TRUE BR IT
Interior designer Elliot James Barratt discusses the elements of British-style interiors and the decor trends to watch
Tell us more about your design philosophy. Our company ethos is about bringing the British hallmark of quality to all areas of the company, be it personal service, the quality of build or the attention to detail. We believe our clients are the most important. It’s about reflecting their needs and their personalities, and to make sure that the design concept works for their lifestyle.
How does this influence your aesthetic? The Elliot James style is understated and refined; we do clean lines for the floors and walls, then inject pops of colour through materials and fabrics. Our starting point tends to be a particular chair or artwork that the client already owns and we’ll build the design around that. Craftsmanship is also very important so we make sure that people get well-built furniture, designed in a style that’s built to last.
In your opinion, what are the quintessential elements of British style? I think the British do eclectic very well, plus we have a lot of antiques and history when it comes to interior design. We enjoy mixing the contemporary and the modern with the traditional and classic. I like working with rich materials like leather, brass and velvet. I also love natural wood, which brings a certain warmth to the interior. What are some emerging interior trends you have observed in Asia? There are a lot more velvet and metallics, with the emergence of coppers, brass and gold, and that’s a trend that I see continuing. I really enjoy mixing shades of grey against the copper tones; blues have replaced greys and now I am seeing rich greens coming through. People have been playing it safe for a long time. Now they are starting to get more creative with injecting patterns on fabrics and using more textures. Going bespoke is another emerging trend. Getting someone to custom build can make an interior unique and more desirable. We’re working with a company to design a bar cart and provide a bespoke service for built-in home bars—this is a trend I keep reading about, with homeowners becoming more interested in cocktail making and entertaining at home.
What’s in the pipeline for Elliot James? The goal is to grow our team and to do more overseas projects. At the moment we have residential and commercial projects in Singapore and the UK, and villas in the Gili islands in Indonesia. We’re also working with shoe maker Septieme Largeur, who offers patina finishes for its men’s shoes, to do a bespoke collection. Clients who wish to buy furniture from the Patina collection can have a finish in any colour they like. We can even do a whole gradient of colours if they wish, for something truly bespoke.
LEFT TO RIGHT The Avry night club in Singapore; British interior designer Elliot James Barratt; a daybed from the Patina collection by Elliot James