We sat down with Sarah to talk about all things Interior Design in the workplace
3 recently completed projects:
Diageo Global HQ
Peabody, Westminster Bridge Road
Greenhill & Co, Berkeley Square
Give us a brief intro into how you got into Interior Design.
How do they expect 16-year-olds to know what they want to do when they ‘grown up?’ At school I was good at art so when I had to complete my university application I put down anything creative…. I ended up getting accepted to Interior Architecture and have never looked back. In addition to workplace interiors, I’ve also worked in residential design and event and exhibition design.
Describe your design style.
I have learnt over my career than styles come and go, what is most important is to approach the design of a space with your client and their brief in mind. Each client is different and my aim on every project is for my clients to walk into their new space and feel that it’s a true reflection of who they are as a company and also as individuals.
Who, in your opinion, has the best design style interior wise? (Building, restaurant, bar, hotel etc?)
I think it depends on the space and what experience they’re trying to create. We can learn a lot from other sectors and the way that they approach design problems.
What is your favourite and least favourite current design trend?
What I have noticed in my more recent projects, and projects that we are pitching for, is that companies are placing an even greater emphasis on truly sustainable design that aligns with their current and future environmental aspirations. As a B-Corp, sustainability is at the core of everything we do, so it is great to be able to work on projects that align to this. What I don’t like is anything fluted or reeded.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Gosh it could be from anywhere…. The best inspiration often comes from the most unlikely place or in the most unlikely moment. I often find that I’ll spend all day working on a project, only to completely re-design it when lying in bed, or at the gym. So for me, it’s about getting away from the screen and giving it time to percolate.
What is your prediction for a future workplace design trend?
It has to be around flexibility. I don’t think that anyone knows what the future office looks like, so we need to be clever and design for future flexibility and minimal waste. This covers all aspects of a project, from built elements and infrastructure to furniture.
What are your top 5 design tools?
I’m old school so personally a pen and trace paper, however collaboration software like teams, mural etc are now invaluable to allow me to collaborate with my team virtually.
What advice would you give other designers, upcoming and experienced?
Sometimes I feel like our graduates are teaching me more than I’m teaching them! I started my career at a small residential architectural firm. There wasn’t a large team of interior designers so I was thrown in the deep end. It was sink or swim. Seeing my successes and sometimes mistakes play out on site taught me so much. So my advice would be to get to site as often as you can so that you can see your designs come to life. Attend workshops with contractors, review shop drawings, focus on the little stuff, junctions and details, so that you truly understand how things are built. It’s these small details that can make or break a project.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on UBS – Paris and Allied World Assurance – Dublin