A quick interview with Brian Woulfe, the man behind ‘Designed by Woulfe’ – a international interior design studio who we recently had the pleasure of working with on a special project. Read on to learn more about his path into interior design, his top design advice and what’s next for the studio.
What is your signature design style?I get asked this a lot but to be honest, I don’t really have a signature design style. Every project is as unique as my clients. I guess all spaces I create have a balance of playfulness and understated luxury. My projects can include everything from classic contemporary to antique and eclectic. I love bringing old and new together even if it’s just with one piece. I work a lot with artisans to commission objects that are both pieces of art and usable furniture.
How did you get into interior design?Completely by accident. It was both unplanned and unexpected. The inspiration could be a book one day or movie another day!
The best design advice you’ve received?"Don’t over think it" and it’s really worked. As a result, I follow my gut instinct when it comes to selecting pieces of art, furniture and fabric combinations. I need to be able to trust my own instinct in design. It is after all why the client is engaging my services.
Having worked all over the world, do you notice different interior design trends emerging from Thailand, America and the UK?I would say that any good interior designer, wherever they’re based, always needs to have an eye on emerging trends. The need to stay up to date with what’s out there, design-wise, is paramount. Trends can vary tremendously from region to region and if your business is global, it is important to be aware of these differences and temper each project to fit in with that country’s aesthetic.
What do you love most about being a designer?I love the adventure that being a designer takes me on. No day and no project is the same. My mind is constantly processing what I see around me, taking inspiration for my work from my travels, my own lifestyle, where I eat and spend time with friends and family, the images I see in magazines and books and even the walks I take my dog on. More than any of that though is the love I have for working with craftspeople. Their skills fascinate me. I love visiting their workshops and working with them on one-off pieces of furniture or art for my clients' projects.
Your favourite Tom Faulkner piece and why?Without a doubt the Vienna carver chairs. The art nouveau inspired curves and the silhouette created are so elegant. They are also one of the most comfortable dining chairs to sit in for a long meal. Perfection!
Tell us about your recent project involving Tom Faulkner designsI’ve just finished, in record time, a complete renovation project in St. Johns Wood. It’s an imposing late Edwardian property but it needed to be completed gutted. The scope grew massively when the condition was unveiled during the rip out. We used the Vienna carver chairs and the Ava round dining table with the most beautiful piece of Calacatta Michelangelo marble as a top.
What’s next for Designed By Woulfe?Although I could never turn down any job because of its location and I am keen to continue working on global projects, I would love the chance to develop my UK-based portfolio. The last 8 years have been amazing and I’ve loved working on projects all over the world but I really want to add some more exciting London projects to my portfolio. I’m also very excited that the Andrew Martin Design Review is including me in their Top 100 Designers this year.