No 1. When did you first decide to become an interior designer and stylist and how did you get started with your design business?
My first job was as a stylist for commercials. I designed the sets, decorated them, cast the models, dressed them. My intention was to work in the movie business as I wanted to be an Art Director.
No 2. What is the most challenging part of your job?The most challenging part of my job is the budget….!! Also it's a business that requires vast numbers of cooperative people all working to the same end and so it's my job to make sure that I choose the best, most honourable, talented, nicest people to work with so it is a happy experience all round.
No 3. Is there an interior design style you favour and do you have your own design aesthetic?
I like rooms that have emotional resonance. It's very very important to me how the room makes you feel. So I favour comfort, I love references to the past in antiques, and also sensible modernity. I like rooms to have a story. I like lots of references and layers. I want to be excited when I walk into a space. I want it to be interesting. Sometimes if the architecture is extraordinarily interesting the decorating can be very very simple and minimalistic. But mostly my rooms tell a story.
No 4. Who are other interior designers you admire?
- Axel Vervoordt
- Joanna Oritz
- Carolina Irving
- Veere Greeney
- Francois Catroux
- Miles Redd
- Stephen Falcke
- Boyd Ferguson
No 5. What inspires you?I’m mostly inspired by magazines and the internet ( Instagram and blogs ) and most importantly visiting projects of other designers, seeing amazing homes all over the world and fabulous hotel design.
No 6. What do you think is the essential piece of furniture we should all have in our bedroom?
Obviously the bed is the most important thing ….and the mattress and base is EVERYTHING. Thats where I spend money is on a comfortable medium soft mattress.. Most important piece of furniture in the house.
No 7. What key element we all need for a chic living room?
The single most important piece of furniture in a chic living room is the sofa.
It makes and breaks the room, sets the style and more importantly tells you if the room is really for living in, if it’s really meant to be a place of comfort or a more formal place.
The most important thing is that this sofa has to look good and be comfortable at the same time and be the right scale. Axel Vervoordt really understands how important scale is with the sofa. After the mattress it's the second most important piece of furniture in the entire house. You can have the most stunning living room but if no one is comfortable on the sofa they will never be really happy.
The cushions on the sofa also add the warmth, texture, layers and the colour to the room.
8. Do you have a favourite project or story behind a project?My favourite project is always what Im doing right now and what Im doing right now is a Thatch Cape Dutch Vernacular beach house. It's challenging as it's smaller than I'm used to and it has very firm boundaries and I'm loving it. I'm also presently involved in sourcing ideas for a flat in London which will be my next project.
Let's Get Personal .....
No 1. What else are you passionate about besides your work?
Having fun and travelling. It is a decision I make each day to find time to have some fun. I adore travelling, it's my greatest passion. My favourite country is Japan. It's like going to another planet.
No 2. What is your most treasured belonging?
It is a very big antique gold mirror that I bought from Geoffrey Bennison in the early 80's in London. He was an extraordinary dealer and decorator. It is Florentine and I love it, it has been in every house I've owned for the last 38 years… Also it's the first thing I bought as a young woman when I got married.
No 3. What's one thing people may not know about you?
I write a very open bloggette on my Instagram account about my interests and life… so I honestly I can't think of anything !!
No 4. In 10 years I'd like to be ....
Living a simpler life materially, so I'm having a bigger life, time wise and experientially.
No 5. What can't you live without?
Wifi (and my iPhone and my iWatch) ( embarrassed to admit it !)
My down travel pillow
A great way to follow along with what Serena is working on at any given time, or to glimpse a peek of what inspires her is through her Instagram. With tens of thousands of followers, Serena has a strong presence on Instagram thanks to both her curated images as well as the content she writes to accompany them.