1.61 London is very proud to announce that we have been selected as one of the worlds leading design names for 2018 by the International awards body in the UK. 1.61 London was selected alongside names such as Kelly Hoppen, Candy and Candy and David Linley. Read the full interview with our Directors below:
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)?
We both grew up around property development with our grandparents owning a commercial refurbishment company which started around 47 years ago. Property and design has been in our blood for a very long time and something we have always been fascinated about. At university in London we were both obsessed with learning as much as possible about how to develop properties.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Michael – I now head up the design team at 1.61 London. Creation has always been something I loved from a young age. Music was my first passion and I studied piano from the age of 4 years old, culminating in me achieving grade 8 in my early teens. I started writing my own music and reached a point where people like Coldplay’s manager were taking interest in what I was writing. I say this because designing a space is very similar to writing a song. Everything must tie together to create a coordinated symphony. It has to flow and work from every aspect with different highlights within a complicated and creative framework. I love watching these ideas take shape and unfold in front on me on our projects – this transition and being able to see dreams take physical form is what fuels my passion and love for design.
Alex – I head up the client side of 1.61 London ‘ I come at the design of property from a much more practical and value enhancing perspective, ensuring that what we are doing makes sense from a functional perspective as well as ensuring it won’t cost too much money!’
We both really like a very luxurious style – there isn’t one particular style we have if you looked across our portfolio each of the projects are so different.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Generally as a starting point we love to research the project location, history and area and see if any inspiration can be drawn from that. As our work is collaborative we always get inspiration from our clients as well and that creates the framework for our concepts. We always like to push design to its maximum and make something as aesthetically unique as possible. We are always dreaming and coming up with new ideas and creations that we want to incorporate in designs and elevations. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where the ideas come from, however we always want to do something different, something extremely creative and we never give up when things appear impossible from their conception. We push the boundary as much as we possibly can.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
We have definitely seen an exciting evolution in design in the last few years. It used to be general taupe’s with a pop of colour and now we are seeing a real emphasis on detail. Incorporation of metals to add unique touches of luxury. Clients are really looking for very original pieces and finishes which is exciting because it allows us to create looks that are totally unique.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in the future?
- Always ensure you have a clear style from the outset so everything flows when you design.
- Make sure you have enhanced your floorplan to work with your concept and style – the flow of space makes a huge difference to the overall design.
- Set a budget from the outset.
- Try to make sure everything is designed and agreed before you start a project to make the development phase simple and easy.
- Be bold in your decisions and never give up on what you set out to achieve.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Don’t underestimate how much time it takes to really design even a small space to get the optimum look. There is a lot to think about and most people think it’s a much quicker process than it really is.
What are the key influencing elements at the moment?
We wouldn’t say there is something that stands out specifically at the moment. Everything is constantly changing and influencing our design direction.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on some amazing projects currently. The design scheme for a huge 75 apartment development in Wimbledon, a beautiful apartment off Belgrave Square, a property off Kensington high street, a full redevelopment and extension project for a house by Eaton Square as well as some smaller projects in Marylebone and Tower Bridge.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We want to continue to push the quality and design that we are delivering in our projects. We are also expanding the amount of work we are doing abroad which is exciting.
Final thoughts – tell us a little more about yourself…Your most treasured possession?
My first piano
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Alex – Hotel de Paris, Monaco
Your favourite book / film / song?
The Godfather – all about family.
Your favourite food and drink?
Alex – Steak and Chips.
Mike – G and T on the odd occasion!
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
We love our work!
To read the full selection please click on the link here