We’re very proud to announce that Richard Grafton Interiors is the 2013 winner of the ‘Best Independent’ and ‘Best Overall’ Harrogate Christmas Shop Window Competition! Once again it was organised by Harrogate and District Soroptimist International on behalf of Harrogate at Christmas, and we would like to extend our warmest thanks to everyone involved. Special thanks also goes to Kim, our wonderful designer who was clearly feeling very festive the day she decorated the window.
I got into interior design because…….
I love textiles and colour. The idea of creating homes for families to enjoy and be happy in is really satisfying, and every project is a challenge because, like individuals, every house is different. My job is never repetitive and I love the variation.
My greatest passion is ……..
Art. I love sourcing new artists, and my collection of Cornish paintings are my pride and joy!
My three favourite interiors brands are…..
My favourite building in the world is…..
There are so many iconic buildings in the world, but I like to see a building that has a real relationship with its surroundings, so the building I have chosen is Padstow Life Boat Station in Cornwall. It nestles into the rock face perfectly, and the colouring of it sits so naturally with the sea and the sky. It’s a very comforting place to be, which I think sits beautifully with the function of it.
I couldn’t live without……
Music and my iPod. I love music, it can reflect and enhance my mood whether I am being creative, socialising or even just going for a jog. Music can create so many emotions, happy or sad, and I believe that the world would be a dull place without it.
I start every interior design project by………
Listening, because it’s so important to consider what the client requires! It’s their home, so I listen, develop and then contribute.
When I’m designing, I’m lost without …..
A cup of coffee, a chocolate bar, and of course music! Designing is like baking a cake: you need lots of different ingredients to create a beautiful end product.
I would describe my personal design style as…….
A smart Chelsea apartment with a sprinkling of Country Home. I like to soften the clean lines by using a variety of textiles and tones.
The department stores have rolled out their Christmas ads and snowy window displays are popping up all over Yorkshire – it’s official, the festive period is here. Since the baubles were out in our showroom at the start of October we couldn’t wait until December to start the celebrations and have already launched our ‘12 Gifts of Christmas’ giveaway on Facebook where we are giving away a whole host of beautiful gifts as a thank you to our lovely fans.
The next few weeks provide the perfect time to start thinking about how you want your home to look this Christmas. With families getting together and the snow on its way, we’ll spend lots more time indoors and whether it’s a classical traditional yuletide, or a more contemporary and quirky celebration you’re looking for, we’ve got all the tips to transform your home into a sparkly winter wonderland this Christmas.
All that glitters
If you’re looking for a classical affair, the easiest way to reflect this in your home is through colour. The richness of red and gold bring warmth to a living space, and both go perfectly with the deep green of a Christmas tree. For a slight twist on tradition try displaying your multi-coloured baubles in vases or birdcages and place them around the home for extra added sparkle.
Wow factor wreaths
If you’re after something a bit more unusual to adorn your front door and act as a stylish entrance statement then take inspiration from one of the hottest interiors trends this season – peacock feathers. This beautiful peacock wreath was the first prize in our ’12 Gifts of Christmas’ giveaway and is causing quite a stir in our showroom. It can also be left up as a statement piece way after the festive period ends.
Hearth of the home
It’s a bit of a tradition for us to go to town on our showroom fireplace and this year is no exception. We’ve definitely gone for the ‘more is more’ look with lots of accessories to complement the roaring fire and give it a really cosy feel. We also love this one, with its gorgeous mix of fresh flowers, pine cones, candles and stockings. If you make your fireplace a real showstopper then you can afford to go more minimalist in other spaces around the home and when the fire’s lit you can sit back, relax and get into the Christmas spirit.
For more yuletide interiors advice, some stunning decorations and accessories, or anything else you need to make your home look perfect for Christmas, come and chat to our team of designers in our Harrogate showroom. Our ability to source the latest trends is unique to the region, so even if you have something really unusual or specific in mind, try us – we love a challenge!
We are delighted to announce that we were named New Business of the Year at last night’s York Press Business Awards, hosted at the wonderful York Racecourse.
It is an honour to be recognised in the region for what we’ve achieved in under two years in business. Since the opening of our new warehouse/workshop and our coup at securing the Ralph Lauren Home range, we’ve got some really exciting plans for the future!
The Press Business Awards are now in their 23rd year and celebrate the achievements of businesses across York, North and East Yorkshire in 16 categories, including Think Green Business of the Year, Family Business of the Year and Business Personality. Steve Hughes, managing editor of The Press, said: “[A] spirit of enterprise shone through in the entries from a hugely diverse range of companies and the judges had a really difficult job to choose our finalists. They have all shown determination and creativity to thrive in difficult economic times and they deserve all the recognition they have received.”
In the lead up to Christmas, we hope to see lots of new faces in our showroom. Our designers are on hand for a coffee and a chat by our roaring fire to discuss your home design ideas. And don’t forget that we’ve got the Grafton Freestone team who are experts at the design and installation of bespoke handmade kitchens and bathrooms and can draw up detailed architectural plans for layout changes to your home. It’s the full turn key solution under one roof for a perfect home!
Thanks to the team and all our partners, friends, supports, clients and customers for a fantastic 2013 – and here’s to an even better 2014!
Now that the clocks have gone back and it’s getting dark earlier, it can feel like the gloom outside is creeping in. Keep your home cosy this winter with a roaring fire, a faux fur throw, and some beautiful lighting. Here’s some wow factor tips from our lighting specialist Karen Draper on how to make beautiful lighting a show-stopping feature in your home.
Use light bulbs that are bright enough but still fairly soft – bright white light can make a room feel stark and cold, and that’s not what you want on a cold winter’s evening curled up in front of the fire. This stunning tiered Moroccan style chandelier would make a gorgeous focal point in any hallway or staircase.
Introduce lamps to brighten up dark corners that your main lights don’t quite reach. In a room with lots going on use something simple and elegant, but if you want to breathe some life into a quieter part of your home then try a statement lamp, such as this gorgeous piece from Heathfield.
For a child’s or teenager’s bedroom, why not try something a little quirkier? This Hollywood style wall light by Delight will make any little rock star feel at home, and with a statement piece like this you can get away with a more minimalist style for the rest of the room.
If you’re not sure whether you want a lamp, or a spectacular lighting installation (a Porta Romana speciality!), come on into our Harrogate showroom and have a coffee and a chat with Karen – she’d love to show you how the latest lighting trends could work for your home.
It feels like the whole country is talking about the latest series of the Great British Bake Off after the final was aired last Tuesday evening. Over nine million viewers tuned into the final and the programme has developed a cult following inspiring a nation of amateur bakers to dust off their recipe books and work on mastering the perfect pastry! Grafton Freestone, our interior installation service may not consist of award winning bakers, but our expert kitchen designer Sarah McIntosh does have a few top tips to help you design a kitchen that even Mary Berry would feel at home in!
1. Think about your cooking triangle
The work triangle is made by drawing imaginary lines between the three most visited points in the kitchen: the hob, the fridge, and the sink. The most efficient cooking space has these elements close together, but not so close that the room feels cramped – one important function of the cooking triangle is that heavy traffic areas such as the fridge are kept slightly away from the main cooking area. We recommend that the ‘sides of the triangle’ are between four to nine feet to give you adequate amount of working space around all cooking appliances.
2. Durability is key
When you’re designing a kitchen it’s important to build everything to last, from sturdy flooring to walls you can wipe clean. At Grafton Freestone we have our own range of hardwood flooring that not only looks beautiful but will stand the test of time in any kitchen. You won’t want to have to re-do anything for quite a while, so choose carefully, granite worktops for example don’t just provide instant wow factor, they are also durable and easy to clean.
3. Don’t forget – It’s still your home!
The kitchen can sometimes look separate from the rest of the house because it’s easy to focus too much on making it a functional room. Show off your culinary creations in a worthy setting by adding personal touches (in the Great British Bake Off they favour bunting) and showing continuity between your kitchen, dining and living areas. You can do this with beautiful decorative accessories such as vintage cake stands or with a colour scheme, light fittings, and even doorknobs!
Sarah and the Grafton Freestone team can provide you with everything you need to design your dream kitchen, specialising in bespoke cabinetry, stonework and hardwood flooring from design through to installation and those all important finishing touches. If you’re thinking about a full redesign, or just brightening your kitchen up a little, pop in for a chat and coffee with Sarah, she’d love to hear your ideas.
Our MD Richard and his wife Milly have raised almost £2,000 in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research after running the Yorkshire Marathon in York on Sunday.
Richard said: “This was our first marathon and it was a real experience. It was both physically and mentally punishing and has left my body feeling like a plank of wood so I can’t say I’d be up for another challenge like this for a while!
Grafton Freestone was set up alongside Richard Grafton Interiors to provide clients with a full ‘turn key’ solution for their home or business. The brand also offers its own products including a beautiful solid oak flooring range.
Andrew Freestone heads up the design and installation of bathrooms, kitchens, cabinetry, flooring and other bespoke home interior solutions at Grafton Freestone, working collaboratively on projects with Richard and the interior design team.
His artisan approach was developed from a young age when he watched and inherited his father’s passion for engineering and building everything from scratch. When not hard at work for Grafton Freestone, Andrew loves spending time with his young family in the beautiful home that he took a year off work to build and rearing his beloved rare breed pigs!
I got into bespoke design and construction because…
I grew up with it. As a child I vividly remember my father, an Engineer by trade, building literally everything from scratch, from furniture to classical guitars to full house extensions. Growing up I just assumed that if you wanted something you built it! I’m quite proud of the fact that a garden table I built aged 16 has just been passed onto my sister over 20 years later – I definitely build things to stand the test of time!
I studied 3D design at Northumbria University and began making steel sculptures from the age of 18. After University I went onto work for an influential staircase company Bisca, where I was head of manufacturing for six years. I had the urge to work with a wider variety of materials so decided to set up my own company and work included designing/planning house builds, extensions and restaurants.
By chance I had a project working on an en-suite bathroom for a client and Karen (interior designer at Richard Grafton) was working with the same client. She liked my style and level of craftsmanship and introduced me to Richard. From that point Grafton Freestone was formed to offer clients the full interiors/construction and installation package.
My greatest passions are….
Architecture, interiors and the use of materials and my pigs – I breed Gloucestershire Old Spot and they are my pride and joy!
My three most influential architects are….
Thomas Heatherwick, Antoni Gaudi, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers
My favourite buildings in the world are….
The Guggenheim in Bilbao. It’s not a building but Egypt has to get a special mention and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is spectacular.
I start every interior design project by….
Listening to the client and observing their style and interior likes/dislikes. We recently completed a project for a client where we used Indian spices as the inspiration for the colours and textures used. Inspiration comes from so many places and there is a skill in helping find that source of inspiration and bringing it to life through design.
When I’m designing, I’m lost without…
Paper and a pencil and I nearly always listen to music when designing.
I would describe my personal design style as…
Classic/contemporary. I love designs that are timeless and have a homely and ‘easy to live with’ feel. The Richard Grafton showroom reflects this style perfectly and is the style I chose for my own home.
If I had to choose any bathroom design for my home, it would be…
A luxurious, sleek design incorporating striking stones. I love texture in bathrooms and recently did a project where we used jagged edged Lapicida tiles with up-lighting, which was very effective.
I think that what makes Grafton/Freestone special is….
The collaboration of the two businesses creates the ability to offer the full package. We are not tied to any manufacturers; we are specifiers, not retailers. My diverse background of building with the full range of materials from metal, glass, stone, wood gives me an understanding not just of how to build with something but also how its made, which is rare in the interior design trade.
If you’d like to talk to Andrew about what he could do for your home or business, pop into our Harrogate showroom, call 01423 817117 or email email@example.com. You can also follow what the whole team is up to on this blog, our Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest (see buttons in top right hand corner of page).
We hit the headlines last week for securing a major interiors brand coup by bringing the Ralph Lauren Home Collection to our Harrogate showroom, making us the only stockists of the new range in Yorkshire!
Currently celebrating its 30th year of iconic design for the home, the makers of the Ralph Lauren Home range say: “With a focus on authenticity and quality, we produce unique pieces that are as true to form as they are to function, reflecting a refined sense of luxury and character that only improves with time”.
We’ve always admired and tried to emulate Ralph Lauren Home’s design philosophy in our work with clients and wanted to give you an insight into why we’ve chosen the range of beautiful furniture pieces you’ll see on display on your next visit to our showroom/website.
Our designers got a first glimpse of the Ralph Lauren Home 30th anniversary range in Paris last year while scouting out the latest interiors trends at the Maison & Objet exhibition. The brand had chosen to release a beautifully timeless and classic furniture collection, featuring a mix of archetypal pieces that are reflective of a noble era. For anyone who knows Richard Grafton Interiors, this is very much our ‘signature style’ and couldn’t be more up our street! Not only did we decide that we just had to have some of the pieces in our showroom, we wanted to create the perfect setting for them by redesigning the top floor for Autumn/Winter with a masculine mix of country and travel, featuring antiques and collectables – and we can tell you that they look very at home up there!
Our showroom window is also currently housing a number of pieces from the Ralph Lauren furniture collection, including the Hepplewhite chair with a gorgeous ‘wing’ covered in washed denim – a fabulous addition to any entrance hall or fire side. We’ve also got the stunning hand carved walnut Refectory table which would be set off perfectly by a stone floor and the classic and charming Buttlers stool which is the perfect perch for putting on your shoes. Our designer Kim had a well-travelled explorer in mind when putting it all together in the window with beautiful Zoffany fabrics from the new Tespi range. She also drafted in Harrogate-based Garden Room Flowers to set it off with a perfectly matched floral arrangement.
In the words of Ralph Lauren himself: “Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever”. We certainly think that the items we have hand picked for our showroom will be timeless classics that would bring a classically stylish edge to any home and we can’t wait to show them off!
We are also more than a bit proud to be bringing world renowned interiors brands to Yorkshire! Watch this space for more of our Autumn/Winter 2013 collection and if you fancy getting the Ralph Lauren look in your home, pop in and have a chat with one of our designers, we’d love to show you the pieces and talk about how they could fit into your personal home design ideas.
We are very excited to announce that Richard Grafton Interiors has secured an exclusive deal to become the only retailer in the North of England to stock the Ralph Lauren Home furniture collection. We opened negotiations with the world famous fashion and lifestyle house after meeting representatives at a Paris interiors show in September last year.