This week we caught up with Lewis Taylor, Design Director of David Collins Studio, to talk about a very important aspect of lifestyle expression, that is, home design and architecture. Keep reading to hear his take on the art and the science of interior design.
As an interior architecture and design studio, we are asked to design across residential, hospitality and retail sectors and I think that one reason people engage us is because we work across all these different sectors and therefore they all inspire and inform each other. We are able to indulge our creativity in the private homes we design and trial ideas and experiment there. These ideas, once worked out and refined, can be used or rolled out in commercial projects.
We often talk about a residential feel in our work. Whether this is a subconscious feeling, given by the lighting or mood that a space evokes, or a feeling of physical comfort, we strive to ensure that our projects and the furniture that we create — much of which is bespoke and designed by our office (down to selecting the weave and threads of a fabric) — allows people to feel comfortable and to relax in a space.
People may or may not realise that when experiencing the spaces we design that the way these rooms function, operate, look or feel is all there because someone (or in our case a team of designers) has sat down with a pencil and taken an idea and series of influences and imagined these to create the space that you are experiencing. This is in part the designer’s innate skill as well as an operational science!
Perhaps the third role of the designer is storyteller, using the physical and the imagined, the past and the present, to create a narrative, one that the user will understand whether they realise it or not! In our projects subtle and myriad references are layered upon each other not only to lure people into a space and ensure that they understand it, but also to create new dialogue by mixing styles and periods and seeing the effect of these perhaps anachronistic objects placed and used together.
In a commercial space, beyond our own point of view and process comes the client or the brand we are working with. I would like to think we are adept at extracting and understanding the codes and the colours and the patterns and the layers of meaning within a brand, whether we are working with Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, or Jimmy Choo, or for jewellery brands such as Graff Diamonds, de Grisogono, or even working with Harrods!
We are very proud of our roster of clients, and like to think we work with industry leaders, which is why we have always enjoyed working with high street brands who are leaders at what they do, whether it is Pret-A-Manger or Café Rouge or EAT, each project is an opportunity for us to learn and to better our understanding of the complexities and nuances of human behaviour and maybe, more importantly, how they aspire to live.