Name: Rhian Barker
Company: Accouter Design
Position: Group Design Director
Tell us a little about your background in design…
Since qualifying as an Interior Architect in 2005, I have had the fortune to work on various residential interior design projects all over the world. My career kick started in 2007 when I was awarded the Young Person’s Architectural Scholarship at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. As a younger designer I exhibited personal artwork in various galleries in the UK and showcased residential work in Australia Vogue. My more recent achievements are the interior design of a £100m super prime property in Mayfair, show apartments for luxury developers such as Grosvenor Estates and Northacre.
I joined Accouter Design in 2013 in order to set up the design side of the studio. Since then we have grown from a team of five to seventy-plus talented individuals. The many projects we are currently working on includes the Interior Architecture of a £12m private property in Mayfair due for completion in May of this year, and a 20,000 sqft private residence in Riyadh. My role within the company is to oversee the creative output of the design team; to manage, mentor and drive projects through to completion with a keen eye for detail, budget and brief. You’ll normally find me with a coffee in hand zipping around London for various meetings, but I’m at my most happiest when I’m brainstorming with our designers
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Eclectic, tailored, colourful!
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I get inspiration from everywhere! I love travelling; if I come back from Milan I will have been inspired by the beautiful architecture of the city – the wonderful piazzas, courtyards of Brera. Or I might be sifting through the antiques markets in Paris. Last year I spent the summer in South America and sought inspiration in the vibrant colours and textured weaved fabrics and astounding landscapes. I also share ideas with our designers, and I am constantly inspired by their creativity.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Generally, I embrace the fact we seem to be moving toward a more intelligent, timeless moment in design. We are moving away from designing for design sake. Everything is becoming more considered. We are all worldlier, more environmentally aware and more invested in the future than we have ever been. I believe that is starting to feed through into interior design schemes where they becoming more layered, more eclectic, mixing old with new, bold with subtle and mis-matching craft with modern to create really interesting and thought-provoking spaces.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2018 and beyond.
1. Design & Fashion Overlap – it has always been that interiors, art and fashion have always sat closely with each other but now more than ever with recent collaborations such as Degournay & Aquazzuro, Damien Hirst & Lalique and Wedgewood & Lee Broom
2. Rethinking Materials – the way we are mixing and using materials in unexpected ways is really exciting this season. Marble chairs, leather embroidered coffee tables, rattan lighting installations.
3. Crafts Rediscovered – we really are getting crafty nostalgia! Whether it’s a William Morris fabric or a Gio Ponti furniture piece, every great project at the moment seems to have homage piece of
4. Colour – its all about the teal greens and terracotta reds this season
5. Bronze – is back. And thank the Lord I say!
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Every design, every project must tell a creative story. It must have a strong concept and purpose. This is your building block. Have a great concept and stay true to it and you will create a great project.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
It is an honour to be shortlisted at the International Design and Architecture awards. Their back catalogue of talented featured designers is unquestionable. They are at the forefront of recognising and showcasing the future of international design.
What projects are you currently working on?
The many projects we are currently working on includes the Interior Architecture of a £12m private property in Mayfair due for completion in May of this year, and a 20,000 sqft private residence in Riyadh.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue growing our business by growing our pool of talented Individuals by driving forward creative and exciting projects.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
The coast of Northern Brazil
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Corinthia Hotel, London,
Ammo bar, Hong Kong
The Jane Restaurant, Antwerp
Your favourite book, film & song?
Wild Horses, Rolling Stones
Your favourite food and drink?
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
In the garden, in the sunshine, in the hammock, reading
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?