Q&A with Creative Director, Simon
You established the company in 2000, can you tell us a little about yourself before then and what inspired you to pursue a career in interior design?
I started TBWC back in 2000. Growing up, my Dad always tinkered about making and fixing things and so I had quite a good practical knowledge from always helping him out with his various crazy projects. It was in the early 1990's though, when I was inspired by a visit to my friend's parents' holiday cottage that they had recently had renovated. It was done to a really high standard, with all the cabinetry supplied by a very well known high street company. I was absolutely fascinated with how you could do such incredible things with wood and thereby started my crusade to learn how to do it myself.
I literally bought as many books as I could (the internet was only just starting at this point) and taught myself. I eventually made my own kitchen and then made all my own wardrobes. Dare I say, I became quite good at it. Various friends asked for my services and to cut a long story short I went from working by myself in a double garage to eventually employing a team of 5 people. I guess you could say that it is my passion.
What would you say inspires you most when it comes to a new design?
Listening to the clients and creating something absolutely amazing for them is my inspiration. Everything we do starts with a blank canvass, so I get really excited when I get to visit somebody's beautiful property knowing that we are going to improve it.
What are the beginning stages of a new project?
The first thing is to visit the property. You can often get a real sense of the client's taste and style from the rest of their house - do they want modern or perhaps more traditional. As an example, we have just created a fantastic project - when we first met with the clients, we soon realised that they were very influenced with the modern architecture of Barcelona. So straight away we knew that we could try something different and exciting. We ended up with black carcasses, all lit up with antique mirrored drawer fronts inside. It looked amazing.
You offer project management and regular build inspections throughout each project, why is this important?
It is mainly to keep the clients up to speed with progress and to try to think ahead to avoid any unexpected issues. Also, some of our clients do change their minds during the fit and we are very open to managing their changing needs. We really do try to "go the extra mile" for our clients and I'm very confident that all of our past customers would testify to that.
Do you have any advice for anyone who is looking to re-design their bedroom space? And what sort of things should they think about prior to engaging an interior designer?
Have a think about how you would like the space to work. Do you have lots of shoes? We had a client recently who had 300 pairs of shoes and so displaying them was very important to her. How much hanging space do you need? You can quite easily measure what you currently have and then make a decision as to whether it is enough. Could you fit an island into a dressing room? It's a fantastic addition to any dressing room which can transform the whole dynamic of the space. These are the sorts of things that we are thinking about all the time.
You have created some truly incredible interiors, what has been your favourite project so far and why?
One of my favourites was for a client who knocked down their house and completely rebuilt it from scratch. What was fantastic is that we were involved with the architect from the very beginning and were able to offer some really good advice as to where walls and windows were best positioned in order to best utilise the space. Whilst architects obviously can and do do this, they have so many other factors to consider that they can't be expected to go into such finite detail. For example, just repositioning a window by perhaps 200mm can make a huge difference, for say fitting some wardrobes. We ended up supplying them with cabinetry for the entire property, from boot room to study to kitchen to bedrooms. It was a joy to work on.
Do you have any new exciting projects on the horizon this year?
Yes, we have some clients who have a stunning property and are building a rather large extension to it. The space that we have available is so exciting, we are creating a boutique feel to the dressing rooms. The clients have some really good ideas in terms of the look and feel and have shown me some gorgeous looking images of what they would like (which is extremely useful) and it is going to look truly sensational. They have also asked me to create a truly unique study which we are hoping to produce in a black, high gloss sprayed Italian veneer with gold trim. I can't wait to get started.