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Having trained as an interior designer, Toby Butterworth started his own painting and decorating business 10 years ago. Working across the South Hams on both commercial and domestic properties, his background and experience gives him a uniquely detailed approach that earns him the trust and repeat custom of his clients.
Tell us a bit about the background to your business…
I had been working in interior design for 10 years, doing mostly office-based work when I got to the point where I wanted to do something more practical. I was living in London at the time and I enrolled on a painting and decorating course, which led me to work with a shop fitting company before starting out on my own.
I went on to do more training in skills such as tiling and wallpapering and built up my business before relocating to Totnes, where it has continued to go from strength to strength, working across the South Hams and beyond on projects of all sizes.
What did you do before Butterworth Decorators?
As mentioned, before becoming a decorator, I had been working in interior design, mostly doing floor plans and show homes for developers in South London. The relocation to Devon came about due to having family in Kingsbridge and having been a visitor to the area for most of my life. I wanted a better quality of life for my family and that’s what brought me to the South Hams.
It’s mostly domestic work, but sometimes I do work at hotels, pubs, rental properties and schools. That’s everything from painting to tiling and wallpapering, from single rooms to whole houses, interior and exterior. It’s quite varied work, ranging from new builds to old farmhouses and barn conversions - they all have different requirements. For example, the plaster is different in older properties. I was at a 500 year old farmhouse recently, working with the original lime plaster which requires different paints and processes to a newer property. You have to be sensitive to the types of buildings you’re working with and that’s something I have plenty of experience of.
I have one other full-time employee who works with me, but if we do bigger work then I have a network of trusted contractors I can call on as well. I have been working for myself for 10 years now and I am pleased to say we’re always booked up a couple of months in advance.
People are always impressed with the quality of the work and the attention to detail, our tidiness and punctuality. Often they’ve had a bad experience in the past with traders turning up late or being messy, but I can always make recommendations for other trusted tradesmen such as plasterers and carpenters. Often clients also aren’t sure which skills they need and what they need to do, especially with older properties, and that’s something I can offer advice on.
I would like to expand a little bit more, but not too much because I wouldn’t want to lose control of the quality of the work. A little more work with boutique hotels in addition to the domestic work we do would be just perfect.
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