A family-run business based in Cheltenham, Barrington Painter and Decorators specialises in heritage properties, offering an expert service across the Cotswolds and beyond.
Discussing Barrington’s experience in the industry, current décor trends, and prestigious projects, company owner Jon Hatley talks to SoGlos in this insightful interview.
Can you tell SoGlos readers about the business’ background and history?
We’re a family-run fine quality interior and exterior decorating company based in Cheltenham, covering the Cotswolds and surrounding areas. Our roots in the decorating and building industry date back to 1967 and today we operate as a small team of focused tradesmen. We’re specialists in period property decoration and maintenance.
What’s your role in the business?
My role is to manage the day to day running of the company. Those responsibilities include liaising with our clients, managing our projects successfully, and developing the business.
I’m also very hands on with the decorating and building work. I’m trained in traditional cornice restoration which I personally find very satisfying.
What are the different services that Barrington offers?
Over the years we have established an accomplished set of specialist skills and services. These include:
Interior and exterior decorating, traditional building services, hand painted kitchens and furniture, specialist restoration and preservation techniques, and high-end decorative Italian finishes.
We’ve been working with heritage buildings for a long time; we understand the specialist requirements demanded by such properties and we’re a company who genuinely cares about our English heritage.
What sets the business apart from its competitors?
We’ve been working with heritage buildings for a long time and are specialists within the industry. We understand the specialist requirements demanded by such properties and we’re a company who genuinely cares about our English heritage. I’d say that is the main thing that sets us apart.
Also, as you can see, we offer a wide range of services. We can encompass many aspects of a project and manage the whole job from start to finish. For example, plaster repairs, carpentry and joinery, or cast-iron gutter repairs. We can react to evolving projects, without delay. We have a huge amount of experience in the building industry as well as the decorating.
What’s the most important thing to consider when embarking on a home renovation project?
Getting hold of the right tradespeople is very important, so ask around. It’s an old one, but ‘get references’, ask the right questions and ask if they have successfully completed any similar projects to yours.
Although cost is naturally going to be a very important factor in your decision making, don’t necessarily be drawn to the cheapest quote. You generally do get what you pay for in this industry. In many cases the tradesman will often base his/her price on the time he/she expects the project to take.
So, if one price comes back far cheaper than others, the tradesmen is likely going to need to get the job done quickly! In areas of the renovation where there is a level of finish, you should be more cautious.
Is it nice to work on both period and listed restoration and modern redecoration projects?
It’s a great mix. As a company and individually we each have a genuine interest in our heritage buildings. Walking into a room that has perhaps been neglected for a few years and after bit of love and care, walking out of it, restored to its former glory, is extremely satisfying.
It’s also fun putting modern twists on heritage style rooms, preserving the unique character of the property but with perhaps some modern colours and themes thrown in. Done well, the results can be fantastic.
Modern redecorations are also enjoyable. The innovative ways people are starting to design their properties is brilliant and we love being a part of it. We love our jobs!!
Which is more challenging?
That’s an easy one. Heritage properties by far, but that’s what we love about them. With heritage properties you must have strong knowledge, and truly care about what you are doing. We regularly attend conferences to top up our knowledge.
What are the main things to consider when working with period properties?
You have to consider far more things. For example, the breathability of the structure, working with lime plasterwork and potentially working with old hazardous surfaces such a lead paints. You are constantly tested and no house is the same.
You never really know what you’re going to run into with a heritage property, and it’s important you can react and adapt to situations.
Why is so important to draw on specialist knowledge when working on listed buildings?
A lot of elements of old buildings can be quite fragile and require specialist expertise when considering a repair. Work such as the cleaning of brickwork or stonework, and also getting the right colour themes to suit your property.
The innovative ways people are starting to design their properties is brilliant and we love being a part of it. We love our jobs!
What are the biggest mistakes that people make?
With older buildings it’s very difficult to keep to a strict time schedule. Be prepared for the unexpected and be realistic with your time frames. The time things can take is often underestimated.
With older properties especially, some aspects cannot be rushed in order to give it the specialist care the building demands. The occasional slow pace of the craftsmen will often be the difference between a good job and an excellent job.
Have you noticed any trends that are particularly popular with homeowners?
The days of magnolia throughout are over! People are much more creative with their interiors these days. I wouldn’t say there is a particular trend with styles at the moment.
I believe there’s been an influence of social media with Pinterest and Instagram. People are sharing their ideas and becoming very stylish, putting their own unique stamp on things. Its good and exciting for us.
Do you have a favourite project that you’ve worked on?
We recently completed the refreshment of the prestigious Cecily Hill Gates in Cirencester Park. They are the main gates into the great park are a main feature for the town of Cirencester. It’s fair to say we felt the pressure on this one and the eyes were certainly on us.
Repairs were made to the cast iron work and re-painted to match the original finish. The most important aspect of the job was to thoroughly clean the gates prior to any other works taking place. This process took longer than all other aspects put together. It was crucial to the longevity of the restoration job.
We completed the job on time to an exceptionally high standard. As a result, we received very high praise from the public and the Bathurst Estate.
For more information visit barringtonpainting.co.uk directly.