Former RAF pilot Theo Stavrinides launched Out & About Carpets in Altrincham two years ago - and it’s since gone from strength to strength.
We caught up with him to find out how he'd managed to make his business such a local success story.
AT: You launched your business in July 2021 - how has it gone since?
Theo Stavrinides: It’s gone really well and we’ve taken on some pretty big projects since then. We mainly do residential and domestic work - we branched out into commercial work last year but missed the intimacy you get with clients. I prefer working with everyday people.
AT: Can you remind people what Out and About Carpets is all about?
TS: We’re a choose at home flooring service. Essentially we’re a moving shop - instead of coming into a showroom, we’ll come to your home and let you see the product in natural lighting conditions. There’s a big difference between the light in a showroom and the light in your home. Also, as soon as you step into a home and start talking to a client, you get much more of an idea about what they actually need and what their vision is. We can then provide a floor covering to suit, whether that’s carpet, vinyl or laminate.
AT: What trends are you seeing in the carpet market at the moment?
TS: A year or so ago there was a big Instagram-led trend for greys, but that’s fading now. People are going for more of a cross between grey and beige, or greige, as someone said to me! It’s a lot softer on the eye and brings more warmth to the home.
AT: What’s the most important thing that people should remember when buying a new carpet or floor covering?
TS: Something that is regularly overlooked is the underlay - it’s so important. The right underlay is going to give you the best feel and appearance. A carpet can feel lovely when you first put it down, but you can soon get something called flattening, simply caused by gravity. A good underlay will keep your carpet looking its best for longer.
AT: What’s popular design or style-wise at the moment?
TS: A herringbone luxury vinyl tile is very popular, and we can offer different designs and takes on this. We can add design strips into the flooring to make it unique for the client, and can also put different patterns in. It’s great because it’s also very hard-wearing as it’s designed for heavy commercial use. For people who want more of a wood feel, a high-end laminate is a great and much cheaper option, especially in high-footfall areas of the house.
Giving the squeeze on people’s pockets at the moment, denser and thicker carpets are also popular at the moment as they help to retain the heat in the house. It may only make 1% difference to your energy bill, but it does help.
AT: What sort of price can people expect to pay for a new carpet at the moment?
Entry-level carpets - perfect if you’re a first-time buyer or moving home - can range from £15/sq metre, going up to around £40/sq metre. It can make more long-term sense to go for a more expensive wool carpet as they do last longer - my grandparents have one that they’ve had since the 1970s!
AT: Where are your customers located?
TS: Most of them are in the Altrincham and Broadheath area, but we’re now seeing more enquiries from Timperley and Hale. Most customers are between the ages of 30 and 50, usually families. We have five fitting teams that we subcontract to - the best fitters out there are all now contractors. I value their time and skill, and all our fitters are certified and insured.
To book an appointment with Out & About Carpets, visit the booking page of their website at outandaboutcarpets.co.uk, or you can simply call 07867 489810.