CELIA SAWYER INTERVIEW & HER LATEST BEAUTIFUL VANQUISH PROJECT
February 26, 2016
Being an Interior Designer Myself it was an honour to be able to interview the stunning and talented Celia Sawyer a businesswoman, interior designer who owns the Channel 4 programme Four Rooms.
How would you describe your personal style? Contemporary, glamorous, uber-luxurious!
Every designer has a different way / approach to a brief what is your starting point when you begin a new project?
When embarking on a new project the very first thing to do is listen to the client and their needs. This is a must for any new project. The layout of the rooms is the next step, so that I understand what is required and the floor plan. From this I work on fabrics, lighting, bespoke furniture and then access. It is fundamental that my team and I understand how we will get pianos, pool tables, large, bespoke furniture into the appropriate room. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times we’ve had to overcome spiral staircases or blocked entrance ways! Fabrics are one of the first things you have to decide early on, as this makes up your scheme, to which other items will be built around it. Always place the fabrics you have in mind in context to ensure they work in the property’s lighting. Colours can vary from your studio and batches can change too, so always order a stock cutting from the batch you will actually be ordering from.
If you are looking for chandeliers or made-to-order lamps, you will need to give yourself at least eight weeks lead time. Many companies have a range of stock lighting however if you want something really unique, you will most probably be ordering from overseas or a fabricator in UK and will need longer lead times. Once my furniture, fabrics and lighting is on order, I have my team checking deadlines and staying on top of suppliers to know everything is on track for delivery. You often have such a small window to install so everything must be organized to the very last detail – regularly speaking to suppliers and building rapport with them helps this come together! I am working presently on a £30 million house in London and will be ready to install the furniture and accessories in a few days. I have given myself three days to complete the task, purely down to the fact that I have spent weeks and weeks walking through each of the rooms in my mind and making sure I have not forgotten anything. If you do this you should be able to cut the time of your installation down quite significantly!
Where do you find yourself looking for inspiration to constantly create individual designs? My ideas come from my surroundings. I may be in a top hotel and see something that I take to the next level and make my own. Equally where the project is situated, ie. by the sea, in the countryside, on a beach, etc, I interpret the surroundings as inspiration.
What would you say your design philosophy is? My design philosophy is to add total luxury to the private residence, private jet or show home that I am working on. I want every piece of furniture and each accessory to shine in glamour and style, making everyone say WOW who sees it.
Tips for beginner designers like myself? Any useful tips and Tricks Start building a great book of contacts, from upholsterers, to carpet fitters, bespoke furniture makers and lighting suppliers. I work with people all over the world but this took time, so start early I’d say. Trying to get work experience with an interior designer would be extremely useful too, so be brave, send emails and get your foot in the door.
Have you got any particular Style Tricks you always apply in your designs? I try and use a star piece in every room, to really add a wow-factor. I also use designer coffee table books and decorative boxes which look chic on a tables and sideboards.
Another style trick is to ensure you’re using a great mix of textures, such as beautiful satins, leathers and suedes on furniture, against lacquered wood tables, beveled console tables, chandelier lighting, croc affect materials and faux fur. This will bring ultimate glamour to your scheme so a definite style trick of mine!
What or who inspired you to become and Interior Designer?
It was quite an organic process for me actually. I did up my own home and added an extra floor, not only increasing its value but estate agents and acquaintances that saw my work kept asking me to design their homes. From this I took on the challenge and helped a friend, then the word spread and I realised I could make a living from interior design. I seemed to have a natural eye for it; the rest is history as they say!
What was your main inspiration behind Vanquish? Vanquish is a newly built, modern-luxury property in the prestigious area of Sandbanks, on the south coast of the UK. It is extremely contemporary inside and out and has four floors as well as its own private mooring. Due to its location and setting I didn’t want to block any of the stunning views across the harbor so I created a scheme that played to the elements, whilst being highly glamorous throughout. I kept everything neutral to frame the view of the ocean in Vanquish.
What is your favourite part of designing? The end result! It is extremely satisfying seeing happy clients and getting their feedback. It’s a wonderful feeling when they are happier than they imagined. Second to this, it would be the early creative stages such as fabric selection and drawing out my furniture ideas, then seeing them made and come to life. That is a great feeling.
Have your or do you set yourself future goals? Yes, all the time. I am big on visualisation and I always tell people to ‘know their outcome.’ If you know what you want to achieve you can plan the steps to get there. I have new goals all the time, such as I want to publish my own book, but then I also have goals to improve what I’m already doing. I believe in never sitting still and improving your business where you can.
VANQUISH: Her Most Recent Project Vanquish is something I wanted to also share with you.
It is situated on a south coast harbour side with beautiful panoramic views being one of its main features therefore the design and style throughout have been attributed to it.Perfectly situated on a south coast harbour-side, this imposing property offers the ultimate in contemporary, luxury living on the water's edge.