Quality furnishings at competitive prices. Amber Friederichs, director of Yohan May Design tells us how to transform a property ready for the real estate market.
Yohan May Design – based on Munster Road in Fulham – was set up just over two months ago by ex- investment bank graduate program manager, Michele Lomax and Amber Friederichs, who worked as a project manager in house refurbishments. The main focus of this new business is ‘Home Staging’, providing quality furnishings at competitive prices, but also on offer is an interior design and styling service. Still in its infancy, but already with a few projects under their belts, Amber and Michele are keen to make Home Staging a more accessible offering for those either in the business of selling property or individuals wishing to make a move.
Amber comments; “Whilst a big industry in the US, Home Staging is still a fairly new concept in the UK that many are not familiar with. It is used when properties go on the market - either when new, empty or in need of a new image – and that is where Yohan May comes in - to provide stylish furniture and furnishings that can be rented for the period in which it is required. I came upon the business idea when I was selling my own apartment and was looking for a home staging agency to help with extra furniture and furnishings to make it ready for sale. I found the prices to be quite high and the quality of the furniture relatively low and, as property is expensive in London, you need to put quality furniture in a property in order for it to live up to its selling price. I was also aware of the positive impact staging has in terms of selling a property faster and for higher than the asking price.”
Amber and Michele have been friends for a long time and often spoke about their common interest in interiors and design when getting together. For Michele it had always been a passion and hobby and something completely different to her day job, whereas Amber was already in the business and looking for her next challenge. It was on one of their many get togethers that the idea for Yohan May Design was born and came at a time when Michele was looking for a change in career and Amber fortunately already had good contacts. “One night we were talking about our hopes and dreams and we started to seriously discuss actually working together and how best to bring about a business which incorporated what we both loved doing but which would also offer something slightly different.”
Shortly after that conversation, Michele enrolled on an interior styling course at Central Saint Martins to help her make the move to something she loved and wanted to work on full time. Both of them set about researching the market potential as they wanted to be sure that there was a real opportunity for what they had in mind. “We spoke with many real estate agents and we were met with overwhelmingly positive responses and feedback, so much so that we saw a real need and opportunity for a Home Staging service – particularly in areas such as Fulham, Chelsea and Kensington where there is much high end property development. We also decided that we didn’t want to save on quality and knew that we need to be competitive in our pricing and we hope this will make the business a sustainable proposition.”
Almost immediately after launch Yohan May Design had several enquiries and the business partners have just completed the home staging of a penthouse flat in Fulham and are about to embark on a mews house project in Notting Hill. “We are really pleased with how well it is going already. Our plan is not only to work with property developers but to offer a service to those clients who are selling their property and are looking for a bit of extra help or particular items of furniture. I think the kind of service we are offering is particularly valuable in London where interior space is relatively small and where people can’t always envisage how eight people can fit around a table in a dining area or whether a living room can accommodate a certain size of sofa.
“If you can show how this works then you certainly increase the potential for selling as people are able to imagine how the space could work for them and their lifestyle. And if potential buyers really like what they see the furniture will also be available to purchase – a buyer can acquire a completely furnished property!”
Yohan May Design
Tel: 07805 801 181