Alix Lawson and Charlotte Robb of the acclaimed design practice Lawson Robb talked to us about design savvy clients, international influences and how the devil is always in the detail.
What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
In today’s climate clients are savvy and realise design that is timeless and of the highest quality is crucial. Intelligent design that creates a home rather than an impersonal space, which means tailoring to the specific lifestyle requirements of the homeowner. Being sympathetic to the integrity of the building and structure and enhancing the current features, keeping it up-to-date with the finishes and furniture.Within the luxury market there is a movement towards a more understated luxury and a deeper meaning to design, with inspirations being drawn from nature or history and the heritage of the client, whilst still being in- keeping with the individuals lifestyle.
The ostentatious designs of the boom times are now gone and there is a revetment back to classic luxury and design using more natural traditional materials such as brass, bronze and iron but applying them in different ways. The main aim is to create beautiful designs that are timeless.
What are the key influencing elements at present?
The advancement in the development of new materials that are being used in fresh and exciting ways. As travel becomes more and more accessible international influences and cosmopolitan style is expected. Creating a balance of new pieces and antique pieces with historical value to create a well rounded design.
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
Spending time with family and friends is so important, sometimes it’s limited and takes effort, but it’s crucial to switch off, recharge and have a laugh. It’s also important to have a close tight knit team at work, which you can rely on and can have fun with when working. As with most things in life – it’s good to try and get a balance but if you are passionate about your work it doesn’t feel like work!
Name 5 key essentials.
Quality of craftsmanship for lasting designs.
Unique materials, finishes and applications i.e. sandblasting marble and timbers, metal coating etc
Pushing boundaries in design and application
Keeping abreast of technological advancements with regards to structure, services and automation..
And key trends that we should be aware of?
Understated and timeless luxury with a step away from minimal contemporary to the use of more considered detail in architectural features, interior design and furnishings. Cool sophistication with the use of subtly luxurious fabrics, finishings and fittings and a concentration on the finer details within interior, exterior and architectural design.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Attention to detail is the most important thing to remember. Detail Detail Detail!
How do you relax?
Meeting friends for a good glass of wine or to another extreme, rock climbing…
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months? To continue to introduce Lawson Robb to a wider market both at home and internationally. Continue to introduce our clients to all the advancements in finishes, fabrics, furniture and technology to ensure all projects are up to date and ahead of the times. To keep pushing boundaries in design, to create beautiful homes that our clients will love to spend time in. To take on more high end hotel/bars/restaurants. To keep enjoying design and inspiring others.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
The car you drive?
Dream car would be an old school jaguar e type, currently drive an Audi A5
Your favourite place to travel to in the world?
Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?
I love the Soho House set, from Babington House, London and New York, to Beverly Hills, they all have a personal touch which makes you feel at home.
The place that gives you the most energy?
Our office, it’s a great place to work with a young dynamic and vibrant team of 21 who are passionate and enthusiastic! It’s hard not to feel revved up and energetic and feed off everyone’s excitement.
And the place that enables you to totally relax?
We love escaping to remote places to get away from the hub and buzz of it all, be it on an island in the Philippines with no cars/electricity or sailing around the Greek islands.
Your favourite food and drink?
We are both fanatical about food, so this is a tough question! Variety is what makes food so delicious, so taster menus can be a great night out and allow you to be a bit more adventurous without the terrifying risk of menu envy! Teamed with yummy food enhancing wines or cocktails. Nothing beats a simple bowl of pasta washed down with a good Californian Ridge red wine.