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Friday, 14 October 2011

Design: Who Wins?

 Furniture: Ana Barreto, Lighting: Tom Kirk, Velvet accessories: Evitavonni Art & Frames: The Portfolio Collection

A quick post to share a little exciting news with you! I was interviewed by award-winning journalist Huma Qureshi for an article in The Independent about couples setting up home together: How to set up home with your partner. Naturally, I have plenty to say on the subject and if you're interested I've pasted the full transcript, below...

In your work, have you ever had to deal with a couple stressing out or disagreeing about how to do their home up?  HQ

 Oh, yes.... During almost every single project, where there are two clients, I have had to negotiate the sometimes, emotionally loaded and precarious path, to an aesthically pleasing resolution. In the early years, I was often the linchpin between a particularly powerful couple - wife used to be the Director General of Ofgas, husband is a leading architect, so, you can imagine the level of negotiation going on, there...
                                                Lighting (LOVE!) CTO Lighting

What's the best way to make sure you both have input into the style of your home? ie What would you do if your clients were a couple with very different ideas of how their home should look - how would you begin to approach that in terms of trying to fuse their ideas together or keep them both happy? HQ

It's important to remind clients that they're both after the same result: a beautiful home that meets their needs and inspires them to live a more productive life. Once you divert the energy away from who's winning/losing the argument to how can we make this work, we have progress. That, and a little humour goes a long way - keep it light and progressive.

       Fabric - clockwise: Romo, Westbury-Altfield, James Hare, Alexander McQueen for The Rug Company

Any tips or advice on how best to keep the peace on the style front?! HQ
With a potentially difficult client dynamic, I suggest they create a mood board of images of interiors they don't like. This can be quite a revealing exercise, because very often, it's their dislikes that will unite them. Another thing to do, is to arrange meetings earlier in the day. I find the later the meeting, the more tired and less flexible clients can sometimes be.

Doing renovations to your home can be incredibly stressful. It's expensive, there are always going to be unforeseen problems which mean that you can't be absolutely sure you'll achieve the look you're after. My advice would be to bring in a professional, even if it's only at the very beginning, so that you can start the project on the right foot and spot the potential when there's time (and money) to take action. Doing it this way means everybody wins.

Now, how about you, do you have any war stories tips you wish to share? I'll bet you do...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Spinning plates (and everything inbetween... )

So, things have been a little busy, lately... I've been wanting to write a post just to say hello and share some things pretty and others new, but I just don't know where to begin. Instead, I thought I'd pull together a few collections of some of the projects I'm currently working on for those interested...

                                      The Islington Project

 MAY: I had worked with these design savvy clients, previously, and so, when they moved house, back in April, I was thrilled to be asked to bring the new home to a standard to which they were accustomed. Initially, a furnishing project, it has since evolved into quite a different animal... Although, I have to say that it has been a tremedous effort to get to where we are, today - and we're very close to the finish line, it has also been one of my favourite projects, this year because the changes we've made have been great ones and that's what this is all about. (I believe their 8 yr old son ran through the house shouting "we have a rad house!" I'm not sure I'll ever hear praise more heady... )

a snap shot whilst pulling the finishing touches together....

The Kent Project
 JULY & AUGUST saw the end of the building stage of the 'Kent' project. We are currently in the furnishing stage and it's now been a full year since this £350K project began. This small collection of images does in no way represent the sheer scale of this project - I actually do not know how to even where to begin to tell you about it. My favourite bit? The Client - she's a dream to work with....

Amanda, in her new kitchen, baking up a storm...

Other projects we're currently working on and not mentioned in this post:

Barnes Project

Primrose Hill Project

Watch this space... (it's going to be good!)


A Certain Simplicity 

I managed to squeeze out the last few days in September to step into a very different world. If you haven't been to Piedmont, Italy, go, you will be blown away but the natural beauty that surrounds you. And if you are going, be sure to stay with the absolutely charming Baur B&B, where Diana Baur, who writes the life enhancing blog  A Certain Simplicity   and her husband Mishe and their delightful dog, Max will show you a life lived well. 

A truly inspiring experience.

Picking up a Little Pretty Along the Way

Every now and again, we need a break from our projects - they can really own your life, if you're not careful... I took some time off to visit Decorex. This is a very small selection of things that caught my eye. I just love that wall light in chrome by Tom Kirk. Not to mention the (hand blown!) Pear Lamp by Porta Romana... So gorgeous.

 Who am I kiddling, I am uttely consumed! (Phew, I need a break.) How have you been? Please tell me your news...

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