How to make a house a home


It’s easy to fall into the trap of consistently emulating a particular theme, colour scheme, style or period when it comes to furnishing a home.

We spoke to Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan, who explains that, when it comes to interior design projects, a house must be a true reflection of the owners and their varied tastes in order to make a house feel like a home.

Our homes are extensions of ourselves and this is why analysing our clients and the way they live is such a key part of our design process.

Taking a client-centric approach, Tiffany also throws in her personal penchant for the theatrical, producing an eclectic combination of livable but dramatic spaces.

To achieve this, Studio Duggan invests time to explore each client’s background in depth, highlighting their experiences, needs and tastes to holistically plan an interior tailored to specific preferences.

Firstly, Tiffany’s team carry out surveys and complete decorative and structural work. They look at how to use an area creatively. Finding the best solution for a space is a key aim of theirs, even down to where each lamp will go.

Never underestimate the power of artwork and accessories to elevate any scheme and transform a space into something more personal.

Next, Studio Duggan digs deep into researching a client’s personal preferences, looking at books, magazines and collaborative idea sites like Pinterest. This is a key stage for Tiffany; she believes you can get a real flavour for what a client is looking for. Finally, a budget is devised to ensure that the project remains affordable: an important step in this client-centric process.

…with the likes of Instagram and Pinterest at our fingertips, it really is easier than ever to get inspiration from anywhere if you’re feeling a lull.

A fan of French Empire style, Egyptian Revival, when it comes to the final design, Duggan masterfully blends period, themes and styles in the home and prefers to play around with different eras to create harmonious mixes of styles and genres. 

Holistic design is a technique that considers the home as a whole, and scoping out furniture, design and decorative requirements to ensure that all rooms complement each other is a must. This broad overview of the home makes it easier for eclectic tastes to be woven throughout.

My favourite rooms are ones that aren’t a slave to any one period.

As Studio Duggan is based in Notting Hill, the team are blessed with inspiration on their doorstep when it comes to finding new ideas.

“I love to take a walk through Portobello Market or Golborne Road and have a good rummage through the antiques and bric-a-brac,” Tiffany tells us. “Leafy Hampstead Heath in North West London is another excellent spot. “

As a collective, Studio Duggan looks to the past for inspiration to produce a fresh take on traditional designs, all the while, reflecting on the taste of the individual: be it an exuberant mix of eras or a more targeted preference.

If you’re an interior designer, consider a trade account with us for additional discounts, product previews and access to our service to help you manage client projects.

Topics: designers

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