Posted on November 15, 2019
Talk us through the design process and how you work with clients...
We pride ourselves on not having a signature style, with every design and detail tailored to our clients. So for us the journey begins with a face-to-face client meeting to really get to know them: to understand how they tick, what they love in life, what are their hobbies and passions are, their style, what makes them smile, day-to-day life and routines, how the space will be used... We use this insight as a spring board to the design process which starts with the pulling together of conceptual mood boards and some initial hand-drawn sketches.
What would be your biggest tip when choosing an interior designer to work with?
Start by looking at their portfolio, press articles, interviews, meet them in person, talk through your ideas and listen to theirs. The transformation of a property takes time and with it there are many big decisions to be made and conundrums to work around. It’s therefore really important that you trust and like your interior designer, and most importantly are happy to embark on this journey together with them.
Which pieces in a home are worth investing in?
We would always highly recommend not scrimping on elements that are put to the test on a daily basis, for example, door knobs and taps. Other than that, there is no golden rule. Follow your heart and stick to your budget! If necessary a budget can always be balanced. We have used bespoke hand-stitched leather handles on an Ikea kitchen to really elevate and make it stand out. Similarly you can also accessorise a simple sofa.com sofas with wonderfully luxurious cashmere throws and cushions to ensure it catches the eye.
Tell us about a recent project you've been working on
We refurbished this Cotswold country cottage using Little Greene’s Portland Stone paint and natural linens to the main areas to ensure the space flowed. We then punctuated the neutral scheme with dramatic and unexpected pops of black and khaki green and accessorised with natural raffia, petrified stone and cowrie shells and embroidered cushions to add a punch of personality.
What interior trends can you foresee for 2020?
Although we visit all the design fairs and keep up to date with the industry trends, we tend to steer away from them. We pride ourselves on design that stands the test of time, so we focus more on creating a home based on a client’s personality and lifestyle, whilst reflecting the local environment and architecture.
What do you think makes a house a home?
It’s all in the finishing touches - a fruit tray on the kitchen island, a basket full of logs ready to put on the fire, your favourite candle scenting the home, a library full of your favourite books, family photos and all kinds of treasures picked up on one's travels around the world.
Can you share a few favourite independent interiors brands?
There are so many to choose from, but a trip down the Pimlico Road is always the most wonderful treat. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest interior brands on the market today: De Le Cuona (pictured), Fermoie, Ochre and Howe London are just some of our favourites.
What are your interior pet peeves or style no-nos?
A design which looks beautiful, but doesn’t function. Good design not only has to look good, but it also has to work well.
We have always had a thing about black and white, a well-considered monochromatic scheme is incredibly powerful.
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere. It comes from flicking through the latest edition of House & Garden, but also the less obvious: a striking sunset over the Windrush Valley, a visit to the Antony Gormley exhibition at the RA, the subtle colour variations of a rock found on the Cornish coast by our boys.
What are you tips for successfully blending old and new?
We love mixing old and new, whether it the framework of the home or the elements inside. It creates a sense of reality and history relevant to the home’s current custodians, but more than anything grounds us. We always have great fun pulling the most unexpected objects together, these antique books, contrasted with 'Give peace a chance' book-ends are a great fun example.
Which interiors do you admire?
Kit Kemp’s Firmdale hotels including Ham Yard Hotel, Number Sixteen and Charlotte Street Hotel, to name but a few, are an eclectic mix of colour, pattern and texture all fused together with pure genius. John Pawson for his sheer architectural genius. Anouska Hempel for her awe inspiring symmetrical perfection.
What should people consider when revamping a room?
When designing a room we would always recommend starting with a mood board to give the project a contextual framework. Once this is defined layout should be considered, ensuring the space flows within the property. Furniture, materials and lighting then need to all be considered, as well as the finer detail such as window treatment, ironmongery, accessories and art. We would always recommend all defining all the details in advance of works and procurement starting, as all the elements are intertwined and need to be considered in their totality.
Camilla Bellord Photo credits:
Anna Stathaki and Nick Smith