interior designer interview rebecca james

For the second part of our interview series, we spoke to ex-ballet dancer and model, Rebecca James of Interior Desires.

With an impressive portfolio of work already, we were keen to speak to Rebecca more about her most exciting interior design projects to date, her unique approach to each new piece of work and first hand advice for aspiring interior designers.

Part 2 begins...

Tell us about your process. How do you approach each new design project?

I try to take a unique approach to each project. However tempting it is to use tried and tested formulas, I treat each project as a research project with its own unique DNA.

I create concepts based on my client’s briefs and observations of their lifestyles for residential projects. For hospitality projects we take a client’s brief and imagine how customers/ clients will interact and function in the space.

I also take into consideration the location and architecture of a space when designing as I believe a project should have a sense of place.

Do you ever use vintage pieces in your designs?

I almost always use vintage pieces in all my projects as I believe they add character and soul to my projects.

I have a personal affinity for mid-century Italian design, but use pieces from late 19th century and early 20th century.

I enjoy trawling through the vintage shops and flea markets in London and Paris in search of unique pieces for my projects.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I suppose my biggest achievement was winning the IDFX 2010 Best up and coming interior designer.

What has been the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

The Scotch which was a bar/nightclub was a project I really enjoyed working on.

The venue has an illustrious history and when I was approached to design it I jumped at the opportunity. The project was very challenging because the existing layout was quite difficult to work with and we were given a short time to bring my designs to life.

Most importantly my clients were pleased with the outcome and the venue was very successful.

What advice would you give to aspiring interior designers?

The trick to being successful in the design industry apart from talent is to be a “people person” and learn to work under pressure.

In this business you come across a lot of egos supplier and client wise, so one needs to know how to manage people to get the best out of them. I would also advise budding designers to never lose their curiosity and willingness to learn.

I am still as enthusiastic about design as I was when I first started, I learn new things every day and still get a buzz when I discover new talents, products etc.

Finally, be decisive and true to yourself. Try not to mimic other designers style rather develop your own as client’s will appreciate your individuality.


Which interior design trends are you excited to see in Spring 2016?

There are quite a few trends that I think we will see in 2016. I’m noticing a sort of revival of the Brutalist movement, but in a more pared back way.
I’m referring to furniture and objects with rough, uneven surfaces. Some examples are burnt wood, crackled and rough metal surfaces and concrete/clay surfaces.
This trend can also be interlinked with another trend of using earthy/raw materials and minerals such as precious stones as accents and accessories.

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