Interview with Yvette Taylor

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)

I trained firstly as a fashion designer and I spent two years working in costume departments for national theatres. I felt limited by the human form, however, and I wanted to translate my passion for colour, pattern and fabrics into interiors. So I moved to Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, before completing my MBA in New York.

I then spent six years working for Swedish company SKANSKA on large commercial projects, and then in 2005, I launched my own interior design practice in Mallorca. The years I spent focused on Mediterranean residential properties for international clients were invaluable and in 2011, my client base grew and I relocated my company to the UK. Now I still work on international properties, but I combine this with residential projects in London and the Home Counties.

Since I launched my business, I’ve worked on more than 60 projects in a range of destinations, from Geneva and Verbier to Marbella and Munich.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?

My own interior design style is very much inspired by the environment I am working in. It is essential for me to leave my own taste and style at the door and instead to interpret the desires of my clients. I believe, fundamentally, in functionally first. However luxurious, elegant, or beautiful, the home must suit the everyday needs of the client.

My style is inspired by the culture and architecture of a location and my interior design projects have a harmonious relationship with nature, engaging the colour and form of natural landscapes.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

My design inspiration is global. It comes from 20 years experience in a range of countries and locations and working with diverse clients, who all bring their own tastes to reinterpret.

I am also inspired by Italian craftsmanship. Italy has more than 250 years of tradition and nowhere in the world produces the same level of detail and finish. I have built a close relationship with the factories and workshops where exquisite products like Murano glass are produced.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

I work very much at the high-end of luxury interiors where the direction is moving towards products and design that is truly bespoke. This is translating into products like double-weight silk wallpaper from China, with embroidery patterning, which is unique and also looks utterly contemporary. Or the rugs made in Asia, which are artworks in themselves, where 200 colours can be selected to create a completely individual item. I also see new materials and finishes being utilised in innovative ways, from special molds to fine veneers.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2015 and beyond.

  • In colour, I see stronger hues like cobalt and vivid acid shades being combined with neutrals; rose pink and taupe are coming through.
  • Leather is adding subtle definition to furniture. This is seen in examples such as leather handles against a lacquer finish, or on headboards combined with chrome.
  • Mirrors make such an impact and tinted mirrors are making a statement in 2015 – smoky, darker tones create an individual look.
  • Art has always been central to interiors but now original pieces are the epitome of style, with paintings and sculpture being specially commissioned for projects.
  • I think the use of contemporary fabric designs within traditional furniture making will be a defining style this year.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?

The interior only really comes together at the end of the project and it is a combination of harmony, beauty, comfort and luxury that makes it work. But most importantly it must have functionality. It must suit the needs and lifestyle of the client.

How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

The awards are a fantastic platform to share the best projects, not just among fellow interior designers, but architects and the wider industry.

Winning an award, of course, would be the cherry on the cake because it is validation that you are doing something right.

It is also great for the younger generation who are thinking of joining the industry to show them the potential of how far you can get.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently designing a five-storey townhouse in Chelsea. Other projects include a seven bedroom minimalist cliff-top villa in Andratx and a traditional Mediterranean townhouse in Puerto Soller, both in Mallorca.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

Alongside completing my current projects, I am working to perfect our 3D services – we are nearly there, but we want to offer the highest standard, and there is more to offer in terms of lighting, shades, textures and finishes.

I am launching a new website as a way to present my projects in new and innovative ways and to share my news.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

Your most treasured possession?

A painting by Jessica Zoob entitled The One – it is part of a set of two paintings; the other work is hanging in the lobby of One Hyde Park.

Your favourite holiday destination?

The Maldives, because it is so peaceful and tranquil and the colours of the ocean are magnificent. It is so removed from modernity and allows you time to rest and gain new ideas and perspectives.

Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?

The Coral Reef Club in Barbados is an exceptional bar. I also love Mark Fosh’s restaurant, Simply Fosh in Palma de Mallorca, located in Convent de la Missio. Another favourite restaurant is Stay Faubourg in the Sofitel hotel, Paris.

Your favourite book / film / song?

Song - Barbra Streisand, Woman in Love.
Film - To Catch a Thief with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, made in 1955.

Your favourite food and drink?

A glass of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and a grilled sole, fresh from the sea.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?

Going for a walk with my labrador.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

An architect.