Name: Josie Lywood
Company: Q Design House
Position within company: Creative Director
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Having previously studied PPE (Philosophy, Politics & Economics) at Durham University (alongside by business partner, Michelle Katz!), I completed a postgraduate diploma in Interior Design at Chelsea College of Art. After completing the course I moved on to work across London at a number of high end interior design and architectural studios. Michelle and I founded Q Design House in 2018 having always dreamed of starting our own firm. We have been friends since we met at school aged 11 and live one street apart in Richmond! Michelle’s background is very different to mine with her background in management consultancy. Between us we bring very different skills and outlook to each project.
How would you describe your personal design style?
Classic combined with contemporary, incorporating colours and patterns and eclectic pieces to reflect the client’s personality
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I find inspiration in so many areas – from visiting trade shows, hotels, restaurants, showrooms. Pinterest and Instagram also play an important role in design inspiration these days with so many ideas and images available and fed to you on a daily basis it is hard not to see particular ideas online that influence your designs.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I am seeing that design is moving further away from the formal luxury design that was previously associated with a hotel chic look. More and more clients are requesting a relaxed and sociable setting with the focus more on comfort and practicality. This has also been reflected in hotel design with influence from locations such as Soho House and Firmdale Hotels, and also in office spaces where companies are creating ‘Zen Rooms’ and relaxing café spaces for their staff. There is definitely more acceptance for mis-matched pieces and patterns and relaxed seating arrangements.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2019 and beyond.
Sustainability, pops of colour, mismatched patterns, bold coloured walls
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Make a decision and go with it!
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
The design awards are very important, especially for newly founded firms like ours to received credibility for our work.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are working one some exciting projects at the moment with a range of private clients and developers in Chelsea, Richmond and Ascot.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Expand our portfolio and we would love to work more in the commercial sector as well, especially restaurants and boutique designed hotels.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
I have an antique armchair which used to belong to my great grandfather which sits in prime position in my living room. We had it reupholstered a few years ago in a more modern patterned fabric which I printed myself.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Bandol, France (we have also designed a villa there)
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Nayara Springs (Costa Rica), La Buvette (French restaurant in Richmond)
Your favourite book, film & song?
A Prayer for Owen Meany, Crazy Stupid Love, Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)
Your favourite food and drink?
Nothing beats a good cheese and wine!
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Walk in the sun followed by aperitif by the sea/river