Jamie Hempsall

This Nottinghamshire-based interior designer with a love of colour is determined to keep the personal touch despite his company’s growth

Jamie Hempsall has had an ‘interesting’ couple of years — ‘we just get busier and busier,’ he says. ‘We think of ourselves as a small company but then we win an award and see ourselves quoted in various places and you realise people have a different perception of you.’

His practice recently picked up the Best Interior Design North-East UK prize at the UK Residential Property Awards. ‘It has definitely made a difference,’ Hempsall says. ‘We’ve had a lot of enquiries, including interest from hotel groups I met at the awards event.’

Hempsall prides himself on his flexibility and his Nottinghamshire-based business offers anything from ‘a pot of paint to an interior scheme for an entire grade-I-listed mansion’. Residential work represents most of his business to date although the ratio varies from year to year. This year he estimates it’s 50:50 residential to commercial but last year it was 80:20.

He is also proud of the sustained growth he has achieved throughout the recession, putting on between 20 and 50 per cent growth annually. Despite this, Hempsall has remained determinedly hands on and does not want to lose this regular contact with all his clients. Although he worked alone when he started his business in 1994, for the past six years he has worked with partner Richard Bond, who adds his business acumen to Hempsall’s creative skills. Hempsall calls in freelance help as and when he needs it but has yet to see the need to expand his team permanently.

One particularly exciting recent project has been Barkers, a restaurant and conference venue for the National Trust in a Victorian villa on the Clumber Park estate. The creation of a restaurant as an independent standalone venture is a new departure for the National Trust. It was an opportunity for Hempsall to express his love of colour which, he believes, is what sets him apart from other designers. ‘I think I have a very strong feel for colour,’ he says. ‘I can’t do beige. The main comment I get from my clients is that I have taken them out of their safety zone and they love it!’

This article was first published in idfx Magazine.

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