When did you decide you wanted a career in interior design?
I came to interior design after practicing architecture for a number of years. I always loved interiors – I loved visiting homes and museums that offered an insight into someone’s life, a moment in history, a place in time – but thought they were too fun to make a job out of it!
Tells us about the first project you ever designed?
My parents’ kitchen when I was an architecture student. They were the most difficult clients! But they still love the kitchen.
You recently created a bespoke room as part of the Decorated Spaces feature as the House & Garden Festival. Would you tell us about the space and how to achieve a harmonious design scheme that unique to the individual?
I wanted to create a vibrant colourful scheme within the sitting room and used a palette derived from nature, anchored by statement furniture and bold contemporary art. The colours of a pink robin inspired the fuchsia grasscloth wallpaper that sat alongside the dark grey woodwork painting in Mylands stunning Oratory. The entrance was defined by contemporary columns and the centrepiece was the sofa which was inspired by an iconic David Hockney painting. The reclaimed timber floor was a textural contrast to the silky, colourful graphic pattern of the rug in the room.
The showstopper was the sumptuous sofa I created following an inspiring trip to Tate Britain. I fell in love with this Hockney painting which inspired me to create a new interpretation upholstered in a rich blue velvet, in contrast to the femininity of the sofa.
Do you have a design hero who influences your work?
I have so many! I admire designers who take chances and create unique spaces. Today I admire Peter Marino and from the past Billy Baldwin and Maison Jansen.
Tell us about your design process, and what makes your style and service so special?
We always approach designs with a good understanding of balance and proportion. We have great relationships with our suppliers and know quality is vitally important to the final result. My ideas are a response to the lives of my clients; I listen, to understand their vision for their home, their tastes and their needs. The first meeting is vital; it’s an opportunity to find out about their family, their daily routine, their favourite hotels, restaurants, holiday destinations and what they do for fun. It is much more interesting for me when I’m working with my client’s input – that’s how I can help make their home the
most authentic expression of their lifestyle.
Paint features quite heavily in your work, do you have any favourite colours?
Pink is such a flattering colour as it is warm and inviting, people may be nervous to use it on walls but it can be such a great look the right shade is used with the right lighting. If applied in a bold or graphic way people can see it in a new style and really enjoy it - I love it!
How would you describe your own style?
Earthy glamour and effortless luxury are terms I enjoy using today describe my style. I love a classical design with a modern interpretation and think that having travelled a lot has influenced and impacted on my style too and I always like to include colour and pattern in my designs whilst aiming to keep a scheme relaxed.
What are the quickest and easiest ways to make an impact with colour?
I think bold contemporary art always helps bring ambitious colour to a room scheme. The trick is not to be afraid of using colour as clashing prints can really work within a space and bring out the best in a room. Also using a paint which is a strong colour yet also soothing and perhaps sets off the art on the wall or the surrounding furniture is an easy
way to introduce colour.
Autumn is almost upon us, what are your colour predications for A/W17 ?
Blue is a shade to watch, it can be bold but it is also the ultimate neutral and I really love using it. I find it calming in virtually any shade and I have never met a client who doesn’t like it. I often pair it with green which some people say is a no-no but I think they are wrong. Blue and green are the colours of land and sky, the most natural combination. I would also say that pink is a shade to watch. It is actually my favourite colour and you see more and more of it within interiors. Pink is universally flattering. From ballet slipper pink to fuschia, it is an energising and warm colour. Don’t think of it as a primarily feminine shade – many men also love pink.