Design with Confidence Not for Compliments

March 25, 2016

Coming from a Fine Arts background and having never formally trained in interior and spatial design, I tend to approach my job in a very sculptural way and rely a lot on gut instinct. Every project I work on is approached with a fresh and open mind and inspiration is gathered from many different areas. It is also important for me to get to know the person/company/family I am working with really well and to feel certain that I understand them and what makes them tick before I start designing. I like to think of my role as a spatial designer, as one in which I am merely there to draw out what is going on in my clients head and make sense of it all on their behalf. I have always believed that the space you call yours is there to give YOU pleasure and enjoyment and show off your personally in the best possible way.

6_6_13_ZandraRhodes73972Fashion Designer Zandra Rhodes and her house in London – Via The Selby

It is interesting now I think about it, the one thing I truly love the most when I work on films, is receiving the script and really trying to work out who the characters are and what their houses would be like. I get such a thrill out of coming up with all these different side stories and weird personality traits. Would they have collected German beer mugs? Are they vegan or would they be ok with a taxidermied ferret on their mantle piece? You really have to get into the character’s head and draw all this out.  I think that is why I get such a kick out of websites like The Selby and Freunde von Freunden as they tend to explore the living and work spaces of those who seem really tuned in to who they are, and it really shows in the way they choose to style their home or office.

Frédérick Ernestine Grasser-Hermé – Chef and Food Writer in her apartment in Paris – via Freunde von Freunden

You may have already noticed that I never really talk about interior design rules, ‘what not to do’ and all that other stuff you see all over pinterest all the time. That is because I sort of just don’t care to be perfectly honest. Designing should be much more fluid and intuitive. If you can tap into the true feeling of a space and what you need out of it, you will be fine! Just follow your gut! There really is no right or wrong, however you choose to decorate your home is up to you. (Listen to me, I am putting myself out of a job!)

In the book Undercorate by the founder of Dwell Studios, Christiane Lemieux, she writes,

“Undecorating is following your instinct, even when it’s telling you to do something a little crazy and against the rules….it is about putting your philosophy first, putting your personality first and letting your signature style blossom naturally from the decisions you make. If you design your house around the things you love, you’ll end up with a house that suits you perfectly “

You may have come across this photo series by Gabriele Galimberti  titled Toy Stories. Gabriele traveled the world for 18 months and was invited into many different homes, photographing all the treasured toys of the children he meet. I love the instant joy to feel when your eye falls open these images. The kids, surrounded by their favourite possessions are so happy and stoked to be showing them off to the world. They have no worries about what is “cool” or “in” right now, they are just following their passions and interests whatever they may be.




Why do we then grow up to be so worried about what other people think and ignore what we truly want? If you sit down and spend sometime discovering and accepting who you really are, your house will then tell your story without you even trying. The trick is to know yourself and design with confidence not for compliments.

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Guy Blakeslee and Maximilla Lukcas’s house in LA – via The Selby

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