Downsize your space, upscale your style!

Award-winning interior design practice, Bernard Interiors work with international clients on multi-million pound properties in the luxury residential, retirement, care and hotel sectors.

Jen Bernard is currently putting the finishing touches to Audley Cooper's Hill, set to open this autumn.

Photo by ©Kristen McCluskie.

We asked founder and managing director Jen Bernard for her advice on how to downsize from a larger property, taking into consideration the array of possessions and furniture, accumulated over many years and holding precious memories.

Downsizing in retirement is about creating a home that is right for you and a space that makes you feel younger. Owning a retirement property in an Audley Village comes with the benefit of having the finest facilities to share and enjoy with family and friends, yet still requires the same consideration around downsizing.

Should you choose to furnish your property with long-loved familiar objects that have personal meaning or take this as an opportunity to declutter and embrace your space, creating something new, there is no need to compromise.

"Organising guru Marie Kondo says we should keep things which “spark joy”.

I think that’s excellent advice and it is a great starting point for downsizing.

You can also plan your space to maximum effect. In a luxury city centre apartment or a boutique hotel room for example, where space is at more of a premium, we use a number of design techniques to optimise every square foot, to achieve our client’s vision.

  • As part of creating a sense of openness, we would maximise access to natural light and the best possible views, by placing seating next to and facing windows.
  • Integrated storage, built in wardrobes and TV/library units which seamlessly blend into the interior. 
  • Keep the decor fresh, light and simple and add warmth with texture in upholstery, art and accessories.

Our designs for Audley Villages always take inspiration from the history and surroundings of their site. We consider the lifestyles and interests of future owners to create schemes that are uplifting, sophisticated, comfortable, yet practical.

As part of the design process, useful for anyone planning a new scheme, we produce draft layouts to illustrate the use of space and furniture positions. We also produce digital mood boards and computer generated images to demonstrate colour schemes, furniture styles and finishes, which help our clients realise their vision. 

Audley Villages partners with the Senior Move Partnership who can advise and help new owners to make the whole process as easy as possible.

Design is exciting, we love what we do every day. Amazing, design-led interiors are possible whatever the size of space. Downsizing is a fabulous opportunity to take a fresh look and choose the things that mean the most to you to enjoy now and into the future.

Read more interior design and style tips from Jen Bernard...