Mark Howorth is a luxury interior designer and the founder of the famous London-based interior design studio Callender Howorth
In his interview with the Luxurious Magazine he offers down-to-earth advice on avoiding the typical interior design mistakes, shares his opinion on following the latest design trends and offers insight into his personal style.
LM: Have you always been interested in interior design?
MH: Yes, I have enjoyed rearranging things in my parents home since I was young, and I have always loved colours and making things cosy, so yes, I have always loved it.
LM: What inspires you today?
MH: Many things, actually. A lot of it is working with a team of people. I have been working on my own for a while and now that I got a team of people, it became even more interesting to design projects. Some of us approach projects in a different way and we end up having all those new creative ideas.
I think it is all about people in design. Understanding people, understanding your clients, and really understanding how they want their homes and then having your team make it happen is very inspiring and fun.
LM: What are some of the common decorating mistakes made by homeowners?
MH: I think a lot of people don’t invest enough time into planning. Sometimes homeowners will decide on interior design elements very quickly. We advise our clients to live in a house before they actually redesign it. You need to give it a little bit of time to learn the place better, see where you all hang out, for example. Knowing your place very well will help with the future design.
Another mistake is that often people are trying to be too trendy, which results in having interiors that look outdated in a just a few years. You may think: “I want a burgundy kitchen, because everyone else has it right now.” But then in a few years time, it will go out of style and you will be discontent with your interior design. We are helping clients pick what is really going to work for their houses long-term.
We read about your project called Chiswick House where you mentioned that you carefully designed the bathroom to make sure that it is luxurious, practical and not “overly designed” so that it doesn’t date quickly.
Yes, exactly. The project took place 4 years ago and the bathroom still looks amazing. This was a great project: very classic with very simple lines, with good materials and not overly done. Thus, even now the bathroom looks fantastic, as it was very cleverly done with very good materials. So this is an important factor to consider during a home design.
LM: Who are your typical clients?
MH: Our typical clients are very successful people, men and women that work in the City of London. We have a lot of British clients as well as American and Russian ones. We are also starting to get more Chinese and Kazakhstani clients. I would say that most of our clients are usually in their 30s, obviously successful, highly driven, and very bright people. What I noticed about our clients is that most of them really enjoy the design process – they spend a lot of time with us in our studio, brainstorming on ideas together, even going to the galleries with us. I would say 90% of them really get involved and want to hang out with us and share ideas. It is something that more and more of our clients want to do as they are people, who sincerely want beautiful homes for their families. So we have a lot of fun with our clients throughout the process.
LM: You are one of the top London interior designers. What has been your key to success and recognition in the industry?
MH: The key to success at Callender Howorth would definitely be people and the fact that we are very good with our clients. We have a very friendly, warm approach to how we deal with our clients. You know, these projects can go up to two years sometimes, so you end up spending a lot of time together. Also you are creating their home, you are creating an environment where they are going to live, it is a very personal process, so it is important to get along well.
LM: Have you ever worked with celebrity homes?
MH: We have, but we are not allowed to talk about them under our NDAs. We are currently working on a project that has already received a lot of interest from celebrities looking to buy it once it has been completed.
LM: What are some of the latest trends you see in the field of luxury interior design?
MH: I don’t follow trends in interior design, because I think it is dangerous as it type casts you against a certain look. What we are trying to do is to encourage our clients to be themselves. But, of course, there are certain trends and anyone can pick up the magazines and see what’s going on and read about the top trends in interior décor, flooring, etc. For example, if you check out the palettes, you will see that some beautiful grey colours are trending at the moment. But, in general, I think that trends can be quite misleading as you can follow it and next year your place will go out of style and you won’t like it much.
LM: How would you describe your design style? How varied are your designs?
MH: We don’t really have a “house style.” Some designers, like Kelly Hoppen, have a very distinct style, whereas we adjust it as per client’s needs. Every client is very different, for example, you would want to have something very different in your house than your friend David, you wouldn’t want the same thing. So it’s our job to understand exactly what each client wants.
In fact, most of the clients come to us already having a good idea as to what they want from their property, yet, it requires a lot of skill to put it all together and bring it to life. We do contemporary houses, digital homes, interiors with ethnic influences and so forth, so it’s very exciting for us to get to work on different ideas like that. We have got about 18 projects at the moment and each one of the clients wants something a bit different. And each one of them is a unique individuality, which makes it quite exciting and challenging at the same time for us.
LM: What do you enjoy the most about your job?
MH: We have a lot of interesting, clever clients, so working with them is great and fun. And we get to work on incredible, mind-blowing properties throughout Europe, so I feel very lucky to be able to do what I do and have a good time throughout the process.
By Kate Snesareva
Please visit http://callenderhoworth.com/ for further information.