Nina Campbell talks trends

ACHICA Living meets world-renowned interior designer Nina Campbell to talk trends, hot hotels and find out how she'll be spending the weekend...
Did you always know you wanted to be an interior designer and what was your first big break into the design world?

Yes from day one it was all I ever wanted to be. We moved house a lot whilst I was a child so I was always allowed to decorate my own bedroom and that gave me a real taste for it. I went and studied at Inchbald and then got offered a job by John Fowler. My big break in to the design world was when I worked with Mark Birley on the re-designing of Annabels.

What is the best thing about being a designer?

I get to see the most beautiful fabrics and objects every day and it really keeps my mind fresh working with different people in different types of homes. It has also enabled me to travel to all sorts of wonderful places in every corner of the globe.

If you hadn’t been a designer, what career would you have liked to pursue?

I would have loved to have been a concert pianist but unfortunately my lack of any musical skill prevented me from pursuing that as a career!

Who/What inspires you in your work and where do you find your daily inspiration?

I am inspired by everything I see and do in my everyday life from walking in the park with my dogs in the morning, to driving around London looking up at the incredible architecture around me. Every place I travel to fills me with inspiration also.

Who do you think are the most inspirational designers?

Eileen Gray, Syrie Maughan and for today, David Hicks.

Eileen Gray’s iconic Transat Armchair from 1972

Who’s your favourite artist?

At the moment I’m heavily into ceramics. I have bought a wonderful pot from a ceramicist called Kate Malone who I think is just amazing. The inside of the pot has inspired the new colour for my hall.

What are your most treasured designs?

My new Lilac fabric and wallpaper is my favourite at the moment, which will be launched in September, I have just used it in my guest bedroom at home. I am usually most interested by what I’m doing at the time that’s new, but I do also have old favourites such as my Asticou toile fabric and wallpaper design.

What trends should we be coveting this next season?

A new approach to colour, everything is looking much fresher and more vibrant. There is a trend for big prints, which I love and a new palette for aquas and corals is emerging. From my current collection one of my favourites is Beatrice - the colours are fabulous and I love it on a sofa.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to be a designer and set up their own business?

Make sure to do an apprenticeship somewhere that you will be involved and learn a lot as you will soon see which parts you prefer more than others. Also remember that if you have your own business a greater percentage of your time is spent organising finances and doing a lot of the business and admin side, which you might not have been expecting. All the responsibility rests on you when it is your own business.

Which three products can’t you live without?

1. My Nespresso machine – I really need it to give me a boost in the morning.

2. Muji – I’m obsessed with all its clear boxes for organising jewellery, shoes and general bits and pieces at home.

3. Santa Maria Novella - I fill my car with their pot pourri and it smells divine.

How would you describe your home’s style?

Comfortable, relaxing and calming

Nina Campbell's latest designs...

Any exciting projects coming up?

I have just completed Ellenborough Park, a country hotel in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, which has been a huge project and great fun. Apart from interior design projects and the new fabric and wallpaper collections coming out I am excited about the expansion of my product line such in glass, china, linen, blankets, soft accessories etc.

How do you spend your weekends?

If I’m in London I love to entertain on Saturday nights as it gives me time on Saturday to do flowers and play around with all my linen, china and glass deciding how to lay the table. If I’m not here I love to go to the beach in Sussex for a walk with my dogs. If I find myself in the country I will always end up going antiquing.




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shop at ACHICA.

Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor