‘Values’ for Money

IMG_2837Have you ever heard someone (usually my dad) say that something is only ever worth what someone is willing to pay for it? Value is a funny thing as we all value different things! So what happens when you put a price on the way a company is run & a service is delivered, rather than solely on the service itself?

Last Christmas I was waiting for a parcel to be delivered. Amazon had apparently dispatched it to my house but as I was not the purchaser, I didn’t have the tracking details. It arrived when I was out but the delivery guy helpfully left the huge squishy bundle outside by the bins with a note through the door explaining where it was. When I arrived home, I was questioned about what I had bought that was so big and squashy. So instead of revealing the true contents I decided to have a bit of fun. I explained that I had received something that I had been waiting eagerly for, something made from the finest feathers. Now I had been jokingly lusting after an obscenely expensive goose-down coat for Christmas, and my audience clearly thought I had given in and bought myself one, the week before Christmas. Horrified looks were exchanged in the hallway. It was now clear that I had been bought something similar and warm for Christmas. The atmosphere changed instantly and I realised that I had just, unwittingly, spoilt my own Christmas surprise. You can imagine the confusion then,  when I then unwrapped the delivery to reveal the contents to be a brand new single duvet that a client had sent me for the holiday rental property that we service for them. There was no coat but the game had already been given away, and so there was no ‘surprise’ on Christmas morning for me either when I unwrapped a rather lovely and warm body warmer.

So exactly why was a client sending me items of bedding to me in the post? Well, the client lives part of the year outside of the UK and we like to ensure that as a housekeeping service we make our best effort to understand and appreciate the customers needs in every situation. The client was having a tough time with the property in that a previous occupant had left it in a undesirable state and we were tasked with turning it around in time for the festive guests arriving. We really felt that it was important to go that little bit above and beyond to ensure the incoming guests were not disappointed with their festive ‘digs’, thinking it would spoil their celebrations.

Its not just bedding that has us in a spin! We have been known to delay deep cleans so that our client could wait for the weather to break in order to get their seedlings off their dining room floor and into the garden (and the resultant potatoes were divine). We have helped clients with crosswords, taken recycling to the waste recycling centre (we were going past), left bubbly in a house that we ‘trasnformed’ as a post honeymoon surprise and sent flowers to those in need. This is part of our values based approach, which you can learn more about here. I am sure that you have heard other organisations mention having a code of values but here at Bright and Beautiful we believe in integrating these values into the way we run our business. They are just our way of life, our identity I guess, and the way we ensure we maintain our brand reputation by delivering our service with respect, integrity and customer focus. Of course, we don’t always get it right but we strive to live by our code of values whilst having fun in the process. If you are looking for a housekeeping service with a strong values, drop us a line here and we will get in touch with you.


BRILLIANT BEDDING TIPS:

  1. Pillow Talk – A common discussion topic when we train our professional housekeepers is around whether a pillow should be tucked in or placed on top of the duvet. We find that pillows ‘stood up’ on top of the duvet offer a more contemporary look.
  2. We believe that the best dressed beds are all down to the detail. Ensuring the pillow buttons, edging or openings are facing away from the middle of the bed can make all the difference.
  3. Layering is very easy way to change up your bedroom look without having to spend lots on a whole new set of linen. Try adding a throw, cushions or even a bedspread to change the overall appearance of your boudoir.
  4. For a really crisp and precise finish, you can’t beat the old school ‘hospital corners’ approach with a flat sheet. This is a great way to make your guests feel like you have really gone ‘all out’ for them. Just click on the short video here for a masterclass.

 

Life in Pictures

Pink camera

Yesterday, July 17th, was ‘World Emoji Day. Love them or hate them, it seems emoticons & emojis are here to stay.

Having originated from the Japanese market and adopted the world over after Apple introduced an ‘emoji keyboard’, even my 90 year old grandma is quick to comment on the smiley faces etc. when we share messages from my cousin in Canada. But are we getting lazy with the ability to click ‘like’ on a social media post rather than engage in a more meaningful way? Or is just a quick ‘like’ enough to let someone know you have spent a few minutes on something that is important to them? Either way, it seems that we have become a much more visual community, based on the popularity of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat.

We have a client who often greets our team at the door wearing full suit attire on their upper body and lounge wear on their bottom half, complete with novelty slippers. The client is a renowned professional, and spends a lot of the time (when we are around) on conference calls to various worldwide agencies, unbeknown to their audience, clad in bright fleecey pyjama bottoms with a cat on their knee. Our client isn’t changing reality, they are still wearing a suit (in part) but just modifying their audiences perception, or providing the image that they expect to see.

You might have heard of the instagrammers hiring private jets for little over 10 minutes in order to take the all important photo to post showing their supposed Champagne lifestyle. Most of us have at one point or other arranged the table of drinks or added a filter to make our social media post look a little more appealing. However, the picture of the cocktail doesn’t always tell the full story. The story that starts with the blisters on your heels after you walked for miles because the train you should have caught was cancelled, and then getting soaked when a taxi drove through the puddle as you waited to cross the road and receiving a painful elbow in the ribs as you hustled in the queue at the bar to be served your cocktail. We just see the cocktail. The exotic-looking-fun-time-with-friends-in-a-bar-in-Manchester-on-a-week-night cocktail. We all know that looks can be deceiving but by predominantly sharing the glossy, glittery, filtered images are we slowly filtering out ‘real life’?

At Bright & Beautiful home, part and parcel of our services is the presentation and dressing of our clients homes. Our ‘hotel feel’ finishing touches means that our clients are greeted with the ‘wow’ factor when they arrive home, and not just a sparkling clean house. Luckily, there isn’t a filter needed for this but my blog musings have made me wonder whether we are promoting this fake version of reality by providing the the ‘hotel feel’. I know that this is not really the case though. We are providing a service that is real. The property is clean and the cushions are arranged in a way that the client may very well have done them selves if they had enough time to devote to this. There is not way to put a filter on the feeling you get when you walk into your Bright and Beautiful home. This is our reality.

So perhaps,as a community, we do ‘over share’. My grandma certainly wouldn’t have taken a picture of her bed on a camera, sent the film off to Super Snaps for processing and a week later shown her friends her 6×4’s of her bedroom, back in the day. Imagine if every significant life event still required a formal announcement being sent to the local paper. ‘Births, deaths, marriages & ‘in a relationship with…’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? It is very easy now though to snap a picture, add an emoji and post it on social media or send as a direct message in a matter of seconds. I guess it is only ‘over sharing’ if the recipient is not interested or feels that there is too much information being offered, and clearly for some of our clients friends, its a welcome interruption to their day. (We have won clients through social media and picture sharing). For us, it really is all about the picture perfect home.  As for our clients, we will encourage every hashtag, share, like, recommendation, review and post because without our clients, we would definitely have FOMO.


Decorate like a Designer.

Decorating a room can be so exciting until you have to stop dreaming and narrow down your ideas. It can get even more tricky when you start to make decisions and big purchases. Try following these simple tips below to channel your inner Kelly [Hoppen] or Lawrence [Llewellyn-Bowen]:

1. Before you start decorating, plan your room using a mood board by collecting pictures of items, colours and fabrics that you like to help you keep on track. This can be so easy using an electronic mood board on Pinterest or Houzzz website/app.
2. When arranging items out on display, try grouping them in odd numbers as it is more pleasing to the eye.
3. Avoid excess matching of colours for a more natural, relaxed look. Instead, try using colour themes. A few similar shades of the same colour adds a bit of variation to the room whilst avoiding a very formal look. If your feeling a little daring, why not brighten up a neutral scheme by adding a bright pop of colour in the form of a couple of statement pieces of furniture or artwork. This week I have seen a few brightly coloured Chesterfield sofas doing exactly this, incredibly well!
4. When choosing key pieces of furniture, think about practicalities such as how you will clean that beautiful but intricate chandelier you have your heart set on, or a whether a mirrored tv stand will drive your crazy when it is covered in sticky finger marks or puppy wet nose smudges.
5. If you have too many lotions and potions in your bathroom or on your dressing table, invest in some extra storage to draw the eye away from clutter and focus on the areas you do want to give attention to. Stand at the door to the room and see what you notice first, if its a pile of clutter then you perhaps need to find another home for it.

If you are interested in our picture perfect finishing touches, why not book a quote and see what we can achieve in your home.