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Design Narrative

26.07.21

Good design unfolds like a story, forming the backdrop for everyday life. Julia Millen spoke to Brian Woulfe of Designed by Woulfe on how he curates a narrative for his projects

Comfort and function are at the forefront of residential interior design, and for those with growing families, durability is also of great importance. However, at my studio, we believe it’s also about creating an environment that tells a story about the homeowner’s life, or lives, and enables them to thrive in an inspiring, uplifting space that feels authentic to them.

With this in mind, our guiding principle when tackling a new interior design project is to always take a bespoke approach, one that is unbound by a house style and uninfluenced by trends. We get to know our clients so that the home we design for them not only looks beautiful and speaks to them visually, but is also a reflection of themselves. We may combine rare antiques and collector’s items with newly commissioned pieces, art, and personal mementos to tell a story, or incorporate artisanal techniques and traditional fabrics that provide cultural context or celebrate a clients’ personal heritage.

The right home environment is one that is effectively optimised to best support our lifestyles, encourage us to fulfill our passions and provide comfort with feelings of belonging and relaxation. You can almost liken it to a form of experiential design - a holistic approach to design that encompasses all of the senses for a lasting, memorable experience. This philosophy needn’t be limited to communal public spaces such as museums, boutiques, bars or hotels; our homes can also bring about emotion and feeling.

Perhaps it’s a luxurious en-suite bathroom that immediately conjures a sense of calming relaxation, or a well-lit and soundproof study, filled with books and a sumptuous desk chair that feels like the perfect place for thought, reflection, ideation and productivity. Through design, we can craft homes that will nurture the life experiences we wish to have.

When doing so, we consider the entire family - down to the pets. Communal spaces ought to be  adaptive, transitional and representative of each individual’s needs. A family home is for every member equally, no matter their age. Taking the time to get to know the children within our clients’ families is key, and also great fun. We’ll pour over every detail they give us, learning about their tastes, hobbies, likes and dislikes, down to their favourite books, film characters and ice cream flavours. Ultimately, we want the children of the family to feel like the space within the home that’s specially designated to them, be it a bedroom, playroom or entertainment room, is one in which they can be themselves and flourish.

Designed by Woulfe is a London-based interior design studio founded by Brian Woulfe. Originally hailing from Ireland and now settled in London, Brian has spent over 10 years providing a bespoke and comprehensive service for private clients, property developers and commercial clients around the world.

www.designedbywoulfe.com   @designedbywoulfe_

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