Georgina Cave runs Cave Interiors, a Primrose Hill based interior design practice and interiors shop. What I found very interesting is that Georgina works on both new build as well as older properties, mostly listed buildings. Working on historic buildings adds a new challenge to an interior design project, so I was very interested in finding out more about this.
What is your design signature/style?
In the main I like to think I don’t have a signature. I am always influenced by the architecture of the building, but most importantly the people who will be inhabiting them. It is always about capturing the essence of our clients and how they live, so that we leave them with a home that suits their personality & lifestyle.
The challenge always is to create a home that not only stands the test of time but crucially doesn’t look “designed”, no matter how meticulously we plan it.
The images below are from Georgina’s Gloucester Crescent project.
You have worked on quite a few listed properties. Can you tell us how designing for a listed home is different from a contemporary or modern home?
Listed properties do prove trickier as acquiring Listed Building Consents are crucial and take longer than planning. This always needs factoring in and managing our client’s expectations in this regard is always important.
Often you are restricted by the internal layouts and what can and can’t be removed in terms of structure. This can even encompass items such as fireplaces, cornices etc. which are not always beautiful and in some cases not from the original era, however therein lies the challenge. What is super lovely though is seeing the transformation as we bring these houses back to life and also into the 21st Century in terms of heating, electricity and all the mod cons that are available with AV & IT.
A perfect example is our work on Grove House a Grade II* listed manor house in Hampton, which dates from the second half of the 17th century. This three storey house with full length basement and extensions was horribly carved up in the 60s.
Our skills & expertise were required for planning all the internal layouts, restoring & adding back in the original features and details including the cornices, panelling & flooring, sourcing the materials, fixtures & fittings, designing the kitchen, bathrooms & all the joinery as well as overseeing the works.
The restoration by specialist conservators, of the wonderfully ornate “Music Room” and our involvement in key areas of this space was of particular interest. My daughter too was involved. As a student at The Glasgow School of Art she was offered a week’s work experience with the conservators and ended up staying the majority of the summer helping paint countless fleur de lys amongst other wonderful detailing.
We had a lot of fun and our hard work really paid off.
It would be great if you could share a picture of your favourite part of your own home and tell us a little about what makes it special.
Given it’s bold design ethic, my home is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it. It is a garden apartment with plenty of living space that is home to my husband and I, as well as our grown up kids who come and go between studying away from home as well as our mad bearded collie, Ernie.
I love every aspect but given we are currently updating a few areas, I would have to say the kitchen as it’s also the heart of the home. I guess not many people could live with the Macassar Ebony that fronts the units, nor the concrete worktop of the island that’s lit by a crystal bag chandelier, but it’s now nine years on since it was fitted and in my mind it hasn’t dated at all.
Which designers do you currently have your eye on?
Oh goodness, what designer don’t I! I love the work of so many, but currently I do find myself drawn to the work of Christopher & Nicola Cox of Cox London. I have a large and exciting project we’re about to start work on and I’m sure I’ll be calling on them. I also admire the work of Fiona McDonald, Bethan Gray and as well as the other amazing designers whose work we exhibit in our shop.
Can you share with us a major highlight of your interior design career?
When I opened the doors of my studio in Primrose Hill, with it’s small boutique where we sell and exhibit the work of many designers has to be one of my best moments, although getting nominated five times in the Design et Al 2015 awards wasn’t too shabby either.
What’s next for your business?
One big change I have in mind is to promote the small boutique at the front of our studio. It’s still one of Primrose Hill’s best kept secrets, with a loyal local following but it’s time to spread the word!
Also, whilst I like keeping the interior design side business small so I can continue to lead every project, I’m considering bringing in another member to our team since we have won some very exciting and large projects. These include a Croft house way up in The Scottish Highlands, a large family home on the waterfront in Sandbanks, a restoration project in Lewes, a new build in Nottingham amongst our lovely local projects in Primrose Hill, Highgate and Kenwood. We are spreading our wings!
If someone reading this was thinking about hiring an interior designer, what advice would you give them?”
Make sure you that not only are you impressed by their previous work but that you like them personally a lot too. A good rapport is crucial for a successful experience. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them and entrusting the care and style of your home into their care.
You can get in touch with Georgina Cave through her website Cave Interiors.
Notes: “It’s worth noting that Gloucester Crescent is a listed house too, but is Grade II listed. Grove House is Grade II * listed and the star makes a big difference with regards permissions for the internal elements of the house.”
Images courtesy of Cave Interiors.