Designer In Profile: Roselind Wilson, Owner and Creative Director of Roselind Wilson Design

Name: Roselind WilsonRoselind Wilson Design

Company: Roselind Wilson Design

Position Within Company: Owner and Creative Director


Tell us a little bit about your background in design (education, experience)

I started in the industry 16 years ago in South Africa following the completion of a diploma in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Having worked on some exciting and unique residential and hospitality schemes in South Africa, I relocated to the UK and worked at some of the leading interior design firms gaining valuable experience and readying myself for the ventures that lay ahead.

How would you describe your own personal design style?

I’m all about texture set against an eclectic backdrop of muted colour and offset with rich layering. An interior space must reflect your personal style and personality. It is a very intimate reflection of yourself and as a result there are no rights and wrongs. I love mixing old and new furniture, raw stones with polished surfaces but nothing is ever overcomplicated and overdone. I opt rather for understated elegance.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

As most designers will say – inspiration comes from all around. A commonly used but very true statement and one I completely agree with. As designers we are trained and become experts at analysing shapes, space, colours and tones and this trickles over into all aspects of our lives. Speaking for myself, my starting point for any scheme is in the inspiration I derive from colours. I find that I constantly see the subtle hues and tones and beautiful contrasts in items like fabrics and the spines of books sitting alongside each other, papers on a shelf at the stationer, leaves in the trees and blossoms when the seasons are changing, ice cream flavours on display in the ice cream parlour. In any and everything around me!

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

This is a very good, thought-provoking question given the advancements in technology. Technology has spawned designers in all fields and walks of life and it has made many possibilities a reality. Design no longer takes on a classic or traditional vocation characterised by craftsmanship and manual workmanship. This dilution of what design is has forced it to reinvent itself and design has become about an intangible experience, inner reflection to self-expression. In writing this however, I find myself asking whether this is what design has always been and so my answer to the question is that despite the technological and ecological advancements, design remains uninhibited by these advancements but instead runs seamlessly in parallel to keep us connected to self.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2016 and beyond.

1) Sustainability of materials used is an essential part of design. We need to be sympathetic towards our environment and this must be reflected in the materials we specify and our approach to design.

2) Relevance of the design. Carefully consider the external and environmental factors that infiltrate and impact our lives. Most recently, note the impact of the political environment and the changes required to remain as an attractive entity to a changing audience.

3) 3D Printing. Stay abreast of the technology to ensure it is integrated into future strategies. Consideration must be given as to how this can improve the service offered to clients.

4) Virtual Reality. The ability to transport clients into the virtual reality of their designed apartments will be an incredible technological process to aid decision-making and change the design process. This technology is already here and will be adopted as common place very soon.

5) Smart Homes. All prominent service providers are tapping in to this technology.  Making our homes accessible to us at any time and from any geographic location is a huge benefit and must be carefully considered in the design process.

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

Without any doubt, I would encourage all designers to always go with your gut. Time and time again I prove to myself just how accurate my instinct is. In an industry where there are so many variables, details and factors to consider this can be quite overwhelming and require pretty broad shoulders. Your instinct is so strong, think of it as your guardian angel. Run with it, see where it takes you.

How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

The International Design and Architecture Awards forms an invaluable platform for designers and architects to obtain the recognition for all the hard work and effort that goes into delivering multi-disciplinary and complex schemes, testing all variables from time and budget constraints to relationship dynamics. These awards allow us as designers to step back and admire the results of very hard work and to recognise and thank all those who have assisted in what has been accomplished.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are incredibly lucky to have a diverse and wonderful selection of clients across the globe for who we are designing beautiful primary and secondary homes. At the moment we are working on a private residence in Belsize Park, a 5-storey residence in Notting Hill, a 13,000 square foot private residence in Winchmore Hill, a pied de terre in St Johns Wood, a Lobby Refurbishment in Baker Street and a bachelor pad in Fitzrovia.

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

Within the next twelve months the company will turn seven years old. As seven is my lucky number there are plans to refresh the look and feel of the company. A major change recently is that my twin sister has joined the company in the capacity of CMO, following two years of discussion, and together we are going to refine the brand positioning. Between us we have decades of experience and some very exciting ideas to solidify Roselind Wilson Design as a truly exceptional company with a very unique offering. Watch this space.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

Your most treasured possession? A weathered and worn small canvas school book that my grandfather gave me. Having been somewhat of a nomad in my youth and moving frequently, this book has remained the one possession that has stayed with me.

Your favourite holiday destination? New York, without hesitation. I’m a city girl through and through and so I find the constant hum of the city to be like a bolt of electricity through the system. However I found paradise in 2007 when my husband and I travelled to Belize City and stayed on the islands of San Pedro and San Miguel. It’s easy to see how some people never return to civilisation. It was magical and incredible and I hope that it remains as unspoiled as it was then.

Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar? Thanks to some well-travelled friends with superior taste in local cuisine I have had the pleasure of eating in many fantastic restaurants. My favourites are the little gems off the beaten track, where the tables are frequented by locals and the food served without prejudice. I’ve had many such experiences but little memory of their names (I’m terrible at remembering the names of restaurants, books and movies). However, one such experience was a beautiful little restaurant in Paris called Philou. Superb red wine, excellent steak and the most perfect chocolate fondant. A girl wants for nothing else.

Your favourite song? For no apparent reason other than its dramatic melody: Vienna by Ultravox.

Your favourite food and drink? Jelly and custard. If I’m ever ill I judge the extent of how ill I am by whether I will eat some jelly and custard! For a drink, it’s a great Pinot Noir. In the summer months I’ll adjust to red wine sangria and at Christmas, mulled wine. I guess its red wine all the way for me then.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? If relaxing is on the cards it’s a facial at The Clarins Spa (highly recommended) and for inspiration it’s walking the streets browsing in Shoreditch.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? I’m a Gemini so there is always going to be a yin and yang thing going on therefore this answer can very aptly go one of two ways. I would have untamed my creative spirit to allow my more bohemian creativity to flourish and would have ended up owning an arts and crafts boutique where I would make everything from painted rocks to crocheted gloves or I would have been absorbed into the corporate world and ended up running some multinational corporation and fighting for women’s rights and gender equality in pay.