Develop your own interior design style

By Ben Weaver - Editor in chief at The London List. @the_london_list

As an undergraduate studying architecture at Cambridge, I had no real sense of my own personal style. There were people I looked up to: Chipperfield, Heatherwick, Libeskind, but at that age I don’t really think I understood what it was to be a designer. Rather than interpreting those influences into something I could call my own, I merely regurgitated motifs and materials in an attempt to create some vague approximation of what I thought was “cool”. Don’t get me wrong, I did well. In my final year I produced designs which, if refined, could have been really quite beautiful, but I was still unsure of myself. I questioned every design choice, whether or not people would like it, what they would think and this held me back; I played it safe.

I think this was partly because I grew up in the countryside and had a fairly provincial outlook. Living and working in London I’ve been exposed to such a wonderful breadth and diversity of art and architecture that I now have a far better understanding of what makes good design. I once read that a person doesn’t really develop a true sense of style until their thirties and for me this was very much the case. I found an apartment and it gave me the opportunity to do more than merely paint walls and hang pictures. I trawled design blogs, books, magazines and in doing so I found that my taste shifted.

I hate that we live in such a disposable society and I wanted to buy pieces that I was sure I would keep. Agonising over chairs, lights and fabric swatches really focused my mind on what it was that I wanted. I came to admire the work of designers such Pierre Yovanovitch, Vincent Van Duysen and Axel Vervoordt whose uncluttered, comfortable take on interiors can best be described as cosy minimalism. I found this filtered into the way I dress, the art I like and even, though perhaps to a lesser extent, the food I eat.

Increasingly society focuses on youth and I worry that this is to the detriment of experience and a level of sophistication that can only be achieved with age. A friend who works in marketing for a major British fashion house once told me they considered those in their thirties too old to work in PR. Whilst this might be true of the Hypebeast/Palace “streetwear” bracket (I’ll admit I don’t get up at 3am for the latest Gosha drop at Dover Street Market) when targeting high net-worth buyers, age really does have its advantages. 

Of course, some lucky people develop their sense of style early on and often, as a result, achieve a meteoric rise to success. All I would ask is that we look less at age, and more at what people are able to offer. I myself have only very recently realised my own sense of style.

  • Design

    The humble garage is finally shifting gears

    by Charlie Burton - Journalist based in London and Senior Commissioning Editor at GQ.

  • Design

    Interior design studios launching products is a trend vindicated by history

    by Charlie Burton - Journalist based in London and Senior Commissioning Editor at GQ.

  • Architecture

    Is there a London interior design style?

    by Edwin Alexander Heathcote - English architect and designer. He has been the architecture and design critic of The Financial Times since 1999, and is the author of books on architecture and design.

Ivar London

109 Gloucester Road

London, SW7 4SS

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
BAG (0)‏