We love interior designer Anna Haines’ open and warm approach on design, defined by a combination of texture, strength of colour, artwork and antique. We were lucky to talk with her on her work ethos, design process, inspiration sources and future projects.
What’s your earliest memory of being creative?
Ripping up the carpets of my childhood attic bedroom and painting the floorboards white. My parents were rightly furious given I hadn’t asked permission and the acoustics were terrible. I loved my new floor though!
How do you begin the design process with a new client?
By listening and asking questions. It’s quite a nuanced process and takes time to understand what makes a client tick. We take into account existing pieces of furniture or artwork they would like us to consider, together with their vision and the characteristics of the house itself.
Do you have a key feature or element which your projects would never be complete without?
A combination of texture, strength of colour, artwork and antiques – 4 elements if I may!
Top interior design tips?
To build a scheme that is responsive to the history of a building and to be brave with colour. When choosing a wall colour, paint a large swatch directly onto the wall. Colours change as the light moves through the room during the day, so it’s helpful to see if you like it as much in the evening as you do at first light.
Which artists or designers to you admire – past and present?
Matisse for his pioneering use of colour. Lucie Rie for her elegant simplicity. Her hand thrown pots were about paring back forms and functions to the essential. They are both organic and exquisite….and Elizabeth Frink. Her sculptural style is beautiful and commanding.
When designing a bathroom, what is the most important factor for you?
A high level of functionality. There’s no point specifying an oversized shower rose if you don’t have the water pressure to serve it. Good lighting is also key. To treat a bathroom with equal weight to any other room in the house. Use wallpaper, art and furniture to make it feel more balanced and comfortable.
What would your dream bathroom be like?
Timber floors, a free standing bath, brass finishes and marble vanity tops , plenty of storage, an antique chandelier and a generous armchair to sit and chat.
If you could own just one stand-out design piece, what would you choose?
Any pieces from the above mentioned artists would be very welcome.
What are you most proud of?
The friendship between my 2 daughters. Listening to them laugh together is heartening. My business also brings me a lot of pleasure.
What is next for you?
I’m working on the renovation of a charming seaside cottage in Suffolk; Installing a pied-a-terre in Fitzrovia, and currently devising schemes for a handsome Georgian property in Westminster. I have my sights on a Boutique Hotel…