Today on Bristol Mum is an interview with the lovely Zoë Hewett, interior designer and founder of Zoe Hewett Interiors.
A 2016 finalist of Grand Designs Live Roomset Design, Zoë has a busy life designing both home and business spaces for her clients.
She also upcycles amazing furniture and interiors using paint, paper and fabric!
In this interview, Zoë talks about her journey to becoming a professional interior designer, the interior design services she provides and about her upcoming workshop at Hamilton House: ‘An Introduction to Interior Design’.
Have you always had a passion for interior design?
Yes, definitely. As a child I was always interested in different spaces, from the cupboard under the stairs to the castles my parents would sometimes take me to, and the different atmospheres and stories within.
I remember visiting a big house where my grandmother would cat sit during the holidays, which to my young mind looked like the home a James Bond villain with its white leather sofas.
I was fascinated by watching my Mum decorating the house on weekends too. It all made an impression.
I used to spend ages plotting the most efficient way to move my bedroom furniture around, and later progressed to repainting rooms in the house, surprising my parents when they came home from being away for the weekend!
How did Zoe Hewett Interiors begin?
Originally I trained in set design, but when I began to tire of working in the entertainment industry I started thinking about switching to interior design.
The two job roles are pretty interchangeable as the skills required are identical, so it was a logical step. Initially I advertised as a decorator, but my business mentor pushed me to start designing, even though I didn’t feel ready, and another advisor felt it harmed my credibility as a designer to be seen up a ladder getting hands on!
I still don’t know if that’s true, but I followed both their advice and tentatively began designing.
What services do you offer?
My Bronze Service is a site visit and colour consultation followed up with a written report, peppered with inspiration images. This is the most popular option as it is cost-effective and suits people who want to do or organise the work themselves, but need a little guidance.
The Silver Service builds on that to become a full design scheme complete with samples.
Gold Service means I project manage the installation of the new design scheme. Luckily I have plenty of real good egg tradesmen contacts that I like to work with.
What is your favourite part about your work you do as an interior designer?
It’s the spatial and problem solving aspects of it that I enjoy the most. For me interior design is about more than simply shopping for nice furnishings and accessories.
It’s about optimising and supporting how we live, so it is very rewarding when my ideas make clients happy.
Any exciting projects you have worked on recently?
I put several bathroom schemes together for clients who are building a villa in Tenerife so I’ll be very excited if they need me to go on a site visit!
The highlight of last year was winning the chance to design one of six roomsets for the Grand Designs Live exhibition in London.
It was exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure, and great fun to meet the presenters from The Great Interior Design Challenge too, as they judged the competition.
Sarah of Black Parrots Studio who won the last series was there as well, and she kindly loaned me one of her brass cheese plant lights for the roomset – her work is incredible.
Please tell me more about the upcoming workshop you are holding on Saturday 4th February.
The aim is to explore the design process, how to find inspiration and channel it into a design scheme.
We look at colour theory as well, but without getting too bogged down in it, so that there is time to create a moodboard to take away.
It’s interactive and practical, not just informative, and the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. All materials and tea, coffee biscuits are provided.
Is this workshop open to anyone or do you need to have previous experience of interior design?
It is open to anyone, and no previous experience of art or design is required. I make sure everyone creates a moodboard that they are proud of and could use for a real decoration project in their own home.
It tends to be women that take charge of feathering the family nest, so the workshop is ideal for mums planning the next room in the house.
But it can be just for a bit of fun, spending a relaxing morning doing something creative and a bit different.
Of course, design is for everyone so men are welcome along too.
How can people find out more / book a place at this workshop?
There is lots of information including photos of what we made last time and testimonials from former participants all on my website www.zoehewettinteriors.co.uk/workshop.
There are special price Earlybird tickets available until midnight on Sunday (17th January)! There’s also 20% off full price tickets for Bristol Pound users with TXT2PAY ( £B 48.00 ) – they just need to email me their name so I know who to expect on the day – please email email@example.com.
Do you plan to hold any more workshops in the near future?
Yes, definitely. I’m looking at a date for March already and going forwards I’d also like to host all-day workshops, with lunch, that go into more detail, as its such a vast subject. The best way to stay informed about future workshops is by subscribing to my workshops newsletter www.zoehewettinteriors.co.uk/workshop
Is there anything else you would like to mention to Bristol Mum readers?
You can check out the amazing, inspiring moodboards my last group made on my website too.
To find out more about Zoë and the interior design services she provides, please visit her website: http://www.zoehewettinteriors.co.uk/.