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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...

Audley Villages on Instagram

Want to get paid £250 to cook from home? Share your best recreation of one of our michelin-style recipes and include #MichelinFromHome to apply! To enter: 🍳Recreate one of the Michelin Style Recipes From Audley Villages at home and snap your best photo, see recipes here: http://audleyvillages.co.uk/michelin-from-home (link is also in our bio) 💙Follow and share it with @AudleyVillages on social media using the hashtag #MichelinFromHome The successful applicant will be selected based on the photo of your michelin style dish at the end of the application period. Goodluck! Applications are now open to UK residents above 18 years old. T&C's apply. #MichelinFromHome 18
LEAMINGTON SPA | Part of our interior design brief is incorporating the local area and the history in to the design for each village just like this fabulous poster in our sales apartment at Audley Binswood. • • • • • #leamingtonspa #binswoodhall #binswood #audleyvilages #retirementliving #retirementvilage #retirementplanning #interiordesigner
BLACK | An extremely popular trend at the moment is monochrome interiors, it can added for pop of depth to a room or to contrast. Our interior designer added this tea set to our show apartment at Audley Binswood. • • • • • • #audleyvillages #interiordesign #interior123 #interiordesigner #interiorstyling #monochrome #designinspiration #monochromatic @interiordesignideas @interiordesignmag
REFLECTIONS | Using mirrors to flood light into our rooms. • • • • • #audleyvillages #stanbridgearls #Romsey #interiorinspo #interior123 #interiordesigninspo #mirrors #retirement #retirementplanning 4
LIGHTING | Something you might have noticed if you’ve visited multiple Audley Village’s is that out lighting is always a main feature in our rooms, they compliment and finish the look beautifully. • • • • • #audleyvillages #interiordesign123 #interiorstyling #deisgner #lighting #chandeliers #interior_design #Redwood #retirementvillage #retirementliving
CHARACTER | Keeping the character of the original building but adding the Audley signature style to bring the village to life. • • • • • #audleyvillages #character #interiordesigner #refurb #interior123 #designinspiration #retirement #chaingingperspective
THE MONTFORT | The stunning bar area at Audley Stanbridge Earls. Interiors by: @bernardinteriors • • • • • #interiordesign #interiors123 #audleyvillages #retirementlife #bardesign #personalisedinteriors #refurbished #original #stanbridgeearls #romsey
FINAL PHASE | The first nine spacious new houses are now ready in the final phase at Audley Chalfont Dene. • • • • #audleyvillages #togetherathome #newproperties #retirementvillage #chalfontdene #chalfontstgiles #retirementplanning
LONDON | Audley Nightingale Place the latest village within the Audley portfolio. This will be the bar area soon to be filled with the most delicious wines, spirits and importantly coffee! • • • • • #audleyvillages #retirement #london #claphamcommon #interiordesign #interiors123 #interiordesign #londonproperty #retirementvillage 5
SNEAK PEEK | Audley Nightingale Place, Clapham. • • • • • • #audleyvillages #claphamcommon #london #firstlondonvillage #retirementliving #londonproperty #retirementcommunities 1
BOOK CLUB | one of our owners favourite spots at Audley Ellerslie, Malvern. • • • • #ellerslie #audleyellerslie #malvern #librarydesign #interior123 #personalised #retirementplanning #retirementlife #bookclub 1
WILLICOMBE PARK | The sun shining over Tunbridge Wells. • • • • • #tunbridgewells #royaltunbridgewells #audleyvillages #willicombepark #retirement #retirementplanning #retiredlife 1
VIEWS | the stunning grounds captured by the General Manager, Thomas at Coopers Hill. 3
LISTED BUILDING | Our properties surround Stanbridge Manor which is a grade II* listed building so it retains the majority of its original features. • • • • • #listedbuilding #audleyvillages #interiordesign #interior123 #retirementvillage #romsey #stanbridgearls