Designer in Profile: Neil Mclachlan, Director of Neil Mclachlan Design

Name: Neil Mclachlanneil (1)
Company: Neil Mclachlan Design
Position within company: Director
Website: Neil Mclachlan Design

. Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Son of an architect I was educated in New Zealand, then at an exclusive Paris design school run by the haute couture fashion houses. I have worked in various parts of the world and on projects as diverse as boutique hotels, retail, apartments and even a motorcycle museum.

. How would you describe your personal design style?
My style tends to be eclectic and unpredictable – definitely project specific and non prescriptive.

. Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am inspired by a multitude of arts – music, graphics, architecture – with an intense interest in historical and indigenous reference.

. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I see design moving towards more individualistic environments with custom and period pieces – the opposite of global branding and generic high street retailers.

. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
The relationship of the interior to the exterior. The relationship of the interior to the landscaping. The complex relationship of layered elements. The careful analysis of scale and the exaggeration thereof. The crucial element of lighting and how to control it.

. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Respect the client’s wishes and work to give their taste integrity and gravitas.

. How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
I think the awards are a fantastic way for global designers to have the work put on an international stage for all to see.

. What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a variety of residential projects in New Zealand and the U.S. as well as commercial projects in the UK.

. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I want to continue to expand my international clientele and work on other small luxury hotels.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession? My 1887 Bechstein grand piano
Your favourite holiday destination? Greek Islands
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar? Ham Yard Hotel, London
Your favourite book / film / song? The Portrait of Dorian Grey
Your favourite food and drink? Asian food, New world wines
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? A long lunch with good friends in a gorgeous garden is my perfect way to spend an afternoon – it’s the only time I stop working!
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? I can’t imagine not being a designer. Its my favourite thing in the whole world – a job
that is a wonderful lifestyle in itself.
Anything else interesting?
I travel constantly and love putting interesting people in touch with each other. We have to promote the international design community and interaction between professionals.