For the latest in our Interviews series, we caught up with Ed and Richard from Angel O’Donnell, who have been creating eye catching spaces for both private clients and developers for over two decades. We were thrilled to have pieces of our furniture and lighting featured in one of their recent projects for Canary Wharf Group's Vertus BTR scheme.
After more than two decades working in interior design, how would you describe your signature design style?It's an interesting question. We don't really have a house style as we like to design to our specific clients needs and vision and be open to all forms of design. However a lot of the comments we get are about our use of colour and texture and use of art in our designs.
How did you get into interior design?I started out (Ed) as a junior in an interior design firm driving all over London helping on installs, whilst taking extra classes at Chelsea and being mentored by the Creative Director. Richard is qualified as a chartered surveyor and has a background as a developer himself.
With services ranging from full interior fit-outs to sourcing bespoke artwork, what is the most interesting item you have been asked to procure?We have created many interesting pieces of joinery with eye level fireplaces or leather lined bars with spaces for specific bottles of Whisky. One of the most fun things was for a clients son ; his playroom was directly below his bedroom so we installed a firemans pole so he could slide down and a ladder to climb back up - the pole was hidden within a specially commissioned phonebox to look like Dr Who's Tardis!
What do you love most about being interior designers?We love working with people first and foremost and that extends not only to the clients but also the amazing artisans and artists and manufacturers - just like TF - that give us the inspiration to create the interiors that we do. We love the diversity of projects and the satisfaction that comes with seeing a vision realised ; it is such a creative industry that you are always being challenged and always learning
Your favourite Tom Faulkner piece and why?Very tricky question ! Well they always say oldies are goodies and I do love the simplicity of the Capricorn - where it all started but we love the geometry of the Balzac. In those aged finishes it looks both ancient and futuristic and a stunning piece of craftsmanship.
What’s been your most challenging design project to date and why?Our most challenging projects have always been access related - our Atlas Building project was on the 38th Floor and with such large rooms furniture needed to be big and had to often be walked up all of those stairs ! Similarly in Soho, access was from a small rear courtyard and we needed to use a spider crane to access windows - stopping Soho traffic on a flat bed lorry isn't the easiest!
All our pieces are designed and crafted in the UK. How important is British craftsmanship to your clients?It's hugely important to us and we do extend this ethos to our clients as well. We love the tradition of manufacturing in the UK and supporting young graduates as well as more established companies. The reduction in carbon footprint is also a major factor.
What’s next for Angel O’Donnell?We have just finished a spectacular lateral apartment on the river with a huge 2000sq ft terrace with a direct view of the Houses of Parliament and the London eye. We are working on a villa on the Greek island of Paros as well as a family home in Richmond and designing and overseeing a large development in North London.