DESIGNER IN PROFILE: Nikki Gledhill, MBG International Design

MBG International Design recently reached the shortlist for the IY&A Awards 2014.  Their interior concept, Pegasus (click to view), will compete for the Private Aviation Interior Design Concept Award.  (To enter the awards email

Nikki Gledhill

Nikki Gledhill


Name: Nikki Gledhill

Company: MBG International Design, LLC.

Position within company: Chief Executive Officer & Interior Designer




What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

I have seen a definite shift to “less is more” with clients. Clients are requesting stimulating designs and materials. They are interested clean, open, non-fussy decoration. I have also seen lots of attention in high contrast materials and pops of unusual color.


What projects are you currently working on?

I currently have an Airbus 330 that is undergoing a full interior install. I recently finished a Boeing 767 refurbishment and a conceptual 747 project for refurbishment. I have a repeat customer starting work on a Boeing 777 as well as an Embraer 145 VIP conversion for a new client.


A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

Owning my own firm and being a mom to two young children and wife to a husband who works full time is a constant give and take. My husband is also co-owner of the company. My husband works the business side while I concentrate on the creative side. We have family that live very close to us, who constantly help out. The most important thing we do is close the door at night and focus on our two kids.


Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2014 and beyond:

– Creative Space Planning

– Pops of Color

– Mood Lighting

– Maintenance Costs- clients don’t want materials that require constant cleaning and up keep

– Decoration is in the details


If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Don’t stray from your concept. Designs that stay on task will always show strong. When you deviate from your constant, chaos always ensues.


How important are The International Yacht and Aviation Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

The awards are very important in the recognition of talent. Aviation design is not something that sees recognition enough. It’s a tough market with many talented designers. To be nominated and then judged by your peers is definitely a hi-light.


How do you relax?

I don’t (I’m either working on a job or being a mom). I love to go to the beach and listen to the waves. I don’t actually like to swim in salt water, but I love to be at the beach. When I am at home, I enjoy sitting on the back porch watching the wildlife pass through our land and listening to the sounds of nature.


What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

My goals in the next twelve months are to showcase what MBG can do for our clients. To design. To create. To dream.


Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself


The car you drive?

I drive a GMC Yukon (my mommy mobile). I also have a Corvette and Mustang convertible to drive around and enjoy the sun on nice Texas days.

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?

France, Hands down. I’ve been many places, all over the world, but France is like home.

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?

AXURIA – Paris

Boudros- San Antonio

The place that gives you the most energy?

Paris. I love the culture. The history. The food. I studied art history and lived in Paris for three months while in college.

And the place that enables you to totally relax?

The beach with waves crashing in at sunset.

Your favourite food and drink?

A strawberry margarita with salt and lime. I enjoy the combination of salty and sweet.

Anything else interesting?

I have a fear of flying. I am constantly flying around the world, but my fear never ceases.