WHEN DID YOUR LOVE FOR ALL THINGS DESIGN BEGIN?
Born and raised in Northumberland, I have always drawn on the rich history and rugged landscape of my childhood, combining the strong identity of the North with the grandeur of Roman architecture. I was so lucky to be able to play on the beach, or run through fields and the moorlands growing up.
YOU LAUNCHED YOUR OWN BUSINESS, FIONA BARRATT INTERIORS, IN 2006 WHEN YOU WERE IN YOUR MID-TWENTIES. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THAT TIME?
I envisioned a studio dedicated to creative relationships with clients and productive collaborations with artisans and artists. This distinguishes us as an interdisciplinary interior design studio with a detailed, focused approach, celebrated for transparency and with the ability to create excellence.
When I started Fiona Barratt Interiors, my mission was commitment to bespoke, luxury interior design to enrich and enhance an interior space through an exceptionally skilled and personalised service, for both residential and commercial clients.
A successful interior should enhance, not dictate, the way my clients live and my vision was to build a studio to become an aspiration for the internationally elite through an unsurpassable service and an understanding of the balance between timeless luxury and intelligent design.
HOW HAS YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
For my work to stand the test of time, I wanted to always remain true to traditional craft methods, so I work with local artisans and craftsmen across the globe, transforming raw materials into beautiful, unique pieces. I want to create a visual play on my heritage and provenance, which has evolved over the years to create the ultimate aspirational living. I strive to continually achieve results that offer a unique outcome.
My work has also evolved as my life has evolved. Having three children makes sure you design with practicality and longevity in mind. Travelling and experiencing new cultures and places is hugely important in developing styles and finishes. Although this modern theme remains core to my interiors, I do also experiment with antiques and I very much enjoy the characters and mix of textures that the modern and antique pieces bring to a room.
Each individual space needs to provide the framework to explore a way of life; whether that is relaxing with a partner, socialising with friends, meeting new people, sharing ideas or escaping.
WHAT, OR WHO, INSPIRES YOU MOST?
Design runs in my DNA; Sir Lawrie Barratt, my grandfather, is my greatest inspiration. My interest in property, architecture and interiors began with him and a strong work ethic runs in the Barratt blood. As the founder of Barratt Homes, his motto has helped me build my own empire by instilling the power of ‘never give up’ into me. Nature is also a big inspiration, as it is constantly evolving in terms of texture, form and colour. Travelling also inspires me.
HOW IMPORTANT IS EXPLORING AND EXPERIMENTING WITH TRENDS TO YOU?
I really don’t follow trends. Design is fundamentally about conversation – between styles, locality of a project, cultures, objects and people. I do experiment with textures and materials and I love weaving and respecting the architecture of the building to create something inimitable. Working extensively in both the private residential market and the property investment market, the word ‘trend’ comes up quite a bit. I would say I don’t follow trends, I make them!
WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS DOES YOUR WORK SEE YOU AND YOUR TEAM TAKE ON?
We operate on a global scale, working on everything from new builds on coastal islands, to developments in major cities, far east hotels and listed country manors. The latter are often the most challenging, especially when it comes to the integration of services.
Client requirements are now so sophisticated. For example, trying to get air-con into an 18th century building is not easy! Although known for our high-end residential designs, we have also completed many development and hospitality projects. Our years of experience and expertise allow us to advise clients comprehensively on the maximisation and functionality of any design vision and space.
WHAT KIND OF SERVICE CAN CLIENTS EXPECT FROM FIONA BARRATT INTERIORS?
We undertake projects from conception to completion, whether that be a new build from the ground up, or a complete restoration of a listed building. At the studio’s heart is a passion for style and creativity, combined with quality, functionality and an understanding of the many facets of a space.
The studio’s philosophy is the exploration of aesthetics; fluid and elegant spaces are born with an understanding of the aspirations of the client, the relevance of the location and maximisation of the elements of the space. This is developed with imagination, vision and alchemy. The result of this attention to detail is an interior that tells a story and, most importantly, an interior that evokes an emotion.