Name: Claudia Dorsch
Company: Claudia Dorsch Interior Design Ltd
Position within company: Director
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
My first job was assisting an antiques dealer at the trade fairs which was great fun and I loved hunting for bargains myself. My father was in property and an eccentric antiques collector, he suggested I should study architecture. But I wanted to carve out my own way and moved to London in 1994 to study business and finance and then worked in the City managing portfolios for 10 years. Privately, I developed my interior design skills over two decades by investing in and upgrading properties in London, Germany and France. When I left the City, I trained at the Inchbald School of Design, turning my passion for renovation, decoration and furniture into a profession through Claudia Interiors. As well as supporting clients across the Europe, I lecture regularly about my past projects at the Inchbald School of Design. I am fluent in German and French.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My personal style is classical elegance. But I have to say I love working with many styles and periods. Personally I have lived in a very traditional Georgian home, a modern Bauhaus home, and now my home features a lot of French influences from Art Deco to Empire but I always mix in something modern. Any project I start by researching a topic or style or period of the building extensively to ensure a scheme is successful. I love to blend and mix periods of furniture, textiles, textures, colours and patterns, natural materials and antiques. For me each piece must be ‘valuable’, it has a function – which can either be to create a wow factor and stand out or to blend in and be discreet in being very comfortable or practical. I truly listen to my clients and I see myself as the editor of their ideas and creator of their dreams. Each home must be personal and meaningful to its owners and make life for them memorable and comfortable.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I take inspiration from anything that triggers a connection. It could be an artwork or furniture the clients already own, the building, the street, a movie the clients have seen or a hotel they have visited. I listen and I connect the dots between their inspirations and my own impressions and encounters. Recently I went to the Venice Biennale and there were so many ideas and inspirations and I take many fotos and archive them.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
To be honest I try not to follow any trends or pay too much attention to where design is going. My creative process evolves over time as my own life experience grows and the impressions I collect constantly expand and I try to incorporate this into my work. I am not sure if this is a general trend but for me design has to be valuable by adding value to a property and the living experience and be durable and practical, this also includes to be ecological. Where possible, I think sourcing and making furniture locally is preferable and I can monitor the quality.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
- Using bolder colours and textures.
- Making individual designs for furniture
- Producing locally
- Upcycling by reinventing and upgrading existing pieces such as vintage and antiques
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Check your colours and textures of all materials and furnishings in the space and in the light where they are going, in daylight and artificial light.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
It is a great platform and very important to be able to present work and have a chance to be recognised.
What projects are you currently working on?
New build villa in Hampstead
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To grow the business by serving happy clients and creating their dream homes.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
All my photo albums, I love making photo albums!
Your favourite holiday destination?
There are so many places – I love travelling!
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Living in London I feel totally spoilt for choice and love trying new places but I always enjoy going back to Scotts and I cant wait to see the new Anabel’s.
Your favourite book / film / song?
Your favourite food and drink?
Italian or Lebanese.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Spending time with my children playing, crafting or sightseeing – anything that does not involve driving or studying.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I have already changed my career from fund management to design and I am very happy!