Name: Luisa Barnes
Company: Luisa Barnes Interior Design
Position within company: Founder and Interior Designer
Tell us a little about your background in design:
I have always been interested in interior design and other people’s homes and I love looking at beautiful interiors in magazines, hotels and restaurants. Before having a family I had worked as a chartered accountant, however, I had always wanted to do something more creative.
From 2013 to 2015, I project managed the build of a holiday home in Cornwall. This involved going through the whole building process; from planning permission, to tender, to build and finally decoration and furniture installation.
I loved being involved in the creative process of building a house and decided I wanted to make a career out of the interiors business. I took the plunge and signed up for a course in Residential Interior Design with leading Interior Design School KLC and I graduated with distinction in 2017.
I set up my own business in 2108 and have not looked back. I love working with clients to help design their dream home and I have made contact with a great community of people in the industry, including some very skilled and dedicated suppliers and tradespeople.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I have a contemporary, elegant, relaxed style; I love to incorporate colour, texture and natural materials in my designs and have an appreciation of well-crafted pieces of furniture and accessories. I aim to create beautiful, stylish spaces that fit with my client’s lifestyle.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am inspired by my clients. They may have a beautiful piece of furniture that they want to incorporate in the new scheme and this can then become a focus and drive other parts of the design.
Art can also be a great source of inspiration. A painting by Jenny Hirst was a source of inspiration for the colour scheme of the kitchen shortlisted for The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020. I’m lucky living in London and having easy access to so many wonderful art galleries and exhibitions.
I can also be inspired by a beautiful fabric or wall covering that I come across when doing research at the initial stages of a project. There are so many wonderful furniture and fabric shops and showrooms in London and they can be a rich source of inspiration.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I think climate change is a big issue at the moment and in response to this I feel design is moving towards greater use of ethically sourced and sustainable materials, re-use of materials and timeless design incorporating beautiful pieces that will endure.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Listen carefully to your client and plan ahead!
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
The International Interior Design and Architecture Awards are really important as they give designers a unique opportunity to showcase their work to other designers around the world. They also offer designers a great opportunity to be inspired by the work of other designers.
What projects are you currently working on?
A family home in Notting Hill and the renovation of a Barn in Oxfordshire
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To complete the projects that I’m currently working on, continue to grow the business and develop my contacts within the industry.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
Photos of my kids
Your favourite holiday destination?
Tuscany in Italy. I love the combination of the beautiful landscape, the amazing art and architecture and of course the food and the sunshine!
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
The bar at the Ham Yard Hotel is a fun place to go for drinks and I love the Kit Kemp interiors! My favourite restaurant is the River Café in Hammersmith – the quality of the food is fantastic and it’s a lovely in summer to have dinner outside looking out at the river. It’s a real treat to stay at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. It’s a truly grand hotel and you can’t beat afternoon tea in the Palm Court.
Your favourite book, film & song?
Pride and Prejudice, American Hustle, Horse with No Name
Your favourite food and drink?
Italian and a Kir Royale
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Visiting an exhibition at one of the many art galleries in London
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
In another life I would love to have trained as an architect
Luisa Barnes Interior Design have been shortlisted for Kitchen Design Over £50,000 Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020.
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