Name: Clare Gaskin
Company: Clare Gaskin Interiors
Position within company: Owner
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
A background in fine arts comprising of a degree in History of Art & Architecture followed by five years at Sothebys. During my time at Sotheby’s, an opportunity arose to redesign my own London terraced house. The architect and principal contractor were very complimentary and encouraged me to consider Interior Design as a career. A few years later I made the big move and following internships with various top London based Interior Design practices I enrolled at KLC. Whilst still a student, I got a lucky break and was selected to redesign a three bedroom pied a terre in Belgravia. From there I’ve not looked back, growing my design practice through word of mouth and repeat business. I have now completed 60 plus projects ranging from bachelor pads to grand family homes.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
I don’t have a set style. I enjoy working with a given brief and space to come up with creative, practical and aesthetically pleasing homes. Using my art background to source unique pieces, locate specialist artisans and commission works that add something truly special.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
What a difficult question to answer without sounding predictable. Everywhere and everything – from the natural to the man made.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I would hope it’s moving in a direction that is less about must have fashionable objects or in vogue colours. In recent years we’ve seen a revitalisation of exceptional craftsmanship which I’m always keen to encourage.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
Craftsmanship – valuing the artist and the bespoke design that fits the style and space
Sustainability – working to source products which are ethically sourced, designed and manufactured
Technology – working with it without letting it rule/dictate projects
Lighting – embracing light and dark, and using this positively – both to create drama and most importantly light a given space appropriately (practical versus atmospheric lighting for example)
The Client – remembering the client and their brief above all – not allowing your own design ambitions to drive a project in the wrong direction
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Each client is an individual, so ensuring that the proposed designs/methods used to achieve/translate their brief need to be tailored to the individual
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
They are a fantastic opportunity for Interior Designers to showcase their work and celebrate the variety of design.
What projects are you currently working on?
A large maisonette in Wimbledon, a Chelsea Townhouse, a Battersea Family Home and St Johns Wood Pied a Terre.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Expanding Clare Gaskin Interiors, including increasing my business premises and my husband joining my team!
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Early 18th century walnut veneered dressing mirror inherited from my Grandmother
Your favourite holiday destination?
Barbados – my Dad was from Barbados, and I try to visit the home my parents built each year – it’s a very special house and is located on a craggy cliff edge, you feel like you are in Cornwall…in the Caribbean.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
A small hidden gem in Maida Vale serving fantastic Greek food.
Your favourite book / film / song?
Redemption Song by Bob Marley
Your favourite food and drink?
Eastern Standard Cocktail – without it my husband and I might still just be friends.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
A long lunch with family and friends followed by a walk along the river.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A Bikram Yoga teacher