After much deliberation and discussion, we chose Faber to design our barn conversion project. As soon as we made the decision it felt like it was the obvious choice all along: they are experts in the industrial sort of style we are after, usually applying it to restaurants and hotels around the world. They generally don’t take on many residential projects, so we felt really lucky that they thought ours was one they would make an exception for. And as for the obvious choice: whilst Faber were certainly not the cheapest option, we appreciate their honest and fixed price: some designers wanted £40 for each email and £80 for each phone call made or received… one designer even wanted to charge almost £800 for each site visit…every two weeks…until the build was completed! Unbelievable.

Another benefit of working with a company specialising in Corporate Design is that they set (and, so far, seem to stick to) a swift time-frame. This means that we’re seeing results already which certainly softens the blow of everything else taking so long! Their new design office is in Zellig, next to the Custard Factory in Birmingham. Our first meeting was to explain our brief: to spout our likes, dislikes, ideas, vision and generally how we plan on using the space. These included: an array of different textures, eg reclaimed wood, concrete, steel, tiles etc; industrial style lighting; a feature staircase of some description and zoning of the different areas to give definition to the open-plan space. Other than that we were interested in seeing what they came up with! In addition to planning and designing the interior for the open plan space downstairs, we decided to enlist them to do the same with the master suite. It was effectively a completely flexible space so we thought it would be best to get their expertise on this too, as once it is all constructed it’ll be more difficult and costly to start moving it about.

Our Stage One meeting was very exciting but also more nerve-wracking than I was expecting! We started by working our way through different configurations for the layout that they had come up with: we had given them free reign to move anything around. We had spoken in the briefing about wanting to use a double-sided woodburner but being unsure about where it could go, so one of the floorplans had integrated this into the wall which adjoins the snug: we were going to be having a second woodburner in there, but I was concerned that we wouldn’t get much use out of it so we love this idea! The rest of the downstairs floorplan was much as we’d suggested, but we expected this to be the case as we’d gone round the houses considering all the different possible layouts. The mood boards gave a glimpse of what we could look forward to, and reassured us both that we were on the same page, although we gave them the go-ahead to make it a little more ‘rough around the edges’.

The Master Suite floorplan selections all had elements that worked really well for us, so we worked with Eve and Tony to pick the best bits of each to create an arrangement that ticks every box! Spacious en-suite with twin sinks, freestanding bath and walk in shower, large dressing room with natural light and plenty of storage, bed with a view … and somewhere to have the tv (!) – don’t think the designers were very happy about this blight on their design! The mood board they had created for this room (image shown above) is exactly on the same page as we were thinking – dark walls, copper and herringbone subway tiles. Eeek!