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