Nina Maklin

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

Do you have a specific style?

No, I always let the client’s personality guide the style of the project, but since this is asked a lot I have distilled it into the words ‘effortless style’. I believe that interiors are a back drop for living, and instead of shouting for a specific style it is more important that they support you to live the life that you want. I always prefer understated over contrived. This however doesn’t mean that your interiors can’t have personality. They should definitely feel warm and human. Not cold and sterile.

I’m a firm believer that uncluttered interiors make us happier than those full of unnecessary items. If the object doesn’t have a purpose or you don’t find it beautiful, then it needs to go. Otherwise it just builds up stagnant energy like a room that is not being used. If you have ever heard of Marie Kondo, you know what I mean. I’m not going to turn you into a minimalist, but simply to consider if your home and the items in it ‘spark joy’.

Also, in order to respect the fact that we are drawing resources from nature we should invest in items that are timeless and of a certain quality. If you can’t afford to buy the item that you truly find beautiful then wait. It is a very short term economy to buy ‘something just for now’ or just because it is cheap like a t-shirt from Primark. This kind of short term thinking doesn’t jar with me.

How do you approach your design process?

I always start the discovery from truly understanding my client. Without knowing how they want to live their lives it is impossible for me to create a home that would contribute to their happiness. Instead of focusing on style, I take time to understand what they want to feel in their home, where they find bliss and what they find beautiful. Also, for me it is more important to first get the essential elements right like flooring, kitchens and bespoke joinery. They need to stand the test of the time, and since most of my clients also have children, a lot of wear and tear. Thereafter, I can concentrate on the layering of the furniture and artwork. This is the icing on the cake and completes the picture.

Where do you get inspiration for your design?

Art and fashion. I find the material and colour combinations fascinating and forever inspiring.

What is your go to outfit?

White crisp shirt, skinny trousers, colourful suede heels and bright lipstick. In reality, being a mum to a toddler, it is more a t-shirt combined with jeans, sneakers and a blazer to smarten things up. However, I don’t feel ‘me’ without a bright lipstick and my fringe.

If you were a type of music, what kind of music would you be?

Bossa Nova. At the surface it appears very simple and subtle but when you look deeper into the chords, there is so much sophistication and genuineness that has gone into it. It is pretty much what I try to do with design i.e. on surface everything looks effortless but in reality it has been brought together by many talented craftsmen and perseverance to execute the original vision.

What else gets you going besides design?

My son means everything to me. The best part of being self employed is the fact that I can structure my work around family. Also, I’m working towards getting qualified as a yoga teacher. The construction business can be highly stressful and being able to completely switch off daily means more to me nowadays than going out. However, don’t get me wrong. A glass of wine every now and then is compulsory! Also, I’m slowly learning to play Ukulele. I think with this rate my son will be proficient before me.