An interview with Michael Metcalfe,
Harpers Interiors



 

Established eight years ago by Lead designer Michael Metcalfe, Harpers Interiors specialise in creating beautiful, relaxing residential spaces that fully reflect their clients’ individuality. In this interview, Michael discusses his approach to interior design, the year’s most recent design trends and featuring lighting designs from the Zoffany and Signature Collections in a number of projects.

 
What do you think gives your company a unique element?

I’m something of a perfectionist and it’s definitely an ethos that translates throughout everything we do here at Harpers. Every project is approached with an attention to detail that definitely goes the extra mile, but I believe the finished result is all the better for it. So yes our strength lies in design ideas and creative influence, but our ‘on point’ delivery of the final project is our secret weapon.

 
How would you describe your overall style or approach to interiors?

Timeless, elegant, refined and harmonious. My approach is always listen, learn and grow. Design with a passion, create solutions and exceed expectations. I try and surround myself with creative people and bring everyone involved on board.

Atelier schools can still be found around the world. I would like to see this skilled approach to teaching art and design grow and thrive once again.

 
What is usually the first step in the creative process when you get a new brief or client?

I always insist on meeting the client, to take the time to understand how they live, what functionality is needed in a space, how the environment lights naturally and what the client’s vision is. Listen well and communicate even better! Lifestyle and personality play a huge role and it’s an imperative part of the design process. We then meet again at the showroom (over a good coffee) and we present our ideas and samples. What we create is very tactile and it’s important for the client to touch and feel and understand how the different layers, textures and colour come together as a scheme.

 
Several of your recent projects featured lighting designs from Heathfield & Co. What was it about these particular lighting designs that complemented these interiors so well?

The Heathfield & Co Zoffany Collection first caught my eye at the Decorex show and definitely inspired the lighting scheme for couple of recent projects. The design lines are beautiful and the materials and textures used create a luxurious yet dramatic statement. Some of the range has made the perfect statement in a number of our interiors this year. I also personally have the Colmea lamps in my home.

 

Below: Bedroom interior featuring Fiametta Mist table lamp, part of the Zoffany Collection

Below: Bedroom interior featuring Fiametta Mist table lamp, part of the Zoffany Collection

Below: Bedroom interior featuring Colmea Silver table lamp, part of the Zoffany Collection

Below: Showhome interior featuring Medina 3 Ball wall light

Below: Showhome interior featuring Bilbao Silver Medium table lamp

Below: Country farmhouse interior featuring Perle table lamp

 

You recently won an industry award from Zoffany. Can you tell us some more about this?

We carry Zoffany as a brand in our showroom and find we present it regularly as a choice for clients, because we love the look and feel of the range of wallpapers and fabrics. They work well for both contemporary and period homes and so offer a fabulous option. The award was presented in recognition of our support as professional interior designers for this luxury British brand.

 
Are there any specific sources, trends, historical eras etc that you often draw Inspiration from?

I can’t say that there is any one period that I draw influence from, but definitely there are elements of different eras that come together to form an eclectic mix. Often we are lead by the architecture of a house if a client wishes to remain true to its origin.

I am continuously inspired every day from travel, art, fashion, architecture and of course…..other designers.

 
What do you think are some of the biggest interior trends to have emerged so far this year?

Usually, we see the trends in high fashion first and then they begin to make the crossover to fabric design for the interiors market.

Raf Simons, who was the creative director for Dior, started his career in furniture design. He is now collaborating with Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat to create high quality contemporary textiles. I think we should embrace this movement and in time we will see this design shift emerging in all aspects of our industry.

 
Which interior trends do you predict will become prominent or are just starting to emerge?

I think we are experiencing an absolutely wonderful change in this industry. Appointing an Interior Designer/architect was seen as an elitist approach and I am delighted to say this has changed so much in recent years. We must continue to make products and choice much more accessible to our clients. Look at the power of social media. It is clear to me our consumers can be as passionate as we are.

I tend not to follow trends. I prefer not to be influenced. Surely its better to instinctively appreciate and learn about the history of the designer/creator and the inspiration behind the design.

 
One of your blog posts recently discussed your use of 3D visuals. Do you think technology as a whole is becoming an increasingly important part of the design process?

Yes it definitely is. However the natural creative eye is always the pivotal starting point and is the foundation stone. Technology isn’t always appropriate for every client, so whilst we embrace it, we do use it with discretion.

 
For more information on Harpers Interiors visit www.harpersinteriors.co.uk

Pictured below: Michael Metcalfe

 

 

 

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