It’s time for a fresh edition of our Design Insights Interview and this week we are truly excited to welcome top interior design duo Simone and Sophie from Owl Design! We are huge fans of their super stylish eclectic designs and can’t wait to get an insight into their world. Let’s hear from them:
What inspired you to delve into interior design and how did you get started? We both met whilst studying Interior Design Environment Architecture at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, and decided in our final year that we would love to start up our own company together doing what we love best, interior design.
In 2012 we designed a café in Portobello road, which prepared us for our largest project to date, the Toy Shop bar and restaurant in Putney. More recently we have worked on some residential projects too, and styled a photo shoot for an album cover. We love the varied work we get and are up for any challenge!
How would you describe your interior style? Our style is quite eclectic, we love playing with colour and texture, and the use of quirky products where possible. Introducing individual pieces with a lot of character always adds interest to a design.
Where do you seek style inspiration? We often visit different shows, Clerkenwell Design Week being one of our favourites as there are always so many beautifully made products to see. We try to get out and visit as many design exhibitions as possible, but during busier times blogs and Pinterest are an amazing source of ideas with such a varied and huge amount of ideas. We are keen pinners and you can follow us here!
Of all the rooms you have designed and styled, which has been your favourite? Our favourite space we have designed has been the bar in The Toy Shop, we used square tiles in black, white and grey to create a random geometric pattern and a striking deep fuchsia/purple formica bar top.
Which room in the home do you enjoy designing and styling the most and why? In the home it would be the living room. The living room is a space usually used by all the family, so has to be functional yet still look great. As it is a communal area choosing the right pieces and layout is key, and we love a nice chair!
Can you tell us about the most outlandish room makeover you’ve designed? The Toy Shop was a fun project to work on as the brief was to create a bar/restaurant, which focused on fun! We had free reign to play around with bold colours and patterns, and Barbies in the toilets!
Which trend are you most excited about working with this year? We don’t follow trends too much, as we like to listen to what the client wants then work with that, putting in our own knowledge and experience. We are excited about using traditional fabric techniques though, in new and interesting ways.
Which colour combinations are your favourite to work with? We were chosen to design the room sets at Grand Designs Live May 2014, which was a great opportunity as it enabled us to play around with dark moodier tones such as greys and blues. Mixing these with metallics brings them to life and adds a luxurious feel. Another one of our favourite colour pallets are pastels. These work especially for childrens’ rooms as you can use them for both boys and girls depending on which pastel colour you chose to use most within the scheme.
What are your favourite materials to work with? Concrete is a product we love, and there are many new concrete tiles which can be used on the floor, walls and kitchen surfaces. These are really versatile and create a great industrial feel, but can also look quite elegant and subtle depending on the rest of the design. We are also a big fan of old fashion linoleum, it is eco friendly and now comes in a huge array of fantastic colours.
Which 3 objects do you believe have the ability to completely transform a room? Artwork, lighting and a good chair!
What advice would you give to our readers looking to refresh their interiors? Throw out anything which no longer brings you joy. Selling any old pieces of furniture can help put towards a key piece that may cost a little more, but will look and work better in your home. It is best to buy little but quality if you can, and shop around. A fresh lick of paint is also an inexpensive way of refreshing your home, think of how you use the space to help inform your choices, darker colours work well in spaces where you relax, but areas in the home where you are more active and need more light then lighter colours work best.
Do you have any upcoming exciting projects? We are currently working on designing an office space in London which is another stimulating project. The brief is to create exciting/fun work spaces, meeting hubs and a place of social interaction. Alongside this we are dressing a diner called Longhorn in East London, and a couple of residential projects.
A huge thank you to Simone & Sophie from Owl Design for sharing their top interior design insights! To see what inspires them and keep up with their day-to-day interior adventures head to tumblr. You can also contact Owl Design on Twitter, Facebook and Houzz!
To view more top design tips from famous interior designers, including Owl Design, click here.