Velvet & Dash, is such a brilliant concept: a one stop shop enabling you to refurbish your home, from a major interior designed overhaul to simply purchasing a handpicked accessory which can transform a room.
Set up by Charlotte Starling, 3 years ago, the business has grown rapidly and now has an online shop offering the kind of cool and unusual wallpaper, glass, lamps and other home accessories that it's hard to track down yourself.
One of the things that really sets Velvet & Dash apart is the way it caters to all needs. If you can't afford or don't want the full interior decorator service, you can simply email the website for advice on say, a pair of curtains or have a moodboard put together for a whole room.
As well as overseeing entire house renovations, Charlotte will take clients shopping or simply source a hard to find product online. This is an innovative approach - you can start with a one-off piece of advice and build from there. Charlotte says: "People always assume it costs a fortune to use an interior decorator. They don't realise they can simply send me a picture of their rooms and get some advice over the phone. It can be a very quick process."
Her style is pared down, classic but always with a twist. She decided to set up Velvet & Dash after doing up an old rectory 4 years ago when she first moved from London to Dorset. Along the way she unearthed some amazing West Country talent, everyone from wallpaper designers to glassblowers.
She says: "I had no idea that there was so much creative talent right here in Dorset. I keep finding amazing people making beautiful things tucked away so you just wouldn't know they were there.'
It was a natural step to set up an online shop selling some of her discoveries. The site is very user-friendly with a 'Charlotte Loves' feature which changes each month focusing on different designers.
With her expert eye, Charlotte picks out decorative ornaments which can transform a room such as these beautiful, unusual Provencal jugs, ideal in a kitchen or bathroom window.
Charlotte has a knack for sourcing the unusual such as these great metallic bags, made in Italy from recylced paper and perfect for lifting the mundane - vegetable storage, dirty laundry, shopping at the farmer's market? The same goes for the gorgeous bushel box on wheels, the stylish and practical solution to a log basket.
Designers stocked on Velvet & Dash include glassblower Emsie Sharp who exclusively makes these wonderful hand blown eggs pictured below and wallpaper designer Emma Molony.
You will also find wonderful wallpaper panels from Somerset designer Helen Lloyd-Elliott (£500 each and a cost effective way to totally transform a room) and exquisite pottery from Bjork Haraldsdottir in Dorset (below).
Velvet & Dash Interiors began with the remit of bringing cool interiors to the country and Charlotte describes her style as ‘kind of boho with a rock n roll twist.’
When Charlotte and her husband Boris, a thriller writer, bought their West Dorset rectory from the church complete with asbestos floor tiles, no central heating and wiring dating back to the 1940s, it was officially a wreck. The proportions were beautiful, the décor decidedly old-fashioned. Charlotte was looking for something which would mix London modernism with the laid back comfort of the country.
She says: ‘I don’t like to over-decorate. I prefer something quite elegant but with a quirky twist.’
Charlotte at www.velvet-dash.com.