A INTERVIEW WITH OLIVIA FAWKES – INTERIOR DESIGNER BASED IN BROMLEY.
It has been a joy to meet and work with Interior Designer Olivia Fawkes this year. Olivia is a talented Interior Designer who’s first career was in marketing, so it is great to see her two skills working together as she grows her interior business.
She undertakes residential and commercial projects of every size, from refreshing a single room to managing the redesign of an entire house. She covers Bromely, London & the South East. She can recommend colour schemes, window treatments, decorative finishes, storage solutions and source furniture and accessories to suit every taste and budget. She works with trusted tradespeople who can carry out each aspect of the project professionally, but is equally happy to work with your own preferred tradespeople to ensure that you are 100% delighted with the finished interior.
I was keen to chat with her to find out more about herself and what inspires her as a designer…..
How I would describe my personal interior style –
Eclectic probably sums me up. I’m neither a minimalist nor a maximalist, but somewhere in the middle. I like calmness, order and quiet to be punctuated with colour, texture and the personal effects that sum up a person and their interests. I hate anything contrived or generic.
My favourite interior item?
My Ercol love seat. It’s an original 1960s one and my twin boys (and their friends, too) sit up to the dining table on it to eat their meals, do homework and play with Lego. It is, as William Morris would advise, both beautiful and useful!
My favourite art piece that I would love to have in my home? –
One of David Hockney’s Ipad drawings from the series: The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 – 14 April (2011) Spring is my favourite season and this picture perfectly captures those light, almost acid greens of new growth on a tree as well as the tentative blossom in the headgerow.
When it comes to my style of interiors I love –
Mid-century modernism, anything designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, anything that is textural and celebrates the beauty of natural materials.
Favourite flea markets or place to shop around the world –
Helsinki is brilliant for design classics such as IItala, Tokyo has the best cards and stationery I’ve ever seen. Lisbon is fantastic for ceramic tiles.
My favourite city and little gems to recommend –
New York because it has such a cultural richness. Moma and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are the obvious places to visit, but The Frick is well worth a visit and generally quiet – it’s essentially an incredible art collection housed in the beautiful home of an industrialist from the 19th century who spent all his money on art. I haven’t been to New York since the High Line was completed, but I would love to go back to walk along it. Whose work you find inspiring architect and or building – I find the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh so inspiring, even though he designed relatively few buildings. In a building such as the Glasgow School of Art, it’s the attention to detail that is so impressive: every element of the building both inside and out is designed to be in complete harmony. I hope it will be able to be restored back to its former glory.
My current inspiration –
The recently opened European galleries at the V&A Museum, London. Also the department stores’ Christmas windows; the best of which this year is Fortnum and Maison.
My favourite Natasha Marshall design and colourway –
Plectrum retro oval in Sea Fog. Why? Because my husband plays the guitar so our house is full of plectrums! And it’s a great design.
Songs I love to listen too –
I’ve been collecting records, then CDs, since the age of about 10 so it would be almost impossible to count how many individual ‘songs’ I own! I listen to music (or radio 4) most of the time and the soundtrack is always changing. Rock, folk, blues, country, dance, classical: there’s very little I don’t enjoy.
My favourite night out or in –
I love going to the cinema or theatre with my husband or friends.
What are you reading just now –
I always have several books on the go as well as a whole bunch of interiors magazines that I dip into. My current reads include: How to be Danish by Patrick Kingsley, Alive Alive Oh! by Diana Athill and I’m also re-reading The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett, having recently seen the brilliant film.
My mantras in life –
My school motto was (in Latin, rather pretentiously!) Palma Non Sine Pulvere, i.e. no reward without effort and it is very true – certainly for me. I find that putting in the hard work always pays dividends. Also I always aim to treat others how I would want to be treated: there’s no excuse for rudeness. I also rather like the William Morris’ advice: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. Of course, Morris didn’t have to cope with the hideous bright plastic toys that invade your home once you have children, but it’s still something to aim for!
Company name: Olivia Fawkes Interiors
Date you started your company: February 2014