- Where and when did you buy your first home?
My first home was in Bolton, which I bought when I was 19 years old.
- What was it like? (bit of detail on what it was like, any quirks etc.)
It was a mid-terrace in a small block of four, on Rossall Road. Two bedrooms, a large lounge and a tiny kitchen. The kitchen was so small you couldn’t swing a cat, but when you have limited space, you learn to be creative with what you’ve got. From the moment we picked up our house keys I was up and down ladders painting walls, hanging doors and glossing woodwork; tricks I’d picked up after a lifetime of watching my dad do DIY. I also remember the first thing I bought for the house was a dining table with a smoked-glass top so that I could serve up dinner.
- Why did you decide to buy?
It was just the thing to do when you got married, and we both decided to get on the housing ladder together (instead of having a honeymoon). It also gave us that sense of security that comes with being a home-owner. I really wanted to have a proper home that I could call my own, and Rossall Road soon became my pride and joy.
- Was it life changing to own your own property?
I remember the experience was very exciting, but from the word go, I just got on with it and worked hard to pay the mortgage. I’m well aware of how much harder it is these days for younger people trying to get on the property ladder and I really hope the situation does turn around for them.
- What advice do you have?
I would say there are much better investments than bricks and mortar, particularly given the climate we’re currently in. You can either be lucky or unlucky. With Brexit we may encounter negative equity again. I would advise buyers to wait and see how things pan out over the next couple of years. When it comes to investing in anything, you need to check the state of the markets, to see if the moneymen still have an appetite for the area you’re looking to invest in, be that property or anything else.
- You know all about making investments, what's the best way/ and worse way to make money on property?
To buy to sell is possibly the riskiest form of investment on property. It’s a good idea to have a building team at your fingertips if repairs are needed, but you need to pay careful attention to expenditure, as the budget is nearly always overspent.
- Your new collection has a luxury feel - have you always had this style at home?
I've always tried to being a sense of luxury into my home but, in the early days, I didn't always have the money to go to town in the way I might have wanted to. It was one of the reasons why I've launched the Hilary Devey Collection, as I wanted to allow people to bring a sense of luxury into their bedrooms, but at an affordable price. Beds are the focal point of a bedroom so its here that you can really make an impact with how you style your room. The fabrics in the collection reflect my tastes for luxury materials that both look and feel expensive but won't break the bank.
- How would you describe your style?
Understated, individual but with a hint of flamboyance. Also, in an age of mass-production, I really value items that are completely handmade by time-served experts – handcrafting is an art-form, and these experts are often obsessed with detail and design. The collection follows this rule, and reflects my taste for materials and fabrics with a feel and look of luxury, but which won't break the bank.
- Any tips of getting it?
I suppose it is individual depending on the style and age of the property. My country house is Edwardian and is therefore furnished accordingly. I tend to decorate property in a complementary style and status with which it was built, and I would recommend people take this approach inside their own homes. The great thing about the collection is that whatever type of home you have, you can treat yourself to affordable, five star luxury which complements your own personality, lifestyle and taste.
- Why does everyone need a bit of luxury in their lives?
Having luxury in your life can help you feel spoilt and looked after, and can provide a really welcoming feeling when you come home at the end of the day. I'm in a privileged position in which I can afford most luxury items but I'm well aware that a lot of people can't and this was a driving force in launching the Hilary Devey Collection. I wanted to offer people the opportunity to add luxury to their bedroom both with how the bed looks but also how it feels. My collection is all about comfort and luxury elements and materials that provide the best night’s sleep. As someone who didn't have much money in my late 20's, I couldn't even afford a bed while pregnant and afterwards, had a very cheap one that has caused back issues later on in my life. I know have my own mattresses in all my homes as I value a great night’s sleep as the truest form of luxury.