What is your design principle?
My driving passion is to create rooms that are highly personalised, elegant and unforgettable. However, I strongly believe that luxury is not luxury unless it's liveable! Rooms should always be as functional as they are beautiful.
How do you achieve this?
No part of the design process is compartmentalised for me. While other designers may begin a project by laying out the framework for the space, then proceeding to address the aesthetics, my approach is a bit more harmonious. I once had a drafting instructor tell me it was a terrible habit to design in elevation mode, but I confess that I do it all of the time! I cannot focus exclusively on space planning while ignoring how particular design details, finishes and materials will render the final project. Both aspects of the design process are equally enjoyable to me, which is why I tend to approach them concurrently. I think the design complexities of my projects showcase this approach.
The most successful residential remodels and new construction projects are always those where design is considered early in the project, which provides me with the best opportunity to blend luxury, aesthetics and function.
Are you led by interior trends?
I'm definitely not led by trends and would caution a client against a significant investment that I thought wouldn't stand the test of time. However, I do pay attention to them! Trends can be inspiring as they encourage us to find new ways to look at old ideas. Timeless design does not require that you rigorously adhere to a list of materials or ideas that have been seen or done a million times before. My philosophy about creating classic interiors that a client will still love many years later is to make sure that I'm being appropriate with the selections. In other words, I try to choose materials or details that are architecturally relevant to the home or particularly inspired by the client's interior style.
You regularly feature Clive Christian Furniture in your designs, what is the appeal for you as a designer?
Trust. I can trust that no matter whether I'm designing an architecturally rich kitchen or a modern, understated dressing room, the cabinetry will make the homeowner feel that their room is the most special place in the world to them. There is a magical aura about the bespoke details and finishes of Clive Christian Furniture. Many other cabinetry companies claim to have furniture-like appeal these days, but this is the only one that's ever truly met that standard of craftsmanship for me.
I also appreciate the decorative elements that are offered, as I always strive to make the rooms that I design reflect the architectural character of the home. The scale and detail of the furniture is particularly well-suited to larger luxury homes.
For example, in my Wentworth Place project - The painted Architectural Cabinetry flowed beautifully through the Georgian-style home. The timeless, classical nature of the furniture design is equally at home in the kitchen as it is the dressing room.
And in my project Adair Place, the warmth and tactility of the French Oak and the Ornamental Cabinetry range worked perfectly in this rural Tennessee estate home.