Abigail Owens, design director at Carolyn Parker lets us in on her current projects

Abigail Owens, design director at Carolyn Parker talks to us about the work / life balance and lets us in on her current projects.
Abigail Owens
Position within company:
Design Director
What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
Upcycling, finding new homes for items that we love, restoring them and having more of an eclectic relaxed feel.
What are the key influencing elements at present?
Understandable patriotism, but hopefully we can move away from the the Union Jack and focus more on the importance of trades and manufacturers at home rather than overseas.
What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?
Currently home hunting for the right plots in Portugal for an existing client and at the very early stages of a large house, home spa and party pad in Yorkshire. I’m also focusing on the Cashmere Collection by Carolyn Parker and my blog Interior-Insight.com
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
It’s a careful balance! I am currently on maternity leave but it’s not the kind of job that you can just walk away from. You need a good team behind you and strong relationships with your clients.
Name 5 key essentials for 2012 and beyond
Bespoke designs, Patience, Bamboo, Cashmere, Quality.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Be sympathetic to your surroundings and remember that it’s not your dream, it’s the clients.
How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?
Hugely important- it’s fantastic industry to be in and should be celebrated often!

The car you drive? 
Audi Q5

Your favourite place to travel to in the world? 
I love going to Portugal to Carolyn’s home there and to South Africa to see family.

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar? 
Kasbah Tamadot – atlas mountains

The place that gives you the most energy? 
The design studio, surrounded by new projects and our team.

And the place that enables you to totally relax?
I relax most at home with a glass of wine in my hand and my Jack Russell curled at my feet

Your favourite food and drink? 
A good steak and a glass of Pol Roger (or preferably a bottle!)