Name: Chris Lord
Company: Arthouse Creative Interiors
Position within company: Associate Director
Tell us a little about your background in design
I’ve always been interested in design throughout my life, which expanded further through my studies and employment experience. With a passion for the creative arts initially I was unsure as to what discipline to specialise in I chose to complete an Art & Design 1 year foundation course at Manchester Metropolitan University covering many fields of the creative sectors. Honing my skills and direction this followed a natural progression onto the Interior and Special Design degree course at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Straight from University my first creative roll was as a draughts person / visualiser for a high end independent interiors specialist Hills Interiors. From the outset I was involved with the more creative higher level of the residential market as a dealer for Mark Wilkinson, Poggenpohl and Pronorm Kitchens, plus Bathrooms from V&B, Porcelanosa etc. Quickly progressing I moved into designer rolls and then interior design / kitchen specialist before moving onto new challenges to follow. Moving on to Johnson & Johnson Furniture saw my progression to continue developing from interim designer to Senior Designer rolls within my 8 years with them.
Wanting to challenge myself further I setup my own design company for 3 years, prior to joining ArtHouse Creative Interiors in 2013 – to present day. Now at Associate Director level but still with my passion for design, I’m involved with clients on a day to day basis.
How would you describe your personal design style?
Clean and methodical. I try to approach any space and design brief with a fresh open mind, challenging what a space can offer the end user rather than a pre-conceived idea of how design should be. I’m always interested in new styles and innovations and like to keep myself up to date with market trends.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
As an individual I’ve always been interested in the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s work. His modern / futuristic style ahead of his time, challenging the materials he used forming cathedral like vast spaces of modern grandeur. Yet at the same time stripped back to their purist minimal lines and clean forms. A true wonder of modern engineering and architecture at its best.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design will adapt to suit the markets requirements, but we find clients within our market want to invest in quality, well constructed spaces and products which will last. In many instances this has been how our business has developed, but this will be more evident in the coming years. Less of the disposable throwaway society, clients investing in products which last.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Technology – We’re seeing huge advancements in kitchen appliances and more to come.
Sustainability – Less of the throwaway society, more for quality well constructed products which last the test of time.
User experience – Engaging with the end user
Light / Dark – Looking at our market Trend forecasts (in particular SieMatic’s SLX range) we’ve seen a number of stunning installations using very deep materials contrasting against LED lighting hi-lights. Lighting is always key to any space, but with the latest LED lighting technologies this is now utilised within the most minimalist and striking ways.
Mindfulness – Calming, organised spaces where people feel comfortable within their surroundings, especially in the home.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
To be a good listener. Not just to the client, but others. There’s a wealth of knowledge and previous experience out there which can be harnessed and utilised for your own development.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
Within any profession recognition of your work and fellow peers encourages future development and striving for better. The International design awards bring together a multitude of specialist design sectors which all have something to add to one another. A true inspiration to any design professional.
What projects are you currently working on?
As high specification interior and kitchen specialists we have a number of exciting clients we are working with at any one time. Not only with individuals but also collaborations with other luxury brands.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To grow and develop the business further with our clients. We have recently signed off on an exciting expansion to the showroom….. so watch this space.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
Other than my children, my mothers wedding ring and photo of us together. She passed away I was 26, taken far too young.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel?
Woodhall Hotel & Spa – Our wedding venue. A lovely tranquil hotel and great memories.
Your favourite song?
Paul Weller – ‘You Do Something To Me’
Your favourite food and drink?
Homemade Lasagne / Moscow Mule
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Being out with my boys (1&4yr old)
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A film extra back in 70’s, so I could have been a Stormtrooper on the original Star Wars films….
Anything else interesting?
When I have time I love mountain biking
design et al only work with the world’s leading designers.
If you think you have what it takes to complete in The International Design & Architecture Awards, submit your application by clicking here.