So the idea is simple, ask 5 questions to 4 designers and see what happens. This idea is something that I have had for a while but also a bit of a new departure for me and my style blog. Usually I work with images more than words on PostLiving but I have been fascinated for a long time about how design and style varies so much between different people. How can style, taste and inspiration differ  so much?

So, at the beginning of this year I decided to ask 3 designers who I admire to answers the same basic questions about design. I also decided to answers the same questions myself and then see what answers came in and publish them on the blog.

I decided to ask Andrew Dunning of APD Interiors, Oliver Heath and Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar. All 3 of these amazing designers have totally different approaches to their craft and were also kind enough to say yes to my idea without hesitation.

 

So here we go, 5 questions to 4 designers, well 3 designers and little old me! …..

 

1. Where does your design inspiration come from?

OH.

My design inspiration is most often inspired by nature and natural systems. As a society and due to our urban lifestyles we are drifting away from our connection to nature and the many benefits that come from incorporating it – both physiologically and psychologically. A connection with nature is intrinsic to our health and wellbeing and there are many ways that we can bring its influence into our lives to improve the spaces we inhabit.

WT.

Travel. Immersing myself in a new culture and set of rituals and localised routines helps me to see things from a fresh perspective. A colour combination I hadn’t considered before; a texture or material used in an unexpected way; admiring the way different cultures actually live in their homes – these are all things that inspire me from travel.

AD.

Inspiration for me comes from living a very full diverse life. Every day in London I’m inspired by the changing urban landscape, new building excite me, the street vibe makes me happy. I also find inspiration during weekends by the coast, the crashing of the sea, the colours of the sand. Everyone should really open their eyes more – inspiration is everywhere!

PL.

My design inspiration comes from so many different places but probably the most common is the coast where we live. I have a true passion for the traditional English seaside and everything that goes with it. The coastline looks amazing whether on the coldest day in winter or the hottest day in the summer.

 

2. How would you describe your own style?

OH.

My style is Biophilic design – using humans innate attraction to nature and natural systems as design principles to creating happier and healthier spaces to live and work in. It’s all about maximising natural light, creating views onto nature, using natural materials textures, patterns and colours, but also creating safe spaces to retreat back into.

WT.

Eclectic, comfortable and gently colourful with an air of Scandinavian whimsy.

AD.

My style for designing interiors is very contemporary in look but as we work for residential clients it also has to be functional and liveable. Many of the interiors I create will be used for many years so we keep trendy touches to a minimum to ensure longevity. I also draw lots of inspiration in my style from Scandinavian interiors, their cool calm look is totally the look I love.

PL.

A complete mix of style. I like mixing honest simple materials with strong colours whilst bringing old and new together in the same space. I have never been a fan of just one style of design.

 

3. What’s your biggest pet hate related to design?

OH.

My biggest pet hate is the use of stereotyped historical pastiche – an extrinsic design approach focused solely on impressing others. Good design should be about improving the environments that we live in and the wider environment beyond those boundaries.

WT.

Snobbery, both ways. I find it equally annoying when someone looks down on affordable design, such as IKEA, as I do when others dismiss people who invest in high end design as a ‘waste’ of money. Personally, I like to mix high and low in my own home; how much people choose to spend on furnishing their homes is personal and not something worthy of judgement.

AD.

Using any poorly designed product just upset me. William Morris said ‘have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ – I’m inclined to revise that to just beautiful full stop. If I had to name one product I dislike it is any ‘recliner’ chair with integrated handles – absolute design hell in my books.

PL.

Elitism. Design should be open to everybody and truly accessible to anybody interested. Good design should be able to influence and improve the lives of the greatest number of people possible.

 

4. Which is your favourite material to work with?

OH.

My favourite material is timber, it’s the grain, its visual warmth, it’s acoustic qualities and the way it brings a human sense of scale to a space. I love to experiment with it on my TV shows and have had fun sanding, staining and even scorching it with a blow torch to create different effects.

WT.

Linen. I love the tactile, soft, floaty and relaxed feel it brings to a space. Of course, it allows me to play with colour and pattern, too!

AD.

I love working with natural products in our projects. We recently used the most beautiful grey limestone for a kitchen project. You can sense the history and age of the stone when you start to look at the veining. Although natural products do often come with a maintenance overhead they beat manufactured materials every time for me.

PL.

I love working with Formica. It is available in so many colours and finishes.

 


5. If you could recommend 1 shop to visit, which would it be and why?

OH.

My favourite shops aren’t design shops per se, but more utilitarian stores that offer fixtures, fittings, and tools. Hardware shops and in particular yacht chandlers are always a source of enormous excitement for me……. But then I did used to be a windsurfing instructor so perhaps that’s not so surprising.

WT.

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Fine Little Day. Her scandinavian aesthetic is so beautiful – I always try to have some of her pieces in each new apartment I move into.

AD.

Given my love of Scandinavian interiors I would have to say Folklore on Upper Street in Islington. The products are careful selected by the owners who understand the Scandi style so well. From lighting to homeware via furniture I’d have every product in my own home if I could.

PL.

I struggle to get passed IKEA for this answer. The range of style is huge and the price point means that everybody can usually find something they like. For me, a good interiors shop has a great selection of products at prices which don’t exclude anybody. If I was allowed another choice, then Untothislast on Brick Lane, London, would be it!