Tamara Frye heads up RAFT’s interior design team. In this Q&A she tells us how she came to love interiors and how she helps clients transform their homes...
How did you get started in interior design?
It all stems from two things I’ve always loved: colours, and organising! So it does come naturally to me, but I also studied interior design at UAL Chelsea College of Arts to further my passion and to give me a thorough understanding of the technical aspects.
What can customers expect from a RAFT interior design service?
Our interior design service is very much a beginning-to-end service, really tailored to the individual client. My job is to listen to the client’s needs and then just take all the interior design stress away. They can email or call me any time with questions, suggestions or ideas throughout the process, from the start to the final touches.
What sort of things do people most commonly need help with?
Probably the most common issue is how to make the best use of the space available in the home. A lot of what I do, especially in the initial stages of a project, is about helping people to maximise their space by reconfiguring the design of rooms, often to something quite different to the existing layout.
I guess I come in and see the space with fresher eyes: I can spot the potential, and different options for designing a room. Experience of working with lots of different types of space - from small flats to family homes to shop floors - helps with that of course.
Another thing that comes up a lot is that I might suggest new colour schemes - and quite often these will challenge clients and take them out of their comfort zone!
How does a RAFT interior design process start?
It generally kicks off with a telephone consultation to determine the space or room we’re working with. I’ll ask all sorts of questions and we’ll discuss the functions of the room, and talk colour scheme, floors, walls and soft furnishings.
Following that the next step is a site visit. I’ll make up a selection of fabrics based on the telephone consultation and take these along to discuss with the client. During the site visit I map out the room or rooms on graph paper and measure up the whole space using a laser disto and tape measure.
Back at the office I will draw up the room on a fantastic bit of software called SketchUp Pro, and I’ll start virtually laying out furniture and designing the space in a 3D visualisation. I’ll also create a moodboard as I go along.
Then I invite the client to come for a presentation. This usually takes about two hours - sometimes longer for bigger projects - and clients tend to really enjoy it!
Any favourite interior designers or places that inspire you?
Plenty…Sophie Paterson, Laura Hammett, Ashley Stark Kenner, Nat Berkus, Jeremiah Brent, Kelly Hoppen, Martyn Lawrence Bullard… I love all their work. I also find hotel lobbies extremely interesting...
How would you describe your own personal interior design style at home?
My style is pretty contemporary. I really like symmetry: we have a townhouse and most things are in their right place with hopefully a minimum of clutter (though that can vary from week-to-week as I do have a husband and two teenagers in the house!)
For me, it’s all about loving and respecting your space. Everything flows from that.