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An interview with Strutt & Parker Partner, James Forbes

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I love working with creative people on exciting new projects! Sometimes, we require a large team to make our client’s dreams come true – and working with these new people only adds to the success of what we do. One person I have worked with on several occasions is James Forbes, Partner at Strutt & Parker LLP. James believes the ideal London property is one that feels like a ‘home with luxury’ instead of just a ‘hotel room with luxury,’ and our work together redeveloping property reflects this. To give a little insight into our process, I spoke to James about his thoughts on our work…April Russell the art of interiors

Tell us a bit about yourself, and your work.

I have worked in prime areas of the London property market since 1997, and joined Strutt & Parker in 2003.

Specialising in prime central London residential property, I work closely with many international high-net worth individuals, and deal with some of the most high-profile properties on the market. I also work with a number of London’s top developers, buying and selling some the very best and most valuable properties.

I’m based in Strutt & Parker’s flagship Sloane Street office, working alongside my five partners, and a team of 90.

april russell the art of interiors property development strutt and parker

We have collaborated on a number of projects. Can you talk us through the process of working together, from your perspective?

Importantly, each project we have worked on together has been bespoke. Every client has different requirements, meaning our involvement varies with each property.

When working on projects for developers, it’s important to be involved in project meetings from the very beginning. This includes providing feedback and agreeing on the layout, as well as advising on potential improvements, design and what the market desires.

Working together as a team is very effective in ensuring everyone has a joined-up view of the design and target market. I feel we have worked very successfully together, educating clients and ensuring the right product is created. 

What are your thoughts on the result of each project and, in hindsight, is there anything you would do differently?

The projects we have worked on have been very successful and the only changes I would make, in hindsight, would be to encourage the client to invest more financially, in order to create the perfect design.

Occasionally, projects can look slightly under-furnished when restricted by budget – when you are selling a turnkey product this will only detract from the price.

april russell the art of interiors property development strutt and parker 2

Of the projects we have worked on together, which was your favourite? And why?

My favourite project to work on was a large apartment on the first and second floor of a well-known Knightsbridge garden square. It was a ground-breaking apartment in terms of scale – the design, layout and finish were exceptional and a record price was achieved.april russell the art of interiors property development strutt and parker 3

What would your ideal project look like?

A first floor lateral apartment on a garden square is still a rarity and difficult to find in prime central London, but would be my ideal project. The market has definitely changed and evolved and purchasers no longer want the ‘hotel room’ look. A mixture of classic and modern design are the key to a successful project, and quality and tasteful interiors are also crucial.

Fashions change and London has a very varied mixture of architecture and property style so one size does not fit all.

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April Russell Insights

I want to share with you some of the most inspiring finds from the world of interior design, art, architecture and lifestyle.