One of the many brilliant things about being part of the DAVIDSON team is the chance to work with some of the UK’s best interior designers, helping them select the perfect pieces for a client’s home. The best interior designers know how to blend a client’s direction with their own unique style and part of the joy for us is finding ways in which our furniture can marry the for a stunning result.
Tanya Barrington knows all about that blend – weaving key antique pieces into a more modern aesthetic and locating the sweet spot that makes a home look loved without feeling chaotic. Her background, studying Interior Architecture at London’s prestigious Inchbald School of Design, saw her join Mitzman Architects before deciding to strike out on her own with Tanya Barrington Designs. In January 2019, she re-joined forces with Mitzman and now works closely with them on design projects while continuing as director of her own company. “I love architecture,” she says, “so this works well for me!”
DAVIDSON has worked with Tanya on several projects now and we love her collaborative style. So, in the first of our new ‘Five questions with…’ series, we find out a bit more about how Tanya became an interior designer, what inspires her and why she loves working with architects.
How would you describe your style?
A lot of my style comes from growing up in a Georgian house filled with antiques ranging from the 1930s to 1950s. I often find myself leaning towards this period when purchasing antiques for my clients, as I find it’s versatile and can easily be paired with modern furniture. I like to design homes for living, but that aren’t cluttered. I live quite formally myself and enjoy creating luxurious and glamorous homes, with designated practical areas for families. I’m not big on symmetry and enjoy asymmetrical design. Finding individual pieces which aren’t off the shelf, so to speak, is of great importance to me. I want the client to feel like they are getting a one-off, completely designed around the way they live their life. It’s paramount to listen to your clients’ needs and often my style needs to be tailored around them. I’d say my style is primarily based on creating a home that my client never tires of. Buying key pieces that last a lifetime and don’t go out of fashion are of the utmost importance. This is why I love DAVIDSON so much; your pieces transcend so many periods and styles. The craftsmanship that goes into each piece makes them a lifetime investment to be passed on down the generations.
When did you first get into interior design?
I first knew I wanted a career in interior design when I was a teenager, although it didn’t kick start until I had completed the Interior Architecture course at the Inchbald after my degree. I started working for the architecture firm, Richard Mitzman Architects, almost seven years ago. This gave me a good understanding of the practical side of building and spatial planning – a great love of mine. A few years later I launched on my own, having won a big job in San Francisco. However, I now work closely with Richard Mitzman Architects who specialise in a range of high-end commercial and residential projects.
We are currently in the process of creating a partnership as we have found that the relationship works so well! Their award-winning, clean, modern style greatly influences the style of design I do with them. Working closely with architects adds another dimension to interior design, which I have learned to be essential.
What is your number one rule when designing?
Listening to the smallest detail of my client’s lives is paramount to me. It may seem an odd line of questioning when I first meet someone, but knowing their routine and lifestyle allows you to tailor their house to them. It has to be practical and comfortable. That doesn’t mean ordinary or drab. It simply means there is no room for the designer’s ego!
I want my client to be surprised daily by how easy it is for them to occupy the space. Spatial planning to me is the most important detail, it dictates a space beyond any furniture design. Simply moving furniture around a room can change the atmosphere of a house. Clients sometimes cannot see a place for an old piece of furniture they have and are keen to get rid of it. However, often it is a simple case of moving it and suddenly it is reborn.
Who are your clients and where are they based?
I find that most of my work is high-end residential for families in London. Although I have often worked with younger couples who are not quite at that stage yet! They tend to be professionals with one or both working in finance or similar. I have been incredibly lucky so far, in that all my clients have allowed me the autonomy to guide them freely and execute what I design.
What is your favourite DAVIDSON piece?
I am absolutely in love with the Truman side cabinet we recently used in an ongoing project. It is the perfect combination of beautiful modern design with a timeless feel. We went for a glamorous silver leaf finish on matt black. This combination turned out superbly for a sumptuous home office. I can see myself never tiring of this and look forward to buying it again. We also bought the Chatsworth table as a centre hall table. It is incredibly eye catching as you enter the house, and we have received so many compliments on it. The high gloss sycamore finish reflects light beautifully.
If you’re thinking about hiring an interior designer, why not find out what’s involved and what to consider, with our feature on five things to consider when choosing your interior designer.
If you’re an interior designer looking for high quality, luxury furniture to complete a project, or if you’re an individual in need of advice on how to style a room, DAVIDSON would love to hear from you. Get in touch to make an appointment.