What are you most excited about with the launch of the BRL Interior Design Studio?
Both Suzie & I have a well-established relationship with the architects in BRL and their clients. It will be exciting to work on projects of our own. Smaller-scale jobs can be fast-paced with great scope for imaginative design. Our first project as an independent Interior Design Studio is just that, and I can’t wait to share the finished design with you!
As an interior designer, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Realising the design and seeing it come to life. It’s one thing to draw up your ideas and create beautiful concepts, but when you see it come together and people enjoying that environment, it really makes all the hard work worth it.
What projects are you working on now?
We’ve got a lot of high-end residential projects taking shape and a Cafe/Bar in London. Totally different ends of the scale in terms of design, and that’s what makes Interior Design so enjoyable- the variety!
What questions would you ask a client before working on an interior design project?
Some clients will come to you with a refined brief and others may not really know what they want from a space. The best way to tease a brief out of someone is to collate images together in an initial meeting. Show the client the potential of the site and allow them to visualise the space. I always ask them to show us spaces they love, but equally spaces they don’t, because it’s just as important to understand this aspect.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned in your interior design career so far?
That’s a tricky one because the sector is constantly evolving, and lessons are constantly being learned. I think - never underestimate the importance of the details, as this is what will make or break a project.
What are the main software packages you use in your role, and what tools do you find the most helpful?
Depending on the project we will draw up the plans on AutoCad or Revit. Photoshop and InDesign are the go-to for presentations and loose visuals. For more polished visuals we use Sketchup with vRay and Lumion. The most helpful tool for precedent images and inspiration is Pinterest though - hands down!
What’s the best advice you could provide to people who are interested in establishing a career in this sector?
I think a lot of people may see a career in Interior Design as just buying lovely furniture and adorning it with cushions. Whilst having a good eye for what looks good is an important factor in Interior Design, there is so much more to what makes a great space. It must be both functional and beautiful. The detail design and planning around it involves a lot of creative solutions and design admin. To go into a career in Interior Design, you need to understand the whole process, ideally, by doing work experience at a company and thoroughly researching the degree or course you wish to take.
Describe a project that you're most proud of?
Our most recent project, Peirson House is definitely one we are really proud of. We focused all our knowledge and expertise into the layouts and design and are super pleased with the results. We created a contemporary urban aesthetic, with bold design choices, like the high gloss graphite kitchens, and the recessed led strips in front door frames of each apartment. With it being located close to the office, we were able to pop down to site to resolve any issues that came up quickly and easily. The space feels really tranquil, and the design around the shared areas has created a sense of community that you don’t always find in an apartment block.
What makes the Interior design team at BRL stand out?
With over three decades of interior design expertise at the architectural practice, it was clear it was time to develop an independent interiors studio, to meet the increasing demand for innovative solutions that maximize return on investment. Following the pandemic and the furlough scheme, people changed their approach to work. Lockdown was an opportunity for people to nurture and develop their skills and to reflect on their quality of life and how this could be enhanced by their career choices. This led to a growing number of new entrepreneurs in the hospitality and retail sectors. Which in turn generated an unprecedented demand for small-scale projects, with clients who needed guidance & inspiration to design shops, bars, pop-up venues & Cafes. In our view, the Interior Design trends coming out of the pandemic pose an exciting time for design. With our wealth of experience in the field, we can produce projects, both small & large that will help others to create & flourish in their dream jobs.