Alberto Webster and Sally Blackshaw for Essential magazine
Essential Magazine published an interview with Sally Blackshaw (Founder of Blackshaw Interior Design) and Alberto Webster (CEO of Blackshaw Estates) on the launch of Blackshaw Estates, the company is now covering the Real Estate sector too.
Sally Blackshaw has been working in interior design ever since she moved to Marbella in 2000. In over 20 years of styling luxury homes and managing renovation projects, first with Fendi and since 2007 through her own company, Blackshaw Interior Design, she has built up an international client base of homebuyers and investors who rely on her local knowledge and organisational skills as well as her creative design flair. This soon created an evolution from interior design commissions by clients who had bought Marbella homes to coordinating entire renovation projects, originally for homebuyers but later also on behalf of investors.
“In the process, the business evolved two branches,” says Sally, “one focused on interior styling and the other on the project management of renovation work, executed through us from concept to completion and final furnishing.” She also coordinated landscaping, and built up a team of trusted professionals in fields ranging from construction and engineering, lighting and home automation to architecture and engineering. “We’re at the Marbella Town Hall’s Urbanismo department twice a week submitting new designs for approval, so we are very experienced with all the requirements involved in construction and renovation work.”
Through the contacts and methodologies established this way, Sally and her team can provide added value to their clients, as they know how to get projects approved faster and more efficiently. “This fact, along with our ability to transform older properties in good locations into wonderful modern homes, attracted investors to work with us, and together we have collaborated on a rather impressive portfolio of completed projects, where we went from initial concept and study all the way through design and construction to decoration, finishing and ultimately marketing and sales. The increasing involvement with the selling process has now given birth to Blackshaw Estates.”
AN INTEGRATED SERVICE
“A growing number of investors and homeowners were approaching us to redecorate and renovate existing properties for them, property developers were commissioning us to design the interiors of their show homes and real estate agents were asking us for input on how best to present homes for sale. As a result, we also started to become more closely involved in the marketing and sales process,” says Sally. “It reached a point where interior design, project management and property brokerage had already become an integrated part of the business we were operating, so it made sense to create specialist divisions, and this is how Blackshaw Estates was founded.”
Sally knew she had the ideal partner in Alberto Webster, who as the director of Blackshaw Estates, blends the energy of youth with a great deal of experience in Marbella real estate, having run property companies before. “It’s an industry with its own idiosyncrasies,” says Alberto, “and not the one to be in if you’re not a people person and don’t enjoy getting to know the market inside out.” Fortunately, he is very good at both, and applies the well-known Blackshaw touch to a real estate arm that fits seamlessly into the existing operation. “The linkages between property purchase, decoration, renovation and reselling are so strong that they form the foundations of our new company,” says Sally.
She coordinates the flow between the various divisions that now make up the Blackshaw group. “We complement one another very well, either by providing homebuyers with a highly creative and experienced decoration and renovation service, by helping investors achieve their goals through home redevelopment and sale, or by assisting developers with the look and feel of their projects’ interior styling. We naturally also help people to source properties that are interesting for modernisation and/or renovation, be it for their own use, to optimise rentals, or to sell on at a profit.”
FROM PURCHASE TO DECORATION
Like its interior design division, Blackshaw Estates covers the entire coast but focuses especially upon the Marbella area, most specifically high-end residential addresses such as the Golden Mile, Sierra Blanca, Puerto Banús, Nueva Andalucía and also La Zagaleta and El Madroñal. “Our expertise is the luxury segment, and this can also include quality properties in Marbella East and the Estepona area, as well as downtown Marbella and the historic centre,” adds Alberto, who relishes sourcing older properties in a top location that are ideal for renovation and transformation into a modern home, just as many of the newer homes he lists are upgraded for selling, or newly purchased ones decorated by Sally and her team.
“Few people combine this range of interlinked services, but it’s a pretty logical one if you think about it, and perfect for the resale market, though of course we also decorate and sell in new developments. In either field, Alberto is the go-to person thanks to his detailed knowledge of the market and his ability to produce results.”
It does make sense, especially as Sally and Alberto are experts in adding value to a Marbella property, be it to aid the selling and/or investment process, or simply to create a beautiful living environment for new homeowners. “Blackshaw is a coming together of two companies with their own specialisations that fit together very well, and therein lies the (added) value proposition we can offer homeowners and investors alike.”