Sara Cosgrove Presents her Design Essentials for 2012 and Beyond…

 Awards Winning Head of Interior Design at Harrods, Sara Cosgrove, reveals a little of the history of Harrods, and the direction that it is taking with its Interior Design.

What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

The overall aesthetic is moving towards a more casual transitional look with luxury elements and moving away from a bling/overly formal look.

What are the key influencing elements at present?

Throughout our interiors colour – and bright colour at that – is really coming back to add wow and punch to our schemes. Also there is more and more mixing of materials to add character anddepth to each space. Translucent materials and mirror are also being used to create increased volume.

What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?

We have a huge range of projects on the go at the moment, varying in size, style and location. We are finishing off a Penthouse in Paris, curating a villa in Abu Dhabi and working on a Californian influenced Cotswolds cottage.

A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

With difficulty! I prioritise my passions at weekends, and really try to switch off. New ideas come only with the availability of head space, if all you do is work it is very hard to evolve as a creative person.

Name the key essentials for 2012 and beyond


Antiqued mirror

Brushed metal detailing

Nailing on upholstery

Hard wearing glamorous wallcoverings


If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Always play with texture and materials – residential schemes should tell a textural story which in turn creates harmony. I believe the interior should create a seamless wonderful sensorial experience even when using strong colours or materials.

How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?

Incredibly important, our industry is really developing rapidly and it is important that the leading companies are recognised and acknowledged forthose clients looking to access and work with the best talent.


What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

That would be telling! We have a lot of plans in development covering lots of different areas related to interior design….


The car you drive?

Vintage Mercedes from 1978

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?

Villa La Angostura, Patagonia, Argentina

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?

Dukes bar, St. James

The place that gives you the most energy?


And the place that enables you to totally relax?

West of Ireland

Your favourite food and drink?

Avocados & Coffee!

Anything else interesting?

There has been a design department in Harrods for over 120 years. In 1891 the Building Department was created. (It was renamed Building, Decorating and Sanitary Engineering Department in 1894.)