An interview with Jacky Parker,Interior & Lifestyle Journalist
Jacky Parker is an experienced Interiors & Lifestyle Writer/Journalist specialising in modern interiors and design. She cut her teeth at Livingetc, and since becoming freelance in 2009 her work has been published in Homes & Gardens, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style, Telegraph Stella, The Guardian, You Magazine, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Belle, Elle Decoration and many other national and international titles. We ask Jacky what resources are currently of most value to interior designers, what some of the key industry developments will be for 2017, and what have been some of her favourite recent interior projects to cover.
Itchy feet! I wanted a change of career into something that was more in tune with my own interests. This coincided with buying my first flat, where I’d spend hours pouring over interior magazines and browsing in Habitat, Heal’s and the quirky vintage shops on Golborne and Portobello Road. It was a slightly circuitous route but I eventually landed a job on Livingetc.
It was a long time ago but part of my job was sourcing houses, so The Novogratz (formerly Sixx Design) in New York and their gorgeous interior design projects are some that stick in my mind. They are an amazing couple with 7 kids and super-cool taste. Also the travel stories and restaurant and bar reviews were always fun to do. Since then I’d say two-stand out interiors for me have been one that I wrote for Telegraph Stella, which was Claire Stansfield’s beautiful home in L.A. You stepped through the front door into a double height room with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and views across the Hollywood Hills and the sprawling city stretching out below. The other was more recently for The Guardian Magazine and was Kali Cavanagh’s gorgeous holiday home in Daylesford, Australia. She has used mostly reclaimed and salvaged items and has such clever ideas and great style!
Hopefully sustainability – the trend for fast fashion is spilling over into interiors, which is worrying – but at the same time there is a big move towards provenance, craftsmanship and quality with new designers like Sebastian Cox and Reiko Kaneko using traditional techniques in fresh, modern ways – it’s not unlike what is going on in the food industry. These products are obviously going to be more expensive but a lot of people are tiring of pile it high, sell it cheap, mass production as the non-financial costs are so high. Buy less, buy well, is my mantra, although it’s not always easy when so many gorgeous products drop into my inbox!
At the moment, I’d say media and technology. The yearning for all things vintage has been put down to the increased uncertainty in the world, as there is a hankering for nostalgia and the feeling of being safe. Also as our lives become busier and our homes become ‘smarter’, conversely there is a drive towards simplicity. High-end interior designers tell me their clients are already tiring of operating sophisticated lighting systems from their phones or ipads. Most just want to come home after a busy day and flick a switch.
I see so many different styles and so many beautiful interiors it changes on a weekly basis! (Although generally between fairly narrow parameters: from Scandi to Industrial to Modern Rustic with a bit of edginess thrown in). I love the clean lines and simplicity of modern Scandinavian style: lots of calming white space and blond wood, but at the same time the Industrial look with its reclaimed timber and burnished metals really appeals, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens: taps in brass and bronze against Carrara marble and rough-hewn wooden surfaces! There is something solid and comforting – and beautiful – about the heritage, design and natural materials.
Things have changed a lot in the last decade but all have their different strengths and tend to be used in tandem with each other. Social media is brilliant for its reach and immediacy, but it is a fickle beast – and has to be fed frequently. So perusing magazines is still a joy for many in the interiors world. On a practical note, the interior designers I speak to still go to trade events to see the new collections, source products and meet suppliers, whether Maison Objet, Salone Del Mobile, London Design Festival or others. In addition, the ability to buy online and source directly from companies overseas who don’t have the budget to exhibit at those shows has also been influential.
Salone del Mobile in Milan is the biggie. It’s a citywide extravaganza where you see new product launches from all the big names in the interiors world alongside those as yet unknown. Next to that, London Design Festival, every year I’m amazed at the new and gorgeous products on offer and the clever innovations, like the personalized furniture from Tylko – it’s genius!
I’d say the Holt 6 Arm Pendant. It’s simple and elegant and I love the antiqued brass finish.