We get this question all the time… Who is behind Craven House? Meet Lucy Schiel, our owner and the reason why we are so so special.
Who is Lucy?
I am a mum of 2 crazy but adorable kids, who lives locally, just around the corner from Craven House. I studied at Westminster Catering College and went on to work in conference and banqueting for David Lloyd Leisure and then ran a charter yacht for many years. I love skiing and sailing – and socialising!
When did you start Craven House? What inspired you?
I started Craven House when I was pregnant with Rose, 10 years ago. We had the chance to renovate and live in this beautiful building. As a result, I had to give up my full time job and this was a way of being able to live and work there and make use of the whole building.
Serviced apartments were in their infancy then, and people thought we were crazy and couldn’t understand the concept – look where we are now and how the industry has grown…
Who is a typical guest at Craven House? How long to they stay for?
We don’t really have a typical guest – but they can be families relocating into or out of the UK, long stay tourists, business people on long term contracts who don’t want to be restricted by hotels. We have lots of regular clients and much of our new business is on recommendation.
Tell us about the recent renovation at Craven House… what inspired you?
Fashion and tastes change and we wanted to give Craven House a complete facelift – we are so pleased with the results and Angela at Cocoon Home Styling has done a wonderful job. I very much had a strong input, but Angela helped me expand my ideas, provided an invaluable service of shopping guides and her knowledge of where to source the interesting pieces of furniture from was amazing. We only had 12 weeks to complete all 5 apartments, plus the purchase and renovation of our new apartment in Claygate – so time was of the essence, but style and quality essential.
What is your favourite room? Why?
My favourite apartment is now the Upper Garden Suite – we have managed to reuse the space in a much better way to create a wonderful family suite. The views are just to die for. It’s light and airy rooms, practical living space and use of the courtyard garden make it a very special apartment.
Who did you work with on this project?
We had a fantastic team who worked tirelessly to help getting everything done on time. Angela at Cocoon Home Styling was my right hand woman, Matt at Prestige Flooring understood my needs and timescales and delivered every tine we needed. Howdens supplied all the kitchens at a moment’s notice, sometimes even delivering items within the hour and all the other trade guys (Ryan the sparky, Ivo the plumber, Gav and Jason the painters, all worked late and at weekends where necessary), Jimmy and Warren, my lovely fantastic builders who pulled everything together. And last but not least, Lisa, our wonderful housekeeper, who unpacked box after box, cleaned and re cleaned and pulled it all together with me.
What makes CH so special?
Craven House is special – it really is a home from home – it was our family home for many years, so we wanted it to retain that feel. The building and setting speak for its self and the views over Bushy Park are breathtaking – even on a bad day!
To find our more about Craven House and its apartments, click here. To make a booking, please contact Lucy.