Interior design company VKColourWorks based in Ilfracombe, North Devon have just celebrated their tenth anniversary, and looking ahead to 2013, the business is going from strength to strength.
Set up by Vicky Wilkins and Karley Fricker, the company is based at the Old Gas Works in Hele Business Park, and has just had its most successful year and seen its turnover double in the past two years.
Vicky and Karley have always been quick to spot changes in the market and adapt their offering to the opportunity. Around 75% of VKColourWorks’ work now involves holiday home refurbishment and upgrading. But times have not always been so good. “As the recession hit, we were focusing particularly on show homes and could see this source of work slowing down,” recalls Vicky. “At the same time the domestic holiday home market was growing by 15% a year. We realised we needed to consider a change of direction towards holiday homes. So that’s what we did, and since then we haven’t looked back. The holiday home market is growing in importance, as more people in the UK take holidays at home. The expectations of holiday visitors are higher than ever before. People want to stay in a house where the interior is a finished to a better standard than in their own home. More and more developers and holiday home owners are now taking this on board, and realising the value of providing really high quality rental properties.
“It’s an exciting time for us,” says Vicky. “We’re getting more and more enquiries for large scale projects, for example we have just done a quote for 35 holiday homes in Cornwall. We are working with mainstream developers and commercial clients, as well of course as working with individual home owners which we always love. We have been involved with projects throughout the South West and other parts of the UK.”
VKColourWorks stand out from the crowd because they offer something different from other interior designers. Karley explains “While Vicky is trained and experienced as an interior designer, my background is in architecture. This gives us the chance to offer more than most conventional interior design companies. With my architectural experience we can tackle projects that require expertise in spacial design. So we can advise clients on changes in room layouts, for example whether an ensuite bathroom could be added. We take the time to understand the space and how it will be used, so that we can maximise its effectiveness. We project manage the whole package, from the practicalities of building an extension for example, to the last cushion or wall covering. This means the project is less complicated for our clients, who don’t need to liaise with numerous contractors for each particular aspect of the refurbishment,”
It was a chance meeting that led to the creation of VKColourWorks. Vicky and Karley were both working at a holiday park in Devon ten years ago and Vicky had just been offered a job in Truro. “Karley asked me over to her house, and persuaded me not to take that job, but to join her in setting up an interior design company,” recalls Vicky. ”It was a leap in the dark, but I realised that Karley was someone I could work with, and the idea of starting a business together proved irresistible. It has involved a lot of hard work of course, as starting up any business will, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and never regretted my decision.”
Much of the work undertaken by VKColourWorks comes via referral and recommendation. The company has recently worked on the Tarka Lane Development in Woolacombe, built by Longclose Ltd, part of the Maskell Group. “These are high quality new properties, which sell either as second homes or as investment properties which owners then let out as holiday homes,” explains Managing Director, Stuart Maskell. “We asked VKColourWorks to do up our show home and it looked amazing, so we got them to do up several of the other houses too. It has made it a lot easier for us to sell the properties, as buyers can see them fully furnished, they don’t have to imagine what they would look like with furniture in. We have been very happy with the work VK have done for us. There is no one else that I have come across in the past five years that is doing what they do, because it is not just the design that they provide, but the fact that they do everything, even down to fitting the blinds.”
Vicky says “This is a source of work that we can see continuing to be important to us, as holiday destinations elsewhere in Europe look likely to be effected by economic worries for some time.”
So with this in mind, what do the next few years hold for VKColourWorks? “For a start I can see us growing out of these premises!” laughs Vicky. “Sometimes there is hardly room to move in here, particularly after a delivery. It’s exciting to think how far we have come in ten years. I remember when we were just starting up, someone in Ilfracombe said to us, ‘Interior design in Ilfracombe? It’ll never work.’ Well she was wrong. It has!”
VKColourWorks have been members of The Best of Barnstaple for nearly 5 years and we're delighted in their success, here in North Devon and across the South West. You can read more about their range of services here
Member since: 10th July 2012
I'm Sarah and I live just outside Barnstaple near Umberleigh.
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