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The owners of Hill House Interiors Jenny Weiss and Helen Bygraves give us the inside track on their design plans..
What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
The Industry is moving away from ‘quick fix’ . Hill House offer a couture service which is what our clients aspire to.
What are the key influencing elements at present?
J: For us the key elements in fashion, film and theatrical environment inspire us as they are constantly influencing advancements in areas such as lighting and other technologies.
What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?
J: Here in the UK, our projects include a Penthouse in Belgravia, a plethora of private residences in Central London, several large country mansions in Surrey, Kent & Essex, a converted barn to be used for entertaining number and a boutique hotel in Cornwall to name but a few, as well as show schemes for top end developers.
H: We have some fabulous projects overseas- from private estates to exclusive restaurants. Working abroad is always challenging but interesting as you can really draw on inspiration from the landscapes and culture there.
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
H: We try to make sure we maintain a sensible work life balance- where we can! We’ve both got active social lives – always dedicating our weekends to entertaining friends and family. A great team as back-up is a God-send for peace of mind.
J: We both love to travel too – although to be honest, when on holiday, we can often be found lying by the pool, sunbathing, i-Pads on our laps- checking in with the office, or dreaming up our next scheme. Having a husband who loves to cook is also a definite advantage!
Name 5 key essentials for 2012 and beyond
The seamless inclusion of Lighting Design and A/V systems and the whole of its advancement in technology is paramount to create the right ambience.
Beautiful innovative finishes such as Mother of Pearl, specialist mirror and bejewelled wallpapers for feature walls.
Luxurious bespoke bathrooms and cloakrooms are always important
The super sleek Bar- is the new adult Chill-out area. Why go out !!
The Super Room comprising of the Kitchen/Dining/Family room creating a multi-functioning family space.
And key trends that we should be aware of?
Bold statement Area Rugs.
Designer detailing which is HH signature look.
Bold colour injections of burnt orange, lime or turquoise for added impact for a muted more mutual interior.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
J: Plan adequate built in storage, but make sure it’s stylish, so your new room looks streamlined, sleek and is practical to live in.
H: You only have one chance to make a good impression- so create for the WOW factor wherever you can.
How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?
J: We noticed a real buzz around the awards last year, throughout the industry – which is fabulous. When we spoke to other designers, they told us they had voted for our schemes – now that really is a great accolade!
H. We consider them to be extremely important. They encourage healthy competition, which improves design standards. This must be a good thing.
How do you relax?H: Jenny and I adore the Ballet, I’m actually a trained dancer myself, so it’s a real passion.
J: My recent discovery is Zumba which is an excellent way to unwind, doing Shakira style moves!What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
The car you drive?
JW: My beloved BMW X5
HB: My trusty Range Rover Sport
Your favourite place to travel to in the world?
J: Cabo San Lucas-Mexico. Baja-California
H: A week at The Four Seasons in The Maldives – being truly pampered.
Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?
J: The outside restaurant at Sunset Marquee, LA
La Reserve Bar –Beaulieu sipping champagne.
H: There is such section of restaurants and bars in London, each with a different ambience and cuisine. Variety is what makes London so exciting and we are truly lucky to live in such a cosmopolitan city. Cecconi’s-Italian, Banares-Indian and many more.
The place that gives you the most energy?
J: My Home surround by family and friends
H: Going to the gym energises me for the day, however, it has to be in the morning, the evenings are for a glass of wine..
And the place that enables you to totally relax?
J: I’ve just designed my own bar in my home – I love unwinding there with my close friends and family after a stressful week.
H: Relaxing in my beautiful bathroom under my amazing Swarovski lights. – The perfect place to pamper yourself after a hard day at the design studio. But I love any Spa treatments, or a relxing massage after a busy week.
Your favourite food and drink?
H: I love fresh fish, vegetables and salads, however, in winter I do love a traditional roast dinner.
J: A glass of Pouilly Montrechat with cheese on toast.