Thanks to everyone who came along to this year's Winter Party at the fantastic Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel in Coventry. It was a great night full of food, drink and live music - and a fantastic time was had by all.
For those of you that made a weekend of it, we hope you enjoyed a round of golf or took advantage of the hotel's other superb facilities. The Winter Party has become an important annual event in the Select Decorator calendar, and we really hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
The prestigious Decorator of the Year awards celebrate the exceptional projects that perfectly demonstrate the outstanding workmanship, professionalism and customer service of Dulux Select Decorators. The winners were rewarded with £500 Bonusbond vouchers, a trophy and a certificate. As always, the standard of entries this year was incredibly high. Many congratulations to the winning decorators - keep reading to take a closer look at their winning projects.
Interior Project up to £1,999
Aaron Davidson was the winner of the 'Interior Project up to £1,999' for his hall, stairs and landing redecoration project. Aaron was both delighted and surprised to win his award. He says: "I was admittedly hesitant to apply for the Decorator of the Year award at first because of having only been with Dulux Select for less than a year, I didn't think that I would stand a chance.
"Despite this, I have been decorating for over 15 years and thought with the experience and quality of my work I may have chance, so I decided to enter. So glad I did! My advice for anyone who has recently joined the scheme is to take full advantage of what the Dulux Academy has to offer and continue to upskill yourself. Get involved, as you only get back what you put in."
Aaron adds: "Always take pride in your work and work in someone's home as if it were your own. And, lastly, don't be afraid to enter competitions within the scheme. I am very grateful for the Select Decorator scheme and everything it has done to develop my business for the better."
Interior Project between £2,000 and £3,999
Congratulations to Trevor Mangan who won both the 'Interior Project between £2,000 - £3,999' category and the overall 2018 Decorator of the Year award. Trevor's project involved the redecoration of a large kitchen. Trevor joined Select Decorators in 1995 and this was his first entrance in the Decorator of the Year Awards, which he won. His prize consisted of: £1,500 in Bonusbond vouchers as well as a silver trophy and certificate.
Trevor says: "I would encourage anybody to enter. I didn't think I'd have a chance, I just thought I was doing what everybody else does - I didn't think I was doing anything special. If I can win, anybody could win. I'd encourage anybody to go in and have a go."
Interior Project over £4,000
Anthony Nolan followed up his win at the 2017 Decorator of the Year awards with another victory this year. Having won the 'Interior Project up to £3,000' prize last year, Anthony won this year for his redecoration project on a 19th century former infant school and parish council dwelling.
He says: "First class entertainment, company and craftsmanship all brought together on one night. For me to be honoured with Decorator of the Year category winner two years running brings home the fact that hard work and an increasingly appreciated and recognised set of skills can pay off not only for the customer, but also the decorator who takes great pride in his work. Many thanks, proud winner."
Congratulations to Nick Dodge who won this year's 'Exterior Project' category for his work on four neighbouring properties in a small Devon village.
Nick says: "With a premier quality brand like Dulux, being a Select Decorator gives new customers the confidence that they have chosen someone with equal service and quality to that of the iconic product. To win an award for the work only highlights this further and can only be a positive thing which potential customers will find reassuring.
"It's great to win an award for fantastic work; it makes all the effort and hard work worth it and the feeling of appreciation and recognition for what you have achieved. It was fantastic that on the night other Dulux Select members came up to chat, congratulate and shake hands."
Nick adds: "The evening party was a fabulous evening... so much effort had been made by the Dulux team, decorating the room to look and feel great. Each of the presenters did a great job, made it fun and also made it interesting hearing about everyone's projects and their great accolades."
Recognising outstanding customer experience
For over 20 years the Dulux Select Decorators Scheme has continued to professionalise the industry. At the Winter Party we made a special mention of one of our Dulux Select Decorators who went above and beyond in terms of customer experience. Last year we received a complaint from a homeowner regarding the workmanship of a previous Dulux Select Decorator. The homeowner was very disappointed and, as such, the homeowner's faith in the Select Decorator scheme was tarnished.
Working to resolve this complaint the Select Decorator, Paul Bannister, tackled this job head-on, listening to the homeowner and putting the homeowner's mind at ease. The house has now been completed and the homeowner could not be happier. These comments direct from the homeowner speak for themselves:
"Paul has been amazing; his dedication skill and professionalism is accompanied by his commitment to produce the best possible service and finished product he can. Finally, the house has now been turned back into a home, a living space to enjoy and be proud of. In fact, it feels like the home has been regenerated with a new vibrant spirit within it. Sincerest thanks are simply not enough to express how much we owe appreciate what Paul has done."
Paul's work was acknowledged by the judges, and he took home a certificate for his efforts.
Paul says: "This was my first year attending. It's a great way to meet the other Select Decorators and a chance to celebrate all our hard work with the awards. I'd recommend everyone attend as it's a great evening."