Having lived in different parts of the world, I find people who have done the same fascinating. To be exposed to different cultures makes a designer very interesting which is why I was excited to interview Thomson Carpenter. Thomson is originally from the UK, but has lived in Germany, Dubai and Sydney. His projects are varied, but there’s a common thread between them. Something masculine, worldly and elegant.
What is your design signature/style?
Over the course of my career I have tried to develop a “look” characterised as a blend of European tradition and universal modernism, fusing together a combination of styles and periods. Whilst tending to lean towards a traditional British approach, my constant travels and in-depth understanding of how different nationalities live have brought what I hope is a distinctive edge to my interiors. I like to call it “paired-down classicism”!
What type of people do you love to work with as clients?
I love working with clients who have genuine passion for design and a plethora of exciting ideas for their home; it is then my job to “translate” their ideas and aspirations and thereafter create something tangible that works harmoniously.
I maintain that I shouldn’t be “imposing” my own taste on a client’s property, moreover extracting their taste, making the project entirely unique to them, and of course it is always helpful if there is a generous budget to work with.
Can you tell us about a particularly exciting/challenging project?
I have recently completed the full interior design for the principal building of a stud farm in New South Wales, Australia. This was exciting (and challenging) in as much as it was on the other side of the world and although I visited the site several times during the 12-month long program, the majority of the work was conducted from London.
The client had previously seen my work in the UK and hence enlisted me to apply a very English aesthetic to the new-build Victorian-style homestead. All of the furnishings – including fabrics, furniture and light-fittings – were purchased in Europe and then shipped to Australia in a container. Problems arose at the Sydney port when several George Smith sofas were found to contain (Indian) horsehair; it was a trying few weeks convincing the custom authorities that they were OK to be brought onto Australian soil! Luckily the client was patient – and ultimately pleased with the finished result – and has since engaged me on the redecoration of their main Sydney home.
Does your home reflect your professional style?
Unfortunately I can’t afford many of the high-end items that I specify for my clients however my home is filled with classic, custom-made pieces and antiques, albeit far less than my clients have – Luckily my London home is not much bigger than a doll’s house!
What’s next for your business/brand?
I hope to build my brand and expand my business, hoping eventually to become recognised as an industry leader and an “authority” on interior design. Obviously this takes time and a concerted effort to find and work on exciting new projects. Fingers crossed!
Which interior designers do you admire?
Gregory Mellor, a former colleague of mine from when I worked in Sydney, who is now based back in his native Cape Town. Greg’s is someone I greatly admire. He has the innate capacity to effortlessly bring about sophisticated but laid-back, individual spaces.
If someone reading this was about to begin their own home redesign project, what would be your best advice to them?
Do LOTS of research. Use your phone to take pics of literally everything you see and like, be it the lobby of a hotel, a coffee-cup in a restaurant or a wall-finish in a shop – or better still, some antiquated building. Get as many design magazines as you can and also browse Instagram, Pinterest and other social media for inspiration.
Then when you come to put together a (well-planned) scheme for the project, you have extensive ideas and inspiration from which to draw from. Obviously this barrage of information will require extensive “editing” in order to bring about a cohesive and well-executed scheme.
You can contact Thomson through his website Thomson Carpenter.
Image copyright – Adam Johnson thisisadam.co.uk.