TV architect Laura Jane Clark said homeowners are becoming educated in interiors and can start to take ownership of home design, working in collaboration with professionals.
She pointed to the influence of TV shows, such as Grand Designs, and the “huge” impact of furniture retailer IKEA which focuses on creating functional spaces, encouraging clients to think about home design.
Laura Jane Clark stated consumers now watch interior shows to discover how to translate ideas into their own homes, rather than just for entertainment: “It’s about giving credit to the homeowner. We’re not selling them something they don’t need. We’re working with them to fulfil their needs.”
She said kbb retailers and designers need to work collaboratively with their informed clients to take their interest in home design and help create their projects, ‘filling in the gaps’ with design expertise.
Meeting the needs of clients who want to be design-led and fashion-led, Clark advised: “Rather than stepping back and asking them ‘what do they want?’ We say ‘I can see your vision. I know where you’re going’ and then you fill in that knowledge gap.”
Specialising in residential conversions, extensions and new builds, she formed Lamp Architects nine years ago and has appeared on BBC2 show Your Home Made Perfect, C4’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and ITV’s This Morning as an interior expert.
Clark recently partnered with Hafele on research looking into functional spaces and what consumers want out of their kitchens, focusing on how the room made them feel.
She said one of the most surprising discoveries was over 40% of respondents felt comfortable in their kitchen, as Clark pointed out: “In my experience a lot of people don’t feel comfortable in their kitchens. But then, when you break it down, comfortable isn’t a great benchmark and a really small percentage were really happy.”
She continued: “I think we are so used to putting up with small spaces, and I think it’s indicative of how us, as homeowners, can now start to take ownership and a bit of autonomy in design.”
Clark has recently written a book “The handbook of home design: An architect’s blueprint to shaping your space”.
She explained: “It’s about giving homeowners confidence to say to their designers or architects, ‘this is what I want, this is how I want to achieve it – let’s work together’.”