We were super excited to have caught up with sought-after interior designer, Anna Hansson. She has given us some insights into her design style which is tailored to the clients needs, not what she thinks they need.
How do you begin the design process?
Interior design is not about me, it is about the client. So naturally it starts there. I believe that a living space should reflect individuality so I will meet up with the client in a first initial meeting to discuss what their aspirations are. We’ll discuss order, function, memories, likes and dislikes, leisure, relaxation, work, entertainment, personality, culture. I also ask the client to bring something of value to them, something that they would like to associate their home with.
What pieces can you not live without?
In my home I have a few “classics” of Scandinavian and Italian pieces. I have a Flos lamp which I think may be part of my own interiors for a lifetime. It is just a piece which I believe has been made to last. I also love chairs. They can create such a statement.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Very often the inspiration is baked into the client brief. I usually ask my client to bring something that they like or value. It can be a painting, a rug, a set of colurs or finishes, a fashion item, a brand item, culture or even just something from a magazine or the structure of a text font. To me it is a great and exciting challenge to take something that is of value to my client and to base a concept and a living space on that. Once I designed a walkway from the inspiration of a fish bone. The concept of that project was based on a large aquarium.
What is your favourite design style?
I like timeless design. As a Scandinavian I have always been influenced by modernism and I still like to implement the modernist principles in my designs such as Fibonaccis Series and the Golden Section. Colourwise white is an all time favourite.
Name one designer that has influenced you.
What are the current trends in interior design.
One trend at the moment is to follow the fashion trends e.g striped clothes become striped wallpaper and upholstery. Greens such as Jade green or “aqua blue” and corals is also the trend at the moment and finishes are moving over from chrome to matte golden or brass finishes. In the high end field backlit semiprecious stone is still very popular. Peacock feathers are also still on the rise.
What is the most common challenges that you or your clients encounter?
I would say that there are two. One is the storage solutions. There seem more often than never to not be enough space. Innovation and good technical detailing is a must.
The other challenge is the agreements within the habitants especially if they are a family, between a husband and wife f.eg. Men and women think differently when it regards the use of their homes. This is the reason for why I start every consultation with a set of questions that are related to the clients lifestyle situations in which spatial as well as everyday wants, needs and problems are being discussed and solved.
Give us one important tip that customers tend to miss in interior design.
There are many different elements to work with in an interior design project and so I think that the greatest challenge for a client is to ensure that all the elements work together in harmony. Good lighting solutions are something that I think is often missed. It is important to ensure that there are 3 different types of lighting, the general lighting for general tasks like cleaning, the mood lighting to create the right ambience for relaxation and socialising etc and the task lighting which is directed to a task such as reading. Another thing which may seem insignificant is the positioning of plug holes and light switches. I often make the suggestion of the irritation of not having the plug hole for the hair dryer close enough to a mirror.
How do I choose a good interior designer?
Personality compatibility is important. Take your time during the first meeting to ensure that the designer understands what you want and is interested in your life and home. Also take a look at the previous designs of the designer. If you dont like the past designs then there is a chance that you wont like the outcome of your own project either.
Also, depending of what you would like to have designed I suggest that you choose a designer that both knows how to draw (AutoCAD) and how to put colours and finishes together. A greater part of the interior design service is about practical and functional solutions that should be made on the drawing board. It is after that that the finishes are applied. Form follows function.
About Anna Hansson:
Swedish-born Interior architect and lifestyle designer Anna Hansson started her design career in 1997 as a design student and artistic visual merchandiser in Oslo (Norway). She moved to London in the year 2000 in order to develop her skills further and gained a bachelors degree with honours in Interior Design and Technology at the London Guildhall University. See more of her work at www.annahanssondesign.net
Anna can be reached via: