Nicky Haslam is one talented man. He’s an artist, book reviewer, art editor, memoirist and literary editor, blogger, socialite, an excellent dresser (featured on both Vanity Fair and GQ’s best-dressed lists), a philanthropist, and most recently a cabaret singer. Then to top it off, he is most notably known to be “Britain’s ultimate interior designer”.
The Birth of a Legend
Haslam has a design career that spans over 40 years. He started by attending Eton where he excelled in art. In the 1960s he was living in LA as a photographer and already designing parties and functions for clients. In 1972 he officially started practicing interior design and in the late 1980’s he opened his own London-based architecture and design firm, NH Design.
The Client List
Haslam, and NH Design, have completed projects all over the globe – from the English countryside to New York, Morrocco, Moscow, and more. He takes on projects that range from designing a residence, to retail space, to the decors of the ritziest parties. He also has high-profile clients such as Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, and Rupert Everett. He’s definitely earned his spot in the top ranks of the design world.
Tips of His Trade
In his book, Nicky Haslam: A Designer’s Life, he thoroughly covers the most iconic projects across his years in interior design. One King’s Lane broke down the top 8 design guidance and inspiring lessons that left the biggest impression:
While most people think of mauve as being an outdated color, Haslam is a huge fan because it has the power to create a homey feel. “Like shadows, mauves gently recede into the background and give the impression of space in any room.”
Use Faux Elements
He encourages you to faux elements, such as faux marbling, paneling, or “other tricks of the eye” that you can playfully create with a paintbrush.
Don’t Forget Your Surfaces
“Flat surfaces, especially console tables, look great bare but better with things on and under them—quite apart from providing essential storage opportunities.”
Chairs Are Key
Haslam believes that chairs are the most essential bit of furniture and that they should “always look seductive”. They serve a purpose as well as provide a style element to any room. He recommends a chair with a slipcover that can transition between different rooms.
Using reflective surfaces throughout a room can create an element of glow. Haslam says they provide “a luminosity even on the gloomiest days.”
Big is Better
In small spaces Haslam claims big pieces can make a small space look larger. He also hates small dainty lighting fixtures and usually goes big and bold with them.
Choose a Lasting Sofa
A good couch should be comfortable, but it should also last a lifetime. He’s had his own sofa set for over 40 years.
Go All Out
He says some spaces call for the flower treatment and some don’t. When he does go floral he likes “using the same design on everything, uniting walls, drapes, and furniture, and usually adding a corresponding patterned carpet.”
What do you think about Britain’s premier designer’s style tips?
You can follow more from Nicky at his website: http://www.nh-design.co.uk/