Designer in Profile: Henrietta Holroyd, Director of Henrietta Holroyd Ltd

Name: Henrietta HolroydHenrietta Holroyd
Company: Henrietta Holroyd Ltd
Position within company: Director

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc.)
I grew up in a beautiful home. While my family no longer lives there, the house still inspires me. In a sense, I feel like I have spent my life trying to recreate that aesthetic and beauty in other people’s homes. Just over 20 years ago, after I trained at the Inchbald School of Design, I worked with a London-based boutique interior design company before starting my own interior design and style consultancy.

Specialising in residential projects for individual clients and property developers in the UK and abroad, I have built up strong relationships with people across the industry (architects, suppliers, tradespeople). A few years ago, frustrated with the way interior design seemed to be following all the same trends, getting blander (literally more ‘beige’), as well as wanting
to stretch myself both creatively and intellectually, I went back to university, completing a BSc in Sociology at the LSE. The degree, while not directly related to design, stimulated my creative flow. I returned to my design business feeling reenergised – and have since created what I believe are some of my most inspired interiors.

How would you describe your personal design style?
Eclectic and resourceful, with a dynamic, creative flair. Confident with colour and pattern my style combines comfort with glamour, sophistication and fun. However, I strongly believe a home should be imbued with its owners’ identity. Using my intuition, I thus work closely with the client to help them find their style and create an interior that matches their personality.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Everywhere! Being a visual person, it could be something I see on a walk, on my travels, while out chatting with a friend, in a gallery, fair, design house, or museum. I do look at magazines but find they can sometimes give me a visual overload so prefer to get out and see things in person.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I think (I hope!) it’s moving towards a more sustainable, ethical approach, away from the throwaway culture. Personally, I am interested in creating high-quality interiors that have a soul and a moral compass. For example, sourcing vintage items, supporting local craftsmen and artists, researching where fabrics and furniture are produced, exploring non-toxic paints as well as more natural and sustainable building materials.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2019 and beyond.
Ethical design
Support local
Support crafts

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Listen to the client’s brief – understand their vision. Look at the scheme as a whole, starting with the bigger picture then working towards the smaller details. To inspire your design scheme, I find that a single object, like a piece of art, or a stone, or even a memory of someone, can then spark off a theme from which the rest of the design follows.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
They are recognised worldwide as an industry standard, so are a prestigious platform to gain status and recognition within a competitive industry. The awards recognise the enormous amount of work we interior designers put in to our projects, as well as give value and acknowledgement to the medium and craft itself.

What projects are you currently working on?
• Modernising the interior of a 1960s villa in the hills above St Tropez.
• Interior decoration of a Victorian London riverside property for a client requiring a
natural aesthetic style.
• Sourcing and styling a rental home in west London for a couple and their young
family re-locating from the US.
• Personalising the interior of a home in South-West London within a new-build
development complex.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
• Revamp my website
• Participating in a panel talk at Decorex 2019
• Guest lecture at Inchbald School of Design
• Do research into sustainable and ethical interior design, including: discussing
packaging with suppliers; looking at materials which are more natural and also
have longevity; and reusing when possible rather than buying new.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
A 5’ x 6’ charcoal drawing of a young boy given to me by a friend from art school on a whim back in the 1980s – everyone comments on its impact.

Your favourite holiday destination?
JAPAN, without question. I went there two years ago and was captivated by the culture, fashion, materials, aesthetic, gardens, architecture, simplicity and gentleness of the place.

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Hotel: I have not yet been but am longing to visit Gio Ponti’s hotel Parco de Prinicipe in Sorrento, Italy. I love everything about it: the 1960s design, the aesthetic, the use of tiles and the colours. I’m still looking for my favourite restaurant but the roof-top bars at Soho House Berlin and Istanbul are pretty special.

Your favourite book, film & song?
Book: Herman Hesse’s Wandering.
Film: hard choice between Leos Carax’s Les Amants du Pont-Neuf and Hirokazu Koreeda’s Still Walking.
Song: Beloved by Jai Kartar.

Your favourite food and drink?
Ramen and hot almond milk with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Currently – a Kundalini Yoga class

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A Doctor. I like the logical, scientific process of evidence-based trials and am thrilled by the challenge of searching for a cure for something. I have the persistence but if only I had such a brain!

Anything else interesting?
I’m saving towards a trip to Utah to immerse myself in nature. I adore cacti and would like to learn more about these fascinating desert plants. Then, drive North to the Great Salt Lake to experience the earthwork sculpture, Spiral Jetty, created by artist Robert Smithson.

Henrietta Holroyd Ltd