Colourful language

FX brought together interiors experts from all corners of the industry to talk colour, styles, trends…and encouraging clients to be brave.


Words by Toby Maxwell

Photography by Gareth Gardner

We've all seen them - and most probably worked in them. Offices with interior layouts and decor that are so lifeless and dull that they sap the energy out of anyone who enters. The scourge of workers and designers alike, these spaces could become a thing of the past if only the companies responsible for these spaces could be persuaded to stretch the boundaries a little.

David Kramer, director at commercial interiors studio Squaredot, said: 'It's our job to challenge some of the preconceived ideas that clients might have about what their interiors should be and how their brand is reflected.

What we like to do is push it a bit further though and take them out of their comfort zone, whether that is through colour, materials, or lighting. Often this means going with something quite bold. I don't do vanilla. If someone wants vanilla then why employ someone to do their interiors?'

One of a number of wide-ranging topics being discussed by a panel of interiors experts at the recent FX Design Seminar on Colour, held at the showroom of Designworks Tiles in London, the issue of winning the client's confidence was agreed by most as a key challenge. Kramer said: 'You have to win [it] through demonstration and education. You can show them by mock-ups and explaining the impact that a certain design could have.'

Jenny Wasson, design director, Designworks Tiles
Jenny Wasson, design director, Designworks Tiles

Rather than battling to convince a client that their preferences are wrong and that they should adopt something completely different, there was a suggestion among designers around the table that, instead, clients tend to come to interior designers whose portfolio of work resonates with them, hence, they are generally 'on the same page' since they identify with that designer's signature style.

Jo Littlefair, director at Goddard Littlefair said: 'We have clients come to us for our diversity. We've undertaken hotels as well as developer work and private residential and it can be the case that each industry is feeding the other in terms of ideas. For example, you have developers wanting a "hotel feel", homeowners wanting the hotel bathroom kind of look, and yet you have hotels that want to create the sense that you're going into a home environment.'

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