Following on from our recent features on inspiring interiors, Editor Natasha had the pleasure to talk to Caroline Verity, Creative Director of family-run company Skipton Properties.
Caroline has a background in advertising, gaining most of her experience at M&C Saatchi in London. As Creative Director, Caroline is in charge of marketing, as well as curating our specifications and designing the company’s show homes. She works closely with architects and interior designers to make sure homes are not only beautiful but make the most of every square foot.
Caroline, please give us a little insight into your creative background.
I joined my family’s business around 5 years ago after a failed change in direction! I had been working at M&C Saatchi, an advertising agency in London, and felt my career was at a bit of a standstill. I’ve always had a passion for politics so I left to do a masters at the London School of Economics. I unfortunately soon realised that being 27 and lacking an income in London is tougher than it sounds on paper. I left after about 3 months and found myself without a job….My father offered me one as a temporary measure whilst I looked for something else. That temporary measure turned into 5 years and counting! My role at Skipton Properties has evolved over the years. I’m now in charge of creative direction which includes everything from the design of our homes and the materials we use, to developing our brand.
What have been your key inspirations for your design and concepts?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot. A lot of my inspiration is drawn from my time in London and New York. I love the paired back contemporary design you find in both cities.
Describe your ideal space and interiors that have really impressed you.
I’m in awe of my friends architectural practice, Design Haus Liberty, her interiors are really breathtaking. An interior designer that impresses me is Marie Flanigan. I stalk them both on Instagram!
What has been your most memorable success to date?
My most successful development has been Kearns Village in the small hamlet of Cowpe in Rossendale. I wanted to develop an interior design scheme that perfectly complemented the natural stone and slimline alumiunium windows we were using. It had to be understated, yet welcoming… I think we achieved just that. You don’t find such neutral schemes from new build developers in the region we operate in. Developers of our size tend to go for something a little more flamboyant. I’d rather create homes that feel calming, homes that make our clients want to whip off their shoes and get onto the couch! We’ve sold most of of the homes in the first phase and all were sold off plan so I think we went in the right direction!
On a personal note, how would you describe your style?
Understated. I’m the type to buy forever pieces. I don’t believe in throwaway culture and I like to save for the things I really want. I buy key pieces that won’t date and I wear them to death!
Do you recommend any key resources for aspiring interior designers?
Instagram and Houzz are great resources. I often use them at the start of any scheme to see what others are doing. I’d also recommend a broad interest in architectural design and the arts. I’ve been attending the contemporary art fairs, Frieze and Basel, as well as the design fairs, PAD and the London Design Fair, for many years now. They are incredibly inspiring. What I see is more than likely out of budget but you can often find much cheaper versions on the high street.
I’d like to thank Caroline for speaking to us and sharing her path into the creative industry.