Influential Interiors: Anya Fennet

Published on 28th September 2016

In the Influential Interiors mini series we explore the worlds of prominent interior designers and innovative concepts.

Interior Designer Anya Fennet sat on wooden stairs
This month Anya Fennet, Founder of Anya Fennet Design Studio, speaks to us about her love for Scandinavian design, how she keeps up with current trends and Sir Richard Branson’s views on Brexit! Take a look and see how much Apropos and Anya Fennet are match made in interior design heaven…

How did you discover your passion for interior design? Was there a specific moment where you thought ‘I should make a living out of this!’

Yes there was actually. On my last year in uni whilst writing my master dissertation (funnily I have MA in Landscape architecture) I was working for a signage company for a hotel and there was a great hospitality interior design firm involved in the project. I remember walking around the atrium space of Hilton Warsaw and thinking ‘Wow! This is really taking shape!’ The interior fit out process was so fast and it struck me how important interiors are and how they can change how we feel. From that moment I just knew that I wanted to do this for a living.

What’s the back-story behind Anya Fennet Interior Design?

I have had an amazing career for 10 years in luxury hospitality interior design. I love giant projects and vast spaces to design. However, very often design would vary from the conceptual intent and would get lost in the big corporate world. I really wanted people to enjoy the personal approach to design and with my landscape architecture background I created Anya Fennet Design Studio which designs around user and wellbeing.

Describe your style in 3 words?

Urban green, minimalistic and focused. That’s actually 4. I want to help people declutter and help them de-stress and relax in their homes. I do know how busy our lives are nowadays and I truly believe these are main factors we need to focus on.

Coffee and milk in ceramic mugs on a table

What field of design are you most interested in?

Personally I adore this transitional space between the house and the garden. It feels like you are in the middle of something which has just finished being rigid and structural, and begins to flow into organic and fluent. These are often conservatories, terraces, squares, balconies. I often make them the heart of my projects.

Describe a typical working day…

[Laughs] My day starts very early. I have two sons under 5 and they do tend to wake up around 5:30am (especially one of them) so my clients often receive early emails, updates or presentations. I am constantly on the go. Lots of meetings, site visits and then quiet time in the evening with a cup of tea while designing. I tend to work the best when everyone is in bed. And I make sure I am surrounded with lots of plants.

Two upholstered chairs in a room

If your next interior design project was for a luxury orangery or conservatory, how would you start your process?

Old fashioned drawing board does the trick for me. I am a big fan of freehand sketches as a conceptual starting point. I gather images and create inspirational boards and mood boards. The most important part though is understanding my client and knowing their needs and habits. A luxury orangery would be a perfect project for me.

Who or what are your style inspirations?

I love Kelly Wearstler and Scandinavian design.

Do you have a favourite book or magazine about interior design?

Kinfolk which is more lifestyle magazine I guess. And of course World of Interiors.

How do you keep in touch with current trends and styles?

I still freelance for my old company from time to time. Talking with other designers and seeing what they do helps me to stay current. It is all about sharing the knowledge,  going out to suppliers events and industry shows like 100% design, Clerkenwell Design Week, designjunction or Decorex. But the highlight of this year was GROW Contemporary Garden Design Show. I just couldn’t get out of there!

Venus Williams once said “Interior design is a business of trust.” What’s your view on this?

Very wise words. I am convinced that client and designer need to work together in order to create space which is functional yet stunning.

Do you have any unusual interior design stories?

I recently went to meeting with my client and instead of talking to him about interior design of his apartment I ended up listening to Sir Richard Branson talking about Brexit.

What is your top piece of interior design advice?

Always carry measuring tape.

What do you think of Apropos conservatories?

They are a key to wellbeing. They bring light and sense of outdoor living into interiors. I would definitely use them given the right space.

Create your bespoke conservatory, extension or orangery with Apropos today. Get in touch or download a brochure here.

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