How To Decorate Like The British

Art & Design

September 22, 2018 | BY Hong Xinying

Interior designer Elliot James Barratt discusses the distinctive elements of British-style interiors and the decor trends to watch

Could you describe the design philosophy of Elliot James?
Elliot James Barratt (EJB) Our company ethos is about bringing the British mark of quality to all areas of the company, be it personal service, the quality of build to the attention to detail.

We believe our clients are the most important; it’s not about an Elliot James signature design, it’s about reflecting our clients’ needs and their personalities. We spend a lot of time analysing our clients’ habits as well, making sure that the design concept works for their lifestyle. We don’t look into designing showflats or show homes, we want to produce a home rather than a house.

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How does this influence your design aesthetic?
EJB
The Elliot James style is refined and understated; we don’t like to be over complicated. We do a lot of layering, and do clean lines for the floors and walls, then inject pops of colour in the foreground or through materials and fabrics.

Our starting point tends to be a particular chair or artwork and we’ll build the design around that. We like to take clients’ personal items or personal artworks that they already own, and inject it into the design we produce. Craftsmanship is also very important to make sure that people get bespoke, well-built furniture, designed in a style that’s built to last. 

In your opinion, what are the quintessential elements of British style?
EJB
I think the British do eclectic very well, as we have a lot of antiques and history when it comes to interior design. We enjoy mixing the contemporary and the modern with the more traditional and classic.

It’s something that’s not easily achieved; it needs to look natural and not contrived or too staged. I like working with rich materials like leather, brass and velvet. I also love natural wood, which brings a certain warmth to the interior.

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What are some of the emerging interior trends you have observed in Asia?
EJB
We’ve seen the emergence of coppers, brass and gold, that’s a trend that I see continuing. I really enjoy mixing shades of grey against the copper tones; blues have replaced greys and now I’ve seen rich greens coming through. People have been playing safe for a long time, I think they are starting to get more creative with injecting pattern on fabrics and more textures.

Going bespoke is another trend. If you can get someone to custom build, that can help make an interior completely unique and more desirable. We’re also working with a company to design a bar cart; this is a new trend that I keep reading about, with homeowners becoming more and more interested in cocktail making and entertaining at home.

So they should have a good drinks collection and naturally they need somewhere to put that. We’ll design bar carts that they can purchase there and then as well as a bespoke service for built-in home bars.

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What’s in the pipelines for Elliot James?
EJB
The goal in the next 12 months is to grow our team and to do more overseas projects. We want to become an authority on design, to make sure we’re in the conversation when it comes to design. At the moment we have residential and commercial projects in Singapore and the UK; we’re also designing villas in the Gili islands in Indonesia.

 

We’re also working with Septieme Largeur, who works on patina finishes for bespoke men’s shoes, to do a bespoke collection; any one of our clients who wishes to buy the furniture can do a patina finish in any colour they like. We can do a whole gradient of colours if they wish, for something truly bespoke.

My background is in furniture design and I retrained in interior design; I’ve always had a love for that and this takes me back to that. We enjoy making one-offs for clients but at the moment we’ve got more and more enquiries for particular items. That’s why with the Patina collection, we’re looking into producing limited pieces in batches. 

Elliot James is located at 13 Bussorah St, Tel: 6727 7535

This story was adapted from SIngapore Tatler Homes August-September 2018

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