Andrew and I have always been interested in interiors but we avoid slavish devotion to each and every trend. That’s reflected in store and in the guidance and advice that we’re always happy to share with our customers.

We prefer to use our creativity and knowledge to guide purchases rather than recommending the latest thing. We buy for the shop with real homes in mind, where pieces that have been in place for years can sit comfortably with new additions.

Renovating a Grade II-listed 17th century farm housewas also an excellent, and occasionally sobering, experience. We are very happy to offer others the benefit of our learning.

We refurbished the whole house, from top to bottom. There were times when we were trying to sort out damp problems, re-plumbing and re-wiring, when all the floor boards were up and we were stripping generations of paint from the woodwork. It made it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but buying just one beautiful jug, which I imagined filled with flowers on a kitchen table was enough inspiration to keep going.

I used to joke that we could lose one of the children down some of the gaps in the floorboards but all these things give a home character, and that’s what we love the most about working with our customers – helping them to make somewhere feel like home.

Any of the Armstrong Ward shop team will happily help you to choose a lampshade, a piece of occasional furniture, or a bespoke sofa. Please do just ask. And the shop is specifically designed and laid out so that you can explore at your own pace andgather plenty of ideas to take away and try at home.

If you need any help with a change in your decor, from something small to a full scheme,you can email us or call 01539 720400 to book a free consultation at the shop on any weekday.