On Good Form
Locally born, but now dividing her time between London and Guernsey, Nicole was first inspired to set up her now blossoming interior design firm by a project in her previous career. In a job that could daunt many, she found her life passion when given the task of managing the 20,000 sq ft fit out of new premises for their City investment bank.
Finding her calling here, Nicole then took what ‘felt like such a risky step at the time’ by leaving her career, to study interiors at the cutting-edge Chelsea College of Art & Design. But she says ‘It turns out it wasn’t such a risk after all. With my family background in the construction industry at Garenne Group, and being involved in setting up a couple of businesses, creating my own interior design company was a natural step’.
Because each project is so very different – Nicole says she doesn’t have one style and has enjoyed working on a mix of exciting projects recently – designing a fun and inspirational environment for a new office in St Martins, a re-fresh of a local pub’s interior, renovating a few large family homes, and even a luxurious Swiss ski chalet.
‘I want to create beautiful homes and appealing commercial interiors and believe that delivering great results relies on getting to know my clients. An essential element of the design process is spending time with people, discovering their way of life and truly understanding their aspirations.’
Nicole’s approach is responsive and flexible, from the full ‘start-from-scratch’ design ideas for new builds by sister architecture company PF+A, to just selecting a few finishing touches, materials and colours for an existing room design scheme. Challenging the perception that interior design is only for the rich, she says she can often save people the cost of her fee through the purchase of goods at her trade rates.
The key to her success is mixing her creative flair with her ‘not so little’ black book of suppliers and sources of specialty materials from all around Europe. She can save you hours of trawling online looking for furniture and lighting. ‘Many people will be surprised and delighted to hear that designing your own sofa may be no more expensive than buying one from the high street. I can guide you through the process of commissioning bespoke furniture.’
Personally, I’d like to try her interior styling and personal shopping services. I’d like to know how to create a look to tie everything together, on a budget, in a Scandinavian meets cottage meets contemporary way – yet still soft and cosy. Possibly a tall order, but I’m excited to find out what Nicole can suggest.