On a leafy street in South Kensington you will find our design studio. Every day is different; we could be working on a new bedroom scheme for one of the hotels, meeting with artists and designers or visiting a new gallery or exhibition for inspiration.
One of the most important aspects of our work is sourcing. We are always seeking new and interesting pieces for the designs we are working on. Many times a week we are visited by designers, artists, artisans and craftspeople. Together we look over their new collections, giving them the opportunity to tell us a bit about the inspiration behind it. This week, we were visited by Soane who were showcasing their new fabric collections.
Scheming is an equally important part of our day. At Firmdale Hotels, we are continuously reinventing our interiors and developing new schemes. On Wednesday mornings, we often meet to discuss our latest plans and ideas. It’s like a show-and-tell, all the team takes part, contributing their revelations of the week or a piece of furniture or fabric that has inspired them. It is one of my favourite times. I love to see and hear their enthusiasm – it has become a reason for lots of laughter and a forum for bright ideas to emerge.
When creating a new scheme, we often start with a large scale pattern as the main design, and then pick out aspects of this to build the scheme’s story. Finding a main fabric that you love will provide guidance for the rest of the room and will establish its ‘rhythm’. Large-scale multi-coloured fabrics might be scary, but they are great for headboards, acting like a ‘canvas’ for a bedroom. If in doubt use plain colours and fabrics on the perimeter of the room and add the pattern and detail to the central pieces such as on the sofa cushions or on a statement chair.
Once your key fabric has been identified, it is possible to mix different patterns of varying sizes. Use one fabric with a large-scale pattern, one medium-scale and one small-scale. Together, these pieces of the puzzle will create a single beautiful creation!
After a day of meetings, scheming and sourcing, if we are lucky with the English weather we will get together for a catch up in the garden to hear about each other’s projects over a cup of tea.