Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day by shining a light on the women taking the industry by storm.
Whilst everyday should be a celebration of women, what better time than International Women’s Day to honour the ladies who are making strides in the furnishing and design industry here in London?
At Pepper Sq., we are fascinated by all the successful and inspirational women in interior design and we want to take this opportunity to share some of their stories with you.
Building your own business is no easy feat but all of these women have shown us that through planning, training and failing, every outcome will lead to success – the hardest part is being brave enough to start.
This week we had the pleasure of interviewing several interior designers who inspired us with their stories to find out more about what led them to pursue interior design and what continues to inspire them with every project that comes their way.
Nicky has previously worked at The National Theatre, the BBC, Roundhouse Design and Laura Ashley before opening her own business in 2014. Having seen her mother, also an interior designer, work from a young age, Nicky has always been fascinated by design and considers her early childhood bedroom constructions as the start of her career. She went on to do a degree in Interior Design and furthered her studies with a postgraduate degree in Set Design for Theatre.
Nicky describes her style as ‘eclectic’ and finds inspiration through everything, everywhere; from culture to nature. She caters her design to the personality of each client and takes pride in not being afraid of mixing colours, textures, periods and styles.
Nicky’s Top Tip for anyone starting their career in interior design:
Training.....and more training
Although Kathryn has always had a creative inclination and loved sewing when she was younger, Interior Design was surprisingly not her first career! She has had a very successful first career working in the media as both a television producer and a content producer for a UK newspaper and only re-trained as an Interior Designer several years later when having to design her own flat.
Her style can be described as contemporary but timeless, fairy neutral but with a smattering of colour. Influenced by Japanese, Scandinavian and quirky Italian designs, Kathryn is mostly concerned with finding the balance between comfort, longevity and aesthetics.
Similar to Nicky, Kathryn enjoys moulding the designs to each clients’ personality and their appetite for risk, as well as maximising the use of any given space. She finds inspiration from art, photography, film and travel. Having been fortunate to live in various countries, Kathryn is also inspired by other cultures and fellow designers who she claims make up a very supportive community.
To date, Kathryn's favourite project has been the renovation of an old house in a hilltop village in Tuscany. The house had been empty for eight years and needed to be completely gutted. The project took eight months and is now used as a holiday home.
Kathryn's Top Tip;
Work as an apprentice for an interior design studio before setting up your own business. There is so much you can learn from an expert.
Coming from a family of builders and property developers, interior design was a natural fit for Susie from early age and her ever expanding interest in the interior design industry made it feel like she was destined to be part of it. After graduating with a degree in both film and interior design, Susie began freelancing as an interior designer and art director in TV and film which took her all around the UK from early on and allowed her to establish Herbert-Light that has been growing since 2009.
Susie enjoys finding inspiration from people, places and times. The mid-century era for interior design and furniture is filled with simple lines and shapes, both beautiful and functional, modern design is perfect for minimalism in textures and materials, and the natural world remains a timeless source of inspiration for colour harmony. Being designers themselves, Susie’s family continue to take on projects with great style and taste and so she feels fortunate to still be able to learn from them too.
Susie’s favourite project to date is the one she is currently working on that is said to be the largest residential timber framed construction ever to be built in the south of the UK, surrounded by coastal views and rolling hills with very unique architecture. It will have a large interior swimming pool as a centrepiece surrounded by living spaces and bedrooms called 'pods'. It really will be a unique 'one-off' build when completed.
Susies's Top Tip;
Educating yourself is a fantastic first step and should continue throughout your interior design career.
Angela always knew she would have a career somewhere in the art and design industry, but it wasn’t until an Art Foundation in Graphic Design that she began honing her skills. Her mission for every project has always been to impact lives by uplifting, inspiring spaces and places. Having established her company, Angela Cheung UK, her purpose continues to be to promote healthy living and mindfulness in changing lifestyle environments by shaping a balance and calm atmosphere to conceive a truly captivating space.
Her style displays a timeless simplicity with a richness of content, and an architectural use of space, all inspired by the love of nature, ‘Biophilia.’ Her ability to identify biophilic design strategies that enhance the health of its intended users drives Angela to unpick every complication and connect nature to the built environment that suit the unique needs of the user.
Since 2000, Angela has been constantly evolving and helping both clients and students to achieve their interior goals and dreams. When asked whether she had a favourite project to date, she found it difficult to choose one, seeing as she has worked on a variety of properties, estate agent offices, restaurants, shops, hairdressers, beauty clinics and even a rugby club, amongst others! Angela takes pride in bringing her passion about our responsibility in society and using it to add value to every project that comes her way.
Angela's Top Tip:
CAD (Computer Aided Design) is a skill that has become essential, it allows me share my designs with architects, engineers, building contractors and clients alike.
Did you know - BIOPHILIA Translates literally as: "love of life," nature, natural light, flora and fauna." Find out how we have incorporated this style into our furniture at Pepper Sq.(https://www.peppersq.com/categories/simplicity-with-attitude)
New Zealand born, Australian raised interior designer Fleur Ward has called London home for 20 years. Design is all she’s ever done and her 25 years in the industry consists of Designing hotels abroad, sales for Mulberry Home and Rubelli fabrics UK before starting her own Design business in 2007 and her own brand Ohh Fleur! in 2018 after struggling to find wallpapers for her teenage clients.
Fleur considers every wallpaper design to have a piece of her in them, whether in their theme, strong message, or 80’s reference aimed at teens and funky adults with bold brave homes. She enjoys injecting some fun into a home, whilst keeping in mind sustainability and longevity in the quality of materials she chooses for her customer base.
Other than the project she is currently working on, Fleur’s favourite project to date was an accessible project for a client whose life changed overnight and required Fleur to redesign the kitchen and bathrooms to enable her to function independently.
Fleur's Top Tip:
Ask yourself important questions: are you a problem solver? Can you think on the spot? It’s not all cushion flumping!
Thanks again to all these lovely ladies for giving us an insight into their busy schedules. If you'd like to know more about them, visit their website!
Happy International Women's Day from all of us at Pepper Sq.