Company: Keir Townsend
Name: Keira I. Townsend
Position in the company: Design Director
Tell us a little about your background in design
I studied art, fashion design and branding and then gradually progressed to interior design, which I think has always been my main interest since I was a child. My partner, Alastair Keir, and I both worked in the commercial architecture world prior to starting working on residential projects about 8 years ago, which is how Keir Townsend was born. We never looked back, as we both love what we do, as each day there is an opportunity to learn something new or to improve something we have previously done. Today we are 8 strong and undertake both commercial and residential projects.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Contemporary classic, with understated elegance.I do not like minimalism or mock-period design. I believe that everything has its time and there is an art to combining old and new, contemporary and classic, natural and man-made in a way that is comfortable, warm and calming.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I grew up in many different countries and a lot of my inspirations come from ethnic and cultural influences of different parts of the world. Travelling is a very important part of my life, however, my biggest inspirations always come from nature. I love using natural materials in my designs.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Despite the fact that technology has made a massive leap in the last decade, I feel there is a strong contrasting trend towards all things natural – from materials used to organic shapes and to a more simplified way of living generally.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching property development in 2015 and beyond.
Being environmentally aware when selecting lighting, heating, air conditioning systems, as well as choosing sustainable materials wherever possible
Use of Metal surfaces, especially patinated or textured ones
Creative use of stone in furniture and kitchens
Art in furniture – adding pieces that are both functional and are works of art at the same time
More emphasis on creating comfortable and exceptionally well organised spaces with easy and functional circulation, excellent storage and user-friendly electronic systems
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Make it your priority to know and understand people who will be using the scheme – who they are, what they like and how the space will be used. Taking this knowledge as a basis and guiding clients in a positive manner towards the best possible design solution is definitely the winning formula for every project.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Very important. Having looked through the website, I discovered exceptionally talented designers I have never come across before, who deserve for their work to be recognised. The Awards provide a platform to showcase clever and innovative designs in a range of sectors and budgets and for the public to give their feedback. This is an essential part of cutting edge design and trend development.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on a restaurant in central London, two apartments in South Kensington, a high end hair and beauty salon in South Kensington, private jet and just completing a large house in a private estate in Surrey.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We are constantly striving to use innovative products, as well as develop new finishes and styles with our suppliers. We would like to develop the furniture manufacturing part of business more, as this contributes to the uniqueness and individuality of our designs.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
I work with my husband and we have a fantastic and talented team who supports us. We also have a 4-year old architect in the making, who regularly redecorates our home by drawing his schemes on the walls!
Your most treasured possession?
I am not hugely into possessions as such. My family comes first. When your family is happy, the home and the interior has a positive energy that is a joy to come home to.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Sunny eastern destinations, partially because I lived in that part of the world as a child and every time I go back it brings back the happiest memories and inspires me.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Novikov, but then I am slightly bias! I do like the convenience of a restaurant and the lounge bar being in the same place.
Your favourite food and drink?
Freshly-cooked seafood, preferably BBQ-ed on the beach!
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
During the week – brainstorming new concept or doing design reviews with my team. On the weekends, escaping to the countryside, we especially love the Cotswolds.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A fashion designer. I take great pleasure in my hobby – designing clothes and shoes, which I manufacture for myself, my family and friends in the UK.