VA Heritage - 7 Great Ideas.- A Superior Internal Design Company
oak by design
01423 593 794
Jamie Winspear
"A superior interior design company""

VA Heritage – 7 Great Ideas

As an interior designer and owner of VA Heritage, I am often asked for advice on where to start when embarking on a project. If all you are changing is the colour of your walls it can feel easy and logical but if you are looking to completely transform a room or your entire home it can feel overwhelming.

Knowing where to start is key so if you are about to start your project hopefully these top tips will help make the process easier and more enjoyable.

VA Heritage Says Context is King.

This may not be an obvious one but understanding the building, its location and the neighbourhood is important.

Considering its history and what made the building special, especially if it is a traditional building, will ensure that you create a design which works with the building and does not stand out for the wrong reasons.

VA Heritage believes it is even more important if you are planning on selling on your property at any point in the near future to ensure it appeals to prospective buyers.

The Space Must Flow

The way in which you move around your space is fundamental.

VA Heritage thinks that if you do not understand how the space flows, the way you interact with the space and what you need from it then basics such as where a plug socket is positioned and where you need a table lamp will be wrong.

If you are remodelling and doing any serious alteration work, this needs to be understood so that your home works for you and you are not forced to make compromises. It would be so frustrating to have to go without or locate a cosy reading area in space just because of where the plug socket is. 

Start Talking, the Sooner the Better.

VA Heritage says, when you first start thinking about reworking your space, whether that is reconfiguring a room in its entirety, adding an extension or simply moving the master bedroom into what was the guest bedroom you need to engage with your Interior Designer, and Architect if required, as soon as possible.

They will help you to formalise your thoughts into concepts, review and establish a budget and a timescale for the work to be completed. You will have a clearer more cohesive idea of what you are trying to achieve and they will work with you to help you realise your dreams.

You will also have a better idea on lead times on any bespoke items and can make sure everything is ordered in time and in the right order so you are not left with missing pieces or storing furniture for weeks on end.

Doing all this work up front and on paper allows for revisions and amendments to be made with little, if any, cost implications in comparison to making changes when walls are erected and you are needing to make decisions quickly or the schedule will be held up.

VA Heritage says, making decision under pressure is never a good thing. It should be a fun process not a stressful one.

Use Varying Levels of Lighting

Stunning lighting will elevate a space. Combining floor, table, wall and ceiling lights will help create different moods in the same space.

You will be able to layer lighting to create subdued moods. VA Heritage understands that using different heights will also add textural interest to a space. Dimmer switches are a great investment so that on an evening the lights can be dimmed to allow for a more intimate and cosy space.

Also Consider

Don’t be afraid to mix and match.

Creating your sense of style need not mean it has to come from the same design era. Introducing contemporary elements into a more period setting can still look cohesive. Similarly, introducing a vintage piece in a contemporary home can help create a more lived in feel and be less of a show home.

Display artwork in every space.

Artwork should not be reserved for the main rooms in your home. Bathrooms, kitchens and even downstairs WC’s should also have artwork in them. Your personality should extend to every room.

Mood is a must. When entering a room it is important to be able to identify what the mood is. This could be bright and reflective, soft and elegant or plush and opulent. If you cannot identify the mood then something is missing.

Identifying your style. If you are struggling to identify what your style is, VA Heritage can help. Look at what you like to wear, this can give you a better clue than looking at wallpaper samples. Do you gravitate towards stripes, bold colours but only on your socks, are you all about layering different fabrics but always in beige? Once you have identified your style, think about how you can introduce this into your rooms.

Rooms don’t have to match. Rooms should have function, purpose and personality. A room that has none of these is a room that is lacking. A room does not need to match or be mirrored throughout the property, but it should have an identity and a common theme or thread. This could be an accent colour which is you use in every room to a greater or lesser degree or the same flooring that runs throughout. What you don’t want is to feel like every room could belong to a different person and be in someone else’s home.

Get inspired. Magazines are great to help present ideas but go and visit gorgeous shops, hotels, art galleries, museums, restaurants and anywhere else you can take inspiration from. Look at how they have played with the scale of items and the colours they have introduced. What are you drawn to and what leaves you uncomfortable? Use your initial reactions to guide you when it comes to selecting what to introduce into your home.

Be pragmatic. When it comes to placing items in a room consider what you are trying to achieve. It could be that you are wanting to draw attention away from an ugly corner of the room or make something the focal point. Alternatively you may want to create the illusion of scale and make the space appear bigger. Using lighting and reflective materials such as mirrors can help with this.

Create an element of surprise. VA Heritage understands adding a pop of colour that is unexpected or a piece of artwork which is slightly controversial is a great way of lifting the mood in a space whilst also injecting your personality.

VA Heritage Advises To Create A Budget And Stick To It

It is vital that you work out the costs for each room you want to work on. Include everything from the structural work if you are having to underpin or move walls to the finishing touches to make it shine.

Add it all up and then determine if you can afford it. It is recommended that you have a contingency of 10-20% to help cover any unexpended expenses that can arise on projects. This may need to be more when renovating older properties as they can often lead to additional and unexpected work.

It might be easier to have a budget for the structural work and a separate budget for the decorating and furnishings so that you can see exactly where your money is going and on what. Splashing out £1,000 on a kitchen tap might seem like a great idea but not when you put it into context of the other costs involved and the need to not go over budget. Desire is one thing but being practical and mindful is what will make your project a success and minimise stress levels.

In summary, there is a lot to consider when making your property work for you and I hope this has given you food for thought, and even the confidence to undertake your project. If it has made you think that you need some help, then VA Heritage would encourage you to speak to a professional. They will not only get you the results you need, they will also make it an enjoyable experience.

VA Heritage can help with all the above.

If you have any design questions for Alexis at VA Heritage, call 07776 358 475 or visit

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31 January 2022
Andrew Southgate
Andrew Southgate

Left us a 5 star review

Very impressed with Oak By Design. Customer service is fantastic and they were very patient in helping me ensure what I needed was the right size. Photos sent of oak cover before it was sent to me and end product was great. It was also not the most expensive either. Would definitely recommend.

Great service from start to finish, Joanne was great help. Designs were spot on and so happy with the porch. 10/10. Fully recommend.

I first used Oak by Design in 2021 for a oak porch, I used them again 2023 for an oak pergola. Both times my clients have been Delighted with the finished product. Both times the product was delivered when stated, everything i needed was on the delivery. Oak by design listened to what I required for both jobs. The quality of the oak is excellent, all joints fit correctly & if I had a problem I only had to ring and speak to them. R Brown Carpentry always recommends Oak by Design when asked about oak structures.

From the beginning the customer service has been superb, excellent help and advice when choosing the flooring, delivery arriving when promised and a product which is extremely high quality. We have replaced the majority of our flooring downstairs and we are so pleased with the result that we would have paid more. Fantastic.

When embarking on a large renovation project assembling the right team of skilled work people is vital. It involves the need for skill, imagination and trust. It was important to us to use a local company and Oak by Design seemed to tick the right boxes although we had not dealt with them or indeed heard of them before. We soon came to realise that the combination of Ben, Billy, Jamie, Matt and MIck ( listed strictly in alphabetical order ) was a great success. Skilled: highly, imaginative: an excellent creative talent, trustworthy: 100% but also such great team players that all the other trades on site benefitted from their cooperation and great good humour. I would endorse the other reviewers who have commented on the quality of the materials used, whether in the replacement windows, the light oak internal doors. the fantastic oak staircase, the secret bookcase and the pièce de résistance: the oak conservatory. It has been a great project and much of that I attribute to the work of Oak by Design. A big thank you to you all.

From the initial quotation right through to the delivery and after service Joanne has been brilliant and given me an excellent product. I have just ordered another porch for another project from them and I will continue to do so for future projects . Thomas and Bell Building Contractors Ltd

Four years ago we took the decision to completely gut an old farmhouse and start again with it, we started looking for a supplier of oak to refit all of the internal doors, door casings, skirting and flooring. Our carpenter recommended Oak By Design. He wasn't wrong! All of the oak has been completely top notch. As the old house has settled into it's new skin it has moved and cracked in various places, the only thing that has been stable and unwavering is the oak. The customer service has been superb, with them continuing to supply exactly the same items, with the same quality over the course of 4 years. They even indulged our designs for furniture for our "boot room", with Shoe pigeon holes and a bench which we could store wellies under (as pictured). The doors supplied by them are reassuringly heavy and sturdy, with a proper "thunk" as you close them, cutting off sound from the rest of the house. There may be other, cheaper suppliers of oak out there, but none with the same level of quality, longevity and customer service as Oak By Design. If you want to do it right (& once!) use these guys.

A great company to deal with. Professional from start to finish and always there to assist with any queries. Highly recommended.

Ordered an oak mantle beam from Oak by Design and they quickly called to check the finer details. Unfortunatly, the beam was slightly damaged on arrival by the courier company. Oak by Design immediately arranged to have it picked by DHL, transferred back to Yorkshire from Kent, repaired and sent back within 2 days, with no quibbles. The beam is beautiful, as is the high quality customer service by these people. Fully recommend using this company. Anthony Slater, Tonbridge. Tonbridge.

Found Oak by Design searching for a new front porch to replace a canopy and knew immediately that this was company for the job and I was not disappointed. I already knew what I wanted and Richard, very patiently, developed my basic requirements, with a number of iterations, into a full detailed design. As I live outside their site working area I decided go for supply only and to install the porch myself. It was delivered as promised and it looked great even on the pallet! It took me a while to fit but it was very satisfying and the result is fantastic. The quality of the aged oak and carpentry of the timbers is excellent. I’m delighted with the porch supplied by Oak by Design - it looks superb.

We are delighted with our porch, from Oak by Design. Not only is the porch of excellent quality and finish but their customer service could not have been better. They bent over backwards to make sure that we were happy with the porch and I would happily recommend them to anyone.

Excellent customer service. Very friendly. Explained in detail. Product is beautiful. Would recommend. Company sent photos of finished product prior to dispatch to confirm our happiness with their work.

This is the second time that we have used Oak By Design for oak products and once again we weren’t disappointed. We recently ordered some internal oak doors and from the very start they were a pleasure to deal with. Joanne especially was extremely helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. We were kept updated about the progress of our order. Unfortunately we needed to delay acceptance of the doors for a few weeks and Oak By Design happily agreed to store them in their workshop until we were ready for them. The quality of the doors is very high, they are very well made and finished, far better than any oak doors that you will buy “ off the shelf. “ They are all installed now and look fantastic. I would highly recommend Oak By Design and we will certainly use them again in the future if we require any more oak products. A huge thank you to Joanne and the whole team for a great service and a great product.

Excellent quality workmanship and materials. Very easy and friendly to deal with on the phone. Everything done on time and no problems at all. Will definitely use again next time I need an oak porch or any other oak structures.

As the owner of a local joinery business, Robert Davis Joinery, I have had the pleasure of using Oak by Design on several occasions over the last 8 years. They have produced bespoke interior products for me including Oak doors and timber moldings. The staff in the office and the workshop are always very helpful and friendly and the standard of the workmanship and materials are always of a very high quality.

My company has ordered 2 porches with Joanne from oak by design, and have more planned in the future. They've been brilliant from start to finnish. Great communication right through. And the quality of the product is exceptional. Do not hesitate to order.

A fabulous service and supportive through the design and delivery process. Highly recommended

My client was looking for ways in which to make his conversion (of an early seventies house into a period family farmhouse) “stand out from the crowd”. whilst maintaining a commercial eye on his expenditure, as the house was being converted for resale profit. Making the choice to meet with Richard and explore possibilities for incorporating some Real solid Oak features into his plans proved to be the making of the project. By taking lots of advice from Richard on both the size and structure of the components we were able to incorporate three key features. The beautiful and bold roof trusses and purlins for the open plan kitchen are simply a joy to behold. The stunning full height gable window which is directly glazed into the large framework can be appreciated from both the the kerbside and of course from within the cosy snug on the ground floor or the amazing first floor main bedroom where we incorporated some additional exposed roof beams just purely for effect. All in all it is fair to say that these significant choices certainly created the wow factor my client was looking for. Having managed to pre sell the property well before completion it in itself demonstrates the benefits of keeping these sorts of real oak features as part of a modern build. I have no hesitation whatsoever is saying that if anyone is looking to get advice and is serious about investing in quality oak products they should have no need to look further than Oak by Design. Thanks again Richard for all your help , guidance and continued support which is a credit to you and the craftsmen you employ.

Fantastic service from start to finish, I would have no hesitation in recommending this company or using them again. Very professional and helpful. Joanne was great in assisting us with choosing both styles and colours of the beams and cladding.

Great company, always on the end of the phone to talk through design, measurements, fitting. The Oak is very high standard, looks amazing.

From the moment we visited the Oak Design showroom, we knew that we were dealing with a top quality local company. Richard the owner, showed us around his design works with real pride of his product and service offering. Jamie as sales executive has discussed and agreed the options & design with costs to us and we have now implemented the first phase of our home improvement, with more work to follow. We are highly delighted with the finished product and would strongly recommend Oak Design to other interested clients. I also suggest that you pay them a personal visit at the Home Building & Renovation exhibition in Harrogate, as well as their wonderful showroom of Oak Solutions in Tockwith to get a personal guided tour.

Working with Oak By Design on our project was a pleasure and we were delighted with the results. Joanne was extremely helpful, quick to answer any questions and generally a great person to deal with! The quality and finish of the products - RSJ covers and Oak Windows & Doors were superb and look great. Would highly recommend working with Oak By Design and would not hesitate to use their services again for future projects!

We decided to get an oak porch to make our home more attractive and we are so glad we did as it really is beautiful ! Joanne and the Team have been professional, friendly and just a pleasure to deal with ! Thank you so much !!

We worked with Jamie from Oak By Design on a super project near Wetherby. There was plenty of oak in this design for the team to really show their worth - and they did. The attention to detail was excellent. If anything was not quite how the client wanted it, they were straight back to attend to this. The customer care was superb. We look forward to working with Oak By Design on another project soon.

Exceptional service and beautiful flooring. Absolutely delighted with every aspect. Went above and beyond great customer service to meet our needs and timescales.

I was sourcing an oak RSJ cover (circa 5m length) for my extension and found Oak by Design on the internet. All of the reviews I could were glowing and so I contacted them......And I'm so glad that I did. Joanne Fisher answered my initial call and she looked after my order from beginning to end - in terms of ensuring that I got exactly what I wanted she/they provided a superb service - everything on time - delivery in to the Peak District to suit when I wanted. The quality of the the RSJ cover is fantastic thick solid oak that matches my oak floor - looks amazing. If you want anything oak I can thoroughly recommend Oak By Design.

I could not recommend Oak By Design more highly. Joanne and the team worked tirelessly to resolve an issue that was the result of my mistake when I ordered the porch. Great customer service.

A first rate service from start to finish. We've used this company in the past for our floor - 40 foot of solid oak! 2 beams and 2 RSJ covers. This time a beam for our new kitchen inglenook and another RSJ cover. More than impressed with the products which more than met our spec. A very friendly and helpful team who I'd recommend to anyone.

Amazing customer service from beginning to end . My builder was in awe at the quality of the oak porch components. Call them and ask for Joanne - what she doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing! It’s not every day you invest in a “proper” porch so do it right. You’ll definitely be delighted!

Oak by design provided our engineered oak flooring. From our initial meeting and supply of samples to the final delivery we have been provided with excellent service. Carl has been in touch throughout the process and provided updates about the lead time and expected delivery dates. We are delighted with the flooring. Very happy to recommend Oak by design.

Fantastic service and quality of product. I couldn’t be happier with my Oak porch, which was designed to my specification with the minimum of fuss. Joanne was so helpful and nothing was too much trouble. Incredibly well engineered and looks fantastic. Thank you so much.

Pleasure to do Buisness with

We can thoroughly recommend Oak by Design. Not only did they provide the best of oak floors and oak staircase to suit our new, contemporary home, but they returned to make good a problem which was not their fault. Going the extra mile separates great companies from ordinary firms. Thank you Jamie & Billy. From Mike & Barbara, York.

Spectacular service from start to finish! great design work and support from concept to installation. The builders were amazing! So pleased with the outcome! Thankyou so so much !

Oak by design were a fantastic company to deal with. They made us some treads for a bespoke stair case from large pieces of air dried oak. They were very thorough in making sure that they understood exactly what we wanted. They made excellent suggestions for small changes to our own design in order to produce a better finished product and to manage the cost. We were very happy with the treads when they were delivered. They look fantastic and fitted perfectly to the steel frame which was made by a third party. I could not recommend them more highly.

On behalf of John Docherty: Oak By Design were a great company to deal with; helpful, knowledgeable, professional. The quality of the oak supplied to us for our bespoke porch was first class. Nothing was too much trouble for this company, and we will definitely be using this wonderful company again in 2022.

Having lived with our porch for over 2 years I can honestly say it’s the best addition to our house we ever made. Not only does it look fantastic the quality is outstanding. I love that it keeps the mud out of the hall and provides a seating area to remove muddy boots.

Marvellous place, so many wonderful things made from wood.

Great service by a friendly professional team, a pleasure to work with. The end result of our oak glazed leisure spa and outdoor kitchen looks fantastic. Great job

Great personal service to ensure we got what we needed specific to our personal requirements. Quality is outstanding and there was a helping hand there all the way. The porch we ended up with was not cheap but having looked at others the quality of the Oak by design product shines through. Very pleased with the result and the complements from both neighbours and our builders keep coming.

Oak by Design were extremely helpful at all stages of my project from helping and advising me to choose the most appropriate beam through to advice on fixing the beam. They were extremely patient with changes to my beam dimension requirements finally providing a solution to suit my project. They provided photographs on completion of the beam prior to dispatch to ensure that my requirements had been met. I was extremely impressed by the quality and finish of the beam which has become the focal point for my fireplace project. Oak by Design provided customer care of the highest quality and I would highly recommend their services.

We are ‘over the moon’ with our beautiful oak porch made by Oakbydesign .From our initial enquiry to delivery and installation the service and attention to detail has been outstanding! A very big thank you to Joanne who was so helpful and friendly from start to finish which made the whole process such a pleasure. Highly recommend anyone looking for an oak porch to choose Oakbydesign . Yvonne Grant.

Very professional. Excellent product and service. Highly recommended.

Really delighted with the new porch by Oak by Design. It adds a super feature to my converted barn. Thanks to Joanne and the team.

What can I say, Oak By Design have been the most fantastic company to deal with. Joanne was so helpful, friendly and professional. She really seemed to care about our project, which made such a difference. We had 4 oak RSJ covers made and 2 fireplace mantles. The finish is outstanding. Everyone believes they are solid beams, which was just what we wanted. The care and attention this company will give you is 2nd to none and I would highly recommend them. Pictures will follow when we complete our project, thanks again Oak By Design. x

Posting on behalf of my Mother in Law, Shirley Abbott "Having planned to shop around, Oak By Design was my first stop. I had no need to look any further. Joanne patiently and professionally guiding me through the confusion of choosing the right flooring. The service and support from the staff was exceptional, efficient and helpful. And - my floor looks amazing!"

I firstly used oak by design a couple of years ago for an open oak porch. They were extremely helpful and everything was delivered on time to the highest quality. The porch went together with the oak dowels provided and looked great when it was all slated in. They have also supplied me with a oak beam for a fireplace natural random finish and it looks good.

My wife and I recently purchased an oak porch from Oak By Design. We are delighted with the porch and it has been much admired. We did get some help assembling it but everything fitted together perfectly.