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How To Create An Interior Design That Will Stand The Test Of Time

How To Create An Interior Design That Will Stand The Test Of Time

Stephen Dick of Residence Interior Design believes there are some fundamental things to ask yourself first before you even dare to follow fashion. It all starts with who you are and what makes you tick…

We’re often asked about trends and fashion in interiors. What’s the latest thing? This season’s must-have look?

Fashion influences all of us of course, but the nature of our interior design projects for private clients is that they’re not making transient choices – something that’s great for now but maybe not so tomorrow.

I believe the environment in which we live can have a profound effect on how we live and enjoy our lives. Our homes are important to us, so we often make significant investments in them too. We need the results to have enduring appeal, and to feel good for many years to come.

It’s still your style

We always design for individual clients rather than having a particular look that our studio produces, or a particular look for this year. Our clients are all so incredibly different, but their unique likes and dislikes aren’t the only things we consider when designing our interiors.

It’s important to go beyond the room that’s on your mind or just the ‘interior’ of your home. We always think about the individual property too, and even the wider context in which our clients live.

We work on properties across London, as well as in Surrey and Hampshire. But it’s not just as simple as ‘Town’ or ‘Country’ though, or period versus contemporary.

Styles, finishes and fittings can be brought together and combined to create a scheme that feels just right for you and your home. It’s still your style, but it might be tailored for your current property or location. If the design is as right for your home as much as it’s right for you then it should have lasting appeal.

Successful design is about helping you to understand your own style, and designing in a way that’s in keeping with your property and sympathetic to where you live.

Let me explain and give you a few examples which I hope will help if you’re thinking about your own home.

Consider your property

Your home itself – the property in which you live or that you’re building – is the envelope which contains the interior. The architecture of the building will influence the design inside – its layout and arrangement as well as its style.

A contemporary new-build property will feel quite different from a period property, and the design of the interior should consider this. It can still contrast with the property, but it should somehow reference it if the interior is to feel like it belongs in the property.

Think about where you live

The atmosphere of our surroundings and the context of our location affects how we live, and that’s something that can influence the inside of our homes too. Some aspects of your home’s location can have a direct bearing on the interior, such as a waterfront or riverside position.

This can affect how the property is used and how it’s arranged, its light and its views. Make the most of the location and what it can offer when it’s experienced from the inside!

Here are some examples from our portfolio of Interior Design Projects in London

A luxurious penthouse on the River Thames

This penthouse property in London’s River Thames is atop a modern apartment building. As a penthouse, it’s luxurious in its use of materials, but in keeping with its contemporary surroundings, the room is carefully detailed to make it as simple and unfussy as possible. A sculptural tub enjoys magnificent views over London’s skyline, and sleek Corian surfaces are used to contrast with the rich timber finishes.

A full refurbishment in historic South Kensington

For the high-end refurbishment of this period property for a client in South Kensington, we designed a contemporary style interior with traditional touches and references in the materials and details. The new flooring is a classic oak timber herringbone. The sleek, bespoke joinery for the TV and AV systems is in rich American Black Walnut, with subtle references to the period in its cornice and plinth details. Traditional roman blinds are electrically operated and controlled from the smart home system.

Designing with antiques in a Chelsea Townhouse

The client of this townhouse in Chelsea had an existing collection of antique furniture in their Victorian property and was keen to incorporate this into a more modern interior. Using elegant and luxurious finishes in a neutral colour palette with jewel-like accents, along with traditional silk fabrics and wallcoverings, we were able to combine their style with their antiques, in an interior sympathetic to the property.

An apartment overlooking Westminster

The full remodelling of this apartment opposite Westminster was all about the location, with the spaces opened up to the fabulous view over London, and resulting in a sociable open-plan living space. A striking yet refined palette of colours and materials was used throughout the apartment, in conjunction with contemporary furnishes and joinery in-keeping with the building and its situation.

A converted industrial building in the City of London

Over in Farringdon in the City of London, a contemporary treatment again, but not quite the same. This is an apartment in old printworks that was originally converted in the 1990s. We redesigned the layout of the apartment, and also the style and the finishes. We designed a simpler, more minimal style which suited the industrial building better, including exposed lighting fittings. Douglas fir timber flooring is used throughout and a sleek, modern kitchen is designed to make the most of the natural light.

Bring it together

These examples show how interiors can be about far more than just your own style. The influence of your property and being sympathetic to where you live should influence your interiors too. It all needs to be right for you, and look and feel right with your surroundings.

For us, bringing these together: our clients’ needs and desires, their properties, and the wider context – are the ‘must-haves’. Start from here and your interior will never go out of fashion.


Image credits: Residence Interior Design | Top image: Unsplash