What’s hot and what’s not in the home
The latest trends in interior design
A former teacher, Katie Malik is now one of the leading interior designers in the Cambridge area. She developed her drawing skills at a young age while collaborating with her father on his interior and furniture design business. This led to her studying the profession at the Chelsea College of Art in London.
I must admit, I do enjoy looking at what people have done with the inside of their homes. Without trying to judge too harshly, I like to examine a space, see what the occupants have chosen and decide whether I would have done something similar or something totally different. Some people will use colour combinations I find don’t match, whereas others seem to get the balance just right.
To discover what’s ‘in’ at the moment as far as the world of interior design is concerned, I sought advice from Ms. Malik.
“I used to work as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages,” she says, providing a little background information about her life and career, “but my passion always lay in interior design and architecture.
“After I retrained, I tried running my own business but quickly realised I needed to gain even more hands-on experience, which I managed to get by working for high-end residential design studios in London, such as Fenton Whelan and 1508 London.
“Once I felt confident enough that I had gained enough knowledge and experience, I returned to running my own business. My passion lies in improving spaces so they reflect the personalities – and address the needs – of the people living in them. The most precious thing for me is the happiness of my clients who see the final product and love their new space.”
So what are the interiors trends right now?
“It seems clients buying products online has now become a permanent trend,” replies Katie, “and buying online has enabled people to access the latest trends very quickly.
“However, this craze has also led to a return to simplicity, encouraging people to turn to more local sources and support independent designers. It has also caused us to fall in love again with doing things ourselves – recycling and upcycling to create new things.
“Clearly all of that has had an immense impact on how we design. We’ve also noticed a rapid decline in the consumption of materials. There’s definitely a demand for improved solutions for small spaces, accessible tall units, etc.
“The not-so-new, but definitely improved, trend for kitchens now is simply to close off the parts that are not needed. Layouts reflect the need for a multitude of functions, with zoning rather than open plans.
“As for colours, although grey is still considered to be one of the primary choices, we’re seeing more blue tones. Clients are equally welcoming of monochromatic schemes with black and white layers.”
Discussing what will be popular in 2017, the former student at the Chelsea College of Art in London notes: “I think the trends I’ve just described will continue. I also expect the return of more vibrant colours into the schemes which give a more ‘lived-in’ look than simple greys.
“My customers who live in Cambridge like the ‘lived-in’ look and usually opt for transitional styles rather than contemporary,” she continues. “They love to be unique and usually don’t follow trends which are ‘in’. It’s quite different what Cambridgeshire-based clients expect versus what London-based clients dream about...”
What does Katie like most about living and working in the city?
“Cambridge is just the right size – it has great cafés and lots of interesting things to do.
“However, at the same time it can be quiet and quaint.
“I have a wide knowledge of fabrics, furnishings, fittings, accessories and where to source all of these from,” adds Katie, outlining her specific areas of expertise. “I take a very holistic approach to design, which is always client-led, and I think that’s what makes my work stand out.”
And what tips would this experienced designer give to home-owners to improve their interiors in an instant?
“I would say invest in soft furnishings and new colour schemes – that’s the fastest, usually least expensive way of updating a space.”
Finally, I was curious to learn more about Katie’s plans for the future.
“One of my ambitions is to be able to offer young people the possibility to do internships with me and help them gain the knowledge needed to further develop – or start – their career in interior design in Cambridge,” she explains. “This goes with my goal of expanding my business in Cambridge and of providing even better solutions for my clients. I also hope to carry on being involved with projects of note in the area.”