For a number of years I worked freelance managing boutique furniture and soft furnishing stores. I was genuinely interested in the rooms customers were trying to furnish. Their light, age, location, features, current furnishings; in sourcing the product they were looking for.

But my sales technique was simple, it was confident and assured. Agree with the customer’s choice and reaffirm it by casually mentioning ‘it is actually the sofa/ console table/ bedroom chest [you get the idea] that I have at home’.

No, it’s not immoral! Humans are sheep and it is no bad thing, it is the reason the best travel advice you will ever hear is ‘do as the locals do’. This mentality requires a little reassurance to solidify a decision. In-decision was just too painful to witness. People intrinsically know what they want, they just didn’t trust their instinct because these purchases were large. Boutique stores are unique, but not cheap.

My ‘choices’ constantly amused colleagues and eventually became known as ‘The Fantasy Flat’. The flat that I would one day own and fill with my vast selection of products. In truth, only a lottery win would have paid for the 98 living rooms required to house ‘my’ choices! But I don’t need a lotto win because as fate would have it I have secured a steal thanks to the depleted housing market.

I is actually, me and my other half and no Cocker Spaniel because I am not allowed. Come, follow the renovation of a 1881 main door, top floor Victorian flat on a shoestring…and watch this space for the Spaniel.