VIDEO: Inside Hove's Artisan development

First impressions are essential when it comes to selling any home. Here interior designer Edward O'Donnell lets us into the secrets behind his trade and how he transformed a newly built apartment into a luxurious home.

As I walk into one of the spacious two bedroom apartments in Davigdor Road, Hove, I instantly feel like I am home.

The colours are soothing and sophisticated, with pops of colour keeping it visualising exciting, and the layout is well thought out.

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Entering the main living area, I can easily see the designated zones – the lounge, dining area and kitchen.

Artisan in Hove

Furniture includes a dining table, settee, occasional chair, a large sideboard, coffee table and even a drinks cart.

And it is this use of design and staging that is so essential when it comes to selling a property.

If I had walked into a blank, non-furnished apartment I may have struggled to visualise how I could make this a workable, comfortable home. This way gives you a reference point.

The brief given by developers Crest Nicholson to Alexander James Interior Design was that the apartments in the development ‘Artisan’ should predominately attract locals who want to downsize.

Artisan in Hove

With this in mind, designer Edward wanted to give the apartment a fresh, but slightly traditional, feel to appeal to the market and this can be seen right down to the smallest of details.

For example, the stud details on the dining chairs and nearby seat are very much intentional, as is the detailing on the mirrored sideboard that is a nod to the Royal Pavilion.

The lighting is a contemporary version of an old lantern. Then you have the coffee table and dining table in glass and chrome which complements the side unit and helps amplify the light.

Voiles are hung at the window to make the most of the natural light, with the adorned grey motif tying in with the chrome furniture.

Artisan in Hove

“We put voile at the window rather than a full curtain,” Edward explains. “There are so many interesting things you can now do with voile, such as appliquéd circles, which gives it movement and makes it fun.”

The whole flat is painted grey, giving it a sense of continuity, with one wall in each room wallpapered to make a feature.

“It is really important to give every place its individuality,” Edward confides, explains how matching furniture and fabrics is a dated idea best avoided.

“We try not to have everything matching because a. you do not want to look like you have not designed it and b. you do not want it to look like you have designed it,” he smiles.

Artisan in Hove

A great example is in the master bedroom.

Here the pattern on the base of the lamps ties in with the bolsters on the bed and the wave head curtains.

Artwork and trinkets throughout the home are a nod to the city, from Victorian prints through to the massive abstract canvases that dominate the walls.

I learn from Edward that big artwork rather than gallery walls are on trend. Do not be afraid to use large canvases and large mirrors – even in a small apartment.

Texture and scent are key considerations. A faux fur bedspread in the master bedroom and a textural bedspread in the second bedroom alongside a suede headboard and leather topped and fronted bedside tables give the apartment a luxurious quality.

The scent used throughout the property – Jo Malone seems to be a popular option – helps sublimely add to the overall atmosphere.

Artisan in Hove

Plants have become a ‘must’ and are being used to give life to a room – although in show homes the fake, no maintenance variety are preferred.

The new development consists of 47 luxury one, two, and three bedroom apartments over seven stories and it is clear as I walk around they are not just selling a home – they are selling a lifestyle.

From the video on the Crest Nicholson website of a couple ‘living’ in the apartment through to the impeccable interior design everything oozes sophistication and style.

Prices for an apartment at Artisan Hove range from £349,950 - £679,950.

If you would like to take a sneak peek of one of the two bedroom apartments in the development Artisan then watch our video.

For more information, visit

To see more work by Alexander James Interior Design visit or call 020 7887 7604.

Tips for dressing your property:

Do not make it too seasonal. Consider when the property will be on the market and for how long.

Do not follow too many trends as it will date.

Use appropriate sized furniture in the room to show how the space works.

Do not be afraid to incorporate a variety of patterns. Just make sure there is some form of continuity between them all to bring the scheme together.

Do not feel the need to display a TV - they can look very ugly and less people are having TVs. You can show where it would sit by hanging a big picture on the wall.

Think what techniques you can use to make the room feel larger - painting the wall and ceilings the same colour is one trick, or you can paint the skirting boards the same as the walls