The top designers who have influenced my career as an interior designer

By 25th July 2018 July 20th, 2020 Interior Design, Our Heritage

As a designer it’s natural to take inspiration from others and after working in the commercial design industry for 24 years, I have deep respect for those who helped shape who I am today.  

I’ve always wanted to be an interior designer. From when I was young, it was always something I knew I’d enjoy, and would want to get up in the morning and want to do. Over the years, as I developed a passion for design and started my own business, five people stood out to me, three of whom influenced my approach to design in quite different ways, while two influenced me from a business perspective.  

What makes these people so pivotal in my career as a design and a business woman?

The designers all stand out in their individual style: one is over-the-top fun and vibrant, the other is over-the-top simple, and the third is over-the-top in opulence. I really love this about all three as it serves to remind us that there are no rules in creativity, that anything goes… as long as it works and as long as it feels good!

The businessmen are talented people who understand the importance of growth, both as a business and on a personal level. As a woman and business owner, it’s important to me to be able to balance work and my home life.

So who are these exceptional people? Read on to find out:

Design Influence:

Karim Rashid

I find Karim Rashid’s work so inspirational. He is credited with being one of the most prolific designers of his generation and his award-winning designs include, among others, luxury goods for Christofle, Veuve Clicquot, and Alessi.  

For me his use of colour, pattern, and light is visually exciting and often quite risky, which I find very inspirational. He just understands the balance of the risks he takes and his designs just work because of the sheer cheekiness of it!

Classic Influence:

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig was an inspirational German-American architect who was most active in the 1940s in the United States. His designs were groundbreaking and his modernist work included the Lake Shore Drive Apartments and the Seagram Building.

For me I found my inspiration in his simplicity of balancing planes, the horizontal offset against vertical lines, and his use of pure materials, with no frills… simply allowing the materials to be themselves.

Stephen Falcke

Stephen Flacke is a world-renowned interior designer who has worked on designs across the globe, after working for legendary British interior designer David Hicks, Stephen returned to South African to bring his talent home.   

I just can’t get enough of Stephen’s boldness in luxury and opulence, in contrast, in statements. There’s clearly a traditional elegance in his work and many of his designs feature materials with an African influence.

Business influence:

Timothy Ferris

Tim Ferris is a world-renowned author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. His books have inspired millions and his drive and passion are infectious.  

To me Tim is a great inspiration, I’ve read all of his books and find his approach to work and life in general inspirational – things like, “don’t work for the sake of it, work to make a difference. Structure your work to suit your life and not the other way around.”

Richard Branson

And last but by no means least, the man whose name is synonymous with success – Richard Branson is an inspiration to me. But really who doesn’t love this guy?

As clichéd as it sounds… when life get tough and work gets tough I go back to Richard Branson’s approach to remind myself that if we’re not having fun, we’ll never succeed at anything!

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Derek Stedman

Author Derek Stedman

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