Rebecca Hughes, Interior Designer, Rebecca Hughes Interiors
Interview by Laura Piety
A Rverie conversation with Rebecca Hughes, of Rebecca Hughes Interiors, a bespoke, high end interior design studio based in central London.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Rebecca Hughes and I’m an Interior Designer, specializing in high-end residential properties. I have just celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of my own studio ‘Rebecca Hughes Interiors.’ Primarily based in London, our projects to date have been located all over the UK but I love to travel and have previously worked on contracts in both Australia and the US.
What has been your career experience leading up to starting your own studio?
I started my career working in advertising for ‘atelier,’ part of the Leo Burnett Group that specializes in creating communications for fashion, beauty and world-leading luxury brands. This was an invaluable platform for me, and enabled me to learn core skills that have transferred seamlessly to the world of interiors.
Inspired by my husband, I decided to follow my creative instincts and re-train in Interior Design. Following my training, I then worked for four years at Louise Jones Interiors as one of her Senior Designers; managing projects both in the UK and internationally.
On reflection, even as a child I constantly moved furniture around my bedroom, changed window treatments and painted walls – the environment that surrounds me dramatically influences my wellbeing and creativity.
How did you approach the career transition from advertising to interiors? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
At the time, it felt like a huge jump from one career to another, but only now I realize it was the most natural transition. A good business mentor in your new field is vital to helping you map our your goals and supporting you on your journey.
In addition, it is important to fully understand your career choice. The world of interiors for example, is huge and the role of an interior stylist differs dramatically to an interior decorator and again to an interior designer. Work experience and research can help formulate where you want to head.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Everything inspires me! Nature, fashion, art, objects, conversations with friends and family, I constantly want to be open to new ideas. I get obsessed with materials, at the moment it is polished plaster and copper.
Pinterest has transformed the way I collect inspiration and opened up a world of ideas and color – in my mind, one can never have too many inspiration images!
What are three things you can’t live without, your essential products for a well-designed life?
The most important tool for any design project is a tape measure. My clients often fall in love with an item of furniture but if it doesn’t fit, it won’t work in the overall space. You can spend a lot of money on a property, but if the scale isn’t right and different areas of the room are not in proportion, the room is a failure.
Secondly, I can’t live without beautiful stationery. A dear friend recently gave me a collection of notepads from Kikki-K that I proudly take to meetings. I also love the LA-based brand Sugar Paper.
Finally, my last essential is a pot of OPI Nail Varnish in ‘You Make Me Vroom’. Although I like to get my hands dirty, a set of bright red nails adds some sophistication to my day and reminds me of the power of color.
What is your initial creative process as you approach a re-design?
Ultimately my job is to realize the vision of a client, so the most challenging aspect has to be interpreting their brief in the most beautiful yet practical way. I pride myself in taking time to listen to each client while also providing attention to detail so that every element works together to produce a unique scheme.
How do you respect the existing heritage and architecture of a space while updating it?
I'm about to start work on a large house in Cadogan Square, London. It is a property rich with history and showcases the very best of Queen Anne revival architecture. There are strict guidelines in the UK with regard to listed properties and at all times I want to be sensitive to the architecture, function and history of the space. It is always fun creating schemes that mix different periods and styles together, ultimately forming a fresh space that is filled with character and charm.
What would be your three top tips when decorating a home?
Firstly, you should think of your home as a whole, not just individual elements of distinct rooms. Each room can vary in color, style and have unique features. But it must work with the other spaces, ultimately achieving a continuous flow that runs throughout.
Lighting is always the key to a good atmosphere. Too bright, and the room will feel cold and clinical. Too dark, and the room will feel harsh and unwelcoming. Consider placing lamps at different heights, such as table lamps, floor lamps, wall lights and pendant lights - all are vital in creating different atmospheres depending on the time of year and day,
Updating your home doesn’t always need to be costly. Working in interiors, and constantly having access to new, exciting designs, I always have new ideas for my own home. While it is not practical to change the design frequently, I aim to keep my home frequently updated by changing the smaller accent items such as cushions, soft furnishings and accessories. Creativity should be fun and creating a home an enjoyable process.
What are some favorite projects you’ve worked on?
Following the completion of recent project, the client told me that they had “fallen in love with their home once again.” For me, that was one of the best compliments I could have had. Every house should feel like a home.
I also love working with a wider team. Some of my favorite projects have been where I value and admire the other architects, planners and builders involved.
What’s your dream project?
I currently specialize in residential projects and love the personal process of working closely with my clients. However, looking forward I would like to design more commercial spaces, such as hotels and restaurants, which need to attract a wide variety of tastes and cultures. I also dream of transforming places where one doesn’t always want to be, such as airport lounges for example, and incorporating the psychology of that space.
For more information please visit www.rebeccahughesinteriors.com
Images courtesy of Rebecca Hughes Interiors