Interior design studio, Strive for Design has a collaborative approach to reimagining clients’ homes. Angelina Villa-Clarke talks to the founder
Much like in the fashion industry, interior design trends can come and go, so it’s important to take note – but not be too influenced by them,” says Leigh Hall, founder of Strive for Design.
Leigh grew her company as a stay-at-home mum, after studying for an interior design course and achieving a City and Guilds qualification. Strive for Design was then launched in 2016, with a studio opening in Newmarket. Fast forward seven years and there’s now a satellite office in Cambridge, a design representative in Dorset, a team of three in-house designers and a selection of consultants who help out on various projects.
“There’s not one thing that makes you successful,” Leigh muses. “It’s a combination of industry experience, good relations with tradesmen and a vast supplier portfolio. You also need a keen interest and good eye for detail.”
Leigh begins each client’s journey with a phone consultation to find out more about the project and their taste. That’s followed by a visit, where the space is assessed and design ideas discussed.
“No two clients are the same,” she says. “We pride ourselves on our client-focused approach and recognise the importance of satisfying each brief, while remaining sympathetic to the existing space and budget. Our style is all about achieving a contemporary, high-end finish, no matter the budget.”
Working across Cambridgeshire brings unique challenges, explains Leigh. “There is a diverse range of properties to work with – from modern apartments to period Victorian houses; grand Edwardian homes to cosy cottages. Having a varied portfolio of architectural styles can make unique and quite interesting design outcomes.
“What’s more,” she adds, “each client meeting allows us to learn more about different corners of the city, which inspires new and innovative ideas.”
Whether a room or a whole house, Leigh says that every project is equally important to her and the team. “We really believe that designing one room is as important as renovating a whole house,” she explains. “Regardless of the project size, our attention to detail is of the utmost importance.”
Talking of which, Leigh notes that some of the latest advances in the industry, as well as your lifestyle, are worth thinking about at the start of a project. “Smart technology – for heating or entertainment –is an important factor to bear in mind,” she explains. “More family-friendly, open-plan living spaces are at the top of everyone’s list. While the environmental impact of our homes – whether it is the building materials used or reducing carbon footprints – is also a growing consideration.”
As well as designing interiors across the region, Leigh also offers a two-day Introduction to Interior Design course, where you can work closely with a qualified teacher. “It’s a good option for those thinking about doing this as a career, or those interested in renovating their home. You can quickly gain structured advice on the pitfalls and learn plenty of insider tips.”
With Strive for Design boasting a showroom of its own, Leigh speaks of the advantage when it comes to design ideas. “We can show samples, products and help customers visualise their space. We offer different cost-effective price packages for services. It’s all about making interior design affordable to the masses.”
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