How a collection of Cheshire businesses united to give the best service in interior design

PUBLISHED: 00:00 23 October 2015

Display inside Crystal Living

Display inside Crystal Living


Tony Wooderson, owner of Crystal Living in Poynton, has brought together a network of interiors businesses that unite to offer his customers the ultimate service, writes Kate Houghton

‘Over the years our business has changed quite dramatically,’ says Tony. ‘We don’t just come along and put a box on the back of someone’s home, we’re often re-modelling the entire ground floor. Our clients aren’t seeking just an extra room, or a “bit more space”, they want to optimise their home to suit their lifestyle.

‘I’d started to note that often when we’d completed our work our clients were simply left to find their own way, and often the inertia of decision stress would set in. They had their fabulous new living space, but the décor and furnishing was a challenge some didn’t feel wholly up to – better to do nothing than to spend money but get it wrong.

‘Over the years I’ve built excellent working relationships with local businesses with what I describe as ‘kindred spirit business models’. Family-owned and run, with a passion for quality and customer service. As I was just about to refurbish my showroom here in Poynton, I decided to invite these businesses to contribute, to showcase their skills and to provide some inspiration and ideas for my customers.

‘What I love about each of these businesses is that you deal direct with the owner – the buck stops there, it goes no further. They all have a personal investment in everything they do professionally, and it shows in their work and in their interactions with the client. By bringing together these local businesses, I can offer my clients complete and utter flexibility.

‘They can simply look at what we’ve done here at the showroom and be inspired to create their own interior designs or they can take advantage of a full interior design service or anything in between. We can deliver a full turnkey project, or customers can simply pick and choose, a la carte as it were, what they need.’

Tony has hand-picked the businesses he will recommend to his customers through personal experience of working with each and every one, in his own home and/or on professional projects.

‘Yvonne and I had been brought together by clients on various projects over the years,’ he explains, ‘so I know how she works and the fabulous interiors she creates. I have worked with Alex from Furnibarn on my own home and with Nick at Bubblitex. It’s a great experience visiting these two businesses, as they operate as a family concern on the same site, in Siddington.

‘Neil Gent at Fireplace Superstore, in Cheadle, has the same ethos as I do when it comes to customer care and David and Jane from JDB Kitchens, in Poynton, offer a kitchen design and installation service that completely keys into the client’s functional and lifestyle needs as well as aesthetic hopes.

‘Yvonne introduced us to Nigel Robertson-Talbot at Boss Glass, who she has worked with often. There’s nothing more important than personal recommendation. As independent business owners our reputation is everything to us.’

It is Tony’s aim to make life easier for his customers, at a time when a considerable financial and, let’s face it, emotional, commitment is being made. So far his idea is working just as he hoped, with feedback from visitors to the showroom since he completed the refurbishment in September all giving very positive feedback.

Yvonne Waite, interior designer, says: ‘We’ve all worked together for years and presenting ourselves as a cohesive team makes such sense. Nigel makes glass structures from staircases to floor to ceiling mirrors and I’ve used him a lot. I love visiting Nick at Bubblitex and Alex and Max at Furnibarn. Bubblitex has the most wonderful collection of fabrics, wallcoverings, curtains and blinds [a description that barely touches the edges of what Bubblitex do!] and Furnibarn offers marvellous British designed and made furniture, including bespoke and made-to-order, so we can fit even tricky spaces. Between the two businesses they offer everything and I simply have to pull it all together!’

Max adds: ‘So much of our work comes through recommendations that this really is simply an extension of that; we all know who we’re working with and appreciate each other’s ethos and passion for what we do. It’s reassuring for us and, by extension, for our clients too.’

David Brunt, of JDB Interiors, says: ‘It’s great to be working with other local businesses with the same ethos as we have, where getting the space right for the client for their lifestyle now and for their future, is all-important.’

Tony sums it up: ‘Quality of work, materials and the final finish is so important to all of us and having that same passion across the whole group means that we’re all completely confident working with each other, in any combination, on any job large or small.’

It all makes perfect sense to me; the reassurance of an experienced, passionate team working together to deliver your dream? Bliss.

Crystal Living, London Road, Poynton

Latest from the Cheshire