Q&A with Monica Lenore

By November 30, 2017Interior Design, interview

Based in Gloucestershire, Monica Lenore Designs is an award-winning interior designer featuring bold, textured and wonderful solutions for both commercial and residential use.

Originally born in the US – Monica’s authenticity comes to life in her interior designs due to her beliefs in injecting her own persona style to make any home truly stunning in appearance and functionality. She collaborates closely with architects, artisans and suppliers from around the world to bring your interior design ideas to life. She is passionate about renovation and communicates with her clients in every single process.

How did your interior design career begin and what sparked your inspiration?

I love surrounding myself with beautiful things and love good craftsmanship, colour and texture. I found it fascinating how easily my mood could change depending on my surroundings. I began to develop my interest formally and started with a small interior design firm who took me on as their first work experience candidate while I was still in school.

What inspired you to start up Monica Lenore Designs?

Most of my career was outside the industry. I qualified in Canary Wharf as a stock broker and opened my own office. It was a gorgeous Grade II listed building in a lovely small village but I found myself more interested in decorating my offices and meeting new clients than discussing inheritance tax planning. It was then that I returned to my true passion, changed career paths and opened my own design firm. It took time to retrain but was the best decision I ever made.

What's the most exciting and/or most successful project you've worked on to date?

We have purposely cultivated a diverse portfolio of commercial projects, among them include restaurants, bars, a coffee house and wine bars. Our luxury residential projects range from a Regency style penthouse to a Spanish Villa and everything in between. We couldn’t possibly choose one but we are incredibly excited and honoured to be chosen as the interior designers for the Sir Peter Scott House at the Slimbridge Wetlands Centre.

How often do you incorporate seasonal trends into your interiors? If none - what inspires you in the process?

Our designs are rarely seasonal and almost never trendy. Yes, we like to switch out cushions and throws depending on the season and certainly like to refresh a room occasionally, but we prefer design classics. We choose items that have stood the test of time and add in a mix of contemporary artwork and designer lighting to create a space that is timeless and reflects our client’s personality.

What's your take on plantation shutters for interior design?

Window treatments are a hugely important part of the design of a room. This offers the designer a chance to introduce another texture and layer to the space as well as control the lighting.

The importance of lighting in a room is fundamental to interior designers and a huge advantage of plantation shutters is that they allow you to create nuanced lighting. Using natural light can create dramatic shadows and gorgeous streams of light that you simply cannot achieve with curtains. We also love their timeless design.

How would you sum up your individual style in a sentence?

In every design we create, we bring a modern elegance and sophistication that focuses on simplicity but always with an eye to function.

Do you have anything exciting coming up for 2018?

We have a number of exciting projects coming up in 2018 but two that are really special. The New Year will see us be part of Phase 2 of a £500 million commercial development at the Gloucester Quays. We won a national design competition in Phase 1, for the design of the Provender reception and will now continue and expand our role in Phase 2.

The second will be working with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at the Slimbridge Wetlands Centre to convert Sir Peter Scott’s home into a luxury holiday let above his studio and to create a conference centre. A production crew will be following the Heritage Lottery Funded project and will capture our work along with others to create a documentary for television. It is going to be an incredibly exciting year for us!

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