We find out what makes internationally-acclaimed interior designer, Nina Campbell, tick…
Nina Campbell is one of the world’s most respected and influential interior designers. Her list of clients and design expertise is unparalled. Renowned for her contagious wit and brilliant sense of style, her designs appeal to both young and old and sit well in both contemporary and traditional interiors.
Her enthusiasm and interest in design and interiors was developed when, at the age of nineteen, she went to work for John Fowler at the prestigious Sybil Colefax & John Fowler. Shortly afterwards she set up her own decorating business, where one of her first commissions was to design a castle in Scotland and Annabel’s private members’ club, Berkeley Square, London, in her unmistakably elegant and rich colour palette.
Further developing her business, Nina opened her interior design offices and studio where she creates a successful fabric and wallpaper collection internationally distributed by Osborne & Little. Her famous retail shop for home accessories and gifts is at 9, Walton Street in London’s Knightsbridge, and has remained a firm favourite for the last 30 years.
The interior design side of the business continues to flourish with notable projects, both commercial and residential, throughout the world.
We get up close and personal with interior designer and dog lover, Nina Campbell, and discover her favourite shopping haunts, what’s on her bedside table and design tips for all. Read the interview below.
Q How would you describe your style?
I think I would call it comfortable and suitable. The most important element of any interior design scheme is that it needs to fit with the client’s lifestyle. I work all over the world, so this applies to everyone, whether my client lives in China or Chelsea
Q Who or what inspires you?
Anything and everything. It can be something as simple as walking down the street and seeing a particular flower or a building. Then there are museums, exhibitions and travel of course. It’s important to keep your eyes open to what’s all around us
Q Please share your secret design/shopping haunts
I shop all over the world because my work takes me there, but whenever I’m in Connecticut , America I like going to Privet House as it’s packed with interesting things. I also adore Guinevere on the Kings Road in London as it’s full of wonderful antiques and Tyson on Havelock Terrace, also in London. He has some excellent pieces and recently remodelled a pair of chandeliers I was using for a hotel in Colorado and made them into three new lights all inspired by the original
Q What is your most prized possession?
Definitely my two Shih Tzu dogs. It’s that old saying of what would you rescue if your house was on fire, and it’d definitely be my dogs
Q What is your favourite colour/colour combination?
This obviously changes all the time and I like to keep an open mind when it comes to colour. But at the moment I am loving a bold coral red for the home. I’ve recently redone my own sitting room and covered the sofa with a beautiful stamped velvet in coral – it makes the room really sing and it’s very inviting. But that will change again over time and would alter depending on where I lived, for example, if I lived near the sea
Q What is currently topping your interiors wish-list?
It’s out of my league, but I’d love to own a painting from the Scottish School. I do buy and collect interesting contemporary art works and objects from London-based art dealer Adrian Sassoon such as Kate Malone ceramics. But I’m running out of spaces to put them all now!
Q What couldn’t you live without?
It has to be my Nespresso machine. I’ve had it a while now; I love really strong coffee
Q If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I think it would have to be here in London. It’s a wonderful place to live with so much going on. I did live in Paris for a short while, but London has it all and it’s centrally placed so you can go anywhere from here very easily
Q What books are you current favourite reads?
I’ve just finished ‘Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty’ which is a fascinating story about the Fitzwilliam coal mining family in Yorkshire. I belong to a book club so read lots of different books, one of the latest being ‘The Hare With Amber Eyes’ by Edmund de Waal
Q Please share your best piece of interior design advice
From an interior designer’s point of view, this has to be listen to your client – that’s the most important part of the design process. For the more inexperienced designer who is tackling their own interior, it would be take home large samples of paint, fabric and wallpaper and see how they look in your own environment. And listen to your own design instincts (not your friends), make yourself a mood board and get the scale right: don’t get bogged down with too many fiddly things
Nina Campbell 020 7591 5786 or www.ninacampbell.com
What’s your style when it comes to designing your home? And what other interior designers would you like to find out about? Let us know in a comment!