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Designer Review: Nicky Haslam

Designer Review: Nicky Haslam

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:


Source: Architectural Digest

Use Mauve

While most people think of mauve as being an outdated color, Haslam is a huge fan because it has the power to create a homey feel.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.



Reflective Surfaces

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:

Love these looks? Check out these eccentric designers, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Tony Duquette and Hutton Wilkinson and Vincent Wolf.

About Kimberly Crossland

Kimberly Crossland is a guest writer for Bestlaminate's Blog and founder of the She has an unnatural obsession with the power of words, which is really cool because she can speak two languages: English and Danish. Her other job titles include wife and dog-walker.

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