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Sit Down with Sarah Wood

By Evie Kennedy | Monday, 18 July 2022

Quince’s properties have all been individually identified and redeveloped to a new high standard of holiday homes design. From the iconic outside bathtubs, to the soft carpets underfoot and the bold beautiful artwork, you know that you’ve stepped into a Quince property as soon as you enter the front door.

Today we sit down with Sarah Wood, the brains and talent behind Quince, and discover all about her interior inspiration which is woven throughout all of Quince’s properties.

So, without further ado…

Where did your love of interior design come from?

I have always loved interiors and find it fascinating the way it can enhance people’s living space. I’ve been working in property for the last 25 years and naturally the two go hand in hand. I soon came to realise what people were looking for when it came to holiday rentals, and having my fair share of poor experiences on other booking platforms, I knew that there was something missing in the market. High quality interiors can really make a space that extra bit special, and a refresh is sometimes all it takes to turn somewhere quite minimal into something pretty quintessential.

How do you think designing a holiday home differs from a normal home?

Designing a holiday home is much like designing a hotel, it has to be the finished article. People are looking for short periods of complete comfort and somewhere special to enjoy and relax in. However, at Quince, we like to keep our holiday homes constantly evolving. Whether it’s a new armchair that has been sourced and upholstered from the local antiques shop, or new sustainable toiletries, you have to keep the properties current and up to date, and cater to your guests needs.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I always start with something that inspires me. This could be the history, such as at The Boatmans Reading Rooms or The Coding Hut where we had such a rich history to draw from. For example, at The Boatmans Readings Rooms which is right on Deal’s seafront, the panelling has been painted in Farrow and Ball’s Inchyra Blue, referencing to the properties prime location, yet the wallpaper is an extract from Charles Dickens designed by Andrew Martin, nodding to the founder of the Reading Rooms, Mrs Wollaston. Mrs Wollaston once established a library in the property that became a place of relaxation for the sailors looking to find refuge after being out at sea.

On other occasions, it could be a standout picture or furnishing that I’ve fallen in love with, that then sets the scene for the house. For example, in our latest venture in the Suffolk seaside town of Aldeburgh, it started with the larch cladding of the exterior. To compliment the exterior, we’re heading down the route of a muted colour palette. Although to lift the scheme and add a signature splash of colour that we’re so well known for, we’ll reference the yellow and white stripes of Cornishwear, the iconic English pottery brand.

What’s your favourite room to design?

I don’t actually have one believe it or not. I’m a magpie, whatever I am designing on the day, is the one I love the most.

What is the easiest way to transform a room?

Both an easy and quick way is to repaint the walls. It’s utterly transforming when you add a splash of colour, and it also adds a new dimension to the room. If you aren’t brave enough or don’t have time to touch the walls, then add or move some pictures around. It’s a lot easier, quicker, and converts what can be a bland space, into a more colourful and playful area.

When you aren’t busy finding new properties, renovating and designing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I love gardening and I’m currently redeveloping my garden, so it’s a bit more of the same,  just outside! I play tennis, and I’m learning to play golf at the moment, and we walk our black labradar, Gin, and our new puppy, Gertie, everyday. Getting out very early in the morning, with the sun rising and the birds singing is my favourite time of the day. Equally, you can’t beat a walk in the rain, it’s extremely refreshing.


What’s next for Quince?

We now have six houses with more on their way.  We are aiming to build a unique experience in holiday lets, where each guest knows exactly what to expect before they arrive.  It’s all about the same high quality beds, the same quality of linen, the same well equipped kitchens with the surprise in the interior design and not in the level of comfort, which for us is paramount.