Norfolk by design

PUBLISHED: 06:35 14 July 2014

Mood board by Swank Interiors

Mood board by Swank Interiors


When working on a home that is still under construction it can be quite difficult for a client to imagine how the space will work for them from a plan – especially if the property is of a different style to their previous home.

In this instance, the client for the penthouse in the Westlegate Tower project in Norwich had been living for many years in a large Suffolk farmhouse. Moving from a rural property with many rooms to an open plan city centre apartment is going to be a complete change of lifestyle.

After agreeing to undertake this project, it started with a walk through my showroom with my client discussing the design details and furniture that I have on display to get an indication of their preferred style and decorative taste. The next stage was to obtain the architect’s floor plans in order to work out how best to use the space by drawing to scale how furniture would potentially fit into the room.

Moving from a property with a formal dining room, the client was keen to have a much more casual dining area within the open plan living space. With the fantastic selection of restaurants in Norwich the need to cook for friends and family is not essential but there are times when entertaining at home is the chosen option; the ability to seat eight was also an important factor.

The “square” element that runs through most of my design for the interior as influenced by the grid-like structure of the original architecture of the tower. When experimenting with different shapes and sizes for the dining table a square was selected as it utilised the space well and felt more relaxed than other shapes and complemented the overall design.

An eclectic selection of chairs is a great way to create a relaxed ambiance; with four equal sides to the table it allowed us to use a different style of seating at each. A combination of a high backed banquette, wooden bench, leather top stools and fabric covered dining chairs will be carefully positioned to ensure that the sight lines are interesting no matter where you stand in the open plan room.

Once the furniture layout had been agreed I was then able to determine the positions for the lighting layout. The stunning pendant lighting selected for the kitchen and dining area are designer statement pieces by Tom Dixon. There are many copies available of such designs, but as a designer I believe there is value in using genuine pieces as the quality and finish is superior, not to mention the ethical approach to supporting fellow designers.

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