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Waterside at Riverwell: Designing an award-winning showhome

Our showhome project, Waterside at Riverwell, was recently awarded Five Stars at the International Property Awards in the category for 'Best Residential Interior Showhome - Hertfordshire'.

Here, we provide a little window into how we created the award-winning design scheme.

The Brief

We were asked by Bellway Homes to create an inspirational one-bed showhome capturing first-time buyers and city workers that used influences from the local area’s picturesque Oxhey Park and River Colne. The design scheme needed to have a fresh, earthy, and organic feel to it, whilst also being contemporary enough for a young market.

The Inspiration

We set out to design a space that incorporated our 'city meets country' inspiration. The design needed to flow throughout the showhome with nods to the River Colne and Oxhey Park, whilst keeping a clean-cut and contemporary look to appeal to a young professional audience.

To tap into the target demographic set by the client we created the persona of a professional couple who work in the city, drawn to the area for its easy access to London. They want to set down some roots and create their own haven in this up-and-coming area.

The Design

We began in the hallway by painting the ceiling a bold red to create a focal point. Drawing the eye up ensured the space didn't feel too small or crowded, and this striking tone set the mood for the apartment.

We chose to keep the space light and inviting with minimalist pieces of furniture and bold, colourful handpainted abstract artwork. We added a large curved edge mirror to introduce light and space. This also tied in with the flowing lines and abstract shaping of the paintings.

We added a slim console table to display decorative accessories and store personal belongings. To make the space functional we added shelving and coat hooks.

In the living room, the overall feel was homely, inviting, and playful with striking pieces that create an elegant balance. We used an earthy tonal palette and added textures such as walnut furniture and woven fabrics to give the space a clean and sophisticated feel, whilst also echoing the local area and outdoors.

We wanted to create a calming space that potential buyers would be looking for away from the city, whilst also injecting some fun and creativity.

The abstract mural wallpaper was chosen specifically because of its flowing design and nod to the inspiration taken from the River Colne. It introduced a more modern and contemporary edge which speaks to a younger demographic. We finished the look with a variety of decorative accessories for a modern, luxurious feel.

The colours, textures, and materials are continued into the bedroom through the panelling, paintwork, and textiles. The bed frame fabric mirrors the living room wallpaper by creating a subtle impact in the room and echoing the flowing design. It also contrasts perfectly with the wall panelling behind to create the ideal focal point.

We continued using the playful mix of furniture styles to evoke elegance, luxury, and fun, and simple accents such as the side lamps and bedside tables complement the space perfectly.

With sales going well at the development, we wanted to share this great feedback we also received from the client:

"We loved working with the INVESTA team, they understood our requirements and created a showhome that not only met the brief but incorporated the latest design trends which helps make Waterside at Riverwell a relatable and desirable development to our target demographic.

"To date, we have received great feedback from potential buyers all describing the interiors as memorable, fresh, and inviting.

"My favourite room within the showhome has to be the bedroom with the panelling behind the bed; it added the perfect unique touch." - Greg Allsop, Sales Director, Bellway Homes

To find out more about our showhome projects and to browse our portfolio visit our website:

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