Our most recent project, interior design and staging for the show apartment at Willow Tree Apartments 
Good morning everybody. Drum roll please! I've taken on a marketing manager, Denisa, Duchess of Romania (really). She is incredible and the accountability that I will have from needing to give her material to work with on our social media platforms means that I will be writing a detailed blog about Porter & Gold's projects every month with images of our amazing work. Our most recent project, the show apartment at Willow Tree Apartments, with James Adams of Fairholm Estates and Ed Morgan at West Country Partnerships was an absolutely brilliant experience. It was hard work too of course, and I am so so happy with the results of the energy that I and the whole team put into this showhome, and the developers James and Ed are also very pleased. CJHole are the estate agents for this development and they are holding the (fully booked) open days this weekend. It looks like the apartments are going to sell like hotcakes at the gorgeous Willow Tree development! We (my sister and I) started Porter & Gold to do interior design and staging for developers, and this is the first combined service (design and staging) that we have completed, a very exciting step in the right direction! The three images here are taken by Leighton James, aka The Property Photographer, a superb human and wonderfully talented artist. 
Our latest interior design and staging project in Yate, Bristol: 
How this this project came about: I met a wonderful young business woman called Charlotte Strang, a high end property expert in Bristol, and she asked me if I had ever been to The Developers Network in Bristol….she added that it was run by a developer called James Adams, and said she thought I’d meet good developer contacts there, local Bristol based ones, who would love Porter & Gold’s interior design and staging work, and Charlotte was so keen about this that I agreed to go. So, on a cold rainy evening in February (2024), I went to the event at the Clifton club, The Developers Network. As per most networking events, you did have to stand up and introduce yourself (my heart was banging like a drum). I met some great people and It was a really fun evening! The next month James Adams of TDN organised a day trip of visits to building sites: my kind of heaven. I booked to go and on the trip we visited some incredible developments. The one that stood out for me was Willow Tree Apartments in Yate, partly because I used to hang out in Yate a lot when I was younger (raving days) and also because it's such an unusual conversion. It began its life in the 18th century (1766) as a three story cottage, then it was extended in the 1980s into a care home (there’s a lot of outdoor space here). Fairholm Estates and West Country Partnerships are now converting the buildings into nine luxury 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats, priced from £245K (they're on the market now on rightmove, and the open day is tomorrow! 22 June with CJ hole
The Porter & Gold interior design service for developers: 
Back to the day trip: while we were at the Willow Tree site, and James Adams was showing us around, I asked if I could quote for doing the show home, and James said “why not, I ‘ll send you the floor plans!” and the rest is history! 
I got to work thinking of designs that would work, along with targeted market research of the area and its inhabitants. I designed a mood board and provided a quote for furnishing and staging; once the work was agreed upon, I dove into the design process. What began as a staging project quickly evolved into a full-fledged interior design opportunity, which was a tremendous honour. I worked with the team to select wall colorings, floorings, lighting fixtures, and interior door hardware. It was a joy to work with developers that were happy to select high-quality, on-trend, classic colours and natural materials for this stunning space. I worked with my seamstress to design and make cushions, alter curtains and cover seating - I sourced some superb boucle fabrics and linens, some vintage and some new. As well as the Country meets Modern feel of our mood boards, I wanted to add some on trend aesthetics for Willow Tree, like the boucle, bobbin leg furniture and clay and stone pieces, alongside natural wood and tree elements for their marketing. I also used my etching of St Michaels Mount by David Morris, as James Adams mentioned he had swam around it a few years ago! I love to use pieces that relate to the people and the place for my interiors, I feel authenticity is one of the things missing from many show homes and that is another reason that Porter & Gold came to be. 
Staging a newly developed property to sell:  
As the staging date approached for the show flat, the site was absolutely buzzing with activity. It was a dynamic environment, and the team were dealing with muddy clay in the yard and a host of trades – electricians, plumbers, decorators, and even stonemasons hard at work rebuilding an old wall. A balcony was being constructed for some of the flats, and drainage systems were being installed. Without on-site toilets, we had to use the nearby shopping centre’s facilities. Despite these minor inconveniences, the entire process was thrilling and incredibly rewarding. 
On the staging day itself, I had Hugo assisting with ‘all things’, including logistics, bed-making and helping the removals team. Man with van extrodinaire Remi, who I've worked with for two years, did the heavy lifting with his young helper, Mark, and built the beds. We packed up some of my archive pieces, artwork collection, and objects from my house, then headed to the storage unit. Navigating those big lifts with clanking sliding metal doors always makes me feel like I'm in Brooklyn. After that, we collected two real life baby willow trees and ‘sacks of mud’ from the Riverside garden centre, which was rather a hilarious challenge to fit into the vehicles without getting mud on our own stuff. 
The convoy to Willow Tree was eventful, but eventually we found our way. Unloading and positioning everything was quite the operation, ensuring we didn't touch the freshly painted walls or scuff the floors or woodwork, and everyone wore shoe covers. There were still some trades on site on the day which was not ideal, however the atmosphere was good / cooperative, and we all wanted the same thing: to finish the show flat and make it look amazing. I returned on my own the following day to do the styling as by the time the big pieces were in place it was getting late and I could not focus on with everyone around. The styling and placement of the textiles, art, objects and accessories is what makes the big impact visually for the marketing of properties, and its not something to rush. After all the hard work and weeks of designing and gathering, you want the end result to be absolutely bang on.  
It was immensely satisfying to see all that hard work come together under Leighton's camera a couple of days later. I have known Leighton James, AKA The Property Photographer (over 127k followers on social media!)for some time, however! This was our first real life job together and it was an exceptional experience! Leighton is one of the best people I've ever worked with, his unique style sets him apart in the industry and his love for Bristol added a special warmth to our collaboration at Willow Tree. We managed to have a great time, got some of the best interior photos for the developers I have ever seen of my interior work, as well as making some time to take portrait photos of each other (Leighton let me use his new Fuji camera and OMG it is amazing!). Despite discussing the property market, unmade beds, imposter syndrome and saunas, we managed to complete the shoot within three hours. Leighton captured incredible shots, and you can see some of them here on this blog - keep an eye on the website project page (LINK) and our instagram for the full shots. 
I haven't been back to the Willow Tree Apartments site since the shoot - I am really missing the crew and the vibe of working on that job! Working with James Adams, and Ed, along with their foremen Ben and John, at Willow Tree has been an honour and a pleasure and I look forward to our future collaborations. 
If you are a developer interested in an interior design consultation, please get in touch (LINK). We can advise on layouts, furniture, wall colours, lighting, kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring, as well as provide full staging furniture for show homes. Together, we can create an incredible show home for your development that will not only sell well and quickly but will also feature a high-end, sustainable, and beautiful interior, with the best images for your marketing materials. Alongside a strong style aesthetic, a large part of Porter & Gold’s vision is to give our clients an exceptional experience from start to finish. 
Thank you all for reading this long post! 
Happy midsummer everyone, 
(Director, Porter & Gold) 
Contact us to make an inquiry and see if we are a good fit to help you sell your new home. Warmest, Porter & Gold 
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