Monday, 24 March 2014

Interview with London Based Designer Susan Quirke

Always great to hear designers tips and insights....from stuffed giraffes, working on yachts in Spain!

Thank you Susan its been a pleasure! Great fun working with you! Do check out Susan's work, website and blog deers below.

The hardest space to design well is?

The bathroom. I’ve seen some really bad designs. I think people a lot of time just buy expensive things and throw them in the room or really gimmicky things like weird baths or sinks. A beautifully designed bathroom with texture and tone is very hard to design correctly. Otherwise everyone just has the beige bathroom.

Favorite design website is? 

Fabio Novembre’s

You can make a tiny room look bigger by?

Using lots of mirrors and clever lighting. 

When traveling, I've been most inspired by? 
The beach. I have to get to the beach or lake or river or something watery, even a swimming pool will do. I love roof top pools in Barcelona you are swimming in a pool and looking at all the construction going on around you it’s fantastic. 

My signature design trick is? 
Using lighting to create different moods. I’m know for blending lighting into the interior and I find it weird now when clients don’t want anything done with their lighting as it makes such a change to a space.
The most over-the-top request ever received?  
A stuffed Giraffe-The client wanted it for the double height warehouse living room thankfully the client decided against it in the end! He was an artist and every day he came up with mad requests but he just changed his mind the next day but they were all interesting ones like a massive jellyfish tank which I researched and visited the largest one in the UK.
The most soothing paint colors are?
Lilacs and greens.

The most common mistake people make is?
Matching everything to a crazy level or a theme that’s ott. You can have a theme but it has to be subtle not stamped all over the place that’s very amateur.
My interior design heroes are?
Fabio Novembre/John Pawson

My architecture heroes are?
Reem Coolhaus, Norman Foster, Renzo Piano

The Shard, [above] Porche Building Miami, Monaco’s Tower Odeon the penthouse.

The design book I look at again and again is?
Architects pocket book.

My design pet peeve is?
Rules- clients always recite rules like dark floors won’t work or dramatic colours will make the space too dark. There are no rules you can do anything as long as you do it right.
If I had a spare $20,000 to spend on furniture?
I’m not into furniture i'd spend it on making Neon sign or bespoke chandelier.
I collect.

Most inspired by?
Nature and i'm obsessed with the beach. I think all design comes from Nature and I'd definatly choose a remote forest or beach over a city any day to chill out and be inspired. I think you can really burn out in the city. 
The best design advice I ever received was? 
"You are a designer you are supposed to design everything from your business cards to your website to your logo" – "you are a creative person and nothing is beyond you," that made me think differently about design and now I am a lighting and landscape designer as well as interior designer. It opened up my eyes to the scope of design not just limiting yourself and I’ve had better opportunities because of it.
If you could shadow any designer for a day, who would it be? 
Fabio Novembre –hopefully he’s reading this!
What’s your favourite room to decorate? 
Open plan living spaces as clients are very confused by them and they offer a chance to create something different in how they work if you play with the space and shape. I love penthouse and warehouse conversions as they are very open plan spaces.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
Working on yachts and beach houses in Barcelona and Spain- well that’s the dream. Just expanding the business and the name – the beauty of design is you never know what or where your next job will be.
What would you do if the client vetoed every single design idea you presented at the final presentation?
Can't happen as I work with them throughout the process and I really get to know my clients and their needs and likes up-front. It is a question potential clients often do ask but if they are working with you then you are moving through stages together so there is no surprise final presentation.
What advice would you give in dealing with needy, difficult clients? 
I try to stay away from any negativity as its not condisive to being creative. Clients need to understand that to get the best out of you they need to leave you to do your job and come up with ideas and not just be shown a picture of some hotel room to recreate. They are better off with a Contractor then instead of a designer.

Susan Quirke

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