alexander James Interior Design

Interior design resolutions: 2017 is the year to ‘think pretty’ says Alexander James Interior Design

United Kingdom
  • Impact of external influences on inner peace more widely appreciated
  • Demand for professional interior design in sub £2 million homes on the up
  • Homeowners, sellers and landlords all looking to use interior design to their advantage


Many people are glad to see the back of 2016, heralding 2017 as a fresh start, with all the promise that a new year brings. Achieving inner strength and peace are high up the priority list for many working diligently on their New Year’s resolutions, but there’s more to inner peace than eating kale and enjoying regular yoga sessions, as Stacey Sibley, Creative Director at Alexander James Interior Design, reveals,


“The look and feel of a property has a huge impact on how those who live there feel. An expert interior design service can transform a ‘nice’ home into a real sanctuary – a place of calm that helps you to shrug off the cares of the world the moment you close the front door. Many people work hard at self-improvement during January in order to feel healthier and happier, but don’t appreciate how much of a difference changes within the home can make.”


According to the team of experts at Alexander James, who have more than 20 years’ experience of interior architecture, the benefits of interior design are gradually extending their reach. The sub £2 million property market is booming when it comes to demand from new clients, particularly in London and other large cities across the UK. Homeowners are beginning to appreciate the serenity that interior design can bring – a message that the Alexander James team is keen to spread more widely.


Stacey Sibley continues,


“Homeowners have an unprecedented opportunity to access interior architecture expertise as the market expands to bring beautiful interiors to a broader client base. We’re seeing rising demand from individual property owners seeking to give their home the interior it deserves, as well as from those looking to maximise their home’s sale value. Interior design for rental property also looks set to expand rapidly in 2017, with landlords keen to boost their yields by offering homes that stand out from the crowd.”


The natural hues and warming tones and textures of 2017’s top interior design trends should certainly appeal to those looking to make their home (and their life) more tranquil as part of their 2017 New Year’s resolutions. Natural woods and pastel tones will create personal havens for those seeking the path to inner peace this year.


Alexander James Interior Design has showcased this beautifully at this modern, rustic barn in Surrey. The stunning building has been dressed in a way that highlights its outstanding features, at the same time as creating a serene, welcoming home.


As 2017 gets underway, those seeking inner peace as part of their New Year’s resolutions would do well to turn to interior design in order to achieve it!


For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at, email or call 020 7887 7604.

Think big – make your New Year’s resolutions to buy a holiday home in 2017!

Think big – make your New Year’s resolutions to buy a holiday home in 2017!

Spain United Kingdom World , , ,
  • Political and economic volatility to create big opportunities in 2017 (easyMarkets)
  • Emphasis on quality of life will be key this year (
  • Sun-kissed Spanish holiday homes available from just €190k (Taylor Wimpey España)
  • Achieve second home serenity through interior design in 2017 (Alexander James)

Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat more healthily and drink less are all well and good, but they’re hardly likely to get 2017 off to an exciting start. So ditch the traditional resolutions to enjoy life less and instead resolve to enjoy it more – by buying a holiday home!

Evdokia Pitsillidou, Director of Risk Management at pioneering forex and CFD broker easyMarkets, explains,

“In many ways – certainly politically – the world was turned on its head in 2016. Thus many people are entering 2017 with a new mindset and looking at the way they live and their personal finances in a new light. Political and economic volatility may lead to big shifts in currency values and investors playing the markets successfully may consider putting their profits into property this year.”

Richard Speigal, Head of Research at leading Spanish property portal, agrees,

“I think we’re going to see a lot of emphasis on enhancing quality of life in 2017. Certainly our own data has shown that since the Brexit vote British buyers are looking more intensively than ever at the possibilities that a second home in Spain opens up. Sterling’s drop has made them seek out cheaper destinations – Almeria and Alicante are the big winners so far – but we’re experiencing a record level of interest in Spanish property that we expect to continue throughout the year.”

The prices offered by the Spanish property market (as well as Spain’s fabulous climate, excellent cuisine, stunning golf courses and superb beaches), means that British buyers can pick up good value property, even once the drop in sterling has been taken into account.

Leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, for example, is selling spacious two and three bedroom apartments with generous terraces at La Floresta Sur (close to Marbella), from as little as €190,000+VAT. As well as the development’s two large shared pools, owners can enjoy free access to the facilities of El Soto Golf Club. Each apartment comes fully fitted with white goods and with private parking.

But an overseas holiday home isn’t the only option for those looking to buy in 2017. Robert Walker, Managing Director of Alexander James Interior Design, explains,

“We’re seeing a big trend for staycations at the moment and many holiday home buyers are looking at what they can pick up in the UK, rather than overseas. Jumping in the car and driving to your holiday home whenever the mood suits you is far less hassle than having to plan ahead and book a plane and the money you save on flights can be spent on the property itself.”

Using interior design architects to create a serene, harmonious environment within a holiday home is money well spent. The desire for relaxation is a key driver for many second home owners and with the right interior design service, the feeling of calm and peace as you walk through the front door can be almost palpable. Compare that to the stress of dealing with airports, flights, hire cars and the other trappings of a second home overseas and the attractions of owning a holiday home within the UK are clear.

If you still haven’t decided on how to improve your life in 2017, make buying a holiday home your goal this year!

For more information, please contact:

easyMarkets: +44 203 1500 748 or


Taylor Wimpey España: 08000 121 020 (00 34 971 706 972 from outside of the UK) or

Alexander James Interior Design: 020 7887 7604 or

5 fitness-friendly homes to kick start your New Year’s resolution

5 fitness-friendly homes to kick start your New Year’s resolution

World , , , ,

2017 is here and it’s time to put those New Year’s resolutions into action. And as with every other January, many of us have pledged to get fit and healthy this year.

From student digs to million pound pads, and the very best interior design to entice you to exercise, an on-site gym is the must have motivation for 2017 in order to stick to that new fitness regime!

Here are 5 of the best homes here and abroad with on-site gyms and sporting facilities:


  1. Hoola, Royal Docks, London

Available from £450,000, the Hoola studio, two, and three-bedroom apartments, boasting stunning glass balconies as well as floor-to-ceiling windows, benefit from a range of onsite facilities including a gym, resident’s business lounge and concierge.

A spectacular garden is available to all residents with soft and hard landscaping that includes semi-miniature trees and dramatic water features making it the ideal home to hit the gym before or after work then relax and rejuvenate in the stunning gardens.

  1. Fusion Tower, Bristol

Providing exceptional student accommodation, Fusion Tower enjoys an incredible location within Bristol’s city centre. Offering elegant and innovative student apartments, Fusion Tower has been designed by a team of leading architects, interior and graphic designers.

On-site facilities include a private gym which provides Bootcamp, Dance and spinning classes to make sure that students are kept on track with for fitness goals, all included in the £134 per week rate.


  1. Whitelands, St Georges Hill, Surrey

The award-winning Alexander James Interior Design architecture team redesigned the basement of this stunning 6 bed, 5 bath property to appeal to any fitness fan.

The grand 14,500 sq ft property, located on one of Surrey’s most premier private estates benefits from a hydraulic swimming pool, dedicated vitality spa and gymnasium designed and dressed by Alexander James Interior Design.

And for those that want to take their training on vacation, homes in Spain with outdoor and indoor fitness activities can help ease the January blues.


  1. Marbella, Costa del Sol, Spain

This stunning unique 10-bedroom villa located within the super exclusive gated community of La Zagaleta on the Costa del Sol features a fabulous spa on the ground floor with saltwater swimming pool and choice of saunas (classic, steam bath, salt bath, caldarium), all with access to a large covered terrace and Jacuzzi. The second floor also houses a separate gym for those who want a more intense, private workout.


  1. Horizon Golf, Mijas, Costa del Sol, Spain

As well as the three 18-hole golf courses, hydrotherapy centre and spa on site, the exclusive apartments of Horizon Golf also enjoy access to the golf school (La Cala Golf Academy) and an array of sports facilities including two running circuits and specialised trainers on hand to improve technique.

From just €270,000 +VAT for an apartment, residents of these exclusive properties will enjoy breathtaking view of the prestigious golf course and the Costa del Sol’s sun kissed coastline, spacious terraces perfect for al fresco dining and the convenience of a private garage space.


For more information, please contact:

  1. Hoola, London: Properties of the World: or call +44 20 7624 5555
  2. Fusion Tower, Bristol: Collegiate AC: or call 01235 250 140
  3. Whitelands, Surrey: Alexander James Interior Design: or call 020 7887 7604
  4. La Zagaleta villa, Spain: visit
  5. Horizon Golf, Spain: Taylor Wimpey España: 08000 121 020, +34 971 706 972 or
Dress to kill in 2017 – Why interior design will be the secret weapon to achieving sales targets

Dress to kill in 2017 – Why interior design will be the secret weapon to achieving sales targets

United Kingdom
  • Sub-£2m properties to receive huge boost from interior design in 2017 (Alexander James)
  • Specialist interior design to increase by 20% in 10 years (Brandon Gaille)
  • Design is at the crux of how we live, work, and play” (ASID)

According to property industry experts, one of the leading trends in 2017 will be the emergence of interior design agencies in unexpected places. While hotels and new home developers have long employed the unique talents of those with the vision to transform their properties’ interiors, 2017 will be the year that interior design goes mainstream.

Robert Walker, Managing Director from Alexander James Interior Design explains,

“We are working with a growing number of clients who, just a couple of years ago, never imagined they would be employing professional designers to create beautiful interiors for their properties. Interior design used to be the preserve of the largest of companies. Now, there’s a growing trend for smaller developers to use interior design to boost the value of their property.

“Be they for sale or rent, dressing your units at any price level will be the path to success in 2017. It’ll be the secret weapon to achieving those sales targets.”

Developers of private rented sector (PRS) housing and high end purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) will be particularly drawn to the use of interior designers in 2017, according to the team at Alexander James.

Albury Park Mansion in Surrey highlights the value of the trend towards professional interior design. One apartment in the prestigious Grade 2 listed building saw a staggering 65% increase in value after being professionally dressed by the Alexander James team.

As well as the obvious monetary benefits, a growing appreciation of the value of interior design is another factor behind the trend. According to the American Society of Interior Designers,

“Effective interior design makes workers more efficient, helps students learn, and helps everyone get and stay healthy; it helps us have fun, age gracefully, and connect with family. Design is at the crux of how we live, work, and play.”

The growth of the PRS and the booming PBSA sectors in the UK represent a plethora of new opportunities for developers, but also increased competition. Those that stand out from the crowd are constantly seeking new ways to ensure that their properties turn heads. In 2017, interior design will play a key role in that.

Marketing expert Brandon Gaille believes that specialised interior design businesses will grow by around 20% over the coming decade, compared with a 13% increase in interior design jobs. This is reflective of the spreading interest that smaller developers, builders and private individuals have in using interior design services to create more saleable homes.

Alexander James’ Robert comments,

“There’s a real push from those with properties in the sub-£2 million price bracket to use interior designers at the moment and this trend looks set to grow in 2017. Whether it’s city apartments for sale or rent, or luxury student digs that need to beat the competition, interior designers have never been more sought after. 2017 is the year to think ironically ‘outside the box’ when it comes to interiors!”

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at, email or call 020 7887 7604.