Name: Tania Adir
Company: G&T London
Position within company: Partner
Tell us a little about your background (education, experience, etc)
I have always been attracted to real estate and interior design since an early age but had decided to embark upon a journey to become a solicitor at an international law firm. I went through rigorous legal training followed by a painstaking selection process filled with numerous interviews and aptitude tests. My life was occupied with multi million pound facility agreements, tax deeds and legal claims when suddenly one day I realised that all the years spent working towards achieving my goal did not provide me with the fulfilment and ability to express myself that I had always wanted.
Eventually the urge to try and turn this passion into a profession took over – leading me to where I am today.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I absolutely adore period construction and properties filled with character. When it comes to interiors, the marriage of traditional and contemporary, rustic and sophisticated, old and new always adds that edge that never leaves anyone indifferent. However, while design is paramount, usability and practicality are equally important as our properties are designed with people living there in mind. Nothing makes me happier than being told by a client or end buyer that they are thoroughly enjoying living in a G&T London designed property.
I am certainly to blame for G&T sometimes not being able to just stick to a quick and easy profit-only oriented approach, as I want to be wholeheartedly proud of what I do and ensure that each project is different to the previous one by introducing new suppliers and aiming to bring new design inspirations alive.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Travel is a great passion of mine and a lot of my inspiration stems from hotels and places that I have visited. I like to try and pick key elements from each one and merge them through my own work. When I travel I find my passion for interior design to be a great excuse to stay in an exceptional hotel – perhaps even two or three in the same city – allowing me time to enjoy and find inspiration from the built environment around me.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
There is definitely more emphasis on functionality and integration, properties and interiors must look outstanding but also be practical for the end user. Technology is also now no longer just a bolt-on but must be considered at the project’s inception, which does require a considerable degree of foresight.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching property development in 2014 and beyond.
1 – Developers must aim to connect with a potential buyer’s emotional psyche rather than the purely logical. You must sell the entire lifestyle and captivate all of the senses, taking them on a carefully crafted journey during their decision making process.
2- Always put yourself in the shoes of the end user. Would you like to live in the place you are building for others? It can be easy to let yourself focus solely on the money making element of property development, but this approach will always bite back. You must never under deliver on quality, especially in London.
3- Clients love to know that they are getting value for money, even if they are buying the most expensive property on the street. Be it a multimillion pound mansion or a one bedroom flat to redevelop, it is essential that the client feels they are acquiring a valuable asset. This is particularly important with foreign clients who might not be familiar with the London property market; they take great solace in the knowledge that the property they are purchasing is increasing in value, regardless of whether they intend to sell.
4 – When trying to appeal to a luxury clientele, high street product procurement and sourcing is now rarely suitable. Products that are commonly available and widely promoted are rarely price efficient and are never unique. Working with individual suppliers and procuring exclusive products from all over the world contributes towards developing one’s signature style. This is why at G&T London we rarely buy any of our finishes in the UK, instead scouring Europe to find cabinetmakers, kitchen suppliers, tile producers, wood floor manufacturers and bespoke furniture creators.
5- Do not be scared to introduce some bold colours or furnishings when designing a property, as this will make potential buyers’ imagination come alive. Buyers are looking for unusual and unique designs and are ready to pay extra for it. The key is to ensure the “bold move” is easily removable and can be substituted to suit buyer’s own taste. This trick would work the best with adding statement accessories like cushions, rugs, throws, artwork or glassware.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to development projects, what would it be?
Always strive to amaze your potential buyers. Our buyers tend to be extensive travellers who are spoilt for choice and quality in every aspect of their life, it is therefore essential to always be at the forefront of cutting edge design, technology and finish in order to capture their imagination and create standout. Our goal is always to deliver a six star hotel finish in every property, as we believe home should be a comforting, inspiring and exciting place to live in.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Hugely, it’s important that quality work is recognised both by the industry and the general public. It also creates aspiration for the next generation of budding designers.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently working on a number of projects including a period building conversion into apartments in Islington, as well as the build of a mansion which is designed according to Feng shui principles.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We will soon be launching G&T by appointment, a bespoke service where we will undertake work for other clients, as well as continuing with our own projects. Our aim is to secure a portfolio of diverse projects spanning from houses to boutique hotels and Alpine chalets to individually designed coffee shops.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
My red book, it has all the secrets about the past and the future that I carefully keep to myself.
Your favourite holiday destination?
A mind boggling Iniala resort in Thailand. When you see it you will understand what I mean by deriving inspiration from the places you visit.
Your favourite hotel?
My imagination was truly captured by the Ritz Carlton hotel in Hong Kong, which comprises absolutely genius interior design concepts and impeccable attention to details in its execution. It is a never ending source of inspiration and also has the highest bar in the world.
Your favourite book / film ?
The Great Gatsby.
Your favourite food and drink?
Black cod and champagne.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
With my loving family and my husband around the table eating, drinking, having lively debates and laughing a lot. These are people I treasure the most.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A lawyer, I guess!