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If you’ve recently purchased a holiday home in the sun, it can become a headache: running costs and maintenance can potentially turn a bucolic bolt-hole into a bottomless pit of expense, so it makes sense to let it out when you can’t use it. The luxury let market in Cornwall in particular is booming, so we caught up with Elaine Skinner, design Director of Camellia Interiors, a Cornwall based interior design studio, who regularly advises owners on how to capitalise on this potentially lucrative niche. We asked her what a new holiday homeowner should know before hiring an interior designer?

“Before you get started, try to keep these four key things in mind and your luxury holiday home refurbishment will be completed on time, on budget and look exactly how you dreamt it would, which ultimately means maximising your revenue and investment,” explains Elaine.

1.Hire the best

Interior design is a business, albeit a creative one, so you will want to hire an Interior Designer with ideally a master’s degree in design, and a long practice history with luxury holiday home industry experience. There is a big difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator, who has often only done a short course or is self-taught. If you’re working on a remodel, changing the layout to achieve better functionality through the space and require guidance beyond aesthetics, then an interior designer is your best choice.

A well-connected interior designer has many skills and resources that they can pass onto you plus they will consider every element of the property and can advise on all the associated trades needed.

2. Write a wish list

Your interior designer will need to know what you want to achieve from the outset – the more planning done early on, the more realistic costs can be. They can then advise you on what else can be achieved to achieve a luxury holiday home standard and what provisional sums are likely to be. Far better than getting ¾ of the way down the road and bolting additional work on that blows the costs and timings and leaves everyone falling out!

3. Talk money early on

While it would be nice to think that your interior designer has your budget in mind – this usually isn’t the case. Unless you clearly discuss your monetary limits at the start, your designer is going to choose the best features in quality and structure in line with a luxury holiday home. If you have hired the right designer, they will give you some ideas on what changes to your design plan need to be made to help you stay within that budget and advise you on what is or is not essential in the luxury market.

Decide also if you want them to source and supply everything, or if you want them to source while you supply, as their fee structure will vary accordingly. Most interior designers make their money from the discounts they get through supplying – so it pays to be upfront from the beginning.

4. Remember you can say no

Whilst it might not be easy to say that you don’t like something once it’s been done, your interior designer won’t be offended if you dismiss an idea. You are paying them for a project you love and it’s their job to deliver. If they add an element you dislike, say it and confidently move along. While the interior designer may not agree with your design choice, the final decision is not up to them. Remember, the project is your home, not theirs, so it is ultimately your decision as to what design elements stay and which ones go.

Understanding these things will keep your relationship with your interior designer friendly and smooth. If your professional relationship is on track and you understand how the business works, you should be pleasantly surprised with the final outcome and maybe even come in under budget!

“Please remember interior designers are skilled professionals and should be treated as such. So, set your emotions aside and make a business deal with your designer – a deal that makes everyone happy and creates a lasting home design that you will love for years to come,” finishes Elaine.

If you have a luxury holiday home refurbishment or renovation project that you need help with or to speak to Elaine please call 01872 248592 or email hello@camelliainteriors.co.uk