Designer in Profile : Rebecca Wakefield – Creative director of Banda Property

Name: Rebecca Wakefield
Company: Banda Property2W0A8840

Position within company: Creative Director

. Tell us a little about your background (education, experience, etc)
I trained as an Architect but always knew my real passion was for development and particularly interiors as my motivation for design was from the people who would inhabit these spaces. So often development projects are let down by poorly crafted and ‘cookie cutter’ interiors that fail to speak to people. At Banda we aim to create real homes that capture the imagination and excitement of our buyers

. How would you describe your own personal style?
Relaxed and unpretentious but well considered

. Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere and nowhere! It can be dangerous to go out to ‘seek’ inspiration. I find it usually comes in the most unexpected places.

. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Like other areas of our lives; eating, fashion, health etc a much greater awareness and sensitivity towards where products are sourced is prevailing. Architecture and interior design is no different. By engaging craftspeople and specifying well-made products we are investing in the future. I recently saw the phrase “Buy good things – own them a long time” which really resonated with me. There’s a real desire for organic, natural and ethically created products now, whether that’s food or furniture!
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching property development in 2016 and beyond.
1. Developing schemes in new, exciting and emerging areas for Londoners to buy in
2. Awareness of products and sourcing
3. Longevity of design for architecture and interiors.
4. Spatial design – creating small, private and cozy areas within a large open plan space
5. Pushing design boundaries. In terms of development we should always be listening and looking at how peoples lives are evolving, and how they use their homes

. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to development projects, what would it be?
To create something exceptional requires the right mix of passion, hardwork and conviction in what you are doing.

. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The awards are very important to Banda, recognition for our design and development team is always received well! Developments take so long to realize that it’s great to be given the opportunity to feature them after completion

. What projects are you currently working on?
We’re working on a mixture of private client projects and multi unit Banda development schemes in Chelsea, Battersea, Richmond. We’ve got some adventurous projects in exciting parts of town in the pipeline too.

. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We’d love to work in collaboration with independent makers and craftsmen to design a ‘Banda’ range of products that reflect our ethos and style that are accessible to a much wider audience.

. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
An art deco ring my parents bought for me and a painting of two fish I bought from a charity shop years ago for £2.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Corsica – a picturesque island
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
The Crown inn Hotel, Amersham by Ilse Crawford, simple but beautiful and truly relaxing
Your favourite book / film / song?
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It always makes me cry.
Your favourite food and drink?
Depends on when, I love fresh seasonal food. Queen’s in Camberwell is the best.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? 
An early morning trip to an antiques market hunting for new gems followed by lunch in the park with friends

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I’ve always thought I’d like to own a florists – I don’t mind early mornings, I could use my creative flair and I’d also love to be able to see the messages in cards!

Anything else interesting?
I have an aversion to the colour red. It’s become a joke in the office now…. I find it so difficult to use it within my work!