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Flower Arranging Made Easy

We can all appreciate the impact of a beautiful flower arrangement, but how do you achieve it with little or no training?  Here are some really simple tips for making an impact without the stress. Choose your colour palette – decide which colours you want to feature but remember classy, elegant displays are often achieved with the simplest of colour ways. So, stick to 1 or 2 colours, that's all you need to create a simple, elegant but impactful floral display.  For example: only buy white and green flowers.  TIP: Often the more colours you choose, the more hectic, crazy and distracting the effect.   Flower finds - If you can't get to your gorgeous local flower market (you'll probably have to get up super early but it's worth th...

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The Role of Household Management with COVID

  The role of the Household Manager has changed somewhat with the advent of coronavirus.  With lots of new responsibilities added to the original job description, the adage "Walking/Working Manager" really fits in these new times as private households reel from the limitations of the pandemic and fears of future lockdown and quarantine. Running the household from behind a desk is no longer enough! Employers will expect higher standards, tighter controls and crystal-clear procedures to reflect the demands of our times: Household Managers will need to: Get fully up to speed with industry best practise to keep private households safe for families and staff. Work out whether to guarantee safer home environments, a professional should be employed to train domest...

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10 Home Renovation Pointers

Don't just think fabulous, think functional. When you're planning a home renovation, an Interior Designer worth their salt should advise you on more than just the fabrics and furnishings, lighting and artwork.   For your home to run smoothly and efficiently, the less glamorous bits like storage, light sockets and linen cupboards might sound dull, but unless they're carefully planned and allocated in advance, could leave your beautifully crafted spaces looking unsightly and chaotic.  Don't just think fabulous, think functional.    1. Plan AheadTry to think to how you, your family and your staff will use your house, not just today but in the future. As the children grow, the way you use your home will change, so think about how the space accommodates everyone...

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Finding the Perfect Gardener

A beautiful home is nothing without beautiful gardens. The wow-factor your guests will enjoy when they turn into your driveway and approach your home, pausing to take in the elegance and splendour of their surroundings.  A stunning garden becomes an alternative space to entertain and relax with your guests, in an area specially created and luxurious under the sun, the moon and the stars. But maintaining that outdoor glamour takes attention to detail, creative flair, experience and a lot of ongoing work from a highly skilled and knowledgeable gardener or team of gardeners to keep it looking pristine, day in, day out. So, what skills, duties and qualifications should you be requesting to find the perfect gardener? Read on to find out more: Gardeners with landscap...

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8 Tips for the Perfect Picnic

We hope you're finding time to enjoy the glorious UK weather?  Perfectly timed too, as the nation celebrates National Picnic Week (22nd - 28th June 2020) this week (yes really!) giving families, nannys, childminders and au pairs just the excuse to make the most of the clear blue skies and lush green grass and get the children out to enjoy the great British picnic. So dust off those hampers, baskets, cutlery, crockery and wash those picnic blankets and outdoor napkins. National Picnic Week have set up a website to celebrate and invite you to join in sharing tips and recipes for the perfect picnic. Picturesque spots to visit, picnic dishes to prepare, favourite treats, tips and games to share. What better way to make the most of current UK government advice, maintaining a saf...

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Nailing the Video Interview

With travel restrictions and physical distancing demands of COVID-19, the video interview has come into its own.  Especially, when it comes to first stage private household staff recruitment interviews. Video calls are way more convenient, save time for both employer and candidate and save on all those unnecessary travel costs, particularly when the employer and candidate live in a different country or continent from the other.  And with everyone having to quickly relocate their offices and commercial ventures home-bound during lockdown, we've already seen a huge spike in the use of video technology platforms.  But behaving naturally and with confidence in front of a camera lens can seem daunting for some. You might be someone who feels really comfortable with the ...

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Private Service Recruitment

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on individuals, communities, local and global economies.  To say nothing of the longer lasting psychological effects individuals have suffered, as a result of their own personal experiences during the pandemic, isolation and social distancing. Once the industry starts to recover, private service staff - traditionally recruited for employer's homes - will need to follow a vastly different interview process. Obviously, it will vary from household to household, owner to owner, but once we get a handle on what the new norm is, there will need to be a clear path for recruiters and candidates to follow.  Liquidity in the market indicates that there will still be strong demand for goods and labour, but when and how quickly the industry bounce...

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Who knew distance learning could be so diverse?

Why not make the most of this time in lockdown to learn a new skill? We have a huge range of training courses available on our website, no matter which department of the household you work in, could be kitchen, housekeeping, service, interior management to fitness and leisure;  from Professional Cookery & Culinary courses, cookery beginner to specialist French Patisserie, Italian, Fish, Vegan & Raw, Authentic Indian, Bread Making, Vegetarian, Essential Skills, Sushi & Ramen, to Thai and Christmas Bake to Wine Service & Spirits (Level 1) Certificates, Hotel Operations Management, Interior Admin & Human Resources, Advanced Service, Cigar Service, Yacht Interior Advanced Housekeeping & Laundry Service, to Polished Professional Etiquette, Mindset, Manners ...

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The merits of engaging an Interior Designer early on.

"My name's Jojo Macnamara and I'm an interior designer. Even though I've been providing VIP clients with an interior design service for over a decade, I never fail to get a buzz out of seeing the joy on a client's face when they first see their home totally transformed into an amazing, luxurious space they'd previously only imagined.  The secret? A good brief, sound planning capabilities, great communication skills, an aptitude for plate spinning (metaphorically speaking!) and the right team on board. The right team … That last bit is absolutely crucial to the success of any renovation, new build or refurbishment, whatever the size and scope of project.  We're currently working on a newly built 6-bedroom villa, or as the clie...

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It’s the little things that make a big difference.

When I caught up with Jayne Walder, Director of Walder Events earlier this month, it became apparent that a big part of what she does is focused on giving back, here's how.  "We live a modest life, we work hard, long hours and we want the best for our family, but we appreciate the stability we offer our kids is a dream for some, for many they just aren't as lucky.  So, we're big into giving back. We have such an extensive contacts list and when an opportunity comes up to make a tiny difference, we grab it with both hands.  We're very honoured to work in the luxury market, in such a wonderful environment, working in beautiful hotels with their stunning grounds and buildings steeped in history, so it's important we give back personally wh...

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