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At Home with Series

13th Aug 2020

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 ‘We believe great design enhances life. Our aim is to create homes that inspire our clients and are a joy to live in.’ – James and Saskia

Based in West London, Interior Design and Architectural Consultancy studio Howark Design have established themselves as specialists in residential projects across the UK and Europe. Design duo James Arkoulis and Saskia Howard founded Howark Design in 2017 after collectively accumulating over 18 years of experience in some of London’s most prestigious design practices that worked on national and international residential and commercial projects. With styles ranging from quintessential British to refined contemporary, Howark ‘strives to create interiors with a sense of purpose that respond to the unique character, location and spirit of the property.’ Ensuring that regardless of the brief, the projects are balanced, harmonious and emphasise practicality, James and Saskia reflected on their favourite interiors styles and trends, how to easily upgrade a space, and what we can expect to see from Howark Design in the near future.

Where is home for you?

S: We both live in West London. I live in Chiswick which is a short walk away from our office, and James lives in Fulham and cycles into the office along the river.

What does your daily routine look like?

S: We get into the office at around 9AM.We often start the day by catching up on projects and running through what tasks need to be completed. We’ll work through to lunch and when the weather is sunny we sit outside in the plant filled courtyard outside the office. We frequently have supplier or client meetings in the afternoon, then towards the end of the day we tick off our list of tasks to check that we're up to date before planning what needs to be done the following day. We both leave the office around 6pm, working later if we’re particularly busy or are working towards a big presentation. We try to get out as much as possible to get inspiration for projects - our last trip was to Charleston House which was magical.

What’s the style of your home interiors?

S: Our homes are very much representative of the style of Howark Design’s work, both very colourful with lots of artwork, making the most of period architectural details but with a contemporary twist. We both love antiques and vintage pieces and have a few of these throughout our homes.

Where’s your favourite room/spot in your home and why?

S: We’re both really keen cooks and love to spend time in our kitchens, socialising with our family and friends (when we aren’t in lockdown!) They are really social spaces, and there’s nothing better than chatting to friends whilst cooking up a feast!

Although neither of us actually have one, we are both obsessed with garden rooms and both know it’ll be first addition to any home we move to in the future. Plant filled, sunny spaces are so soothing and a joy to spend time in.

Please can you share your top tips for how our readers can easily refresh their interiors for summer?

S: As a temporary fix, throw a bright blanket over the sofa and hang some cheerful art on the walls - it makes all the difference. As a more permanent feature, it’s very easy to install simple tongue and groove panelling to a space and it’s a great way to add character, looks great in bright colours and is practical too.

You’ve got a day to spend at home with no obligations or distractions. What would we find you doing?

S: I’d definitely be doing some gardening because I find it so relaxing. I love picking flowers from the garden for the home.

J: I’d be painting (on a canvas not wall!). I took an oil painting course last year and it’s my favourite way of switching off.

Lockdown caused everyone to spend more time at home than ever, which renewed everyone’s interest in their interiors and gardens. What design changes, if any, did you make to your home or wish you could have made to improve your home environment for this period?

J: I finally repainted my front door, it’s now a beautiful glossy green. Lockdown was a good time to complete jobs I’d been putting off for ages.

S: I had a baby at the beginning of lockdown, so I didn’t have much time for DIY! However, if I had, I wish I could have re-done the patio. I love indoor/outdoor living and I want it to feel more like an extension of the living space.

What did you learn from spending so much time at home and what do you think we can all take away from this period?

S: Lockdown definitely made us appreciate even more how important our homes are. Having a beautiful, practical and comfortable home can bring you so much joy, it’s why we do what we do.

What exciting projects are you currently working on?

S: We are working on a real mix of projects at the moment, including a colourful family home in South West London and a converted warehouse apartment in Bermondsey - it’s a busy time!

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

S: We have a couple of very exciting country house projects in the pipeline - watch this space!

IG: @howarkdesign