April Hamilton by Rosie – Interior Designers London
Hi I’m Rosie Ridgway founder and creative director of April Hamilton, an interior design company based in Surrey, with a stylish (if I say so myself) showcase in Chelsea harbour
I set up April Hamilton in 95 after renovating a stunning country house in Sussex, my first project and it consisted of 33 rooms with various outbuildings – completely terrifying for a new kid on the block. But I managed it and the rest as they say is history…
So where did that take me and how did my company evolve-
It was almost pre-internet, so in some ways marketing was less complex but definitely more arduous and so time consuming in comparison to the digital marketing we now take for granted. If you wanted to get your message across, magazine coverage and advertising was essential & pretty much the only route. I had a web site built around 96, it was not only a feat of engineering, but the transparencies of film from the country house shoot, had to be scanned, reworked and then uploaded & even then it wobbled a bit – quite adventurous for the time
A question often asked is where did the name come from? I thought it would be inclusive if I used my only daughter’s middle name and my husband’s, hence April Hamilton
It didn’t occur to me it would ever be a point of interest, but most just can’t resist the question!
My vision for the business, always was and remains the same providing quality and style, luxe living, yet organic and relaxed at the same time. I’m sure, like many young enthusiastic designers I tried to be all things to all people, which doesn’t ultimately work, it’s just not sustainable financially or creatively and whether we like it or not, business structure is as every bit as important as the creative interiors we produce. Clients and contractors need to know exactly where they are and where they are heading – and so a style develops and evolves, utterly unique to the designer
So with that in mind – the 2nd most asked question, how does it work?
Ok, you’ve just negotiated the deal and the house or hotel & looks like it may be your’ s in a few months, great but there’s tons to do and you are already beginning to feel completely overwhelmed, a friend used a designer but you’re not so sure their style isn’t quite what you’re looking for and so you Google designer in Surrey Sussex or London and we “pop” up, assuming you like the portfolio, you make the call, funny isn’t it when we first make a call to a new company, we really want that person to meet all our expectations and be friendly and welcoming, well don’t fret on that count, we are super friendly and want to make the process as relaxing & enjoyable as possible… so to the “what next “bit
Not something typically English I’m afraid, because I will want to talk to you about budgets, it’s a thorny subject, because there is a huge miss-conception here,
– If you tell me what you have available I’ll spend it all, well I’m guessing that may happen, but let me explain how I work..
There is a direct correlation between the value of your house or project and the amount I would suggest you spend on the interior so that you would want to maximize its value without overspending inappropriately, or compromising on the personal criteria of luxurious comfort
A typical example of this, was a recent project increased its value by 20% with a well designed luxury interior, man cave included!
So there you have it, take a look, see what you think, hope you enjoy it…