Post, 7 November 2023
For those in need of a little creative inspiration, visit the Peter Jones Home Design Service. Whether you’re aiming to breathe new life into a single room or embark on a complete home transformation, you can take comfort in the knowledge that you will be in the capable hands of their seasoned experts. And for those who may still harbour doubts, we’ve had the privilege of speaking with the design gurus, Ola Aina and Rashida Abouzohour – uncovering the inner workings of their process and most importantly, discovering their top tips and tricks.
What inspired you to become a home design stylist, and how did you get started in the industry?
I have always loved working in the creative industry. Seeing a project from start to finish and the impact it has in changing people’s lives has always been deeply satisfying for me. I enjoy the challenges and working through obstacles to find the best solution. I was able to further enhance my knowledge and skills after attending the British Academy of Interior Design. I have been working at Peter Jones for many years, I started my journey at the Furnishing Fabrics Department – Ola
From the very beginning I have had a true passion for all things interior. Appreciating beautiful and timeless interiors, seeing how a space makes you feel and dissecting the many different elements that go into creating that feeling is what drives me to really appreciate design. Having worked closely for many years with soft furnishing coupled with studying Spatial and Interior Design has equipped me with the skills and tools required to transform homes into beautiful design spaces – Rashida
Can you describe your signature style or design philosophy when working with clients?
I like to work with different design styles and eras. I believe in creating designs that are timeless and striking. My signature includes adding small details that make a design unique, such as an eye-catching colour palette, interesting patterns, and textures – Ola
I love a mix of luxury, modern contemporary, classic look, combined with neutral tones which gives a timeless finish. This incorporated with different textures, tones and pops of colour using soft furnishings can keep you in trend with the latest colour pallets enabling you to change the colour scheme in the future in an uncostly way – Rashida
What are the most common challenges homeowners face when trying to spruce up their living spaces, and how do you help them overcome these?
There has been a huge increase in people working from home, they often face the challenge of making their existing spaces more practical. As Home Stylists we work closely with our clients to establish what they like to achieve from their space. We then carefully select products that help represent the individual’s lifestyles whilst maximising the rooms potential.
How do you stay updated with the latest design trends, and how do you incorporate them into your work while maintaining a timeless quality?
- Attend design conferences and events
- Follow social media
- Design magazines / Book
- Online communities
When incorporating design trends into a scheme , we adapt and apply them in a way that suits the customer project goals, content and constraints. John Lewis buyers are always adding to the ranges allowing us to apply the latest design trends into our design schemes. With the use of correct furniture and soft furnishings a scheme can be created that is timeless and yet functional.
Are there any sustainable or eco-friendly design practices that you prioritise in your work?
John Lewis has many furniture ranges which are FSC Certified along with their sofa recycling scheme. They have worked with the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) to launch the scheme, which is the retailer’s first not for profit service. The FRN is a national co-ordinating body for 300 UK re-use organisations which collect a range of household items to pass onto people in need. It aims to relieve poverty and reduce waste by promoting the re-use of essential furniture. It is anticipated that the scheme will result in 65% of returned sofas being reused, 20% repaired or refurbished and then reused and 15% broken down into component parts and recycled.
The leather used in John Lewis sofas and chairs is now exclusively sourced from British farms that supply Waitrose beef, ensuring high welfare standards. Waitrose’s farming supply chain has been consistently recognised by Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) as the Best Retailer for farm animal welfare.
Do you have any tips for achieving a stylish design on a limited budget?
- Upcycling your furniture
- It’s not all about what you put into a space, but more how you arrange it
- Layer Lighting
- Not buying expensive pieces of furniture, use what you have and re-style by using soft furnishing which can really change the look of the space
- Paint has got to be one of the most striking transformations you can make. Even if it’s a plain white room it looks fresh but ramping it up by using a couple of paint colours in clever ways can see a plain room take on a bold new identity.
In your experience what are some of the most underestimated or overlooked elements in home design that can make a significant difference in a space?
Lighting is often overlooked and underestimated when designing a room. It is an excellent opportunity to create the perfect ambience. Using different heights in lighting e.g., table lamps/ floor lamps/wall lights can also help create focal points to accentuate and highlight different spaces. Texture also plays an important role in making a space feel natural and satisfying. Balancing hard textures like wood, concrete, glass, metal, and marble with soft textures like silk, leather, fur, and sheer inspires a sense of touch. Just like mixing colour and pattern.
And finally, how do we sign up?!
The Home Design Service is free to book both virtually and in store. You can book via JohnLewis.com here or via the John Lewis App.
Peter Jones, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8EL