1. Tell us a little bit more about yourself and Nicholas Sunderland Interiors?
I originally trained as a Graphic designer working for large agencies in London, being a senior Director within Young and Rubicam – Wunderman Worldwide, and WWAV Rapp Collins. I was able, during this time, to involve myself in the design of many of the offices as we expanded into, including a 3-floor space for my own division in Weymouth Street London.
This escalated my training in Interior Design, and a natural move into publishing, where I developed and designed consumer magazines aimed at the interior sector formulated my career move. A chance opportunity to be involved in a Home Design Feng Shui magazine enhanced my Interior Design training to include this system into my skills and I master trained in Feng Shui in the UK as well as the Far East in the early 2000s.
My unique style of design was sought after by many leading figures of the day and I took commissions from Pakistan, the Middle East, Europe, and the USA which allowed me to work on their luxury homes and palaces on a regular basis as they moved and expanded their portfolio of properties. In the UK, the business grew from Barristers Chambers to both humble and luxury residences in London and the South East where I continue to work today.
2. Talk us through your creative process, how do you approach each project?
Each project is different, as is the budget. My initial approach is to discuss at length with the client their needs and expectations from the design.
Relaxed in-depth discussions always bring out the approach that is required rather than what they initially think they want.
I look at the property, taking a tour of the home to build up a picture of how they live and perhaps then guide them further into what is a more appropriate design and use of space. I always find a client has a blinkered view of the home and its use, and as a designer, I need to guide them in the right direction and maximise the potential.
In every case, I use Feng Shui as a foundation for each design, determining the correct layout and elements to use for their own personal energy. This enables me to energise areas, calm others and neutralise as appropriate. Many clients are not aware of this approach but in every case, the client is aware of a more settled and fulfilling home. It is done with colours and elements such as metal and wood, there is no Chinese influence, and to this day many do not know the home has been surveyed in this way.
Once I have the information I need, it is a simple process of choosing colours, furnishings, and accessories to balance the home and fulfill the design. Every project on my website has been carried out using this principle.
3. Where do you get your inspiration from, Nicholas?
My inspiration comes from many sources and I find it’s important to be in regular contact with suppliers, and continually source new ones. It can sometimes be a year or more before I can use some suppliers but if they inspire me they are always there waiting for the right brief. I follow all social media ports and take note of the latest trends and influences, noting the fresh and interesting products on the market from suppliers old and new. I am always learning, always adapting, and being a Registered Interior Designer with The BIID helps enormously in my continuing development.
4. If you could only pick one project from the last 5 years that you’re most proud of, which would it be?
I think the most challenging and exciting project was a Chiswick apartment. A new build I was involved in from inception that required a full interior design of all 6 apartments including a turnkey arrangement for one. I used a variety of suppliers to design and create this apartment which was an unusual shape, the building being a triangle on a plot of land close to Chiswick House. A glass and steel construction, there were floor to ceiling windows, terraces and balconies to deal with. There were 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in each apartment and a fully bespoke Kitchen for each one, unique in every way. I wanted the interior design to reflect this ultra modern property and chose contemporary styles and finishes for the furniture, fixtures and fittings. It’s not often I have total control on a project and for that reason this was perhaps one of the most exhilarating.
5. And finally what do you believe your clients like most about working with Nicholas Sunderland Interiors?
I like to think they appreciate my honesty and professional approach to the design. I guide my clients in the right direction without pushing my ideas forward. It’s important they are happy from the start and trust my judgement and find my approachable nature eases the whole process. With many people involved in each project I am the one they talk with, the one who organises, the one who deals with changes, smoothly and efficiently.