Name: Ann Marie Cousins
Company: AMC Design
Position within company: Owner
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire I founded AMC Design in 2014 but began dabbling in interior design long before I made a career change after 15 years in law. Over the years, my business has gone from strength to strength, growing through word of mouth. I have a flexible way of working which lets clients select the level of support they need because no two clients or projects are the same.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I respect classic design in a period setting, adding an injection of colour and layering textures to bring the space to life, while allowing for practical considerations, such as storage, circulation space and lighting. My goal is to create spaces which are welcoming and brimming with personality and style.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
From the most unexpected of places usually. The juxtaposition of colours, textures and styles really catch my eye. Of course I go to design shows, and keep up to date with innovations and all that interior publications have to offer. I also live in a beautiful part of Yorkshire and am often inspired by the colours around me. I design many family homes and I can directly relate to many of my clients’ desires for a sociable, practical family home which reflects the personalities and lifestyle of those who live there.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Clients are embracing colour, and monochromatic schemes in jewel colours are the next step after the inky schemes which have been embraced by the design community in recent years. I think pattern is an essential part of these schemes and that the trend for traditional patterns to be brought up to date will continue to gather pace.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Tranquillity, sustainability, integrity, individuality and embracing pattern and jewel colours.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Be brave. Go further than you think. Don’t compromise unnecessarily.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
The International Design & Architecture Awards are an essential part of setting the quality bar within the design community and continuing to push ourselves to grow as designers. Getting recognition from our peers by being shortlisted provides recognition for the hours of hard work we all put into our schemes and is a fantastic way to show the public how important good design is.
What projects are you currently working on?
AMC Design are currently working on an apartment in London for bachelor living, a family home in dire need of more storage and an 3000 sq.ft barn conversion to office space for a family business in North Yorkshire.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Encourage clients to be brave and grow the business.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
My grandma’s wedding ring
Your favourite holiday destination?
Porto Sani, Thessaloniki, Greece
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Claridge’s Bar, London
Your favourite book, film & song?
You Do Something To Me by Paul Weller
Your favourite food and drink?
Salad Niçoise and a glass of Gavi di Gavi.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
A walk in the countryside with my family, followed by tea and cake.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Lecturer in history
Anything else interesting?
While studying law, I lived in Seattle for a summer and worked at Pike Place Market for an amazing local jeweller and that experience was the first step in learning about the skill and hard work that goes into unique, hand crafted works of art. My love of design and creative work stayed with me through a career in law and the problem solving skills that I learnt as a lawyer have stood me in good stead as a designer and business owner.
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