The world of London-based David Collins Studio is often defined by its signature approach to contemporary luxury and design, developed and refined over the last three decades.
David Collins Studio’s Creative Director, Simon Rawlings, discusses how he reinterpreted the firm’s famous Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel in London design for this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House through a luxurious yet ebullient combination of colors, materials and furnishings.
What was the source of inspiration for your Kips Bay Show House room?
Entry hallways are generally very simple functional spaces in which to arrive at one’s home. I wanted to create something really dramatic. One of The Studio’s most signature projects, The Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel in London, created a signature blue colour and used this to decorate Lutyens panelling. I wanted to take this vision as inspiration, which was one of my first involvements at The Studio, and re-interpret it in The Collins Room for a home.
What was the most used colour in your Kips Bay design?
Farrow & Ball’s Cook’s Blue, I love it and used it throughout The Collins Room. It’s such an informal colour which when used in this formal setting, takes on a new life.
Describe your personal style. Did your Kips Bay space embody your signature style, or was it a departure?
My own personal style is always reflected in my work, and this changes depending on where I am and who I am working with. I’m a bit of a chameleon.
What’s your all-time favorite Farrow & Ball hue?
At the moment – Cook’s Blue, I’m obsessed.
Describe your favorite trend at the Kips Bay Show House this year?
I love everyone’s approach to using colour, it really makes this year’s Show House stand out. Big bold gestures – it’s truly aspirational and magical.
What is the most challenging part of being part of a Show House?
For us , it was being in the entrance hallway with all the trades having to pass through us! However our team from Interserv were very prepared for this and remained focus, calm and driven throughout – they made this happen for us.
What is the most rewarding part of being part of a Show House?
Firstly, seeing visitors lining up outside to come and see the house for this amazing cause, and secondly I really hope we created a wow moment. As visitors arrive they are taken into another world, the scene is set for the wonders that lie ahead in the house. I think we achieved that – inspiring through the unexpected.
How important is colour in your design process?
Colour is one of the most important and most difficult parts of the design process, I always work very hard at the beginning to get exactly the right colour compliments.
What is your challenging colour to incorporate into home design and why?
Brown and beige. I feel they suck the life out of a room, I only use them if they occur in a material’s natural palette.
What is your favorite space to utilise wallpaper?
I am really into papering ceilings with patterned paper at the moment, it brings a room alive!!