I had the pleasure of meeting Bianca for lunch and discussing her background, inspirations and future plans for her design firm, North House Design.
LH: How is your day going? What is something interesting or inspiring that you’ve seen/done/thought about today?
BN: This morning I had a call with a client to discuss budget, scope and initial brief for a new project, which I’m very excited about!
LH: Having relocated to London from the Netherlands, what is your favourite part of living and working here?
BN: The fact that there are always so many things to see and do, and that I meet people from all over the world.
LH: Dutch design is so unique and innovative – do you still interact and keep up to date with that scene?
BN: Definitely. Whenever I’m back in the Netherlands I bring back a pile of Dutch design magazines. Sometimes my friends send some over too. As the Netherlands are not far from London, I go there to visit design shows. I went there last week to visit the Woonbeurs (a home design exhibition), for example. Furthermore, I read Dutch design blogs and follow Dutch designers on Twitter and Facebook.
LH: How do you think your background in business development influences your current work as an interior designer?
BN: In my business development role at an incubator I was always on the lookout for unique and innovative features, which I still do in my current work as interior designer. Also, I used to research whether there was a market for something, based on a clear ‘consumer need’. When I’m designing an interior, I translate this by taking into account how I can make the client’s life easier and more comfortable. It has to look fantastic, but functionality is key.
LH: What are three essential questions you would ask a client at the beginning of a design project?
BN: At the very beginning I ask about time & available budget, aesthetic style and scope of the project. When the project has been agreed I start with really trying to understand the client’s lifestyle and what activities will be taking place in the space, to really determine what their needs are.
LH: Do you have a go-to source for design inspiration?
BN: I go to a lot of design exhibitions, both in London and abroad. I especially like visiting graduate shows. Being fresh to the industry, the designs tend to be more innovative. Travel and nature are also great for inspiration.
LH: What is your favourite colour/fabric/pattern at the moment?
BN: Teal has been my favourite colour for quite a few years. It goes in and out of fashion but I never seem to get bored of it. I also like geometric patterns (probably because of my mathematics background).
LH: What do you see as an upcoming trend, movement or change in interior design, and in homes in particular?
BN: Upcoming trend: I think we’re going to see a lot of denim the coming season.
Change: interior design seems to be more valued by a wider public (not only for the rich and famous).
LH: What do you think is the biggest differences between Dutch and English homes?
BN: In general, I think Dutch homes are a bit more minimalistic. Also, in the Netherlands people don’t have carpet in their bathrooms (!).
Perhaps funny to know: as many houses in Amsterdam have very narrow and steep staircases they have hooks for ropes to pull the furniture up and in through the windows. Next time you’re in Amsterdam, look up, you’ll see them everywhere.
LH: If you could have one ideal dream item for your home what would it be?
BN: Definitely a grand piano, preferably in front of a huge glass wall facing a beautiful garden. Hopefully, one day..
LH: If you weren’t an interior designer what would you be?
BN: As a child I wanted to become a pilot or a writer. On a more realistic note, I would probably be working in the venture capital industry.
Find Bianca at her website or on Twitter @NorthHouseDsgn