26/04/2022
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Victory Leisure Homes – the design experts

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Personalising your holiday home, so that it reflects your taste in colours, textures and style, is one of the great joys of ownership

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Words by Val Chapman


About Victory Leisure Homes

Choosing the perfect holiday home or lodge is an enormously exciting experience. They’re all created by interior designers and they each have their own character. Once you’ve found the right layout, size – and the ideal park, of course – then the next phase of the fun can start. That’s putting your own stamp on the holiday home or lodge, to make it truly yours.

We spent a day at Victory Leisure Homes’ showground, with the manufacturer’s design experts, to discover a raft of ideas that enable buyers to put their own personal touch into their holiday home.

Victory offers a range of two holiday lodges and six holiday homes in its collection. Most of them are on display at Victory’s showground, adjacent to the factory in the village of Gilberdyke, five miles from Howden, and 19 miles west of Hull.

We picked four – and watched as Victory’s interior designers transformed each of them from a blank canvas to a highly personalised holiday retreat. Armed with a vast quantity of kitchen paraphernalia, furry and woven throws, pretty bedroom and bathroom accessories, heaps of cushions – and a few reminders that gin is in fashion, Mary Crewther (Head of Design) and Allannah Harraway (Interior Designer and Visualiser) set to work selecting, placing – and perfecting the look – for each of the four homes.


The Faraday lodge

Lounge inside the Faraday lodge

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

First, the 40ft by 20ft Faraday lodge, inspired by Scandinavian design and created for the new demographic of younger holiday home buyers that is driving demand right now, as the appeal of staycation holidays in Britain continues to gather pace.

Allannah sets the scene,

 

This is the perfect starter lodge – but with an expensive feel. The open-plan living space is designed to be a social space – and the sofa is modular, so you can move each of the four sections around to suit how you are using the lounge at any one time.

There’s a cylindrical ‘log burner’ stove in a corner; it’s electric, of course, but it pumps out a vast quantity of heat to keep you cosy in winter. The Faraday’s colour palette is blacks and beige. The whole effect is cosily modern. That’s the basis…

We wanted to know where the Victory design team gets its interior design inspiration. Allannah explains as she decides on which interior accessories, including cushions, throws and ornaments will best enhance the Faraday’s lounge, "Home exhibitions, Instagram, ELLE Decor, fabric books and furniture shops, Farrow and Ball’s colour charts" (they have really nice heritage colours – and advice, the charts tell you what colours complement others), "and many more places."

She explains how the design process begins,

 

The start basis of any design is the colour scheme. Then we select furnishings and fabrics. In the Faraday, we started with the walls; Victory’s beadless wall system creates a really domestic finish, which gives it a high-quality look. The finish is wallpaper but it’s so smooth that it looks as if it’s roller painted.

And the furniture? "The start basis of any design is the colour scheme. Then we decide on furnishings and fabric. Victory manufactures the furniture in the Faraday. We look for inspiration among expensive furniture designs and work out how we can manufacture and build it ourselves."

Among sources of inspiration is Barker and Stonehouse, known for its trendsetting styles – and high price tags. First, Allannah draws the initial design with rough dimensions. Then the technical team works out the fine details. Finishes are chosen and a prototype is produced – the most exciting part. "The best part of my job is definitely seeing my designs come to life in a finished product – nothing can beat the feeling of seeing your hard work pay off."

The curtains adhere to the grey hue, this time a biscuit shade, teamed with white, for bold stripes; smart – and so modern. The vinyl flooring is wood planking with subtle but fascinating chevron and houndstooth patterns. The coffee table has what are called ‘hairpin’ legs; each leg is actually composed of two legs; a nod to industrial chic design, in an ultra-simple way.

The kitchen inside the Faraday

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The living room inside the Faraday

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The conversation turns back to sources of inspiration: "It’s massively important for us to go to showrooms, fabric studios and shops to see and touch things." She names a few favourites and IKEA is top of her list, closely followed by Dunelm, TK Maxx, The Range and all the way down the price range to Home Bargains and Primark. It’s all of those stores and more that she’d advise holiday home buyers to browse, to seek out their own transformation kit. "Things don’t have to cost a fortune. Once you get an idea, shop around for where you can find it at the most cost-effective price."

Allannah starts the personalisation process of turning blank canvas to lived-in Faraday by placing a basket containing a plant by the log burner.

Then glass coffee cups and a candle go onto the coffee table. Now the cushions; four of them, and a throw, all beige, which contrasts strongly with the black upholstery. A cream, tactile, mohair-style fawn throw injects texture.

Now for the sideboard. A lush pampas grass arrangement adds texture and height, and a subtly sienna-coloured glass vase beside it adds warmth of tone.

By now we are getting the idea that you can mix textures and styles to create your look, and attention turns to the dining table, with black ‘hairpin’ legs and a top that’s grey-brown wood with knot detail, teamed with, "mid-century, Ercol-inspired chairs".

The table set for dinner

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

A table runner, twisted spiral black candlesticks, black plates, bowls and napkins in rings… The table is beginning to look as if it’s set for dinner. Water glasses and wine glasses go on and, in the centre, a brass-framed faux terrarium.

Stunning black and gold cutlery from Primark and two simple corked water bottles from IKEA go on; examples that show table kit doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to look amazing. The Faraday has a wine glass holder mounted beneath shelves by the huge breakfast bar.

Allannah advises,

 

You can buy wine glass racks from Amazon that you can fix to the underside of any suitable kitchen shelf in a holiday home. It’s a cool way to add your own little quirk.

The transformation from plain Faraday to dressed-for-dinner Faraday now swings to the breakfast bar – in this context, it’s a cocktail bar. Allannah places elegant cocktail glasses on a wooden board. More wooden boards, and a plant, are added – and someone says “don’t forget the gin”. Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin (infused with botanicals) and Hendrick’s Gin (infused with rose and cucumber) set the scene. The bottles are empty, of course, but the message of sophistication – and personalisation of a holiday lodge – is amply conveyed, nonetheless.

Allannah turns her attention to the kitchen now. A five-burner hob, beautiful beige wood-finish units that give excellent storage space – and the option of a wine rack… Booze seems to have a priority in the Faraday’s finishing touches, we decide. It’s a lovely kitchen and it’s about to get lovelier. She places black cups, to match the black tap, on the white drainer; a simple and cool idea, and hangs stemmed glasses on the rack we’d been discussing earlier.

The guest room inside the Faraday

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The master bedroom

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

En route to the bedroom area we notice one of the Faraday’s practical attributes: the spacious utility, with a cabinet that gives enormous storage space as well as housing a washing machine, and Allannah pops a few things onto the shelves to accentuate the storage capability.

Design meets practicality in the bedrooms, in the form of bedheads with acoustic properties; horizontally aligned strips of wood are mounted on felt backing. The result is a reduction in transmission of sound; if you are playing music in one room, it’s less likely to be heard in the other bedroom – and the actual audio quality is improved; by removing the bounce effect of sound waves, the acoustic properties of the room are vastly improved.

Two scatter cushions come as standard in the Faraday. Allannah adds tufted cotton pillows and cushions in an Aztec-inspired geometric pattern, bought from The Range. We draw the near-blackout curtains and discover that the smart black wall lights illuminate the wall upwards, in a fan shape; nice! Perfect for some bedtime reading.

The storage capacity of the bedroom impresses us (a large wardrobe and a generously sized drawer unit), and so does the smoothness of the wall finish (Victory’s beadless wall system that’s as close to a paint finish as possible). The en suite has boutique hotel chic appeal. Allannah adds personal touches; including succulents, and a white dressing gown.

The large bathroom, with over-bath shower, is perfect for all the family. With black taps and black outline to the tiled area around the bath, it gets a luxury feel with the add-ons: a book, a candle – and a glass of wine (that element of holiday indulgence crops up again!).

Lizzie Hancock, Digital Marketing Manager, joins us and remarks, Victory’s campaign for this year is entitled ‘Making Your Holiday – Home’ and the Faraday seems to embody that phrase perfectly.

Lounge inside the Faraday lodge

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)


The Riverwood lodge

Living area inside the Riverwood lodge

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The Riverwood showcases strong colours and bold ideas. Head of Design, Mary Crewther, is the inventor of this 14ft wide lodge’s trendsetting interior design. She explains, "We wanted to make it as on-trend as possible. From that premise, I developed the bathroom wallboard."

It’s a stunning big leaf-and-frond design, dark green on white. No other holiday home has anything remotely like this. Victory’s website states that the Riverwood has ‘a boutique level of luxury’ and this bold leaf design statement, in both the en suite and the main shower room, surely exemplifies it. The black showerhead, tap and radiator are there to create an expensive feel – and they do.

Dark green is the Riverwood’s signature; the kitchen units are a deep forest green colour; smart, ultra-modern and stunning.

Mary explains,

 

We do offer a dark grey option and also a navy blue. All three colours options are very on-trend.

There’s an understated elegance about this kitchen. Neat brass handles enhance the simple-style doors and the high-quality, black Reginox cast stone sink and drainer, set into the white work surface, provides yet more bold contrast. The splashback by the five-burner hob is a brilliant yet simple design; it’s white gloss, with a brick-shaped design behind the glass. Mary explains the ethos behind the kitchen,"The Riverwood is aimed at families – hence the five-burner hob, and large oven capacity, to make cooking easy."

USB and power sockets are thoughtfully placed at the edge of the kitchen, to be used either in the lounge or in the kitchen; four devices can be plugged in here at once.

The dining suite comes with benches as standard; the idea is that they tuck completely under the table, so saving on floor space, but buyers can opt for chairs if they prefer.

Mary’s add-on kitchen styling for the Riverwood melds modernity with tradition. A wooden bowl and board for a suggestion of a natural woodland theme, and a table runner in grey-brown neutral shade, plus woven straw mats and cork coasters, plants in brass containers, a candle on the table under a glass globe… The Riverwood suddenly looks ready for a special Friday night dinner as you arrive at your holiday home for the weekend.

There’s a gin night idea going on, too. Whitley Neill watermelon and kiwi gin bottles (they’re empty, but the party spirit is there nonetheless) and elegant glasses go on a large brass platter.

We take a seat on the plush sofas to continue our conversation. "They’re really comfortable, aren’t they?" I sit back for a moment instead of perching on the edge, in iPad typing mode. She’s right. The comfort and quality of these sofas is very in keeping with the ‘boutique level of luxury’ theme of the Riverwood. And we notice that the upholstery fabric has a slight green tinge that tones in a subtle way with the green theme. It also has blue notes threading through which is perfect if you opt for the blue kitchen option – they really have thought about every little detail. There’s a touch of traditional styling about the lounge, with the fireplace as the focal point, and a mirror above it.

The dining suite inside the Riverwood lodge

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The bedroom inside the Riverwood lodge

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

In the bedrooms, the Riverwood’s traditional design element arrives in the form of curtains with an elaborate abstract design in charcoal muted colours on white, depicting birds, squirrels and horses. The same fabric is used for bed runners. Cage-style pendant lights are on each side of the bed. The dressing room contains a proper dressing table and three hanging rails.

"Storage was paramount when we designed the bedroom," Mary remarks, and makes sure we don’t miss the under-bed storage space, too. Unusually, the twin room has (full domestic width) beds aligned at right angles to one another, creating lots of floor space. This furniture arrangement makes it far more a room for teenagers or adults than a kids’ room. (Full-sized single beds are in all of Victory’s two-bedroom models.)

The bedrooms need little in the way of additional niceties but Mary styles them in anyway for our photoshoot, to make sure the Riverwood looks at its most appealing – and it does. This lodge has a high-end feel and is sure to appeal to buyers with both modern and traditional tastes; the mix works perfectly. As Lizzie adds towards the end of our time in the Riverwood, “We want people to staycation in style and in the Riverwood – they can.


The Parkview lodge

The living room inside the Parkview holiday home

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The 20ft-wide Parkview is a longstanding favourite of the Victory range – and it has evolved as Victory has evolved. Described as timeless tradition with a modern twist, the 2022 Parkview has Shaker-style kitchen doors and warm-tone check curtains, Carrera marble-effect surface (distinguished by the dark veins of the marble that add texture and depth, Mary points out) adds an overall sophisticated, high-end look.

A room dividing wall achieves clever separation between the kitchen and the rest of the living space. The dining table extends to a six-seater. A pull-out larder-style cabinet is an ingenious way of storing your spices and ingredients for your next bake. There’s a built-in wine rack (we have totally got the idea that Victory designs its holiday homes for sociability!). A five-burner hob with cast iron pan rests, a rooflight as standard, Hotpoint appliances (high-end microwave and oven/grill), a huge sink in Belfast-style, a dishwasher as standard… it’s a well-equipped holiday home – and with a utility room, containing an optional washing machine, plus lots of storage space.

Mary adds a carefully selected range of items that enhance the kitchen, dining area and lounge and emphasises its appeal. “We try to create a styled, but neutral, background to allow scope for individuality,” she says.

The bedroom inside the Parkview holiday home

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The bathroom inside the Parkview holiday home

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

We explore the bedroom area: the twin room is large and the beds can be placed together to create a double and there’s also storage space under the beds, Mary points out. And the main bedroom: "This is a true master suite with a huge dressing area and an enormous shower."

There’s a dressing alcove with oak veneer furnishings. Bedheads in both rooms are faux leather, to add texture. The near-blackout curtains are a high-end blend of wool and cotton. Cylindrical bolsters are in a houndstooth fabric and there’s a comfy upholstered stool. Mary adds a gorgeous furry throw that serves to accentuate the luxury of the main bedroom and again makes sure we don’t miss the spacious storage space under the lift-up bed.

The main bathroom has doors leading to both the twin room and the corridor. Warm stone grey hues look lovely with the slightly linen texture of the wallcovering.


The Baywood holiday home

The living area inside the Baywood holiday home

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

This three-bedroom holiday home has family holiday fun written all over it. It’s a charming environment and Allannah’s about to make it even more charming, by bringing in styling items to make it look totally ready for its family to arrive for their holidays and weekend breaks.

Victory’s description of the Baywood is ‘a great value holiday home for family holidays with no fuss’. The practical dark grey, hard-wearing upholstery fabric on the L-shaped seating is appealingly stark and modern. The carpet has been chosen for its durability, too. Bright yellow cushions, and curtains that use light and dark greens plus yellows, create the essence of spring.

As we talk, she places a stacking game onto the coffee table, some plants, one in a copper vessel, and the Baywood’s lounge becomes even more lively.

Herringbone-planked flooring in the kitchen adds texture, and dining benches fit snugly under the table when not in use, to save space. The table and benches have wood-effect tops on simple fawn frames and look simply modern. (Buyers can upgrade to dining chairs if they wish.)

Alannah brings in big, fluffy, mustard-coloured cushions and the lounge takes on a cosy look. To the beige-fawn and natural wood finish kitchen, she adds a couple of Le Creuset jars, grey pans with fawn interiors, four grey mugs in a stacking frame, a large tub of Sel Marin Naturel de l’Atlantique, packets of pasta, a jar of wooden utensils – and the kitchen is instantly ready for its hungry brood.

A wooden board with a cafetière and mugs look sophisticated; a kettle, a bright mustard oven glove, mustard and dark green dish-drying cloths and tall glass jars of pasta together give plenty of ideas of how the Baywood’s kitchen would look in use and how buyers can inject personalisation to enhance this lovely kitchen that has plenty of storage space.

Options are a keynote of the Baywood, in the interests of affordability. A free-standing fridge/freezer comes as standard; buyers can opt for an integrated one. You can go for a microwave, too, and even a Bluetooth sound system is on the options list.

The kitchen inside the Baywood holiday home

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

The double bedroom inside the Baywood holiday home

(Photo courtesy of Richard Chapman)

In the hallway, coat hooks and a tall cupboard provide the practicality where you need it – and Allannah adds a dog bed, positioned in a corner of the corridor that leads to the bedrooms, proving that the Baywood has sleeping space for six people plus the dog!

The Baywood is available in four sizes, ranging between 28ft by 12ft to 39ft by 12ft; it’s the 39ft model that has three bedrooms.

The bright, fun colours of the lounge curtains are replicated in the bedrooms, with a twist; this time, bright yellow is teamed with vivid green which contrast boldly with the grey velvet-upholstered bedheads. Allannah adds a dark green furry throw in the main bedroom and the room is instantly ultra-cosy, demonstrating, as throughout our design day, that bringing in personal touches transforms a holiday home into your own-style environment; as Victory says: Making Your Holiday – Home.


More information

Victory Leisure Homes

2 Staddlethorpe Broad Lane
Gilberdyke
Brough
HU15 2TD

Victory Leisure Homes website


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