We caught up with Gemma from Bayswater Interiors to chat about all things interiors
– inspiration, tips & advice. Bayswater Interiors provide comfortable, elegant and individual interiors that will stand the test of time. Founded in 2013 by Gemma Hill, the studio offers interior design services through to full project management.
Q: We’d love to hear a little bit about your background and how you came to work in interiors.
Interior Design is not my first career. I started out with a degree in Commerce and worked in Sales and Sales Training in the Pharmaceutical Industry for several years. However, when my Mum died in 2001 I reassessed what I was doing – I left the company I was with and began to help out in my husband’s business. I began to design interiors for the boats that he manufactured and sold, then decided to add to this practical experience by studying Interior Design too. In 2013 I started Bayswater Interiors and never looked back. The majority of our projects are residential with a few commercial projects thrown in (and still the odd boat too!).
Q: What inspires you? How would you describe your style?
I’m inspired by so much that I see through books, magazines, Instagram and travel (remember that?) A trip down to the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour is great to see a lot of our suppliers and keep up-to-date with what is new too.
I am drawn to so many styles and I also believe that a property also gives clues as to the styles that would be appropriate to create. One of the joys of the projects that we work on is that they are so varied that it gives us a chance to take our designs in a number of ways. We have some clients who like bold and quirky with lots of colour, others who prefer a subdued palette and more restrained and timeless design. We always take our lead from the client and their brief.
Q: What is your favourite part of the interior design process?
The beginning and the end – the creativity involved in designing a scheme and then the final stage, when you install and style a space and then see the reaction of the client. That’s always a wonderful time in a project when the hard work pays off and you’ve created something special for a client to enjoy for years to come.
Q: Why is lighting so important in interior design?
Lighting has the capacity to make or break a design. You spend a long time thinking about a whole host of elements in a space such as colours, textures, furniture and styling but if you do not light the space correctly you will not create the feeling that you intended.
Q: What should you consider when choosing lighting?
Whilst lighting can be decorative it is also functional, so consider both aspects when you choose lighting for your interiors. Look at your floorplan and work out where you want the eye to be drawn to as that is where you want to add lighting, and then it is a matter of choosing the right light. Dimmable lights give maximum controllability too. When choosing a decorative light think about the overall scheme and how your chosen pendant or table lamp works with every other element, and avoid being too ‘matchy, matchy’. If you have several lamps in a room for example they don’t all have to be the same.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give when choosing lighting for a room?
Ensure the colour temperature of all your light fittings is the same. 2700K is the holy grail for us as anything higher tends to look clinical.
Q: What trends do you see in the next year for interior design?
Whilst we try not to be overly trend led in our work for clients as we don’t want their interiors to date too quickly, there will always be an influence from what is coming through in the design world. The last year or so with Covid pandemic has had a big impact on everybody and I think this is affecting our interiors too. The importance of home has grown with the increase in the time that we spend there – we have seen a rise in enquiries and projects as people spend more time within their four walls and want to make improvements. Also more people are working from home too so home offices or zoning spaces and having multifunctional areas is important.
The lack of travel means that travel inspired interiors and global styles will become more popular, and luxury at home (since we cannot treat ourselves by going away) also is key.
Sculptural shapes in furniture and lighting are becoming more popular – curved forms in furniture and even arches in architecture are increasing in popularity. I think that curves have a 70’s feel, and the post-Modernist era of the 70’s and 80’s has been evident for a while in interiors and fashion.
For those that love colour and pattern, a move towards more Maximimalist design is also coming. It’s a wonderful time to be working in the field of Interior Design with so many great products, fabrics and finishes to utilise in schemes.
Q: What is your best piece of interiors advice?
A: Always work with the end goal in mind so that items are not chosen in isolation as this is the best way to develop a cohesive scheme. Every choice you make in an interior will relate to other items so you do need to look at everything together to check that it all works. And always measure twice (including doorways!)