Our personality based interview with Rebecca Harris, Show Home Interior Designer at Dapa Interiors.
What made you want to go into the interior design sector for show homes and marketing suites?
As a youngster at school, I was good at art and always had a passion and an eye for colour, details, shapes and form. I realised I wanted to be more involved in homes than commercial developments because I love colour and detail, and homes are so much more personal, so I became a show home interior designer. I am now heavily involved in the sales side including presenting to clients and managing schemes.
Tell me about the work you are doing with one of your clients?
I am working on two projects with Kebbell at the moment, Misbourne House at Gerrards Cross and Meadow Court in Iver. Our directors worked with Kebbell eight or nine years ago and then we bumped into them at the WhatHouse? Awards and we got back in touch and it is fantastic to be working together again.
How long do you stay on a project at any one time?
Taking Misbourne House as an example, we have been working with Kebbell since pre-Christmas 2020. We start by making presentations based on a brief and then after winning the work we may be involved in CGIs, followed by a lot of creative designing and then planning. When the site is ready, a project of this size (eight, two to three bedroom apartments) will take about a week to fully install. Installation involves delivering all items to site, fitting window treatments, furniture, artwork and styling.
What are the biggest issues facing your industry at the moment?
A shortage of supply is affecting our clients in terms of timber, tiles, plumbing parts and so on, but we are also seeing furniture and wallpaper supplies get held up in overseas customs because of Brexit and the effects of the pandemic.
How important are environmental issues compared to 10 years ago?
Our clients are increasingly asking for UK made products for less footprint, that are also sustainable. Our stylists and designers consider all sorts of things like fillers for cushions and where materials are sourced from where possible. We have another division called HUB where all the furniture and packaging is sustainable, recyclable and made in the UK.
Tell us about your typical day.
My day varies so much but I am up at 5am if I am going into the office, otherwise I get up between 6-6:30am and might do some exercise and then I am ready to start work between 07:30-8am. On a typical day I might be briefing a designer on a new project and looking at a scheme that another designer is working on. I prepare pitches, present and show sample boards and digital design boards. I attend meetings with colleagues and directors where we discuss current and forthcoming projects and I have meetings with clients. I may go to site and do a recce and take a look around at the area, the people, the shops, and get a feel for the lifestyle and who lives there. I am onsite during the installation to oversee everything. I typically work until 6-7pm, sometimes 8pm if I am travelling back from site and then running through designs, so that the design team have feedback ready for the next day.
Read the full article in our Novmeber-December issue here: Show Home (pagesuite-professional.co.uk)