Lucy Dufton has worked on projects around the world, from large villas to homes in Yorkshire. Now, she has founded her own interior design company, Inspiri, with a vision to offer clients an affordable service whether it’s a small project or a drastic transformation. We spoke to Lucy to find out more about Inspiri.
How did you get into interior design?
It seems a lifetime ago now but I decided on a career change: I was originally working for an IFA, training to be a Financial Adviser but I had a sudden change of heart. I started with an evening course in Interior Design to ‘test the water’ and then the following year I had signed up to study Interior Architecture through Leeds Met. I’ve worked for a few different designers, ranging from villas in Europe to traditional homes in Yorkshire, getting brilliant experience.
Why did you decide to start Inspiri?
It was just the right time. I have always had the ambition and vision to set up on my own and recent paths led me to taking the steps now. I was lucky enough to learn straight out of university from an award-winning designer who trained me with the idea I’d eventually go self-employed.
What is your approach to interior design?
I always approach a new project in the same way: listen and research. It’s always helpful for clients to have a visual of something that they like, whether it’s a picture from a magazine or online — it gives me a visual idea of where to start. You have to listen to the client, their needs and the purpose of the space. I don’t believe that interior design has to cost the earth, it can be kept affordable. My approach is that the client dictates what they like, as long as I get the right outcome and the client is happy, that’s all that matters. I then turn to the property and the styles the client likes. Once I start researching there will be a moment of clarity where you find something that is just perfect and then the rest just falls into place. I always think a design evolves over time. A mood board is a starting point where I’ll have everything from curtain fabrics to colour schemes, and then changes are made following meetings, new ideas or even new collections becoming available.
What is the process you go through with clients/where do you start?
I tend to start with an in depth consultation. We talk through the project and what the clients require, I find that clients are better at saying no to things than saying yes, so it’s best to present the client with ideas to get a feel for what they like and don’t like. Having the privilege to design someone’s home is all about trust. I try not to have a specific way of working so that I can be adaptable to accommodate the client’s needs and make the whole process truly bespoke. At the end of the day everyone is different and as long as you reach the final outcome of the perfect space designed for the client I don’t think it matters how you get there.
Do you have any rooms in particular that you like to design?
I don’t have any specific favourites. I do always like a drastic transformation on any room, a good renovation that you can really get your teeth into. I have recently completed a few projects with AR Jolly Kitchens in Brompton-on-Swale and the finished result from a team effort is very rewarding. Plus the heart of the home is always a kitchen!
Both kitchens by A R Jolly Kitchens and Inspiri.