Interiors insider: Orla Kiely


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The Independent Online

London-based Irish designer Orla Kiely began her career in fashion, but has since become a legend within the interior circle. Her quirky and recognisable prints have featured on various objects from kitchenware and lamps to cars and wallpaper. Her pop-up shops at John Lewis are open until 16 June.

My favourite city for buying furniture and art is… Copenhagen. I love Danish design. It is cool, clean and has a functional beauty.

My motto is… Always trust your instincts.

I would never sign off on a project unless… I was really thrilled with the results. Orla Kiely House gives me particle pleasure as it is a very broad collection and was therefore particularly ambitious.

The most unusual interior I have created was… the Citroen Ds3. It was my biggest design challenge so far. The headrests, well mats and the shape of the interior space and exterior of a car are so different from any other project. I loved the result as we created a mobile home.

My advice for a beginner interior designer is… Always finish what you start.

The most common decorating mistake is… over-styling and over designing. One of the greatest design talents is to know when to stop.

The first thing I do when I start a design job is… research.

I am confident in… my design decisions although it is lovely to have a design team to realise them.

I love what's happening in… the Scandinavia design scene. So many young designers are coming up with great design.

For interior shops, I rely on... the Mid Century Modern Fairs at Dulwich College. I have made friends with a lot of the dealers so they can source specific pieces too.

For inspiration… I have a huge collection of Vintage Design Books. They are always inspiring as you need to glance backwards in order to look forwards.

As for interior trends… I am delighted by the return of wallpaper to the British home and I hate bling!

The colours, patterns that excite me at the moment are… mustards, olives and rrange.

The most creative decade of design was… the 1950's and 60's.

My dream project would be… a hotel!

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website