Introducing one of our brilliant Homewings designers, Sidika Owen. Sidika is an interior designer and artist. We have major house envy when it comes to her beautiful apartment so we wanted to get some inside knowledge and tips from the best!
1. How would you decorate your home for your dream summer party?
I’m lucky to have quite a large terrace for London standards and I would therefore take the party outside! It has the advantages of extra space, views over pretty tree-lined streets and a skyline of chimneys and rooftops. It’s also quite magical to start the evening with an aperitif and gradually see the light and the colours in the sky change as the evening progresses. The theme of the party would be relaxed with a touch of ethnic. I would place a low long wooden table and dress it with small vases (I like to use old glass milk bottles) with wild flowers running in the middle. I would have white crockery, and coloured napkins such as salmon orange or bright pink. I would put rugs and cushions made of Turkish kilim fabrics on the floor so that guests can sit, relax and eat around the table. Music is very important for the atmosphere so I would have these portable bluetooth speakers that are very affordable and work with anyone’s mobile phone. I would also have large candle lanterns on the floor all around the terrace and some on the table.
2. What final design details pack the biggest punch?
"If you are entertaining outdoor, the lighting makes a big difference. So I would always add some lovely candle lanterns. I also love hanging vintage globe string lights, it reminds you me of Italian piazzas in Tuscany. I always associate them with joyful summer evenings."
3. In your experience, what concerns clients most when they begin a project with you?
A house project is a very stressful time in someone’s life and the interior designer is there to alleviate some of that stress. I think the general concerns are that the project is completed on time and within budget. But all projects encounter unforeseen problems/hurdles and the designer should be able to think quick on its feet and communicate resolutions clearly. Regular updates and communication is very important. I also think that experience and excellent organisation skills are crucial but more importantly I believe that clients want to see dedication and focus. They want to see that you actually care about their project. I think it makes a big difference if the designer actually puts their heart in designing the place.
4. What city in the world would you like to design a space in and why?
I would love to design a space in Morocco because the craftsmanship is excellent and you can really go bold with colours because of the gorgeous sunny weather. I also love that polished plaster look, the patterns of Moroccan cement tiles and Arabic architecture with the courtyards, fountains, palm trees gardens. I would love to mix it up with some more contemporary pieces too.
5. Describe a project that was most rewarding and why?
All the projects I have worked on have been rewarding because I see that I have made some a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m a very good listener and really get how people want to use a certain space and the lifestyle they want to achieve. One recent project was re-designing a bedroom for a young teenager girl who didn’t want to share a bedroom with her younger sister any longer and wanted to have her own space. It was the first time I had a teenager as a client and that was quite challenging as they’re not at the most communicative and forth coming stage of their lives…! The parents had allocated a room which used to be a guest room/storage room and I had clear instructions that the space had to accommodate her until she left the family nest. That meant that I had to guess how her tastes would evolve during the next years. I also had to make sure that it would fit her including sleeping, studying, guitar practice, sleepovers, a personal styling station, lots of storage and also free some floor place. The room was tiny so it was quite a design challenge.