Top Designers of 2017 – The Design Society
Tell us a little about your background in design…
I graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, and my transformative time there under the guidance of my tutors, Paul Monaghan and Simon Allford from the renowned firm AHMM, can probably be compared to a kind of amazing, architectural bootcamp! During my years in education, I continued to work throughout, 1 or 2 days a week. The extra contacts and experience I gained in this time, were invaluable for setting out on my own very early on, and after completing my chartership, I started my own firm soon after. I haven’t looked back since, and in the last 10 years have had the privilege of working with a loyal client base who have entrusted me with some great projects. Our practise does everything from planning and feasibility, detailed construction design, interior design and bespoke furniture, mostly in prime London locations, although in the last couple of years we’ve been following our clients as they make the big move out of the city, so are working on some fantastic country residences now too.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Because of my architectural background, my interior design style is driven by the function and form of a space and how light, circulation and sight lines are influenced. When this is established, I apply fresh colour palettes, natural materials and textures, with the aim of retaining a common thread throughout a scheme. My projects tend to have industrial elements mixed with classic features. Period properties in London form the basis for the majority of our work, and its important to me to stay true to the original architecture.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Most of the sources I draw upon, have a hint of the nostalgic about them. Paulo Mendes Da Rocha and his use of ceramics, concrete and glazing is incredible. Richard Neutra, my all time favourite, has always inspired me with his classic 40’s and 50’s houses, like the Kaufman House, and his use of clean lines and natural materials. I strive to create timeless and classic compositions like these.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I think interiors are getting less whimsical or ‘themed’, and are striving to keep things integrated and true to the architecture they inhabit. This means that hopefully they will remain installed for many years. It breaks my heart when you see skips throughout London, full of brand new kitchens and slabs of marble.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in the future:
- Sustainable and as ecologically minded as possible
- Natural textures
- Eclectic kitchens and joinery
- Design informed by the architecture it inhabits
- Functional and stripped back
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to product design, what would it be?
To revisit the brief again and again which then informs the way the scheme develops. A lot of clients need to be interviewed on the way they live, what’s important to them, and what they really want, not what they think they should want! It is also important to view a project as a whole, with a common language, this gives projects a strong identity.