Honky owner Christopher Dezille spent 5 minutes talking to us about his design projects and predictions for the years ahead.
What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
There is a general softening in shapes of furniture and the texture of material choices selected for products and a move away from the more angular brutal pieces associated with the 1990’s. There appears to be more of a global understanding and a leaning towards pieces which, although still striking, can form part of a home and as such are required to blend more seamlessly with a mixture of products from various periods, styles etc.
What are the key influencing elements at present?
The environment, energy conservation and suppliers green credentials are still very hot topics. Although this is a key consideration for any project, this shouldn’t impact visually on how I interpret a space or the client’s own thoughts for how the space should feel.
What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?
We’re currently working on around 25 projects, which is pretty usual for us. There’s a real smorgasbord of large refurbishment, new build developments, some concept and specification projects, and a number of private clients both here and abroad.
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
Design is a massive part of my every day life both in and out of the office, it permeates my entire being, and is with me in the decisions I make, and how I view everything around me. It’s the constant sound track to my life, and as such my family life and life outside design has learnt to cohabit comfortably.
And key trends that we should be aware of?
I don’t really do ‘key trends’ as my roll isn’t about delivering this seasons new colour sofa! I take a space and unlock it’s potential. I’ll continue to pursue that cause, and leave colour prediction to the make over artists.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Sit in a space and let it talk to you before you even start formulating the scheme. Don’t turn up with a list of new products that you want to use. Spend time getting to know the client and what they want to achieve the spaces. Find out how they really live.
How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?
Awards shouldn’t form any part of your day-to-day life as a designer, or be what drives and motivates you in your work. That said if a project has been successful with the original client and it has delivered to your clients brief, there’s no harm in your contemporaries judging your work and having an opinion as to whether they think it’s exceptional. There is a certain amount of satisfaction gained from knowing that professionals within your own industry feel your work is of a standard that deserves recognition.
How do you relax?
I spend time with my family, enjoy time with friends and I love cooking. Strangely for me I love working in the office at the weekends without other distractions, and constant phone calls. Weekend working affords me clarity of thought to devote to design that I am unable to enjoy during the working week.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Honky will have been established for ten years in 2011, which will be a real benchmark, and certainly a time of reflection, on how far the company has come in such a relatively short time. We’re planning a bit of a celebration to mark the event. Apart from that, we will continue in our pursuit of delivering the service and quality that our clients have come to expect.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
The car you drive?
Very dull I’m afraid, It’s a Audi Q7 just a good sized family car which gets all of us from A to B safely
Your favourite place to travel to in the world?
I enjoy different places for different reasons; I’m still searching for that one place that ticks every box all the time.
Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?
I love fusion foods so am pretty happy anywhere that does this type of food well, although a carefully crafted interior, impeccable service good company, and a decent wine list goes a long, to creating a memorable evening.
The place that gives you the most energy?
Running a company generally means that you have to be able to motivate yourself and the people that work for you, however this is especially true of any creative company. Designers literally put themselves (by way of their work) up for scrutiny, and ultimately your work is judged as fit for purpose and meeting the clients brief. Rejection and criticism of your work can be difficult to take, especially when starting out, and I think it’s only over time you learn to deal with it. Having worked in the industry for over 20 years I learnt to deal with this pretty well, and manage to start ever day looking forward to whatever challenges are thrown up throughout the day. A little bit of clear headspace and 5 minutes time out, and I’m ready to think objectively about the task at hand.
And the place that enables you to totally relax?
I love to ski (well snowboard) and am totally relaxed in the mountains, especially after a really good day out throwing myself down various slopes, followed by some après ski of course. I think there’s something about the sheer scale of the environment, the panoramic views, and the silence in the mountains that really helps me to put things in perspective and totally unwind.
Your favourite food and drink?
I love seafood, especially shellfish, and what better way to enjoy fish than with a glass or two of crisp white wine.