I was fortunate enough to be invited to the BIID conference “Inside Knowledge 2017” this year, at Euston Square. It was held by the BIID, who encourage Interior Designers to continue their expertise in design processes and practice.
The event consisted of a series of talks throughout the day related to the Design Industry including finances, human relations, property, marketing and being an Interior Designer. Here are my highlights:
Andrew at Prequin spoke about the UK holding the number two spot in the world for private property investors. However, due to current events and the level of capital in the city, investors are also starting to look elsewhere. The amount of people owning property is falling and we are due to see a further growth in build-to-rent properties, student housing and healthcare / retirement. He also identified a big opportunity in the retirement sector, owing to the ageing population and the limited availability of property.
Guy Oliver from Oliver Laws spoke about his interior design journey, sharing some of his most exciting projects – No10 and Claridge’s. He explained when tackling a commercial project to remember “it is not their home, you are answering a brief” and touched on how the job is very focused on human relations – “be positive and convey yourself in a calm way”. Most importantly, enjoy and love what you do, as this will show through your work.
Lori at Park Grove Design described her journey transitioning from residential to commercial design, thanks to a client’s demand to rip out his bathroom (his wife had broken a nail flushing the toilet!) She spoke of the importance of staying interested in new challenges, always reassessing your marketing, and remembering you are the designer – “always be the chicken not the egg!”
There was also a discussion on how to build a brand. Points were raised about being relevant and open-minded to market changes. During this, Karen Howes from Taylor Howes presented and shared her thoughts on staying ahead in a competitive market: you have to be fast moving and not sit out of the game. She also believes that your team should be your biggest investment and to keep looking forward for new challenges.
An intense day of information, but I left feeling very inspired and keen to put what I had learnt into action!
Find out more about the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) biid.org.uk/