INSTAGRAM: heatherdesigner

Monday, 9 January 2012

a design assistant's point of view

             Heather Jenkinson Interiors

Hi everyone - I’m Kathryn, Heather’s assistant. I started working for Heather last October, and apart from the fact that we share the same taste in tea ('strong but milky and no sugar, thank you'), what I’ve found most fascinating is seeing how closely Heather works with her clients.

It’s all about collaboration. Remember that classic 90s programme Changing Rooms? Good design works in exactly the opposite way. Giving Laurence Llewelyn Bowen free reign to go mad with MDF may have made for entertaining TV, but back in the real world an interior designer won’t try and impose their aesthetic on your space.

Instead, Heather works hard getting to know her clients. What do they love about their home, and what do they hate? Which pieces of furniture are non-negotiable, and which are they dying to get rid of? Is their home a place to entertain or a relaxing retreat from the world? How do they want their living space to make them feel?

All this information is gathered up before the design work starts. Heather can then add a fresh perspective and some lateral thinking, as well as the experience and ability to see innovative design solutions. That dark poky room can be transformed into a sophisticated reading area. Outdated heirloom furniture can be re-contextualised with the right colour palette and surroundings.

The result is an environment that feels both natural and comfortable to live in. It reflects the clients and their personalities, but in a way they couldn’t have visualised at the beginning of the journey. That’s where the skills lies, and why you might want to hire an interior designer.

Of course, a lot of work goes into interpretation of the client’s ideas. For some practical tips on what to do with two clients that just can’t agree, see Heather’s 2011 interview with the Independent. Or you can read interviews with Heather on Arianna Interiors, and MyDeco for more background.


We’d love to know what you think – what’s the best way for designers and clients to work together successfully? 


(Kathryn used to help run Hidden Art and now, aside from helping keep me sane, she is also the author of a very charming blog called 'Yes, I like that'. I love this post, particularly - isn't she clever?)

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