An interview with Genevieve Hurley
With over twenty years’ experience, Genevieve Hurley Interiors specialise in residential properties in London, the home counties and abroad, taking on full renovations, new-builds and one room commissions. In this interview, Genevieve discusses moving the company to London, her sppraoch to interior design and this year’s design trends.
Interior images above Credit: Ruth Maria Murphy
What led you to initially establish the company, and later move the company from Dublin to London?
I studied visual communications and majored in illustration. Ireland was in an economic recession when I graduated and finding work was difficult. So I transferred my skills from paper to walls and painted murals and special paint finishes in houses, which was an emerging trend at the time. I found myself sourcing furniture, fabrics & accessories to complete the rooms. It was a natural progression into interior design.
I moved here to expand my experience working on more contemporary projects – such a loft in Brick Lane, which was refreshing change after working on period Georgian houses in Dublin. London had so much to offer as a designer, in the form of inspiration, opportunities and resources. It was really exciting – I was like a child in a sweet shop!
How would you describe your overall style or approach to interiors?
First, I ask a lot of questions and then listen really carefully to what the client wants to achieve. In that sense, the process is client-led but I also add my years of experience, making suggestions, so the final result exceeds their expectations. I completely immerse myself when designing a space and attention to detail is key. My design style is classical and pared back. I focus on creating elegant, comfortable and functional homes for my clients.
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?
Lighting is one of the most important elements in design and I’ve been sourcing lighting from Heathfield & Co for years. I try not to replicate designs, and as there are so many products to choose from, this is not a problem. I can always find the right synthesis of shape, colour and texture that I need. For example, the curved base and opaque glass of the Elenor in Mist completely complemented the wallpaper design in the master bedroom and in the teen bedroom, the turquoise ceramic Woodstock base with the tall drum shade couldn’t have been more perfect.
You have previously appeared as an on-screen designer on television. Tell us some more about this?
That was a long time ago! That opportunity came to me just after I arrived in London. I worked on Carol Vorderman’s Better Homes for ITV. Because we only had a week to do the installation, the planning had to be meticulous. It was hard work, great fun and a really worthwhile experience. I got a fabulous commission designing a whole house for clients who had seen the show and I am still working with them to this day.
What do you think have been some of the biggest interior trends to have started to emerge this year? And what trends do you think may emerge in 2017?
I have enjoyed using the new warmer metal tones of brushed brass, copper and rose gold. I’m not a slave to fashion so I cherry pick from the trends but seek my inspiration from a broad range of interests in art, architecture, film & travel.
Looking forward, with so many products easily available and replicated on line, people crave to possess something unique and crafted, which makes the Heathfield & Co Studio limited edition right on trend. I love to source from antique shops and websites like Etsy, to create a more curated aesthetic. The product market is global, with companies from the States and further afield selling in or shipping to the UK, so we are truly spoilt for choice.
What is your personal favourite Heathfield & Co product(s) to date and why so?
I love the Gaia lamp in velvet blue – it reminds me of a vintage perfume bottle. It will adorn any dressing table with grace & style. And the mid-century style of the Andromeda pendant is top of my wish-list to put in a scheme.
Is there any well-known or public space that you would love to be able to re-design?
As a fan of modernist architecture, I would love to do the interior of Eileen Grey’s E-1027 villa in France. That would be a dream job.
For more information visit: genevievehurleyinteriors.co.uk