What is the biggest influence on your work (whether inside or outside your field)?
People. We design spaces for people ultimately and the people who face me at the initial meeting become the prime influence for any given project. Interior Design is a bespoke service and as a firm we have to respond to client’s needs. A client comes to my office for a reason, because of already being committed to an end result that has to be flawless. Yet the client becomes the primary influence on my work, as well as place. Perhaps also my multinational background, German and Swedish (but operating out of London for my adult life), makes me draw on other cultures and their successes. Passion for life also fuels me.

How does this influence manifest itself in your work?
We are not born in a vacuum and collaboration is key to an interior’s success. If you listen, assimilate and then respond, you act responsibly and the progress in building good space is more steadfast and less likely to be complicated by misunderstandings. By getting to know a client and the modus operandi of his operation, in the case of hotels and restaurants particularly, manifests in the creation of great atmosphere. One of my latest projects, the Caprice restaurant in New York, meant having to listen to the restaurateur, the Pierre Hotel, since the dining room is within the hotel, and look at the needs of the end user while keeping a thread of the original London restaurant, now in its 3rd decade. Ultimately, the diner has to be the most pleased, in order to return. We build the stage for many emotional scenes and listening is always the most important element of any brief.
What key trends do you see emerging in your field of work?
I think trends are going to be the first trend to go! People want to be original again, not followers of fashion. Following those hedonistic days of logos we are going back to purity and classic direction, chased by a touch of personal flair. There is a new confidence about that does not originate from money or wealth but just from a man, a person, feeling he has a right to “be there”. Nick Jones, my client for whom I am creating new interiors in a few countries, is one of those maverick types who has a sense of being and has confidence in his ideals. He is a mould breaker, a man of original and inspiring taste. Originality, but simplified, is going to be key this new decade.
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