I was lucky enough to get to chat to Rob Fawcett on Twitter while he was on the Great Interior Design Challenge. I immediately offered him an interview, and he very kindly agreed.
What is your design signature / style?
Overall my signature style is one that focuses on the re-purposing of objects or materials for use in the home. In this disposable culture we seem to be living in I firmly believe that with time and effort we can re-invent items in new ways to give them a new lease of life while at the same time preventing them from being destroyed and also stretch our imaginations as to how we live and how we use the things around us.
Out of context many re-purposed items can look out of place or simply too unusual to consider using in your home but through the right interior design scheme these items can be brought into context to really compliment your interior.
Can you tell us about being on the great interior design challenge, what were the best and worst bits?
Featuring as an amateur designer on BBC2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge was such an amazing experience and one that I will not forget. Ill start with the worst bits about being on the show. In a word, “Time”. It’s shotgun style interior design. It is not a true reflection at all of Interior design and the time pressures when you are already working a full time job are immense. Not only that but the week prior to filming is your prep week and you have to interpret the clients brief (without directly speaking to them) and then design a scheme within a few days so that you have time to order all your materials allowing for delivery before you start filming. That is probably one of the most stressful parts of the process.
As far as the good bits go they are countless and I could write a dissertation on the good bits but the entire crew and homeowners are fantastic and to be honest it would be a million times more difficult if they weren’t.
As an amateur designer looking to pursue a career in design the show is a great platform from which to throw yourself. Firstly I was able to showcase myself and my style on an international level which I have never come anywhere close to before and since I managed to get through to the third round I had more exposure than I ever imagined.
On top of the exposure the challenge of designing schemes that would ordinarily be outside of my norm meant that I pushed myself as designer and it has rubbed off on me as I find myself now refining my designs.
I have also been overwhelmed by the support shown by fellow designers, the crew, judges and the viewers of the show many of which have reached out to me in some way and this is truly appreciated. The confidence boost given by the whole experience is something that money can’t buy.
Through all the highs and some lows the opportunity given to me to appear on the show is one that I am so grateful for and one that I do not wish to waste.
Does your home reflect your professional style?
My home reflects my professional style to a degree and this is evident by the various up-cycled pieces in it. As a designer I consider my home to be my showroom but also the place that I live and regardless of being a designer I have the same issues like any other homeowner, space, storage, style, consistency, continuity etc. As I develop as designer, my home develops with me and changes are constantly being made.
If you had £10,000 to spend on a piece of furniture, accessory, art, décor item what would it be and why?
Difficult question to answer as the very nature of my design means i’m not really a spender but given the chance to drop £10,000 on a select piece of furniture would be amazing. I would probably spend it on a custom handmade chesterfield 4 seat sofa with matching wingback armchairs finished in Harris Tweed.
What’s next for your business / brand?
Having spent some time considering the next direction for my business, I will be working on a range of products and homewares that are a little different to the norm. They will fulfil the normal needs and requirements of everyday people but will be mostly made from sustainable or reclaimed materials where possible.
I plan to open an online shop through my website Lighthouse Interiors where my pieces will be available but also there are a few other projects on the cards which I am really interested in. One in particular is an art gallery / up-cycled homewares space. This I think will be fantastic as I have never seen a specific place that showcases and sells only up-cycled products.
Which new up and coming designers do you currently have your eye on?
To be honest and at the risk of sounding a little bigheaded, ME of course. I’m only slightly joking as obviously I hope to present myself as a new up and coming designer but I do follow a large number of designers through social media and although it may seem like the obvious choice, some of the other amateur designers from The Great Interior Design Challenge are ones I have my eye on.
Lucy Tiffney who pipped me to the post in the third heat is an amazingly talented designer and artist, Jamie Reed who I believe was the youngest designer on the show and also managed to get to the same stage I did is a great designer too and looking at his own home I think it is only a matter of time before you see him doing great things.
Finally on a similar basis to myself I must mention John Hallam from Lock & Key in Hull. Lock & Key are a small family run business that make handcrafted furniture and interior products from re-claimed materials. The work John and the team do is fantastic and a real gem to have on the doorstep.
If someone reading this was about to begin their own home re-design project, what would be your best advice to them?
My advice to anyone who is about to begin a home renovation / re-design project would be to think things through and then when you have it nailed down, think about it again.
Think about what the space will be primarily used for and how you want the spaces to flow. Far too many people try to make a space fit a variety of purposes and in doing so compromise on the design and overall affect the function of the room.
It is also crucial to think about the size of the furniture you have and how this impacts the layout of the room.
Don’t underestimate the quality of your living space, you are not just investing in decoration or furniture, you are investing in yourself and your family so you can enjoy the home you have.
You can get in touch with Rob Fawcett through his website Lighthouse Interiors.