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Woulfe’s Approach

12.11.20

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.

Can you tell us a bit about your luxury interior design studio, Designed by Woulfe?

We offer a really well-rounded service that spans property search, development, project management and of course interior design and architecture. Our clients vary with each project - one day we might be working with luxury property developers to design the interiors for a penthouse showroom apartment in New York, and the next we’ll be in my own neck of the woods working on a classic Georgian family home in leafy St John’s Wood. The variation of scope and clients is what keeps it exciting.

How would you describe your approach to interior design?

I take a bespoke approach to every project. Each one is unique, because each client is. For example with private residential properties, I don’t impose a ‘house style’ on my clients and rather, get to know them by spending time with them in order to really understand how they intend to use their space and interact with the interiors. I can then build a design which suits their needs and reflects their individual desires, incorporating realistic timelines and accurate costs and considering any structural restrictions. I always come at projects from an investment point of view too as obtaining maximum returns on a project for the client is key.

How do you work with clients to really inject their personalities and tastes into the interior schemes you design for them?

I think about it as more than simply creating an aesthetic environment - we want the home to do more than just look beautiful. I design in accordance to the client’s needs, be it a growing family of varying ages who want to enjoy quality time but also have their privacy when required, or a young professional who needs an inspiring living and working space that’s fit for entertaining on a regular basis. With all of the lifestyle requirements in mind, the space needs to be functional, structural and aspirational. This could mean creating a home office that’s sound-proof but also feels light and spurs productivity, or an indoor/outdoor entertaining space that’s ideal for social gatherings. Whether living, sleeping, eating, working, or simply being, our aim is to make sure the outcome always fulfils our client’s dreams and expectations for how they want to feel when at home. We’ll also incorporate sentimental items or pieces they already own and love into the design scheme, as well as helping them to curate art for their homes.

How do you collaborate with fellow designers and what do you love most about the collaboration process?

Our studio places great importance on creatively collaborating and we’ll bring on board a host of experts in their respective fields for each project. We might work alongside lighting designers to ensure the right ambience is created in each living space, or an audio-visual specialist so that any user interface or technological system that needs to be included in a home is straightforward to use and easy to maintain. We’ll also commission art for our clients’ homes, collaborate with furniture designers for customised or entirely bespoke pieces, and work with plenty of other artists and artisans both in the UK and abroad in order to source local pieces when working on international projects. Discovering and promoting new talent is one of the best parts of collaborating, as well as crafting unique pieces which will tell a story and stand the test of time.

What does ‘infinite luxury’ mean to you?

It’s the idea of unmeasurable luxury, which is a combination of comfort, elegance and great experiences. Seamlessly living with design, without knowing or feeling that it has been designed. It adds value to your daily life without being intrusive, but rather is functional, curated and satisfies your unique needs. There’s also an emphasis on handcrafted elements by highly skilled creators to deliver aesthetics that are pleasing to the eye.

Where would you suggest people go to get inspired?

When we can travel, I’d suggest...

-Bali, Indonesia and China for the remarkable quality of workmanship, solid wood, skilled joinery and antique treasures to be found there.

-Italy for the beautiful architecture and stunning furniture which is produced to perfection.

-Indian for the vibrant colours, textures and spirituality.

-Mexico for artists, open-air markets, cobblestone streets and colourful architecture.

-London for the city’s appreciation for tradition and quality as well as the juxtaposition of both historic and modern design which coexist so beautifully here.

What would you consider when designing a home where the clients love entertaining and hosting guests?

Making sure the guest’s visit is seamless. What’s the first thing they see? Whether it’s where they hang their coats or leave their shoes, that there’s a ‘wow’ factor upon entering. I’d also consider what a guest smells, and work to create a custom scent? As for art in the home, is it well lit? When offering drinks, does the bar or drinks display welcome them and make them feel at ease? On a practical level, is there enough lounge seating for all of the dinner guests?

How can we use lighting to create a mood that suits entertaining, and likewise with the audio technology in the home, are the integrated speakers correctly positioned and so on. I think the guest WC is always a fun opportunity to create another ‘wow’ moment too.

Can you tell us about a project you are currently working on?

Yes, I’m very excited to be working on the stunning Albert House back home in Ireland. It's a detached, double fronted Victorian period residence with sea views across to Muglins and Dalkey Island. It has all of the period embellishments expected from a Victorian home which I’m looking forward to working with, so lots of ceiling coving, sliding sash windows, original doors and breathtaking marble fireplaces. It’s a big space, with five bedrooms and 409 sq.m in total and my clients are a lovely Irish couple who are moving back home from London.

Learn more about Brian's work at www.designedbywoulfe.com

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