Designer in Profile: Millie Parker, Honky

Honky have been shortlisted for Interior Design Scheme – UK Award in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2021. Read more about Design Manager, Millie Parker, below:

Name: Millie ParkerHonky

Company: Honky

Position within company: Design Manager

Website: www.honky.co.uk

Tell us a little about your background in design:
After 10 years working in media I decided to retrain and follow my passion for design. I studied at KLC where they introduced me to Honky.  After interning for MBDS and Studio Duggan, I landed a role at Honky.

How would you describe your personal design style?
If I can add a tassel I will! I love to mix raw natural finishes with rich luxurious velvets. I tend to go for more of the Autumnal, burnt spice colours mixed with smoked timbers and warm metals.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
You can find inspiration for design anywhere. So many things lead into design such as art, fashion, nature.  You just need to look around. We are fortunate enough that we have so many fantastic resources available as well. Online tools such as Pinterest can be a bit repetitive at times but is a great starting point for a concept.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Lockdown has emphasised the importance of home and finding joy in our interiors.  Many more people will be working from home permanently, we are already seeing the importance of the home office coming through.  For us, it is key to find the balance now between work and home which can be tricky if you have a small space to work with.  I think we will see some really creative and interesting solutions to this in 2021.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
– Earthy tones have been big this year and are likely to carry on through to 2021, Dulux have named their colour of the year as Brave Ground which is a comforting slubby coffee brown.

– English country extravagance is a firm favourite and one I hope continues. Piled cushions with frilled piping, curved velvet headboards and oversized vintage florals.

– Sustainable modern design.  We should all be looking to help reduce waste in our industry and work in a more sustainable fashion.  There are some really exciting materials out there such as Foresso’s timber terrazzo which is made using at least 65% waste material and looks fantastic.  One look at the Meltingpot table by Dirk Vander Kooij shows how cool and contemporary sustainable design can be.

– Flexible working and living spaces, the way we live and work has changed enormously this year and many of us are still adapting.  Our homes need to be more flexible for us and work harder than before while still being a place of sanctuary and enjoyment. It’s a fine balance.

– Travel, we have had more and more requests for interiors that reflect travels and our clients dream destinations.   This usually ties in well with using the more earthy tones we see trending.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Never skip a concept.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
The Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate great design and to showcase our studios work on an international platform.   The voting process is an inspirational hub of exciting designs that we always look forward to.

What projects are you currently working on?
We have been very fortunate in that we have had a busy 2020 working on several large apartments based on London’s Embankment. Alongside a large residential project in the Caribbean, hopefully we are able to travel and install this by the end of this year.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?
A triplex penthouse on Black Prince Road, the property had stunning views a huge roof terrace and an awkward shaped interior with faceted walls.  This was a challenge to overcome but ultimately the most rewarding.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?
Same as above!

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?
Our suppliers. No matter how organised we try and be there will always be a mad rush for a sample or costs at some point.  The suppliers we work with on a regular basis are a huge support to us, many hand delivering samples on their way home, firing quotes over to us at all hours and helping us find an elusive piece of furniture we are after.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We have some large pitches we are putting together in November/ December, hoping we win these and can carry the design through to completion in 2021.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?
My phone.  Wish I could lie and say something more meaningful but it has everything on it, all my family photos.

Your favourite holiday destination?

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Love a local hero, Ida and Paradise in Kensal Green are my favourite places to drink and eat.  Hotel would be

Your favourite book, film & song?
Shantaram, anything by Bob Dylan.

Your favourite food and drink?
Love anything with some chili on it, will never say no to a gin.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
In front of a log fire.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Baking, badly.

Honky have been shortlisted for Interior Design Scheme – UK Award in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2021.

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