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With design in mind

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Interior designer Chloe Morris takes an approach to design that is helping holiday home owners in Cornwall achieve interiors that not only look unique, but function beautifully on every level.

The road to success

Studying for a psychology degree is perhaps not the academic background you would expect of an interior designer, but that is exactly what Chloe Morris did and is something which she believes really helps when it comes to creating interiors. “My sister owned a very large holiday rental company in Pembrokeshire, which is where I grew up, and I started to help her refresh properties for clients. As time went on, I started to realise that there is a market, not just for residential interior design, but specifically for people who are running a business and that this requires a different approach. Yes, there is still the need for a big ‘wow’ factor, but those who rent out holiday homes as a business do need to be mindful of budget because, at the end of the day, it's all about return, and until recently I think interior design hasn’t taken this into account.”

Interior Designer Chloe Morris
Interior Designer Chloe Morris

From a hobby to a career

After working for her sister, and redesigning interiors for her own projects, Chloe decided that she wanted to study the subject in depth: “I wanted a proper qualification. I like qualifications. So, I thought right, I'll find a really good qualification, one that is accredited. I did just that, and loved it. It taught me a lot about the digital side of designing, and I really enjoyed learning the history of interior design – even eras that I wasn’t particularly drawn to.”

Three years ago, once qualified, Chloe started to design for holiday homes more as a hobby to start with. However, as recommendations spread via word of mouth her client base built and now Chloe is much sought-after by discerning holiday home owners in Bude, Cornwall and beyond. Her background in psychology has meant that Chloe views design from a somewhat different perspective to her contemporaries: “I approach everything from a psychology perspective. I believe that good interior design is not going to a property and putting my style on to it, it’s about listening to the client and understanding their vision and aspirations and what they want to get back from their homes.”

“For some it's a retreat, for others an investment, and it also depends on the kind of guests they are trying to attract. If it's a house where they want maximum turnover, with two or three families staying at the same time, that requires a very different design to a house where the owner is really trying to push the property up the market and reach those high-end clients who are happy to pay more because of the experience of staying in a beautifully designed home.”

A change in design

With the noughties trend of coastal Scandi minimalism retreating, Chloe feels that interior design is donning on a different cloak. “Interior design takes something of a reverse approach to marketing, akin to deconstructed cooking. It’s taking what people expect to experience and breaking that down into separate elements. This creates a feeling when guests walk into a property of great style and design without them being able to pinpoint how it’s been achieved.”

“One of the main things I always say to owners is “have you stayed in the property?” and it’s those who have that tend to know what they want; those who haven't ever stayed in their holiday homes often find it much harder. I like to visit in the morning and see where people have chosen to sit and have their coffee; returning at sunset to see where the sofa would be best placed. People tend to think the sofa should go opposite the television, but people don't come on holiday to watch the television, they would much prefer to relax with a sea view. For me, it’s about the selling point of a house and basically building everything around that.”

An unforgettable experience

“Everything on holiday needs to be an experience. Whether that’s a record player with a set of vinyl placed next to a chair where a guest might drink a morning coffee; or placing a cosy chair next to the largest window so that they can open it and breathe in the sea air; these are the kind of things guests will do on holiday that they wouldn’t at home. Similarly, a carefully placed basket near the door for shoes to be thrown into, or some vintage games in the children’s bedrooms are the little things that make a big difference!”

The Blue House, Bude
The Blue House, Bude

A grassroots approach

Chloe takes more of a grassroots approach to interior design than her city-dwelling counterparts. “If spending a little extra on something is worth it – such as luxury cotton bed linen – then I will, but I believe that a piece of furniture doesn’t need to be expensive to be valuable. Where a city project might not embrace something that is pre-loved, I think that in a Cornish holiday home, it not only adds a feeling of personality and character, it is also kind to the budget.”

“I grew up on a farm in a very old house by the sea. I've lived in cottages and my whole family surf, and I think if you've lived that life, it is possible to inject that into your work. People love coming and feeling they've had a taste of real Cornwall. They love a sense of authenticity and I like to think that I can offer them that. I want guests to leave their holiday thinking they really felt as if they were at home. When viewed like this, interior design becomes truly aspirational.”

Chloe Morris has recently reinvented the interiors of The Blue House, Bude.

At Elite West Holidays, we work in partnership with our owners. As we are totally independent this allows us to be flexible in terms of marketing and management packages; we tailor our service to suit our owners. By identifying experts in the field such as Chloe, along with our own local knowledge, we are able to help maximise return for our owners. If you are an owner and would like to know more about joining the Elite Collection, we would love to hear from you.

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