Ever wondered how developers create the perfect look in their show homes. Well wonder know more. We’ve asked Dominic Jude how they do it…

MANY of us have done it.

Pretended we’re interested in a new development and enjoyed a Sunday afternoon mooching around the show house, stealing ideas and wishing our own pads could emulate the wow factor so effortlessly.

But how do the developers do it? Is it expensive to achieve and what can we learn from their interior designers to create our very own show home?

Art loving developer Dominic Jude, from James Peacock Property, whose Cheshire and London properties use texture, colour, lighting and creativity to create moods and atmosphere, says there are some techniques you can employ at home.

“I’ve worked with the same interior designer, Irene Gunter, Gunter & Co, for several years and we have never got the same look twice,” he says.

“Irene knows I trust her judgement so she’ll push me to try new things and avoid mundane, which is great as I would hate for my developments to be described as beige or boring.

"I want people to walk into my home or rental properties and say ‘wow’.”

So here’s how James says you can achieve that goal and show off you home in its best light.

Plan your storage

It’s obvious but a show home clearly doesn’t have every item you’d find in a real home.

Nevertheless, they are a great indication of how you could live, if only you declutter.

Find beautiful antique furniture to store things, or to display the things you love.

If you no longer love an item and it isn’t useful donate it to charity, your home will thank you.

Try and squeeze in an office space

We put a desk into all of our developments, even our executive suites. A narrow desk or console open shelving makes an instant workspace, just add a stylish chair.

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Create balance

Symmetry is soothing. We achieve it by balancing colours and trying not to overcomplicate the design.

Choose a complementary colour palette and group accessories of similar colour or style rather than dot them all around the room.

You want your eyes to enjoy something at every angle of the room.

Irene Gunter adds. “Detail is important.

“As you unconsciously interrogate a room, you’ll take in the delicate finial on a curtain pole, the craftsmanship of a piece of skirting, the soft light enhancing a piece of art. Get these elements right and your eye will never tire of the space.”

Add luxury

Layer materials, cushions and throws to create texture and interest.

Make sure they have a common theme or colour that brings them together. Choose the best quality that you can afford for items that will be around for a long time.

Find a way of using a small amount of interesting, expensive or bespoke fabric such as on a light shade or cushion.

Get moody

Colour is hugely important in your home. It can lift you up and energise you or subdue and relax you depending on where and how it is used.

I completely understand it can be terrifying for someone who has only ever used a palate of magnolia and white.

Irene and I always create a mood board for each room, looking at what natural light is in there and what materials will be used.

It is all too easy to think that everything in your show home has to be pristine and brand new, but a mixture of old and new items create a home that feels more comfortable.

At our Kings Court Development I used some amazing film posters I had found several years ago on holiday in New York.

We framed them and now they, coupled with some home-made artwork and graffiti commissioned from an artist adorn the communal areas of the apartment block in Warrington.

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Reinvent it

There’s no getting away from the fact that we need to be more responsible with our resources, and there’s so much that can be done to reinvent quality items.

Reupholstering, painting or completely repurposing an item could be the way to save a family heirloom, make it fit with your stylish home, save landfill and create something unique.

Whatever you do though, make sure you get a high-quality finish, so if you need an expert call one in.

Transforming unwanted furniture into stylish statement pieces is one thing that Cheshire based craftsman Matthew Jackman knows all about.

He loves taking a pre-loved piece of furniture and working his magic until it is treasured once again.

His company, The Odd Thing have recently transformed a child’s wardrobe into a stylish cocktail cabinet and he’s receiving a lot of demand for his bespoke services.

Matthew explains: “Everyone wants their home to be beautiful and unique, but it is hard to stand out when the high street is the main source of inspiration.

"Taking those first steps away from mainstream can be nerve wracking but it is worth it and show homes offer some great design inspiration.”

Pictures from James Peacock Properties

This article was originally published in our Cheshire Living magazine. To read this month's magazine online, click here