Design Centre Stories

Design Date – Georgina Cave

Georgina Cave founded Cave Interiors in 2002. Based in north London, the practice works locally as well as internationally. Georgina’s decorating style is eclectic and full of personality, but always with an eye on creating practical spaces tailored to an individuals’ needs. This is exactly the subject she’ll be discussing at a Conversations in Design session, along with a panel of other experts: how do designers produce work that is not only creative and exciting, but speaks of the client rather than the designer?

Conversations in Design:
Distinctive Interiors: How to Decorate with a Difference, 3pm, Thursday 20th September 

You’re speaking about ‘How to Decorate with a Difference’ – how do you bring out the individuality of the homeowner in each space you design? 
To me, creativity is designing function and form to match the architecture of the building and, crucially, the human realities. When taking the initial brief, the aim is to draw out as much information as possible as to how our client lives and their likes and dislikes, the latter being equally as important as the former. The aim is always to make the creative process fun and relaxing for them, which creates a better end result. Having a relaxed client reveals the real “them” to develop the whole scheme around.

Focus/18’s theme is the power and positivity of colour – do you find that clients are more willing to be bolder with colour now? Or is it you doing all the encouraging?
It is mainly me encouraging and gently pushing where necessary to create more impactful, interesting and warmer schemes. Colours needn’t be bright to be bold, though: it’s the way they are used that will provide the impact. Depending on the architecture, carrying the same colour through from the walls on to all the woodwork, or combining a strong wall colour with a complementary softer tone, will create a visual impact. The use of colour in the furnishings and soft furnishings will also all help add colour.

Where do you head to first at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour? Is there a showroom or product you’ve had your eye on, saving it up for the right project?
Ooh that’s hard, as I have lot of old favourites and most definitely a few new. Abbott & Boyd, Lelievre, Phillip Jeffries and Chase Erwin are among many of my ‘go to’ showrooms, with George Spencer, Lewis & Wood, Porta Romana, Stark Carpet and Artisans of Devizes being among many of the new. I’ve specified a wallpaper from George Spencer on a current project that I’d been hoping to use for some time – all will be revealed when it’s completed later this year.

What are you working on at the moment? 
An Art Deco villa in the South of France, an Arts & Crafts house in Highgate, two further large house projects in Highgate, a Grade II listed house and another large Victorian house (both in Primrose Hill), a renovation project in West Hampstead as well as two smaller projects for returning clients.

What’s your style at home? Is it a testbed for new ideas?
I wouldn’t say that it’s where I test out new ideas but rather that it’s where I like to achieve my own strong and personal look. I love mixing things up from various eras and I’ve deliberately offset contrasting materials against each other, for example industrial with classic, textural plains with patterns, neutrals with colour, antique with modern and so on. Starting with the expected and then adding an element of surprise is definitely something I like to achieve at home as well as on all of our projects.

In all my design work, including my own home, longevity is key. To quote Coco Chanel: “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” That’s what I aim to achieve!