Inspirational

  • Coffee with a Creative: Bhavini Lakhani of B81 Designs

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we meet Bhavini Lakhani, of B81 Designs, she talks to us about her work, daily routines, inspiration and of course her hot drink of choice.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    A nice flat white.

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    I was made redundant as my maternity leave ended in 2011 – rather than be upset about it, I decided to be positive about it and started freelancing. It was a very accidental step into the world of freelancing, but I wouldn’t change any of it! 

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    I’m usually up by 5am so that I can fit in a workout – I find this helps me to clear my mind and usually releases any stress from the day before. It gives me some me time, and also gets me feeling really energised. I also listen to podcasts while I’m working out and I find that it’s a great way to fit that in! I then get myself ready for the day before waking my 2 girls up at 7. I do the school run at 8.25am and once I’m back home I make myself a flat white and sit down to work until it’s time to go and pick the girls up from school at 3pm. Once we’re home, the afternoon is family time. I make dinner and play with the girls, read etc. They have dinner at about 5, and at 6.45/7ish it’s time for them to have a bath and go to bed. If I have a lot of on, I sometimes work in the evenings once the girls are asleep.

    Describe your signature style

    In all honesty, I don’t think I have a set signature style. I’m quite good at adapting to different project briefs and client needs.

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    I’ve had a few amazing projects throughout my career so far – I’ve done a cinema ad which was just fantastic. I’ve also created a gorgeous brochure for British Gas to use at an employee recognition event, and I’ve recently worked with an international coffee machine manufacturer to create a brochure for one of their new lines. The one thing I’ve always wanted to do is a billboard!!!!

    What’s next for the Company?

    I want to be able to work with some medium/large companies, rather than just start ups and small businesses.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    The creative scene in MK is amazing. There’s a really nice supportive feel within the creative community, rather than it being highly competitive. 

    Who is the creative to watch?

    Roxanne at RoxPix Photography. She’s so good at what she does, and she’s always pushing herself to achieve her goals and dreams!

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I loved art GCSE and A Level and the next step was an Art Foundation course so that I could try different things and see what direction I wanted to go in. During that year, I found that graphic design was something I naturally gravitated towards. The typical Asian careers of law, medicine etc didn’t hold any attractions for me at all and from an early age I know I wanted to do something more creative.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Push yourself outside of your comfort zone – even if it’s only a little…that’s where the magic happens.
    – Look for inspiration outside of the box – just because I’m a graphic designer, doesn’t mean only graphic design inspires me.
    – Sometimes, the ideas that you think are bad…are actually great!

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Bevel and Emboss effects on text for logos…

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Busy, happy, blessed, organised chaos!

    What are you thankful for?

    My wonderful family and friends.

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Afternoon tea and cocktails with my husband or my best girlies, followed by a relaxing spa day!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Taking the kids to somewhere like Hampshire and enjoying the wonderful forests and nature we have around us!

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    New York – I LOVE how much there is going on, it’s so inspiring and the coffee is just heavenly! The people are really friendly, and I love discovering new parts of the city. Havana comes a really close second though…I love the relaxed Cuban culture, the historic places and the artwork.

    Afternoon tea and cocktails sounds right up our street… where are we going? If you want conviction that this lady knows her stuff then look at our very own branding for Honestly Wonderful – Yes, created by the lovely lady herself – thanks Bhavini, we love it too!! Follow Bhavini on socials to keep up with her fantastic work, love of coffee and inspiration. You can follow B81 Designs on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Carol Hanson of Ufurria

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we are talking to Carol Hanson, of Ufurria, she is one of the lovely ladies I have had the pleasure to meet, talking about her, her business and her favourite hot drink of choice!

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Latte or Hot Chocolate

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    My grandmother who inspired the first product when she purchased me a faux fur jacket from a charity sale some 35 years ago.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    I run three completely different businesses so I can guarantee that no day is ever the same. But with my creative venture I’m using all my skills to spin lots of plates at the moment as we have just launched our retail offering.

    Describe your signature style

    I tend to stand out in a crowd!

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    Good question! Having just read Andrea Shulman’s Inside Vogue: My Diary of 100th Year and now listening to Grace Coddington’s biography it would have to be a major feature in Vogue.

    What’s next for the Company?

    A successful first season.

     
    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?
     
    I don’t live in a city but in a gorgeous market town 30 miles north of London. This enables me to take advantage of the energy of the London scene and reconnect with the beauty of the countryside.

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I want to leave my mark on the British fashion industry. I know that sounds cliched but it’s also true. My opportunity to develop my one product idea came in December 2015 when I was introduced to a designer who has helped me to expand the range and is my creative muse!

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    I don’t have tips specifically for these industries but what I would say is that as an entrepreneur you should follow your dream. Determination, passion and understanding your big why are crucial.

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Hygge – don’t get me wrong I love Scandinavian design, understated, cool with lots of minimalism but I hate the way it’s just been over marketed.

    Describe your life in 5 words

    An exciting and interesting journey.

    What are you thankful for?

    My relationships – with family, friends and my amazing networks

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Exploring and getting off the beaten track

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Being with my husband and my dogs

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    I’ve got a few! Barcelona – my favourite city I never tire of visiting. Corsica – the most mountainous and beautiful island in the Med. Goa – fabulous vibe. amazing people and fantastic food!

    If you want to take a look at some of Carol’s products then pop over to her website, she has some great lifestyle shots showcasing her products, and lets face it, we definitely have the weather for it!  Keep up with Ufurria on Facebook, Instagram, and twitter and look at the noise they are making!

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Harri Dhokia of Black Qubd

    Coffee with a Creative is all about meeting like-minded creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! Today we meet Harri Dhokia of Black Interiors and Black Qubd.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Latte 

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    I found the courage to believe in myself, understand my worth and challenge myself. I was surrounded by young entrepreneurs who inspired me but it also helped knowing that I had the support.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    The beauty about my career and business is that each day is different. A typical office day starts with me waking up, doing a workout in the morning, shower, get ready, have breakfast, then head to the office. My daily tasks could be from being creative with design on a few projects, to brainstorming ideas with my colleagues or simply having a laugh.

    Although the business is busy, I believe its important to have a light-hearted environment full of positive energy. I’m generally in the office until about 6pm and head out to either meet friends, chill at home with parents or go to yoga / zumba etc depending on which it is.

    Throughout the day I am always in touch with my friends and colleagues which is important to me. I try hard to having a life – working balance but eventually realised that my work is my passion and therefore that is my life.

    Describe your signature style

    With my business name being Black Interiors, its easy to have a black theme running through my project and interiors but generally I have a neutral canvas with the addition of splashes of colour.

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    I actually envy myself with the projects I do have with a client who is amazing. the projects vary from new build mansions to central London apartments. One type of project I would love to experience a hotel project or a restaurant.

    What’s next for the Company?

    Wow…so much! I have some powerful goals in place for the business and its growing day by day. You’ll have to watch this space 😉

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    London is the heart of creativity. The multi cultural city showcases talent in every corner of the city. But for me, nature is the best thing about the city and that is the beautiful colours found in a London sunset. Its mesmerising.

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I’ve always been an artist and fell into a job working with wallpaper and colour schemes after A-Levels. This led me into a job designing kitchens and bathrooms and I worked my way through job after job in the similar field learning and growing at each step.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – I have learnt to always believe in yourself. If you’re talented and are always getting praised for this talent, then believe and value yourself and push yourself harder.
    – Use your creative talent and apply it to life. We are naturally gifted so show it off. and finally …..
    – dream big!

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    That’s a tricky one especially as trends have a cycle and generally filter back through into our lives. The beauty about having a creative talent, we have a natural way of converting something quite ugly into something beautiful no matter what the trend.

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Awesome, happy, passionate, fun and positive

    What are you thankful for?

    My parents…I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and their support

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    People watching, chilling in the sun with friends

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Taking in the surroundings and going for long strolls

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    I love Dubai. For the all rounder experience of weather, shopping, beach and food. However, for me, every place I visit are created with amazing memories and laughter.

    Harri and Black Qubd are regulars on the social media scene on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest. They also have some fantastic products on their website, so take a look.

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Rachel Ward of Luks Linen

    Coffee with a Creative is a monthly series all about meeting like-minded creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! Today we meet Rachel Ward of Luks Linen.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Small Batch – Latte 

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    After 20 years working in advertising I wanted to try something new – I had a sun bed epiphany whilst travelling in Turkey where I discovered the peshtemal (Turkish towel) and naively thought – I could start a business selling these multi-talented gems here in Europe – 2 years later here we are selling globally and working with family weavers to create a beautifully created range of towels for indoor and outdoor living.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    Hmm – I’m a night owl and not a lark so I probably start my day later than most. Tea and the laptop in bed checking emails and getting set for the day followed by the daily jump into Instagram. The rest of the morning is usually spent managing the website and checking our social media and online advertising whilst a typical afternoon would be a mix of photo-shoots, designing potential new products and liaising with our ateliers in Turkey. As it’s summer we’re also gearing up for the festival season which will see us indulging in our love of music and good food whilst sharing a bit of the Lüks love around the British countryside.

    Describe your signature style

    Less is more – I like quality over quantity, simple lines and good tailoring. Considering I work with pattern I don’t actually wear it myself!

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    Producing a heritage range of peshtemals for Liberty – the perfect excuse to delve into their pattern archives too!

    What’s next for the Company?

    We’re moving more permanently into the US market as we speak and tentatively looking at collaborations with artists to see if we can translate their work on to the loom.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    I’m Brighton based so there’s lot to choose from – digitally there is a real pulse down here that is well supported with events such as She Says and TEDx. Artistically it’s a real melting pot from the Brighton Fringe to the Great Escape Festival – musically and theatrically we are spoilt for choice – put all of that next to the sea and you can’t fail to be constantly inspired.

    Who is the creative to watch?

    Mira Mikati – now she could persuade me to wear pattern!

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    For me it’s about physical creation and being able to stand in an interior space and know that it feels right – I always been hands on so it was a natural progression for me to move from advertising into interior design and then soft furnishings

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Don’t start with a screen – start with paper and a pencil – I am forever doodling and sketching…creatively that’s really important – don’t lose sight of it.
    – Make your concepts concise – how would you sell your idea in a tweet – it sounds trite but really makes you think about what is important.
    – Lighting, lighting, lighting

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Faux finishes

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Peaceful, exhausting, hectic, slow and lucky – running your own business you can experience all of this in one day!

    What are you thankful for?

    Having a business that has allowed me to step out of the 9-5 and off the commuter train

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    If we’re talking London then it would be brunch at the Wolesley followed by Tate Modern, dinner and piggy treats at Comptoir Gascon and an evening at the Barbican – just being in that building feels like you’re part of a Kubrick film. Sunday is market day so off to the East End for a spot of Columbia Road, good coffee and then a spot of open mic jazz and swing at the Palm on Regents Canal – all the old boys turn out for a spot of Sinatra – it’s brilliant!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    A lie in! Followed by a long leisurely dog walk with our black lab Sadie and an even more leisurely lunch somewhere like the Jolly Sportsman in East Chiltington. An evening BBQ with marshmallows round the fire and chatting nonsense with friends. Sunday…perhaps some wild swimming at Balcombe to blow the cobwebs away and then a hearty roast!

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    Hoi An – Vietnam – this place is just magical – a world heritage site the low level architecture, cookery courses and tailoring is a must. The night market full of the seas weird and wonderful bounty and streets lit by lanterns.

    Rachel can be found on social media on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest. You can check out her lovely products over on her website, I think these are going onto my birthday wish list!!

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Urvi Sheth of Raw Invites

    My new series is all about meeting like-minded creatives and was also on my spring goals list, so here i go with a series of interviews talking to creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! First up we have Urvi Sheth of Raw Invites.

    UrviSheth5

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?
    Herbal Tea? oops

    What inspired you to set up your Company?
    I’ve always dreamt of somehow putting my creativity to good use. From a young age all I wanted to do was create art that people loved. But I managed to convince myself a job like that didn’t exist. I couldn’t possibly create my own dream job could I? So I started my journey, I went to uni, got my design degree and got myself a job as an intern where I learnt how the design world operates and I did as many freelance jobs on the side as possible. I soon came to realise the importance of experience. With every project and opportunity that came my way, my experience in the design field was fast growing, I was gaining new skills and invaluable life lessons. Which led me to become Laura Ashley’s head digital designer. Working for Laura Ashley has been one of the most incredible opportunities. Although Laura Ashley is a huge accomplishment, I felt I had out grown my role as I realised I wasn’t leaning as many new skills or growing as an individual and the only solution was to move onto the next chapter. I just didn’t know what I wanted to explore next or how to figure it out. So now we get onto why did I start RAW invites, where did this idea even come from? My Brother and now Sister-in-law asked me to design their Wedding Invitations. My first thought was I can’t design a wedding invitation, I couldn’t even think of an idea. Now that is worrying for someone who has a design degree and is Laura Ashley’s digital designer, right? But designing for the corporate world vs a personal approach is completely different. You don’t have the same creative freedom in the corporate world, and I had done it for so long I forgot how to design for any other medium. I started designing their invites and day by day I had a new light bulb moment. Coming up with new concepts and ideas, watching their faces and hearing their feedback brought a new sense of satisfaction that I never experienced in my design career, It was absolutely amazing. I reconnected with my long-lost creative side and realised how fun and enjoyable life could be, and I didn’t want that satisfaction to stop. One day my Brother said “Why don’t you design bespoke wedding invitations for other couples? Everyone wants something personal and you love doing it” – Seriously hearing those words especially from him was all it took, and now I run my own business!

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?
    I’m definitely not an early bird! I’d rather work till late and wake up naturally with NO alarm! I will wake up between 8-9am. Guess there should be some perks of being your own boss! – Check emails – Post of my social media accounts – Browse social media staying up to date with trends – Make a priority list of what I need completed (What designs I need to do, what orders I need to delivery, what deadlines are fast approaching, etc) – Client meetings – Printer visits – Come back to my desk and finish off my list – On a good day I can stop work at 9pm-ish – Recently I find myself still sat at my desk past 12! However I’m the biggest workaholic! I absolutely love love love designing.

    Describe your signature style
    If you know me you know I breathe colour and patterns. I actually get told people can instantly recognise my work ‘This has RAW written all over it’ I think that’s so important as you’re staying authentic to yourself!

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender
    Really want to work with acrylic, wood and mirror invitations as they look absolutely incredible. However the costs are high due to the materials.

    What’s next for the Company?
    I recently launched my very first Custom Wedding Invitation range, which means there is set designs the couples can pick and email across the wording. April was an incredibly productive month for me, I managed to complete 14 different designs with several colour variations, with very little sleep! I continuously need new projects to work on and as I finished my Custom Range I was on the look out for my next exciting venture. Days after saying this I got approached by Kudos Music to design a bespoke suite for one of their events. This was such an amazing experience, being able to design 16 ft signs, dance floors and DJ booths was incredible. What I’m trying to say is I see everyday as a new opportunity and I can’t predict what’s going to present itself to me tomorrow let alone next month.

    UrviSheth4

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?
    Creativity can be found everywhere! Look at the world we’re surrounded by! Nature, Architecture, Technology.

    Who is the creative to watch?
    I don’t believe there is a certain creative to watch. I believe we all have creative moments and thoughts, it’s what we do with those moments/thoughts that really determine it all. Creativity can be found in several different forms.

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?
    Truth – Designing was the only thing I ever really enjoyed. Hours would go by and I wouldn’t even realise.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?
    – The little details are what make the piece
    – Make sure your type face represents the project/ brand your working for
    – You can never have too much colour (biased of course)

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?
    Standard typical indian kankotri prints. (again me being biased)

    Describe your life in 5 words
    Exciting, Fun, Adventure, BUSY and MINE

    What are you thankful for?
    Being able to live my life doing what I love and for myself. Turning my childhood dream into a career. Sometimes when I’m just driving to client meetings going to the printers, etc I just smile to myself and realise that i’m actually just working for myself, I am my own boss! I that is the most incredible feeling, it just makes all the long days/nights and 0 social life ALL WORTH IT!

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?
    Walking through the little streets, going to parks, finding new food markets! Admiring how beautiful life really is.

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?
    I love the country side, and a good ol hike! Mt Snowdon was the last hike I completed. If you haven’t hiked before, I strongly recommend it.

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?
    I’m not sure! :/

    Urvi can be found on social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. You can also check out her work over on her website, doesn’t it look great?

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  • First Hygge, now Lagom?

    So first we had the Swedish hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) meaning to “enjoy life’s simple pleasures” and now we have lagom (pronounced “LA-gom”) another Swedish word meaning “just the right amount”.

    The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right”. Lagom is also widely translated as “in moderation”, “in balance”, “perfect-simple”, and “suitable”. Taking this meaning literally we can see where the style came from.
    Embed from Getty Images

    Lagom is more about ‘a way of living’ rather than just creating a look, think about what it would take to create a balance between work and play as an overarching concept behind life in general. Wouldn’t you like to create and ‘have’ that balance? I know I would! Do you have any tips? How do you balance work and play? Do we need to ‘make like the swedes’?

    Be great to hear your thoughts! Do you feel like we are quick to embrace other cultures terms and use them to shape our lives?

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  • Spring is Here – Goals for the Season

    MD Flowers AP
    Spring Flowers – The Colours!

    With the clocks going forward, giving us more daylight it already feels like spring is here. The bright weather makes me feel like i need to set myself some goals for the season and I feel more optimistic and that goals are more achievable (suddenly?!). I am also hoping that by writing them down and letting the whole world see them i’m more inclined to commit to them, fingers crossed!

    My Blog
    So i have been blogging a while but i did lose my flow, now i’m trying to build it back up again and i really want to commit to it. Time is usually the issue but i think i am going to try and schedule regular weekly ‘blog time’ and get Mr P to push me to commit, i actually love writing it and getting my posts ready so its just the sitting down to physically get on the platform and write that i need to work out. I am also in the process of re-branding and creating a few mini-series features (watch this space). Lots of exciting things planned for the blog-o-sphere so lots to keep me busy!

    Interiors
    I’m an Interior Designer by day (and night!) and I really do need to focus on working on more projects that excite me, don’t get me wrong I have a few jobs on at present but I do need to push and strive to get myself working on more. This is the dream! When asked when I was younger ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ my answer was ‘an interior designer’ so here I am now with more than a decades experience across multiple sectors working for myself and various others, so I appreciate where I have got to and what I have achieved! But I (always) need to do more. I do have a Facebook page for this too but you’ll probably find me on Instagram and Pinterest more as I love the way these platforms allow you to share visually! Instagram is usually where you’ll find insider photos of any current projects or instant inspiration.

    Meet More Creatives
    Its hard to meet creatives if you don’t work with them or meet them through work, but since I’ve said to myself its the best source of inspiration I am on the hunt, and some of these people will be featured as part of my mini-series. Can’t wait!! I’ve recently met loads of inspiring people and hope to collaborate with some of them too!

    Homewares
    Those of you that know me, know that I’ve always wanted to curate my own homewares collection and I’ve got a collection bubbling away in my head which is just bursting to be committed to paper so that I could possibly start thinking about how to recreate and produce these items. Maybe its the fear of committing to paper meaning making it a reality that i’m scared of – who knows. I mean it may take months and months before i could even think about getting samples made but i have to start somewhere. So come on, get the sketchbook out and start writing, brainstorming and sketching!

    Air
    Now it might be pretty obvious that we all need air, but this is a fairly easy goal, I want to make a conscious effort to get outside more often. Its lighter and brighter now so its time to go for those long walks, get some exercise and generally get fresh air (as fresh as you can get when living in the hustle and bustle!).

    Any relatable goals? What have you aimed to get through by the time summer hits? Do you have any ideas for me on any of my goals? Be great to hear from you.

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  • Being my own Client

    I’m working on a new residential design project, but this project is different. Why is it different you ask? Well firstly it’s for an interior designer (uh-oh) and secondly it’s for my worst critic (me!), this presents me with the biggest problem… How do you work on a creative project when it’s for yourself and you are super fussy and want everything you’ve ever desired creatively to be in it.

    I’m losing the battle before I’ve even started, I’m one of those clients that is a know it all, the ones that you kind of dread because they know everything before you’ve even suggested it!

    So how do you design for yourself? I’ve had to put ground rules in place in order to stop myself from going completely mad trying to do it all to perfection and stop myself from waking up at night in blind panic because I might have forgotten something.

    The first was to introduce a budget that isn’t controlled by me – Mr P begrudgingly agreed to be the client (knowing fully well that he would be the person I would hold fully responsible if I didn’t get what I wanted).

    Secondly I have given myself a very tight timeline and only allow myself to work on the project at set times during the week, otherwise I’d be working on it every hour that God has given me and achieve nothing!

    Lastly I have told myself that I need to make quick and clear decisions otherwise I could be here forever trying to perfect and recreate everything, but I just haven’t the time or the budget… The project goes to site next week! Wish me luck!

    Have you worked on any personal projects recently? Did they go to plan? What tips would you share?

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  • Colour of the Year 2017

    Now there is a lot of differing opinions from designers all over the world about the trend that is colour and the colours that mean current to one designer is not the same as what means current to another. Dulux colour of the year is Denim Drift and Pantone colour of the year is Greenery, MY colour of the year is more like a warmer cappuccino grey with a hint of blush. I mean that isn’t to say that anyone is wrong, you’ll find many designers commenting on what they deem to be their colour of 2017 and yours truly is one of them; take a read and tell me what you think, be great to hear from you.

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  • Inside Scoop: How do you develop a concept?

    I always have a lot of people asking me how I choose a look and develop the concept for a project, which can be as complicated as using a keyword derived from primary and secondary research or as simple as a ‘style’ of living. 

    My first port of call would be looking at what I have been supplied in terms of drawings, photos, pictures. The client might have started a Pinterest board which shows me their aesthetic and what style they like. I might look at the space and research the building, a lot of people are converting Edwardian and Victorian buildings and this really interests me. I would research the relevant trends for those times and what colours and materials were around at these times. Most of the time clients want to work sympathetically with the building style which is a nice way to design. 

    In addition I would start brainstorming about the clients requirements and eventually pool all the information together in order to write myself a brief. This would then allow me to create a structure for what I would need to create in order for my client and contractors to understand what I had created.

    As soon as I have started working with images I always start collecting various samples like fabric swatches, colour samples, tiles, wallpaper and so forth because this helps me to build up a visual reference for the space which is ideal when you’re trying to help the client understand the space. This is the time that I also start to look at furniture and lighting as it really helps clients to start understanding the space. 

    That with the aid of sketches, doodles and diagrammatic spider drawings helps the Client to understand what I am trying to create in their space. Putting these together in Mood and Concept boards is what usually sells the design scheme to the client and helps to sign the project off and move forward to the next stage.

    So as potential clients when you’re thinking about using an interior designer the more visual aids you can give a designer the better, bring along photos, materials that you may like or want to keep (old upholstered items that are staying) as well as thoughts on how you would be using the space. This helps us to build up a better idea of your lifestyle and how you will live in it. Believe it or not i have an old shoe box full of samples, colours, textures that i will soon enough be implementing into my own space! Designing for yourself is even harder, but that’s another story!!

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  • Getting Creative

    So part of my problem has been that I’m struggling to get creative, its through no fault of the universes, just mine. I find myself over thinking everything and so not able to just ‘be’ or get creative with anything. You could say a mind block of sorts. Yes as an interior designer that can be a problem!

    So in order to inspire me I’m assuming I need to actually ‘do’ more creative things, I’ve compiled a lovely list of things that I could do to help me be more creative. What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any other ideas that I could try?

    Here’s my pick of creative activities that will ignite some inspiration:

    1. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and depending on how many types of people you follow you can get such a variety of things pop up in your opening page. Its worth spending some time on here and really getting to know how it works, setting your boards up and following different people and others boards. Start by pinning at least 5 pins a day and aim to increase this slowly. You could set yourself a category and only pin things that are relevant to this on a specific day or you could pin lots of random things. I always try to be specific in my search so will pick a category; more recently the keywords I have searched are ‘small kitchens’ ‘children’s bedrooms’ ‘kint sugi’ so as you can see you can be specific and find all sorts of wonderful imagery
    2. Doodling; everyone doodles, it’s a simple way of triggering the creative and generating ideas. You don’t have to plan to do this and it is just something that seems to naturally happen for a lot of people. The best time to doodle, I find, is when you are on the phone. The sub consciousness takes over and you end up drawing all sorts of things that are stuck in your head. Are you a doodler?
    3. Book an inspirational course; there are so many courses out there, there must be something suitable for everyone. Everyone has the ability to learn something new, but most people don’t take advantage of it. Learning a new skill doesn’t have to only mean a ‘creative’ skill, you could learn some new software, learn to speak Japanese or even how to balance books. The great thing about these courses is that they are usually short courses which mean you don’t need to commit to a long time frame and you can learn your new skill and roll on with it almost immediately. I’m thinking that I really need to improve my Instagram photography so maybe I will take one of Emily Quinton’s Makelight Photography courses!
    4. Go and see an inspirational exhibition, the beauty of living in London is the abundance of art galleries, exhibitions and cultural venues in and around the capital. Are there any that come to mind? I think of heading to the Tate Britain to look at the Turner Prize finalists and try to understand how they have come up with what they have!

    How do you plan to get creative? Do you have any other ideas? It would be great to hear what you do to get creative and inspired. Leave me a note below, lets compare lists.

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