Designer in Profile: Doreen Chambers, Principal of Doreen Chambers Interiors

Name: Doreen Chambers
Company: Doreen Chambers InteriorsDoreen Chambers
Position within company: Principal

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Being the assistant to the world-renowned architect Peter Marino, I was introduced to the world of interior design.  I was so intrigued by the residential interior design I went on to study at the New York School of Interior Design.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My interior design style is relaxed, elegant with a touch of glamour.  Certain elements are present in all my projects: an eclectic mix of cashmere, velvet, linen, wool, damask fabrics, custom finishes and soothing color palettes, creating a contemporary take on the classics.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Design inspiration can hit at any moment.  Traveling to different countries and being introduced to different cultures is always eye opening.  I’ve just returned from Fez and Marrakesh in Morocco where I was struck not just by the craftsmanship, but also the traditions that continue in a cooperative of rug weavers, potters, tanners, weavers, metal workers and embroiderers all creating stunningly beautiful hand-crafted objects.  It was truly an inspiring trip, I learned a lot and came away with a wealth of ideas that will reflect in some future projects.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I’ve noticed, particularly since the meteoric rise of Gucci’s fashion designer, Alessandro Michele that we’re embracing a much more exuberant palette of color, pattern and texture combinations put together in a very personal eclectic way.  Traditional textiles such as silk damask, paisley and velvet are also having a moment, which I’m thrilled about as it’s been all about taupe and grey linen for such a long time.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.

  1. Avoid prevailing trends as by their nature they’re constantly changing
  2. Eclectic furniture combinations are key so as to not have a one-note look
  3. Antiques furnishings and fabrics add substance and patina to a room
  4. I’m a big fan of wallpaper and it beats paint every time in bringing personality to a room
  5. Eco-friendly fabrics and finishes are becoming more easily accessible and we all need to do our bit to help save the planet

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
One piece of advice I always give is regarding scale – it’s very important as it can make or break a space.  I don’t believe oversized pieces make a small room look bigger, it just looks out of scale and feels claustrophobic.  Take the time to scale the furniture in the room correctly, you’ll be glad you did and be much happier with the end result.

How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
It’s always gratifying to achieve recognition from your professional peers and The International Design and Architecture Awards reward those efforts, while also giving us an opportunity to see how interior design translates in other parts of the world.

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a 6-bedroom brownstone in Brooklyn, a 4-bedroom apartment that was converted from 3 studios on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and 2 lofts in Brooklyn.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
My team and I aim to pretty much stay on the path we’re on, continuing to be sought out to produce interesting, high quality residential projects working with clients who appreciate and enjoy living well in their homes.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

Your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession is my wedding ring from my husband, a timeless Buccellati diamond band

Your favourite holiday destination?
Currently Morocco is my favorite holiday destination – it was just an astonishing experience

Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
a) La Mamounia Marrakesh is my favorite hotel
b) I actually have 3 favorite restaurants; River Café, Scotts, the Colony Grille – all in London
c) My favorite bar is the Piano bar at The Royal Mansour Hotel Marrakesh

Your favourite book / film / song?

a) There are so many movies I love it’s really hard to choose – one would certainly be Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with Sidney Poitier, Audrey Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
b) Bel Canto by Anne Patchett and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery are both favorite books of mine

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words)
In the afternoons I’m usually working or attending lunch meetings but if I do find myself free I’ll usually check out the local museum

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
If I wasn’t a designer I’d like to be a DJ or an economist, each very different but both appeal to me.

Doreen Chambers