Having studied Interior Design myself, today’s post is close to my heart. Wentworth Heritage happens to be the result of one woman’s epic journey of all things historic and interiors. Amanda Dodds-Hooson has just launched her multifaceted company offering you everything from heritage interior design courses, bespoke design services and a wonderful vintage emporium to shop from. If you happen to have a love of historic buildings or maybe you own a listed property, you will definitely want to read on for sure.
Wentworth Heritage Design Solutions For Historic Properties – A Multi-Service Heritage Business
There’s Interior Design and then there is Heritage Interior Design. There’s simply no comparison between the two. It’s a whole different world and one that is hugely important not only in the UK but around the world. Wentworth Heritage is the result of Amanda’s passion and dedication to all things heritage and the preservation of our historic built environment.
I’m delighted to say I’ve followed Amanda’s design journey since studying interiors myself. You will never ever met a person so passionate and obsessed as she is about heritage, interiors and design. Amanda lives and breathes every aspect of her passion. She’s even been known to go without sleep for days to get the job done! Heritage design is literally in her blood. So I wasn’t the least bit surprised when Amanda reached out to tell me she had set up Wentworth Heritage. It was definitely meant to be.
Any small businesses success is largely driven by the person/people behind it and more importantly why they set it up in the first place. With this in mind, I thought I’d introduce and tell you a little bit more about this wonderful lady living her dream.
Fulfilling A Life-Long Dream
There are some people in life that are destined to fulfil their dreams and fly with them. For Amanda, that was to become a fully-fledged, qualified heritage designer. She has achieved more than any other designer in her specialist field that I know of. So it comes as no surprise that her love affair began at a young age.
As a young and overly curious child, she can distinctly remember being entranced by ‘old’ buildings, caught up in a fantasy land of medieval castles and handsome princes. Her preference to take in and marvel at architectural delights rather than play on the beach was perhaps the beginning of her life long love affair with historical buildings.
I am frequently asked to clarify my obsession with heritage design and the preservation of the historic built environment. My swift response is always the same “Do you have a couple of days to spare?” In short, I view each of the above as a whole. I look at the highs and lows, the positives and the negatives, the good bits and the bad. These points work together to explain my overall view of the UK’s historic environment and collectively, they fuel my passion for the subject.Amanda Dodds-Hooson – Wentworth Heritage
Thirty-Seven Renovations and Counting!
Having left home at eighteen, Amanda purchased her first Victorian property. From there on in, she threw herself into a world of restoration and renovation. A total of 37 period properties were renovated by her and all whilst raising a family and working. It was only at the tender age of 47, that she decided it was time to fulfil her dream of becoming a certified professional in the field of heritage design.
Heritage Interior Design Stardom
An intense seven-year education commenced in heritage interior design. Starting with a Diploma and finishing with an MA. Amanda’s life became seven consecutive years of tears, tantrums, lows, and yet incredibly high highs along the way, an utter rollercoaster of a ride. Of course, Amanda wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, it has helped shape the person she is today.
Last year, Amanda was awarded her Master of Arts degree with Distinction. Considering she ended up having to write her own Heritage Design MA course, is testament to her dedication. It took her two whole years to complete because of this. Not surprisingly, Amanda also won the Student of the Year Award at her graduation ceremony.
It is rumoured that you slow down as you get older which in my case is utter nonsense as I am busier now than I have ever been! I am currently engaged in the administrative processes that are an essential requirement for the development of multiple work-related ventures. Try saying that sentence after a couple of glasses of red wine!Amanda Dodds-Hooson – Wentworth Heritage
Wentworth Heritage Design
Wentworth Heritage is the result of Amanda’s life long achievements in heritage and design. A multi-service heritage design business which incorporates Wentworth Heritage School of Design, Wentworth Heritage Interiors and Wentworth Heritage Vintage Home & Fashion Emporium.
Owned and operated by Amanda, Wentworth Heritage is based in Lockley Wood, Shropshire. Its ethos is to ensure high standards of working practice and problem-solving expertise within the specialist design sector of the historic built environment.
Amanda is wholly committed and currently specialises in project concept design and evolving design-based educational services within the heritage industry in the UK. She is currently working on an expansion project to offer heritage design educational services to Europe and beyond.
The Evolvement of Wentworth Heritage
For Amanda, the idea of Wentworth Heritage began several years ago. Years of researching had Amanda increasingly concerned by the general lack of information that was available to both student and Listed property owner alike.
The most crucial aspect of her heritage study and advisory work was in addressing the issues concerning the preservation of the UK’s historic built environment.
Preservation Is Key!
Preservation is vital to safeguarding our precarious architectural antiquities. Sadly, there is an ever-present threat to the survival of these traditional structures. Conservation and maintenance of listed buildings are constantly failed by unsympathetic owners. This appears to be down to an increasing number of rogue developers. And is corroborated by the number of neglected Listed properties that are being placed on the heritage ‘At Risk’ register.
Sympathetic restoration can assist in the promotion of social advantage by enabling a heritage asset to evolve into a historic icon, one that is synonymous with a collective desire for cultural identity within a community. It creates a nostalgic link to the past, which in turn promotes an intrinsic mutual need to safeguard that icon for the future.
Sadly, the number of recorded cases concerning crimes against historic property is still rising. This is mainly due to rogue developers. Unfortunately, these crimes would appear to be normal working practice. Fortunately, media coverage of successful prosecutions for such crimes continues to highlight the scale of the problem and also bring it to public attention. Thankfully this has created a positive growing awareness of the importance of our historical buildings and has promoted a rise in public campaigns against rogue developers. So armed with thirty years worth of heritage renovation experience, together with seven years of intense education in heritage design-related subjects, Amanda deliberated over on how she could make a bigger impact in the field of heritage design.
The findings of Amanda’s final MA research report had further increased her frustrations. Amanda recognised the need to continue to address the associated problems and that she could do this by offering a wider range of services within this complex industry.
Turning Wentworth Heritage Into A Reality
Amanda decided to develop a multi-service business under the Wentworth Heritage umbrella. One of her brilliant initial ideas was to expand on heritage design education and to offer a ‘taste’ of what the subject held, a glimpse of what could be expected if one wished to go into further education in the subject. Wentworth Heritage was always destined to become a multi-service business.
Wentworth Heritage School of Design
There’s no doubt about it, further education can be expensive. To start a degree without any prior knowledge of the subject is totally unacceptable for any student.
At the same time, she acknowledged her own personal desire to retain a foothold in the actual design side, which is where the bespoke design service came into being.
The idea of introducing specialist courses stemmed from Amanda’s own personal experiences as a heritage student. She had identified a rapidly declining interest of fellow design students. Having witnessed class sizes dwindling, and having researched and discussed with several former students, Amanda quickly established that there was a consistent theme in their critique. The majority of students considered that there was far too much academic work. Perhaps more tellingly, most commented that they had abandoned the course as it was not what they thought they had signed up for! She also discovered that the increasingly difficult academic input had rapidly diminished their overall interest in the subject.
Wentworth Heritage’s Taster Courses In Heritage Design
Distance learning can be hard and I say that from personal experience. This way of learning isn’t for everyone but it does have it’s advantages. Mainly you get to fit your studies around other commitments such as work or family life. To ensure that further education into Heritage Design is for you, Amanda has created two unique heritage taster courses. One practical and the other academic.
Both courses are designed to help promote new interest in heritage interior design study. Offering a balanced but comprehensive insight into the field of heritage design study. They explore a broad spectrum of heritage design topics that a student could expect to face should they decide to continue with further education into this unique and fascinating field of study.
These taster courses are perfect for those considering possibly working within the industry as well as heritage enthusiasts alike. And if you happen to have a heritage based business, they’ll be helpful in enabling future employees with limited knowledge insight into the working practices of heritage-based design.
What’s notable is that Wentworth’s courses are really flexible. Students can work through them at their own pace. Delivered digitally and all completed work submitted digitally, making this a true distance learning experience. Each module will require some input in the form of design-based or written assignments which will be marked and accompanied with constructive feedback. The prime benefit of their courses is that all students will receive full support from Wentworth Heritage School of Design. Priding themselves on providing practical and straightforward assistance in problem-solving.
Wentworth Heritage School of Design is currently in the latter stages of testing the academic-based course with the planned launch of their courses in early March 2020. These will become available worldwide too! Until the launch of the courses, there is a specific contact form available on the website should any potential student require further information.
Wentworth Heritage Bespoke Design Services
At Wentworth Heritage Interiors, their inherent heritage values have been forged by combining their passion, empathy and respect for the UK’s magnificent historic built environment. What’s great is they offer a range of bespoke design options that are tailored to meet their client’s requirements. Finding the best design solutions for historic buildings and their often restrictive covenants.
The design services on offer help alleviate any predetermined concerns associated with redesigning a Grade Listed property.
Importantly, Wentworth Heritage design services ensure each design concept integrates the client’s personality and lifestyles. Ultimately, research is the key element of the services that they provide. One of which they’re immensely proud of especially when it comes to Listed buildings.
Their highly qualified and dedicated research team strive to ensure that any Listed property and its historical past is wholly and correctly interpreted. More importantly, to Wentworth Heritage, the size of any potential project is irrelevant as they consider all historic buildings to be of equal importance.
We offer a bespoke concept design service to meet the requirements of the discerning custodians of our unique stock of Grade Listed and period property here in the UK.Wentworth Heritage Interiors
Wentworth Heritage’s Design Services…
There’s a vast range of design services on offer. Including a series of bespoke design concept packages. There’s also an online service incorporating a range of solutions including design briefs, spatial planning, colour consultation, technical drawing packs, sourcing of goods and a range of visual aids including presentation boards and rendered 3 D model applications.
As well as their online services Wentworth Heritage offer an on-site service too. The latter offers a wider range of design solutions including full site surveys, advisory meetings, budget planning and specification documents. There’s also a turn-key solution which offers full project management too.
Wentworth Heritage Vintage Home & FashionEmporium
Finally, the idea of the vintage home & fashion emporium was as much about Amanda satisfying her life long love affair with all things vintage. With a long association trading in vintage and vintage style items, Amanda discovered that there were many people with a similar mindset.
I have a long and varied history in the trading of vintage style home and fashion items, especially during my thirty years of period building renovation. I genuinely wanted to share my love of vintage homeware, so during the initial planning stages of the business, I basically decided to treat myself and expand on my sales side to include the emporium.Amanda Dodds-Hooson – Wentworth Heritage
You’ll find a wide range of vintage-inspired goods. From artisan-made studio pottery and kitchenware to Boho inspired handbags and scarves. There’s also a selection of pre-loved vintage and vintage style goods. Ranging from the beautiful and elegant to the downright quirky. Each item has been meticulously sourced and selected from the UK and Europe.
Wentworth Heritage Blog
If you’re a lover of historic buildings and have an interest in heritage design, you may also want to check out the blog which is located on Wentworth’s website. Amanda is not only in the throes of setting up this fascinating multi-service business but also operates an advisory service for Listed building queries. In addition to this, there is constant research she undertakes in the field of heritage design. Keeping her abreast with changes to Listing rules and regulations and also in preparation for her PhD plan. All of which you can follow on Wentworth Heritage’s blog.
Wentworth Heritage – Design Solutions For Historic Properties – A Multi-Service Heritage Business
I hope you’ve found today’s post useful especially if you’ve been wanting to fulfil that dream of becoming a Heritage Interior Designer or maybe you’ve been on the look out for a design service for your listed building. Either way, Wentworth Heritage is definitely one to consider! If not, there’s always the emporium to explore which is where I’m heading right now.
Until next time, thanks for stopping by!