Name: Yvette Taylor
Company: Taylor Interiors
Position within company: Design director & Founder
. Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I trained firstly as a fashion designer and I spent two years working in the costume department of a national theatre. I felt limited by the human form, however, and I wanted to translate my passion for colour, pattern and fabrics into interiors. So I moved to Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, before completing my MBA in New York.
I then spent six years working for Swedish company SKANSKA on large commercial projects, and then in 2005, I launched my own interior design practice in Mallorca, Spain. The years I spent focused on Mediterranean residential properties for international clients were invaluable and in 2011, my client base grew and I relocated my company to the UK. We control our overseas projects from our office in London.
Since I launched my business, I’ve worked on more than 80 projects in a range of destinations, from Geneva and Verbier to Marbella and Munich.
Our focus is now on luxury residential properties in central London and hospitality projects in key destinations across the globe.
. How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My own interior design style is very much inspired by the environment I am working in. It is essential for me to leave my own taste and style at the door and instead to interpret the desires of my clients. I believe, fundamentally, in functionally first. However luxurious, elegant or beautiful the home is, it must suit the everyday needs of the client.
My style is inspired by the culture and architecture of a location and my interior design projects have a harmonious relationship with nature, engaging the colour and form of natural landscapes. I am not afraid to use colour if my clients allow me.
It is enjoyable to work on very different project in terms of style, minimalist, contemporary or classic. It requires extensive knowledge and excellent relationships with craftsmen and manufactures.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My design inspiration is very global. It comes from more than 20 years of experience in a range of countries and locations and working with diverse clients, who all bring their own tastes to reinterpret.
I am inspired when I travel in the winter and summer holidays. Not only by the style of hotels, but by everything I observe, nature, how people eat and dress, the decoration of cafés and restaurants, bars and clubs, SPA, theatres, this all has a great impact on me.
I am also inspired by Italian craftsmanship. Italy has more than 250 years of tradition and nowhere in the world produces the same level of detail and finish. I have built a close relationship with the manufactures and workshops where exquisite products like Murano glass are produced.
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I work very much at the high-end of luxury interiors where the direction is moving towards products and design that is truly bespoke. This is translating into products like double-weight silk wallpaper from China, with embroidery patterning, which is unique and also looks utterly contemporary. Or the bespoke silk rugs made in Asia, which are artworks in themselves, where 200 colours can be selected to create a completely individual item. I also see new materials and finishes being utilised in innovative ways, from special moulds to fine veneers. Brass is very popular as are velvet upholsteries.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2016 and beyond.
In fabrics we can expect bold colour clashes, vibrant patterns and a lot of mixed materials as fashion makes its mark on interiors.
Botanicals will continue to be a strong seasonal look but translated into psychedelic colours and vibrant palettes for statement effect in place of a more natural, organic vibe.
People are inspired by where they live, and so we’re finding that colour schemes can be driven by the surrounding landscape, whether it be a cityscape in an urban dwelling or richer natural colours in rural locations.
People want to live harmoniously with their environment and so natural materials and muted colours that can be found in nature or within the urban environment are dominating kitchen living design.
Understated palettes will be key in 2016 and will feature varying shades of sophisticated and luxury greys and taupes, light and dark wood, black and white and metallic touches too.’
Particularly effective in the bathroom and kitchen space, rose gold, brass and copper will continue to dominate in 2016. Pairing them with raw, natural materials such as marble and wood is a great investment because they will never go out of style.
1970s-inspired furnishings are set to make a comeback in 2016. The relaxed, free-spirited nature of that era has been attractive to the fashion industry and has quickly moved towards interiors as well. Many design elements of the 70s were bold, raw and globally-fuelled, as a response to the changing social and political environment of that time.
‘Artisanal’ will be another key word in interiors with a resurgence of natural fibres, organic shapes, hand-crafted accessories and handwoven textiles as the mood swings away from a throw-away culture and we see colour and texture beginning to replace chrome and the sleek neutral boutique hotel look.
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
The interior only really comes together at the end of the project and it is a combination of harmony, beauty, comfort and luxury that make it work. But most importantly it must have functionality. It must suit the needs and lifestyle of the client. We are very fortunate that our clients allow us to select art and accessories for them and this take the project to completely different level. The home is given soul though the art.
. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The awards are a fantastic platform to share best practice projects, not just among fellow interior designers, but architects and the wider industry.
Winning an award, of course, would be the cherry on the cake because it is validation that you are doing something right.
It is also great for the younger generation who are thinking of joining the industry to show them the potential of how far you can get.
. What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently furnishing a large villa in Ibiza for an English client, in an authentic Moroccan style with Moorish and Mediterranean influences.
We are refurbishing a five-storey townhouse in Chelsea. This is a unique project, where the house is being extended into the l loft and the basement, which will house a SPA and cinema room. We are also refurbishing a luxury apartment in Belgravia.
We are beginning work on an 17th Century private palace in Genova. The restoration is being executed by an experienced Italian architect and we are responsible for the interior.
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I am trying to help my son to gain a music scholarship at Harrow. It requires a lot of dedication. He plays piano, saxophone and clarinet. Our house is full of music.
I want to lower my golf handicap to 16.
Professionally I want to create something absolutely spectacular in the palace in Genova.
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
A painting by Jessica Zoob entitled The One – it is part of a set of two paintings; the other work is hanging in the lobby of One Hyde Park.
Your favourite holiday destination?
The Maldives, because it is so peaceful and tranquil and the colours of the ocean are magnificent. It is so removed from modernity and allows you time to rest and gain new ideas and perspectives.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
The Coral Reef Club in Barbados is an exceptional bar. I also love Mark Fosh’s restaurant, Simply Fosh in Palma de Mallorca, located in Convent de la Missio. Another favourite is Stay Faubourg in the Sofitel hotel, Pari
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book: Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Song – Barbra Streisand, Woman in Love.
Film – To Catch a Thief with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, made in 1955.
Your favourite food and drink?
Drink: A glass of Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Food: grilled sole, fresh from the sea.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words)
Going for a walk with my son or riding a bicycle. I also love yoga and pilates classes at my local gym.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?