Devon LivingIssue #02
An eye for design
We catch up with Gill Coates, Designer at Roomshadows.com, who tells us about what it really means to be an interior designer.
Gill tells us: “The first job of any interior designer worth their fee is getting to know the client; their tastes, lifestyle and what they enjoy. A home should be a place of rest, activity, inspiration, nurture and love, one in which we can be ourselves.”
“…information is carried through into any designs and ideas that I put forward, even in cases where a client is new to their home.”
So how do you mix all these ingredients together and still come up with a new, inspired design? “From the outset,” Gill explains, “design ideas need to embrace life at its fullest, so that every day when you wake up your senses are filled with an enthusiasm to give life your all. This doesn’t have to mean bright clashing colour. Instead, it can be subtle areas of luscious rich tones, white spaces that reflect the daylight, or quiet hues that instil tranquillity.
“When I visit a client’s home for the first time, the most vital piece of information I seek is what they love about it. It may be a favourite wallpaper, paint colour or piece of furniture. Or it may be something very small – like the way the sun reflects on a glass vase. Whatever it is, this information is carried through into any designs and ideas that I put forward, even in cases where a client is new to their home.”
What’s considered ‘on trend’ is constantly changing, and often dramatically, but Gill warns: “Beware! It’s exciting seeing new ideas but don’t rely on making your home a fashion statement, as it’s likely that some of it won’t work. There are an intimidating amount of choices on the market, but employing an interior designer will help you define exactly what will and won’t work for you and your home.
“The most interesting and beautiful homes are usually those that are original and personal. Homely touches are very important and trendy colours or wallpaper styles can often obliterate characterful, unique decorating. At Roomshadows, I encourage my clients to think deeply about whether they really want the features that they may have in mind before approaching me. If these things work for you, great, but if not, they can be an expensive mistake, especially if there are structural alterations involved.”
Finally, Gill rounds up by saying: “So, be brave and inspired with your choices, but also be true to yourself and your needs, particularly if you are a family sharing the space. Don’t clone fashionable styles; use them to become the trend setter!”
"...information is carried through into any designs and ideas that I put forward, even in cases where a client is new to their home.”