Interview: Renée Turner
Interior Designer Renée Turner is enthusiastic about colour and embracing her client’s inner style to create personal and unique space. Her aim is to make interior design more accessible.
Please tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get into interior design?
I have always been creative as I love to draw and enjoy designing my own interiors and that is where I discovered my passions for interior design. I get my inspiration from all sorts of interior design magazines and Houzz pictures. Whilst doing up my home, I was working as an economist for an oil and gas consultancy and had been in the industry for 13 years. I have always had an entrepreneurial fire within me and it was quite evident in the last corporate project I worked however, due to a number of reasons that project was cancelled. Looking back, this worked in my favour as I took a step back and reviewed what I really wanted to do in my life as working for someone else was no longer appealing and I really wanted to utilise my creative flair.
As interior design came naturally to me it seemed an obvious career goal. So, I quit my job and enrolled on an interior design diploma with the National Design Academy. I fast tracked that and really enjoyed it and my previous experience became key elements in running a successful business. It has been the best decision I have ever made.
What’s your favourite part of interior design?
I love to get to know my clients inside and out, as it’s integral for my job to understand and reflect what they want and need. I love interacting with my clients and seeing their faces when we find something they really love during the final reveal.
To really nail the look I also love to pick paint colours and play around with samples whilst planning a particular project. When you find the perfect fabrics and finishes to tie it all in and create a wonderful tactile mood board, it really makes things come together allowing the client to see what is yet to come.
When someone comes to you and they are looking at re-doing the interior or a room, or their house, how important is colour?
Colour is without a doubt where you should always start for a design project. This is where a mood board is important and colour is a large element of that. Think about what colours you will introduce but also how the direction of that room will influence the colour, what kind of feeling you are trying to create, how the natural and artificial light impacts the colour… and the list goes on.
How do you work with colour when there is existing furniture or striking features in a property?
I always start by asking the client if they are keeping the furniture or not and whether they want to upcycle. The decisions here can go either way – we can either work together to find a beautiful paint/wallpaper colour to go with the existing pieces or, we guide it in a new direction based upon an upcycle paint or upholstery fabric. I am very much a designer who wants to explore using important pieces that mean a lot to my clients in their scheme – for an individual look but also from a sustainability point of view.
What are your favourite colours to work with?
I absolutely love blue, it reminds me of the sea which is where I feel at peace and most relaxed. One of my personal favourites is Delft as a base palette but I love so many accents it’s really hard to pick. I also love blush and ochre.
I don’t tell me clients my favourite colours and styles as it might influence their decision and as an Interior Designer, my aim is to guide the client on a journey to discover their own elements of design.
If you had one bit of advice to give someone about choosing a colour, what would it be?
Think about the colours you have a positive association with and are drawn to the most. Then consider tints such as pastels, shades and undertones. Then think about the orientation of the room; north facing rooms get little light so I tend to suggest a warm or darker colour to add that element of missing sunlight.
South facing rooms tend to get lots of natural sunlight so decision on colour is more flexible. I also note the temperature of the light bulbs in the room – the warmer the light the warmer and more yellow your paint will look. Warmer tones and lighting bring an element of relaxation.
Do you run any workshops or online courses where people can learn from you?
I run online colour workshops which prove very popular. All attendees received a bag of goodies including fabrics, M&L Colour Cards, and tips on how to discover your colour palette at home.
At the end of my last workshop we created a mood board that tied colours along with flooring lighting and other finishes.
I am looking forward to doing more workshops in the future – Watch this space!