Fenella chats to...Hannah Dean Interiors
Hannah and I know each other from the school run, she is effortlessly chic and has a fantastic sense of humour. Hannah also has an inherent eye for beautiful design and more importantly, has the skill to deliver that within a living space. We chat about all things home, interiors and our shared love of colour.
Hannah would you say you have a definitive style; would we instantly be able to recognise a Hannah Dean Interiors space or do you adapt closely to your clients?
Yes, I am definitely known for my bold use of colour and pattern with a twist of fun. So clients come to me specifically for this. We then work closely together to weave their own story into their home. It is always a fine balance, as my job is to challenge them to consider ideas that they wouldn’t have come up with on their own, whilst still ensuring that their home always feels like them.
As you know I have a thing about colour! Tell me how you use colour in interior spaces.
I would always encourage people to be brave! If you are nervous, pick a palette of 3-4 colours that repeat throughout your home to make sure there’s a feeling of flow and unity. Many people need to build up to putting colour on their walls, but actually it’s the cheapest and quickest way to add personality to a space. If that feels a bit too much, then start with some pops of colour with lamps, throws, cushions and artwork. Rugs are also a great way to introduce colour, as they sit beneath the eye line, so they can carry a lot of colour and pattern without overpowering a space. Above all, have fun and experiment with what makes you feel good.
It is Autumn and I have a strong desire to nest and make cosy! How can we adapt our home to the seasons?
I love changing the house with the seasons. The key for interiors at this time of year is to go big on texture and layering, as well as use accessories with richer hues. I hate the ‘throw away’ culture, so I tend to have a selection of accessories that I put away and then get out each year - these include cushions, throws and fluffy rugs. But I also combine this with ‘shopping my home’. I switch lamps, occasional chairs, and art, as well as accessories from room to room. Try it, it really makes you feel as though you have totally transformed your living space.
Do you often change your own home interior?
Ha ha, yes, it is a family joke that I change the paint colour and wallpaper throughout the house on a regular basis. I am pretty lucky that my husband seems to see this as a perk of being married to an Interior Designer, as he often asks me when I will be changing things again. The thing I hardly ever change is furniture. I love antique furniture and classic design. So this lasts a lifetime. I always try to encourage clients to ‘buy well, buy once’ with furniture. You can never go wrong with a well made, classic piece that you love. All you need to do then is mix it up with some cool oversized lamps, beautiful rugs and art that speaks to your heart, and a home is made.
What project has had the most profound effect on you and why?
I worked on a large home for a family of five in Cookham recently. They had a lot of space but they all watched television in a tiny office room with one small sofa in it, because they didn’t feel comfortable in the other rooms. They also didn’t like being in their kitchen/dining room as it was very echoey and felt cold with its black tiled floor, white units and red accessories. The house also didn’t provide enough storage or utility space.
I worked with them on renovating the entire downstairs. We changed everything, gave them a large utility room and lots of storage, installed warm wood flooring with underfloor heating, plus new windows and doors. I also designed every room in the house and introduced a beautiful, warm scheme that they loved. The end result was stunning and it utterly transformed their way of living and they now spend so much more time together as a family which is priceless. The project felt great and still makes me smile whenever I think of them and how my design has changed their family life.
Any good pointers on where to shop for home accessories?
Accessories are a great opportunity to have some fun and add a little irreverent twist to your home. Don’t hold back, this is not the time to be sensible!
What places do you love to visit that inspire you?
I get inspiration from pretty much everywhere. I love going to art galleries, I’m a member at the Tate Modern and try to go as often as possible. We are taking the kids this month to see the Andy Warhol exhibition, so current clients may see a bit of pop art coming through in their designs!
I equally love gardens and nature, and get a lot of my colour combinations from being outside. If you follow me on instagram, you will see that I am often in the garden. Architecture is also a big passion of mine, I love, love, love old buildings; in another life I would have been an Architect.
Any good books you’ve read recently or coffee table books that are a must have?
If you love colour, or if you would like to learn how to embrace colour, then the Jonathan Adler books are fab. You can start with ‘On Happy Chic Colours’. He shows you how to dive in and have fun with colour and pattern and how not to take yourself (or the world) too seriously.