In conversation with:
Studio 28 Interiors Creative Director Stacey Hewett
The Studio 28 founder walks us through her design process and the highlights and challenges of designing an apartment within a Grade ll listed property in the UK.
“At Studio 28, our profession is our passion. We love what we do and take pride in our friendly, approachable design service. It’s our job to understand the needs of each client which allows us to deliver a personalised professional service to the highest standards. We believe the interior of a home should cater for the people who live there, reflecting their lifestyle and personal interests.” – Stacey Hewett
Based in Hertfordshire, Studio 28 was founded by Stacey Hewett back in 2014. Since its launch, the studio has worked on an impressive portfolio of residential projects across the globe, which Minotti has been privileged to be a part of. Studio 28 has worked everywhere, from the French Riviera to Barbados, but the project we’re exploring this time can be found much closer to home. We asked Creative Director Stacey to talk us through her design process and the highlights and challenges of designing an apartment within a Grade ll listed property in the UK.
As a designer, what’s the first step when tasked with a listed property such as this one?
Once we’ve understood the client’s brief and key requirements for the project, we start by researching the property to understand which parts are listed or protected – this is always a critical starting point. We then note any restrictions or limitations that may affect the project in terms of cost, timescale, aesthetics and, importantly, any client requirements.
What are the unique challenges are designers faced with when working on listed properties such as this?
This generally depends on the condition of the building and how well it’s been maintained over the years. We were fortunate this property had been relatively well looked after and the recent conversion from commercial to residential meant that critical services were in a good condition. One of the main challenges for us with this property was the large sash windows responsible for heat loss and poor soundproofing from outside noise.
The monolith wall is a beautiful touch, what informed that design decision and what types of spaces would you typically include a monolith wall in?
The main living space was large, open and had very high ceilings; we introduced the monolith wall to break up the monotony of the space, create ‘zones’ and to give focus to the space. It also provided the perfect location for a television and fireplace. The room now has three zones; library, lounge and kitchen.
What were the main factors that influenced your furniture choices?
Comfort, quality and style were the main factors. Minotti had just launched the latest furniture range at the time and this captured the essence of our scheme perfectly, allowing us to create a smart, tailored and timeless look.
How do you involve the client in your design process?
We like to involve our clients as much as possible and consult them throughout the design process, meeting regularly to present design schemes and keep them up to date with progress. Some client’s like to be involved with the design process and others (usually repeat clients) prefer to take a step back and enjoy a big reveal when its finished.
How important is it to include art in interiors? Did you enjoy working with Katherine Maginnis on this aspect of the project?
Art adds the finishing touches to a room and can really pull an interior design scheme together. It’s always a pleasure working with Katherine, she has such a great eye and a wonderful selection of unique artists. This particular client enjoys collecting artwork; Katherine helped us create the most beautiful art collection including original canvases, edition photography and sculpture commissions.
What was the client’s reaction to the finished project?
He was absolutely overjoyed with the end result and is now enjoying life in his newly designed apartment. It’s always rewarding for us to see our clients so happy with the finished project – its why we do our job.