We are extremely excited to welcome Sophie from Sophie Paterson Interiors to ‘Brabantialife’s Design Insights’ – a bimonthly interview with top designers, creatives and interior design god and goddesses.
She is a London based interior designer and style expert who loves dogs, good food, wine and has a weakness for expensive scented candles. Sophie has recently published her first book ‘Glamour & Style’ that provides an invaluable source for creating the perfect classic contemporary interiors.
1. What or who inspired you to become an interior designer?
I’ve always been obsessed with interiors and furniture. As a little girl I was happiest in my bedroom arranging the furniture and tidying my toys. I decided to pursue interior design as a career after a property developer asked me to design his latest residential project after seeing and liking the interiors in my home. Having someone who was not a friend or family member believe in my ability sufficiently to trust me with such a large project gave me the confidence to set up my company and helped me realize that I had talent as well as passion for interior design.
2. What trends did you most enjoy working with in 2011?
I have enjoyed introducing more colour and bolder patterns into my interiors in subtle ways through home accessories or soft furnishings- that said I am known for classic contemporary interiors so I try to steer clear of short lived trends that will look dated in five years.
Cushions are a great way to add texture and luxury to a room- as you don’t require much fabric you can use the very best textiles. As a general rule I’d rather wait and save to buy the item I really want than go straight out and buy the cheaper option- in the long run I think it works out better as the items will wear better and you’ll think harder about your purchases. Great lighting also makes a huge difference to the ambience of your room- you can have dimmer switches fitted without spending a fortune and if you switch from harsh over head lighting to dimmed lighting with table lamps the room will instantly feel more polished.
4. What is your favourite design magazine?
I love vogue living Australia.
5. How about your favourite website or blog?
TheZhush blog http://thezhush.blogspot.com/
6. Tell us about one of your favourite projects
I really enjoy working with property developers – with my business background I like the business side of design too, where you have to focus on maximizing budgets and profit margins. One recent project for a developer I have worked with on numerous occasions was a townhouse in the heart of Chelsea- I had total free reign to design the entire property- from the layout, lighting, carpentry, bathrooms and kitchen to all the furniture and soft furnishings. Being a perfectionist I love being able to ensure all aspects of the project will come together in the right way. It was a very satisfying conclusion to the project when it sold within a couple of weeks of hitting the market at a record price for that particular street, and in the middle of a recession too!
At the moment I’m looking for the right project to do a subtle turquoise, taupe and silver scheme. It needs to be a room with plenty of natural light so it doesn’t feel cold. I love to use lots of colours with a neutral base in my interiors- I will always use elements of taupe and grey in my schemes as they are the perfect base for creating a restrained and elegant palette.
8. What’s something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
It’s probably easier to ask what I think you can skimp on! I really believe you get what you pay for on the whole. I would never skimp on flooring, fabrics or upholstery. And it’s vital you get the basics done properly- building work, plumbing and electrics.
9. Are there any insider interior design top tips we should know about for 2012?
I’m really loving American influences on my interiors at the moment- we are importing a lot of furniture from the US and Europe with mid century influences in their design- furniture with a burnished bronze finish, console tables with hammered metal legs, antiqued mirror panels, lots of stone and glass. I still like chrome but these different finishes add a touch of Hollywood glamour.
10. And lastly…(cheeky I know!) what’s your favourite Brabantia product and why?
I like the Brabantia click canister they are great for keeping your food fresh and a row of three on your shelves also makes a great and relevant decorative display in your kitchen.
Thanks to Guest Blogger Sophie for sharing her expertise and insights. Find out more about her thoughts and views on Twitter and please check out her blog too! If you would like to find out about being a Guest Blogger, please do get in touch with us.