Q&A With Hannah Barnes

By February 19, 2018Interior Design, interview

We are delighted to present interior designer Hannah Barnes to our series of Q&A’s. Barnes has nearly 10 years in the industry and an extenstive amount of arts and interior-based qualifications under her belt. Her designs are built on creativity as well as functionality which highly evident in her interior solutions.

In addition to offering interior design services, Barnes also offers art and design workshops which aims to provide people of all ages the skills to create their own mood boards, draw up plans and learn techniques of lighting and colour schemes.

Her work over the past ten years has landed her coverage in InCheshire & Prestbury Living Magazine, as well as winning an award from HOUZZ for best customer service in the industry.

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

I’ve always been interested in art and design and followed a creative path in college but my paid work began in the 90s when paint techniques were all the rage. I was great at creating colour washes and rag rolled finishes (not so popular in 2017!)  Jobs for family and friends developed into new clients who’d been recommended and I soon discovered these clients also needed joinery work, soft furnishings and more. So I built a team of trusted contractors around me and the business was born from a mixture of artistic passion and my own hobby.

What inspired you to start up Hannah Barnes Designs?

I am a firm believer that interior design is for everyone and not just the affluent and the footballers of this world.  Many of my clients are a “average” family who simply don’t have the ideas and mostly the time, to create the home they need and want. 
Hannah Barnes Designs takes all the hassle away from these clients to allow them to spend their time elsewhere. We advise on what furniture and fittings fit where and how each piece will look in the overall scheme and then we organise the whole project from start to finish. 
There was definitely a gap in the market for a turn-key service like this for busy families, which was accessible, convenient and affordable…. with a little bit of luxury thrown in.  We have built on this ethos for the past 15 years.

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

We are asked to design and renovate all kinds of properties for lots of different people. The most successful are when we are working with brave clients who love the process and really trust our vision and experience.  It’s so lovely to impress them and leave them with a home they really love.
One of the most interesting and challenging projects was a PR campaign for Intu Trafford Centre around three years ago,, to help promote the first Ideal Home Show in Manchester. I was selected to create two rooms sets in the middle of the shopping centre, using only products found in the Trafford Centre stores. One room was Red and one was Blue to represent the opposing Manchester football teams.
The design scheme was fun and unique and it was certainly an experience dressing a room set at 3am in an abandoned mall! We got some great responses though so the experience was fantastic… the most popular room was then recreated at the Ideal Home Show.

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

As designers, our job is to be ahead of the trends so we try to introduce our clients to brand new ideas and schemes all the time.  I think everyone is getting a bit tired of seeing grey interiors now but I personally love the current trend of deep green velvet sofas.  Most of our clients desire a timeless home they will love for many years and can add to easily to freshen the look, rather than a on-trend style which will age quickly.

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

I love plantation shutters and we are seeing more requests than ever for these installations. I think they offer a practical solution to controlling light and privacy and the contemporary ‘Hamptons’ style trend really suits the clean lines of shutters.
I’d like to see people being a little braver with colours and textures as we see so many simple white styles.  Painted coloured shutters can look fabulous and can make the whole window come to life.

Do you have anything exciting coming up for 2018?

We have spent 15 years renovating private homes all over Manchester and Cheshire, but our very first project of 2018 is a restaurant in Manchester.   We don’t often have the opportunity to design commercial interiors and it’s been such fun to feature more daring materials and finishes this time.  

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