Jiin Kim-Inoue is head of design at Finchatton and creates interiors for private homes and new build developments. Her latest project is The Lansbury, a collection of six apartments in London’s Knightsbridge. We asked Jiin to take us on a tour – and give us the inside track on how she created the interiors.
What’s your interior design philosophy?
‘We focus on creating an ultimately timeless and unique design, often merging classic with contemporary elements.’
We love the way you’ve combined geometric patterns in this living room. Can you tell us how we could do the same – with the same great results – at home?
‘I am a great fan of patterns. A trend for 2013 has been to mix them, as in the case of the African prints on the curtains and the strong geometrics used in the cushions. It is important not to allow geometrics to take over your space – introduce new patterns in individual pieces and see how they fit.’
This dining space looks intimate and luxurious even though it’s part of a kitchen. How did you achieve this?
‘To create a sense of intimacy and warmth we’ve played with different textiles, marbles and materials – custom marble islands sit elegantly alongside dark wood dining tables with bold chandelier detailing, and we’ve used fabrics such as woven horse hair on the back of the kitchen chairs as they wear well. We also chose to move away from stark white as these spaces need to merge with the rest of the interior and so give way to more neutral colours.’
This spectacular staircase has fabulous Art Deco detail, and we know the period was influential for these interiors. Can you explain why, and how you incorporated this inspiration?
‘The dawn of luxury automobiles, aeroplanes, and ocean liners explicitly linked Art Deco with glamour and exoticism, and provided a rich visual vocabulary for us to play with to create the interiors. The use of layered natural textures, subtle colour palettes and muted metals create a welcoming sense of home.
‘Furniture shapes reference the era but have been made contemporary – round back chairs are deep and lined in velvet with stud detailing, dressing tables are more linear, and the sofas deeper and wider for more comfort.’
You’ve used a calming neutral palette in this bedroom. What are the keys to making it rich and interesting?
‘I really believe fabrics and materials should have a tactile quality – it is all about experiencing and engaging in your home rather than passing by it. Think of natural materials with texture and neutral tones like roots and washed-up wood. We are seeing less of the harsh glare from highly polished surfaces and more warmth in textures such as natural grain timber. Similarly, natural fibre fabrics such as grass cloth wallpapers provide a texture and instant warmth to bare walls.’
We can see ourselves spending some pampering time in this room. What should we think about if we want a grown-ups only bathroom for our own homes?
‘Not so long ago, bathrooms were an assembly of sanitaryware for essential hygiene complemented by a few extras such as mirrors, heated towel rails and linen storage. Today, they are one of the most designed rooms in people’s homes, a repository of luxury, and a wellness sanctuary. As a result, the size of bathrooms has increased and the room itself is a space in its own right with every aspect carefully considered. There’s a tremendous choice of fittings and finishings and so it is important to remember that bathrooms can be as spectacular a space as other living rooms.’
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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor
View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor