“Bringing beauty and personality to your interior projects” by Jade Doran
When starting the journey with a new interior design project, I have three principles that are the foundation of my process:
First… It will be fun.
Second... It will be a creative experience.
Third…the outcome will surpass both what I and my client had initially envisioned!
To deliver exceptional projects, I have to ‘dive deep’ with my clients, move beyond the superficial and get a proper understanding of what you are hoping to achieve, how you live, and how this project can enhance your life. I don’t do ‘generic’ or ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions – I believe that if you are asking a professional to undertake your project, then you deserve a beautiful, personal, and well-thought-out scheme, considering all aspects of the design and how it can enhance your home and your life.
This is a lovely, collaborative process where we meet, drink coffee, and discuss both the broad aspects of the project like - budget; how the sun enters your rooms; and where the best views are captured, but I also focus on the minutiae, such as storage requirements, where you do your makeup, and how does the door handle feel in your hand. The sorts of details that will pay you back enormously in the enjoyment of the finished scheme for many, many years to come.
There will be aspects that you won’t have thought about, but I know will be essential aspects of our decision-making throughout the scheme.
The final thing that makes the process special is my close integration with our architects – so often I see schemes where all the budget has been spent on the shell and there is little left for the important interior aspects; those features that would make such a big difference to your everyday enjoyment of the space.
I am currently working with a lovely family who had a very ambitious extension in mind for their beautiful house which has grand, open parkland views from the rear. The cost for the extension, though would eat up the entire budget meaning that important interior features would have to be omitted – the homework study for the children, the outdoor kitchen for gatherings of family and friends, the intimate breakfast space in the master bedroom for a chilled, slow Sunday morning, with croissants and newspapers. My role is to reconcile these sometimes-conflicting requirements and deliver a project that will be affordable and delightful.
I work first to see what is the minimum level of expensive building works that are needed: can your ideal lifestyle be accommodated within the existing house by clever, imaginative use of space and some minor alterations? So often, this is the case; when I have fully understood your brief and aspirations and have analysed your current house and the opportunities it affords, a modest extension may be all that is needed to unlock a wonderful living space for you and your family.
Working closely with our architects, I can be sure that the works will be economical and practical, will comply with planning and building regulations requirements, and will enhance the scheme and increase the value of your property. Working together, we avoid the common problems with some architect’s designs where rooms can be difficult to furnish, doors are in the wrong place, or the windows are too high to enjoy the garden view, for example.
A typical briefing session with me for a home renovation project could include some of the following questions…
‘…what size bed are you hoping for?’
Seems obvious but the bed size will depend on available space within the room, what other activities you need in the space, the style and dressing of the headboard... etc?
‘…do you have artwork that we need to incorporate?’
I've been asked to design in a special place for everything from a child's first finger paintings to a pouncing lion taxidermy, so little here will surprise me. Artworks can hold so many important and significant meanings for us all and can really set off a space or room. The pieces must be properly and sensitively positioned to maximum effect and can help with creating focal points, establishing colour palettes, or just adding the right level of visual interest into the room to instil calmness and well-being, or vibrancy and excitement.
‘…how do you use your bedside table?’
This one frequently opens the proverbial can of worms!! Books, phones, table lamps, a place for your watch, the family portrait, or a minimalist approach – you’d be surprised what I've been asked to accommodate!
‘…what are your thoughts on sustainability?’
This point is essential for us all to consider, and a sensitively designed interior can help with the use of natural materials, use of recycled and/or recyclable products, the introduction of natural lighting, or the use of smart-home technology. With my architectural colleagues, we can make your home more energy efficient and draught free, and help open up the inside of the home to the garden and bring nature inside.
I love interior design as it touches our lives in so many positive ways, helps with our feelings of well-being and connection with nature, and can ensure our homes are practical, functional, and beautiful. We can invest so much time, money and energy into our homes that getting it right is so important – please contact me to have an informal chat about your hopes and dreams for your project, and let's see how I can help you.
Written by Jade Doran
Senior Interior Designer