We are delighted to introduce Bee Osborn, multi award winning and internationally acclaimed interior designer. Bee is renowned for creating beautiful spaces in which to live and relax.
Over the coming months Bee will be sharing two decades of her expertise, advice and insider knowledge to help us create magical interiors. Watch this space! Here she sheds light on her illustrious career…
Why Interior Design?
I used to buy and sell houses to provide an income and home for myself and my two young daughters. After friends started asking me to help them with their houses, I eventually stopped moving house myself and started doing interiors for others. For me it’s so important to love your surroundings, as it brings untold happiness. Therefore, creating spaces for others that bring them pleasure, is the ultimate.
For me it’s so important to love your surroundings, as it brings untold happiness. Therefore, creating spaces for others that bring them pleasure, is the ultimate.
What is your design philosophy?
Creating calm, relaxed interiors that are both elegant and interesting.
Where do you source most of your furniture?
Maison d’Object in Paris is a good start, but as a lot of what we design is bespoke, we tend to use our trusted furniture makers for items that can’t be bought off the shelf.
Which project are you most proud of?
Le Toiny Hotel in Saint Barth’s, or my cottage which I am currently working on.
What has been your hardest design challenge?
Converting the little stone barn attached to the back of my cottage has been the biggest challenge. When I bought the cottage I fell in love with the romantic idea of creating a kitchen in the barn. It has been so challenging due to the different levels, creating foundations under the 500 year old walls without damaging them, whilst trying to retain the old beauty of it. It would have been so much easier to have knocked it down and started again! Working alongside planning and adhering to their strict rules to create the same lime plaster, match all the old materials, stone and tiles has been challenging and time consuming, not to add expensive, to say the least! There is not a straight line in sight but I am hoping that this will add to the charm and that the outcome will be worth it!
Do you enjoy hotel projects and which is has been your favourite?
Yes, very much so, although they are challenging and it can be stressful co ordinating with the huge amount of different contractors, I love it. Emotionally it is often easier, as you usually present to a board and decisions are made quickly which is a joy. However the challenges of function over form is a constant struggle! We have worked on 5 hotel projects and I love them all!
Advice for aspiring Interior Designers
Make sure you go and see everything you can during Design Week in London. Keep your eyes open, take photos, make notes, learn and read as much as you can. Knowledge is power.
What is the most common decorating mistake?
Not checking if the sofa can fit through the door! On one of my first projects I just assumed it would fit and it didn’t, resulting in us having to take the window out. I will never forget it and will never make the same mistake again.
Do you have one design ‘golden rule’?
I have several! Think about where you would place the lighting early on, and what you want to enhance. Try to visualise the design and really feel what it’s like to walk around the space. Use contract or outdoor fabrics for high traffic areas to ease stress levels if things are spilt on them. Trust your gut…
Who do you most admire in the design world?
Carole Bamford, what she creates is totally sublime.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Travelling, art, and nature. Get out and see as much as you can.
What are your go-to shops and suppliers?
Flamant, Chelsea Textiles, Julian Chichester, Design Vintage are just a few…
Favourite design period and colour scheme?
Calm neutrals in a Palladian setting with classical symmetry would be the ultimate.
What would be your dream project?
A boutique hotel in the Cotswolds using natural, sustainable materials in a beautiful setting.
Bee draws inspiration from classical design and proportion, but always likes to infuse her work with a modern, up-to-date energy. Together, with her talented team, they produce balanced harmonious interiors that are both practical and visionary.