The Design Questionnaire with Karen Howes of Taylor Howes Designs
In this edition of Love Happens’ Proust-style Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek inside the creative design mind of Karen Howes, founder of Taylor Howes. A design force to note, Karen Howes serves as the chief executive of her London-based luxury interior design studio where quintessential turnkey interiors for private individuals and property developers are the Taylor Howes’ forte.
The Lh Design Questionnaire with Karen Howes of Taylor Howes
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My perfect happiness is twofold. On a personal level, it is being in the countryside with my husband, my dog Merlin and our two girls at our home after a walk in the country, a pub lunch, and sitting at an open fire. On a business level, it is when my team comes together and collaborates on the perfect pitch presentation and brings a client’s vision for their home to life. It makes me so happy that on a day-to-day basis I can help design people’s homes, knowing the happiness it will bring to them and their family—just like my home does!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I would have to say that my greatest achievement is being in the interior design business for over 30 years, still being on the top of my game, still learning something new every day, and striving to be the best that we can be as an international interior design studio.
What profession does your alter ego have?
I would love to be a haute couture fashion or jewellery designer, designing beautiful one-off pieces for clients.
The project you will never forget.
I remember every project I have ever worked on; I have a photographic memory when it comes to design and detail. But for me, the best projects are the ones I call my ‘game changer’ projects. For example, we did a Church Conversion in Knightsbridge for which we won the Andrew Martin award. This was a game-changing project for our design studio. It elevated us to the next level and gave us global recognition in the interior design sector. But I would say, the main project I will never forget is my first flat I bought in South London. It is what ignited my love for interior design. I did the whole apartment myself and is what led to me pursuing a career in this sector.
Your favourite business tool or resource.
I would have to say my team. As a CEO of a company, I love to learn from members of my team. Each and every single one of them bring new and different experiences, talents, and skills to the design studio that I can learn from and use to help grow and elevate my business.
The most timeless design.
I think a key part of what makes these ‘classic’ or ‘timeless’ is that they have always been designed with the end-user in mind. I know the modernist phrase ‘form follows function’ is a classic. But for timeless design in the context of interiors, you must think about how a space will be used. For me a timeless design is something that will never go out of style, that will work through generations. So, for example, use quality materials that will stand the test of time. Or use classic forms & shapes that have been referenced in architecture in the past. Don’t follow trends but instead, take inspiration from the history/shell of the building and think how the space will be used.
The biggest design faux pas.
The biggest design faux pas is getting scale wrong, and not listening to the client, and misinterpreting their needs.
Your design motto.
Following on from the above, my design motto is ‘true design for living’. Our job is to inject the wow factor while also ensuring that the way a home feels or is lived in is never sacrificed for the way it looks.
Learn more about Taylor Howes Designs at www.taylorhowes.co.uk.
All Interiors by Taylor Howes, Photos Courtesy of Taylor Howes