Dec­o­rat­ing

We talk to our favourite in­te­rior de­sign­ers about their work and ask them to share their styling tips

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - News -

Re­becca Wake­field In­te­rior shares de­signer her tips for ar­rang­ing your liv­ing room, fresh paints from Earth­born and Lit­tle Greene, and new ways to use wood

Who is she? Bri­tish in­te­rior de­signer Wake­field is a qual­i­fied ar­chi­tect, but re­alised dur­ing her de­gree at New­cas­tle Univer­sity that she was ‘far more fas­ci­nated by the in­ter­nal ex­pe­ri­ence of a space’. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, she worked at cloth­ing re­tailer Gap for six years as a vis­ual mer­chan­diser, which in­stilled in her a strong sense of how to cre­ate im­me­di­ate vis­ual im­pact. Af­ter that, she went to work for a prop­erty de­vel­oper, spe­cial­is­ing in Lon­don ware­house apart­ments. In 2011, she joined Banda Prop­erty, where she is now cre­ative di­rec­tor. This Lon­don firm un­der­takes ev­ery­thing from be­spoke prop­erty de­vel­op­ment to pri­vate in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion com­mis­sions and fur­ni­ture de­sign. Its re­cent projects have in­cluded re­vamp­ing a group of flats in a stuc­coed Re­gency ter­race and the con­ver­sion of a Rich­mond brew­ery. Wake­field over­sees the cre­ative as­pects of ev­ery project, so she has an im­pres­sive con­tacts book of ar­chi­tects, struc­tural engi­neers and ar­ti­sans. What’s her style? Typ­i­cal Banda in­te­ri­ors fea­ture un­der­stated colours, beau­ti­ful par­quet floors (as seen in the in­te­rior Banda de­signed for a Maryle­bone flat, above right and be­low right) and pre­cious ma­te­ri­als such as mar­ble and brass (as demon­strated in the firm’s kitchen for Park­gate House, Bat­tersea, be­low left). ‘I’m drawn to a sim­ple and ef­fort­less look, so I love ex­plor­ing tex­tures, tones and ma­te­ri­als within a re­stricted pal­ette,’ she says.

Wake­field’s spe­cial skills in­clude match­ing pieces of art to in­te­ri­ors and cre­at­ing rooms that har­monise with his­tor­i­cal build­ings. ‘I al­ways start a con­cept with the ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ment at the fore­front of my mind,’ Wake­field ex­plains. ‘Ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­ri­ors are so heav­ily in­ter­twined that one skill set with­out the other can pre­vent ex­cep­tional de­sign.’ Her in­spi­ra­tion comes from un­ex­pected sources: hid­den build­ings in the cap­i­tal, Swedish fash­ion la­bel Acne and Lon­don florist Pe­talon, which cre­ates mod­ern-rus­tic ar­range­ments. What are her re­cent projects? The Her­itage Col­lec­tion, a set of apart­ments in a con­verted bak­ery in Bat­tersea, saw Wake­field team up with restau­ra­teur Mark Hix on a dark wood and mar­ble kitchen de­sign. She has also worked on a house in Ox­ford­shire, which was con­structed us­ing tra­di­tional Cotswold stone and dec­o­rated in clas­sic coun­try­house style with a mod­ern twist.

What is she cur­rently work­ing on?

Sev­eral in­te­rior de­sign com­mis­sions, in­clud­ing a river­side apart­ment in Rich­mond, a Brix­ton town­house and a small pied à terre in Chelsea. She says ‘I love gritty, ur­ban ar­eas of Lon­don, so my dream project would be a ware­house project – some­thing like a bou­tique ho­tel, for ex­am­ple.’

‘Ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­ri­ors are so heav­ily in­ter­twined that one skill set with­out the other can pre­vent ex­cep­tional de­sign’

Turn over for Re­becca Wake­field’s ad­vice on ar­rang­ing your liv­ing room

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