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Interior design is more than just how a space looks; it is also about how a space makes you feel. When it comes to older properties this is even more important, and not just because a building might be listed or on the “at risk” register. It is the connection with generations that have preceded us, how they created, loved, and cared for a building and how our society has evolved which leaves its mark for us to touch, see and feel. 


This is why I love older buildings. A key part of my work is understanding the importance of the "spirit" of the property along with the materials that were used in its creation. Spirit can have many different interpretations but for me it is all about understanding the character and what makes the building and space special and how it makes you feel. It is this spirit that sets a historic building apart and it is vital that we conserve it and keep it alive. 


This can be challenging when a building needs to be adapted to new use, but it is not impossible to maintain the integrity of the building and protect the spirit, it just takes a bit more thought and consideration.


From a materials perspective, these tangibly demonstrate how the building was made and how it may have evolved over time. Materials need to be selected not only on their alignment with the spirit of place but also their suitability to ensure they do not physically harm the building or its value. Emphasis should be placed on the quality of design, choice of materials, the execution of use and the craftsmanship. The selection of new materials is equally as important as the treatment of existing materials. It is the weaving of the old and new that can enhance a space or, if not well considered, can conversely be wholly detrimental. 


Our interaction with the materials creates the experience and gives a place meaning. This is what I am passionate about and why I put so much emphasis on getting to know the building as well as the client. 


The interior is often drastically altered in comparison to the exterior, but if it is not planned and considered properly the interiors can suffer if they are deemed less significant than the architecture. They need to be viewed of equal importance at the very least, both from a financial perspective and from the designs that are being implemented. When the spirit of place is central to the designs it will ensure that something uniquely different is created which is truly tailored to the building and its owner.


Listening to the building and listening to the client is critical to ensure that the right design choices are made so that the spirit of place is not lost and the building is not only grounded in the past but is connected to the present and the future. This means that the design goes beyond the superficial and is based on what the client and building actually need. 


In practice this means that the designs, both internally and externally, should be about what is physical (the building), how it has changed over time and how it can evolve along with the moods and feelings of the building both in its current state and when work is completed to ensure the mood (spirit) is not negatively impacted. This requires invoking the senses beyond what you can see.


A building may need to evolve to ensure it has a future but how it evolves is what will set it apart. Thoughtful, passionate and intelligent design will ensure a building is connected to the world with a successful future, preventing it from becoming a relic, with no logical, physical or emotional purpose. 

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“Every great design begins with an even better story"

Lorinda Mamo 

"Alexis worked on our Grade 2 listed Windmill Project on the interiors and was amazing. She really helped with layouts and product choices which we loved. We would happily use her services again"

Will, Hertfordshire.

I appreciate you may have questions so I have pulled together some frequently asked ones for you and tried to answer them. Hopefully they help but if you would rather have a chat I would love to hear from you.  

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