We sat down with Giselle Mannering, Head of the Interior Design Service at OKA, to talk about all things design and her top tips for creating your ideal home. If you need a little interiors inspiration, take a look at our seasonal homes, designed by our three founders.
When did you become interested in interior design?
I have always been very creative and interested in colour. When I finished studying textile design, I realised I had to find a career that involved doing something that I loved. I joined a global interiors brand as a visual merchandiser. That was my introduction into interiors and the creation and layout of space.
How do you approach new projects?
The first thing I do is sit down with the client and discover what they really want. It’s then so important to really look at the space and orientation of the house, in terms of light and colours, to work out what will make the room come alive. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the space must also be practical. You might be working with an architect as well as the client, so you need to consider their vision as well.
The next thing you need is a detailed floor plan, then you can add furniture. We’re often asked to incorporate the client’s existing pieces or find a specific piece or antique, and even create bespoke pieces.
What is your best advice for interior designers just starting out?
It’s really important to fully understand clients’ briefs correctly before you begin. You both have to have the same vision from the start. You need to listen to the needs of the house and the client – you want the house to sing!
What interiors style do you like working with?
If you’re a good designer, you can work with any style. I like playing around with OKA’s mix of modern and country, adjusting the balance to create different looks. My own home is slightly industrial with a bit of an edge.
Tell us about an interesting project you’ve finished recently.
We’ve been working on a beautiful but compact London flat. The owner wanted to incorporate new items with her antiques, and she wished to move in a week later. We went through the plans with her and a few days later her apartment was complete - it looks stunning.
Why would you use an OKA interior designer?
Everyone wants to live in a beautiful home, but it’s a lot of work to create one. Our team of experts do everything for you, incorporating your unique vision - regardless of where you are in the world. We also take care of delivery and installation too, for complete peace of mind.