Updated: Dec 13, 2022
· Tell me about yourself?
I am an Architectural Interior Designer based in the Cotswolds. I specialise in creating joyful and inspiring spaces using finely crafted artisan pieces of furniture, sculpture, and art. Oh and I also love colour! I trained at the prestigious Inchbald School of Design in London and create spaces that appeal to clients that have a fine eye for craftsmanship, art, and design.
· When should one consider using an architectural interior designer?
There can be several reasons, if you have moved house for example and want help creating spaces that flow well from room to room, creating that overarching vision which will cover paint colours, window treatments, lighting, and floor plans. Or helping you decide which pieces of furniture to keep and what new pieces are needed.
Alternatively, maybe you want to re-configure the space to suit a new stage in your life, do you want to convert that no longer needed children’s room into a space for a new hobby or maybe just refresh an existing room.
· What benefits are there?
A highly trained interior designer has knowledge of ergonomics, spatial planning, technology, and the creative arts. They ask all the right detailed questions about your life to create a design that reflects your style and that wraps seamless around you facilitating your life in a stylish and creative manner.
Designers also have many resources at their fingertips and can rapidly narrow down what can be an over-whelming list of options. They ensure that you don’t make practical mistakes too. So, for example if you love the look of Carrera marble in the kitchen, they will help you find a suitable alternative that isn’t going to be damaged by lemon juice! They will also likely have trade accounts, meaning that they can pass on cost savings to you.
· What does an interior designer do?
The amount an interior designer does depends on you and your budget. It can range from a full renovation, refurbishment, or new extension service where the designer creates visuals of proposed designs with mood boards, sample boards, lighting design, bespoke joinery, bathroom, and kitchen design. They then work with architects and builders to source and oversee everything. The other end of the spectrum could just be doing sourcing and styling. Each project is unique and the service flexes for it.
· How does the interior design process work?
After the initial conversation the process will vary depending on your need. For a room or a complete house makeover this is the process I follow…
Brief and site analysis: An extended meeting to discuss requirements, budget, expectations, and outcomes and also to survey the site. The brief will be sent back to the client to ensure alignment on the project. This is the time for the client to ask as many questions as they want to understand the process, timelines, and potential challenges.
Initial Design: A mood board to capture the feel of the space. Initial layout ideas and style reference images for sign off.
Design development: Detailed design of each room with colours, fabrics, and specific pieces of furniture. Floor plans, elevations, and hand drawn sketches of the space where appropriate.
Technical design: Where required these are suitable to contractors to use to build from and can include plumbing layout, joinery, and lighting design.
Procurement and installation: Make purchases on behalf of the client and oversee installation. Styling.
· How much will it cost?
This depends on the level of service you are looking for. Typically, most designers offer a free consultation initially to get a feel for the project and ensure that you are going to be able to work together. Designing a residential space is deeply personal so it is important that both sides get on well.
After that expect to pay around 10% of your budget on the design. The project may be charged at a fixed fees for the early stages. An hourly rate for small projects such as sourcing or for procurement and installation is typically upwards of 80/hr. They may also charge you a percentage for items sourced.
· How do art advisors and interior designers work together?
If the client has a pre-existing piece of art that they love and wish to use in a space, I will frequently look to design a colour scheme around it. Not looking to match the colours exactly but tonal variations of it to create a harmonious design. Depending on the piece it may even become a key focal point in the design.
The alternative is when I am designing a space where I know it will need wall art. When I have the concept, spatial planning, colours, and fabrics scheme in mind I will approach an art advisor. That way I can communicate most effectively with them the feel and size of the piece I am looking for and show them samples of the colours and fabrics I will be using.
Similarly, if I have the basic design firmed up, I can talk to an advisor about the style and size of furniture that I am looking for. I find it helpful to have good, long-standing relationships with art advisors as they get to know the style of your projects and if they see something they think you may like, they can let you know.
· What is your “top interior design tip” for people looking to make changes themselves at home?
A lot of people get hung up on what colour to paint a room as their first decision. I say stop, take a step back and think about the atmosphere that you would like the space to have. Is it calm, reflective, cosy, relaxed or dynamic and exciting? When you know this, you can then make decisions around colour, form, and pattern. So, for example if you would like a dynamic dining space you may chose strong complementary colours, angular or triangular patterns and pieces, vs spaces that you would like to have a calmer feel where you may use more tonal colours, circular or curving forms.
· What is next for you? How can people contact you?
It is an exciting time, I think many people these days are appreciating the beauty of hand-crafted design, vs mass manufactured pieces and we are definitely in the “age of colour”. I have several projects on the go at present ranging from a small extension to a Cotswold cottage to work on a large local Manor house. If anyone would like to talk about how I can help them create their own joyful and inspiring space, I can be contacted on email@example.com or on 07799660474.