What was your journey into the world of interiors?
My story starts when I was working in a high end furniture store in Brazil (where I was born). I then came to London on holiday and totally fell in love with it - so I moved here in 2005. My goal on moving to the UK was to work with the Designers Guild, but it was quite hard as I couldn't speak english. I remember that when I sent my CV to them, they loved it but my interview was rubbish due to my poor English. After that I really focused on improving my language skills, while working in other furniture stores here such as Armani Casa. One of my customers at the time was an interior designer who had a really big project who invited me to go work for her - so I did. After a while I set myself up as a solo while landing a part time job at the Designers Guild store. It really helped me hone my craft working with colour and pattern. I was working as a full time designer, but after having kids I decided to shift focus onto online service. I have a weekly meeting with members of my design courses remotely to help them with their interiors. It allows me to really broaden my reach to clients and teaches them about the process of design. All the while helping them access an interior designer without the usual price implication.
What is your process when tackling an interior design project?
I always start from the client. I need to know what they like, what their interests are, what inspires them, what brands they like. It helps me really understand my clients needs and then I can help make the home represent their own personality and soul. The rooms I design must have a great feeling. If the room I create doesnt put a smile on someone's face, then it's not a good scheme. These are my starting points, and then I build a scheme around this. It is a very involved process because the home is more than just a house - it is the place of warmth and sanctuary - so it has to reflect you and inspire you. Great design is never about just copying a beautiful room seen on a magazine, it is about so much more than that.
We have a considered layout and plan for all the pieces they may want to keep, a great space has to function properly as well as look amazing. We also discuss budget too, I always try to use the budget wisely to maximise how much bang they can get for their buck. I then develop mood boards with concepts and move onto sourcing and installation.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My style is all about feeling good! Very floral, colourful and patterned. Some may say playful with an Alice In Wonderland twist. Now clients that come to me, know about my style and love of colour therefore I never have that negotiation with a hesitant or reluctant client as what I do is very clear. I am happy to encourage my clients to be braver and more confident with their use of colour. We discuss their psychology and what the options for introducing colour and pattern are.
What would you say is the biggest no-no in interiors?
Just copying something without properly applying it to the space. You need to consider the differences in light, orientation and functional demands on a room before you just buy something for it - otherwise it is just generic. Oh and I also can't stand crushed velvet!
How do you think interior design is represented by the media?
I think it's good that people are getting inspired by interior design on social media and on TV. It helps them create happier spaces to live in and that is always a good thing. Sometimes on TV shows the limitations of time and money really challenge you, because you know that you could do so much better if only you had an extra few days or a bit more budget. The other good thing is that it inspires people to pursue careers into interior design, which is fabulous.