Hi, I’m Jo Buckerfield, the Design Director at Your Space Living. I’m a wife to Mike and mother to Eva May and Joseph. My family is my number one passion but coming in a close second is my love for everything ‘interiors’. That’s why, in 2012, I established Your Space Living with the sole purpose of making your space special! My design studio is located in Llantwit Major and I’ve been transforming the homes of Cardiff and South Wales for more than fifteen years. If you value great design and a first class service, I’d love to chat with you.
My interest in furniture and interior design started at a very young age. Perhaps my house proud parents had something to do with it. They were DIY fanatics, forever painting and tinkering with their South Wales home. After leaving art college, I enrolled in Kingston University’s furniture design degree course. I had a great time and gained a solid grounding before entering professional life in 2000.
My first job was as a junior designer for Pendragon Furniture in Bridgend, South Wales. Unfortunately, like so many manufacturing companies in the area, the new millennium was not a cause for celebration. Before Pendragon’s inevitable closure, I moved back to the South East of England and took up a position with a fantastic family run business called Hyperion Furniture. They focused on home studies, bedrooms and living room furniture and their products were of the highest quality.
Hyperion’s founder Ken Poulter became my mentor, teaching me all about the furniture industry and how to deliver the best possible result for my clients. Alas, after five years away from Wales I was home sick. So in 2005 I moved back to South Wales and lived a whole new adventure.
After a number of years working for some of the most well known furniture and kitchen companies in South Wales, I became disillusioned with the industry. People weren’t getting the quality of service they deserved. The landscape was awash with aggressive salesmen looking to squeeze as much profit from their unsuspecting customers as possible. Everywhere I looked there were bogus ‘SALES’ and ‘FREE OFFERS’ that conned people into buying. My colleagues used scarcity techniques that made me cringe. “If you sign up today, we’ll reduce the price by 50%.” they would boast. Of course the original price was hiked up in the first place and it was all designed to make the customer think they were getting a bargain. They weren’t and I couldn’t stand by and watch this any longer. I needed to get out on my own, where I had the freedom to give people more time and more input. I wanted to take the stress out of buying a kitchen. I genuinely believe that if you’re spending money on your home, you should spend it wisely and enjoy the process. There’s no need to feel like your arm is being twisted to the will of a salesman.
I set up Your Space living determined to put the customer first. I use a simple system which I call “looking after people”. It’s not as common as you might think. People often come to me after previously doing the rounds at all the usual suspects. By the time I meet them, they’re pretty jaded and on the defensive. They’ve usually been presented with several mediocre design concepts and been on the receiving end of some hard core sales patter.
With Your Space Living I’ve created something entirely different and it’s working beautifully. I know this because my clients tell me how delighted they are. It’s incredibly difficult to motivate someone to write a positive testimonial. Yet in the space of four years I’ve managed to build a huge number of positive comments from my fantastic clients. I love the fact that I’ve made a difference to them and their lives and that’s why I founded Your Space Living.
First and foremost I build relationships. This is vital because I need clients to be comfortable enough to openly discuss their interior design dreams. This gives me the impetus to produce design ideas that inspire and come up with solutions they didn’t know were possible. Using my imagination with the latest 3D design software, I create image simulations of rooms that amaze. I also create helpful mood boards that show colours, textures and combinations to give my clients every option before they commit to a design. There’s no doubt that I have become more than just a kitchen specialist. Whilst I love kitchen design, I also enjoy designing for every other room in the house and, when my kitchen clients make a request, I always deliver.
I also look at the technical aspects of a design. For example, there are many factors to consider when refurbishing a kitchen. From electrical to plumbing and tiling to structural building work involving architects and builders. When I manage a project, I take on a central role, making sure everyone is coordinated and clear about what needs to be done. Some people might say I’m a control freak, they might be right but this is all for the benefit of the client.
Full project management is where I have really developed my own niche in the industry. This is a role often neglected by other designers but I love the process of controlling the installation. I make sure it runs smoothly, on schedule and to the highest possible standards. This role is a huge logistical challenge, especially with kitchens. It requires excellent man management skills and an ability to coordinate the various team members at crucial stages in the project. I pride myself on my project management capabilities and I won’t sign off a Your Space Living installation until everyone is fully satisfied.
I take on projects of all sizes and always work to my client’s budgetary needs. You will see from my portfolio that I have a wide variety of projects, large and small. One factor that remains constant is the commitment I have given each client. I am totally focused on customer satisfaction and never leave a client feeling they received any less than 110% effort from me.
I don’t waste people’s time and money. I design interiors and many people simply don’t need that type of service. Over the years I have passed up on many projects that didn’t need my input. For example, if you are planning to refurbish your kitchen but have no desire to explore other layout options, then it’s possible that you won’t need me. Perhaps you are looking to revamp a kitchen prior to a house sale and just need some low grade furniture to get the job done. Again, it’s unlikely that you’ll need me. You may be looking to simply replace the doors on an old kitchen. I would consider that a false economy but, if you insisted on taking that route, I would encourage you to seek a door replacement specialist. I will always help anyone and offer the best advice I can regardless of their needs. It will soon become apparent if I’m suitable for your project. My value comes from the difference I can make to my client. If I don’t feel I can make a difference, I’ll be honest and tell you. I will then direct you to a more suitable service. However, If you are looking to make positive change to your home and lifestyle and need someone to explore every possible option for you, then I’m all yours.
Hopefully this information has helped build a picture of me and the value I can bring to your home renovation project. If you aren’t yet ready to start and are simply browsing for ideas, feel free to take some inspiration from my portfolio and read my blog for more kitchen design tips. Hopefully you’ll find something that sparks your imagination and prompts you to take action. When you feel ready please contact me. You can drop me a line by email, give me a call or visit me in the design studio. If you need me to visit you in your home, that won’t be a problem I’d love to help.