In 2019, Interior Designer and Property Developer Anastasia Heywood embarked on an exciting, large-scale project, purchasing an old warehouse factory in Eastbourne, and converting it into 26 apartments. With over 10 years of experience in luxury residential developments, Anastasia was ready to take on this development and offer a sustainable living solution, with low maintenance, high-quality and eco-friendly benefits.
The main design goal for the apartments was simple, to make compact spaces feel larger. With more and more people moving to Eastbourne for tranquil seaside living, there has been an increase in housing shortages, a problem Anastasia was keen to help with. To that end, it was important to create a development that offered numerous additional homes, whilst ensuring that each home felt big, and was finished to a high standard. With this in mind, creating a great sense of light was a key factor at the forefront of each apartment’s design. Anastasia explains: “We specified extra tall windows which take up almost all of the wall space on one wall to capture as much natural daylight as possible”.
When it came to the flooring, Anastasia knew she wanted a natural oak floor, that would add warmth to the design, creating a beautiful contrast to the white walls that bring so much light to each room. To that end, she chose our Natural Oak Contract Plank, VIT110, which offers a traditional rustic style and is only available for large scale projects. With a long length of 1900mm, this contract plank draws your eye along the room, perfectly aiding in the goal of making each room feel as large as possible. The European Oak is finished simply with a UV cured oil, which not only allows the beauty of the natural character to shine through, but offers a protective coating, perfect for busy homes.
Having chosen the plank style to make the space feel bigger, Anastasia explains that when it came to the colour, she wanted the perfect mid-shade of oak that was varied enough to give the rich, authentic character that comes with quality oak. Jokingly, Anastasia describes the brief as a ‘millennial coffee’ – not too hot not too cold, but something that sits perfectly in the middle.
As this was a commercial project, Anastasias worked closely with V4’s Specification and Design Team to find the best product choice to suit the 26-apartment project. When asked what she liked about working with V4, she explained “Everything (quality, price, range) but especially the lovely Lucy Pickett [V4’s Specification and New Business Manager] who was super knowledgeable and able to deliver on that millennial brief…a very nice person to work with too!”.
Keeping in mind the fact that the apartments would be rented out, Anastasia explains she wanted the theme to be calm and paired back, allowing the new occupants to take the design in their own direction making it feel like their own home once they have moved in. With this goal at the forefront of the design, Anastasia describes how the inspiration for the interiors allowed for a ‘blank canvas’, ready for the occupant’s own touch.
When asked what the design inspiration was, Anastasia described “All white interiors with natural wood and stone so that any colour or design came from furniture and accessories and not from a fixed item like a fitted kitchen or a tile”. When it came to furnishings, Anastasia’s inspiration was to achieve a broad appeal, and a restful place where you can ‘put your feet up on the sofa and curl up with a book’. Using a combination of high quality and high street furnishings, before going on to say she hoped “the aesthetic was pleasing to most folk without being bland”.
Combining her history of Interior Design and finance with her development company, Anastasia ensures the project was well thought-out, not just in terms of design but also in terms of practicality, she explains…
I was a professional interior designer working on luxury residential in central London before becoming a developer. My interest has always been the same – making the best use of the space there is whether that’s a 24sqm micro apartment a 40sqm studio or a massive private home – in the end function comes first, flow of spaces from one place to the next, then a feeling that the spaces are liveable comfortable and have the most natural light you can get in there. The rest is secondary to that for me – though in this project I did also focus a lot on practical storage and low energy consumption.
Overall, the project was a great success! Each apartment was developed to a high quality, complete with V4 Wood Flooring, creating the perfect base for new occupants to come in and make it their own. If you loved this look, and would like to install a similar style plank in your home, why not look at our VIT107 Vale Oak, which offers the same mid-tone oak, natural aesthetic, with a random length to add even more character to your design.
Alternatively, If you would like to specify a V4 product for your upcoming commercial projects, get in touch today by clicking here, where a member if our design team will be happy to help!