More about Anna-Marie
What lead you to become an interior designer?
I have spent most of my life renovating properties – almost obsessively! I have a really good eye for colour and a real knack of pulling a look together. I don’t seem to have an off switch when it comes to designing spaces – my mind is always creating – almost subconsciously. I love the process of design – it’s a real passion. After a successful career in Financial Services I decided the time was right to pursue my passion so I attained my diploma and Finesse was born.
What qualities do you bring to the projects you undertake?
I am an obsessive project manager. Being incredibly organised and driven to make things happen is key in this industry. Because of my professional background I effectively combine my business skills with the creative design process so as a client you not only get a great design but I will turn it into a reality.
What is your signature style?
I love period homes – I have a real passion for reviving period homes that need are in need of some TLC by bringing their architectural features back to life. But I don’t want to live in a museum. I would describe my style as colourful eclectic. I really like to combine the old and new and to blend different styles to create a completly individual look.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere. There are textures and colours in nature that can form the basis of a design but there is also a great deal of inspiration in man made elements too. For me travel and art are the key influences.
What are the biggest mistakes homeowners make today?
Starting a project without an end in mind will probably result in a disjointed finish. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have a destination in mind before you start on the journey. That’s not saying you can’t tweak things as you go along but you need that concept and vision to be clear.
Too much clutter – you can’t design a beautiful space until you’ve cleared out all your stuff! There’s no point having a fabulous space if you can’t see it. I’m not sentimental at all about objects. In my home it has to be beautiful, functional or ideally both. If I don’t love it it doesn’t stay. It also helps to be organised. If you are overwhelmed by stuff then I would recommend calling in a professional declutterer to help you get organised.
Playing it too safe. It’s your space – it should have personality and character. Push the boundaries, add in a element of humour – go bigger, go bolder – be brave!
What advice would give to someone designing a space from scratch?
Look for design clues in other areas of your life. Where do you go on holiday, what’s in your wardrobe? Take note of what you are drawn to around you – what images speak to you. Create a mood board of inspirational ideas will help you understand your likes and aesthetic preferences.
Don’t rush – take you time, plan as much as you can before starting to spend any money Preparation is everything and the time taken to prepare properly should not be underestimated. It takes longer than you expect.
Be ruthlessly honest about your lifestyle and how you need a space to work – successful design is about far more than how it looks. If you have animals and children this will influence your choices with respect to fabrics and finishes but also storage. Always plan to grow into your space – you probably will!