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15 Jul - Interviews

Linda Levene |

LLI Design

For over 10 years, LLI Design have been crafting and designing bespoke interiors for their clients from their studio in Highgate. Each project in their portfolio is unique in its styling, with meticulous attention to form, texture and colour.

As a reflection of their passion, One of LLI Design’s latest projects has been creating an illustrated guide to iconic furniture, to serve as inspiration to their design work and their client’s future projects. We recently caught up with Linda Levene, Design Director at LLI Design to discuss the project and their work.

Q: What inspired your latest project ‘Iconic Furniture?’
Iconic Furniture was conceived as a result of an in-house side project at LLI Design. Starting initially as a bunch of mid-century furniture sketches we were looking at ways to “frame” and present the sketches and get them off paper into a more permanent form.

Q: Do you have a personal favourite out of the designs you selected?
I love the sinuous lines of the Cherner chair, so elegant and delicate, it’s almost like a piece of sculpture and remarkably comfortable too.

Q: Do you have any plans to expand the project?
We were discussing this the other day and we thought we might produce a sequel to Iconic furniture something along the lines of Iconic London Architecture.

We look forward to hearing more about this in future!

Q: What does a typical day look like for you at LLI Design?
Every day is different depending on where we are in the lives of our projects. Time may be spent meeting clients, presenting and discussing ideas with them, or it may be spent thinking about how a space can be developed to create a specific atmosphere and look, or it may be spent on site discussing fine details with our construction team. Towards the end of a project it may be spent styling a property ready to hand over to the client.

Q: Do you have a signature style, and how would you describe it?
The design ethos of LLI Design is that our designs reflect the lifestyle and personality of our clients. I know that sounds a little cliche but I like to think that we truly are chameleons and turn our hand to creating homes that reflect each individual client. I always say that the biggest compliment that anyone can give me is that when someone walks into one of our client’s homes that they’ll say to the client’s “It’s wonderful – It’s so you!“ rather than “It’s wonderful – who designed it for you?”

Q: Who are your all-time favourite designers, and how do they influence and inspire your work?
I was a fashion and textile designer before I became involved with interior design so I have an inherent love of colour pattern and textiles which are always carefully curated for each project Therefore my design heroes tend to be textile and fashion based, Chanel – for changing a whole way of thinking about everything, clothing, jewellery, lifestyle and for having the knack of  creating designs  that never date. Vivienne Westwood – whose work made us change the way we looked at design. Strong, uncompromising and paradoxically very commercial, her textile and wallpaper designs never seem to date.

Q: What do you like the most about what you do?
The creativity, the enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement in creating a home that changes and enhances our client’s sense of well-being and which they love and enjoy. Good design in any field can enhance  people” lives and how they relate to the world, I’m always heartened to hear that people have felt more empowered by living in a beautiful environment that we’ve created.

Q: What’s the hardest part?
Designing multiple projects in different and individual styles simultaneously requires extreme concentration and the ability to compartmentalise the requirements for each project can sometimes be hard but somehow everything always manages to work in the end.

Q: Can you tell us about a bathroom design project you’ve worked on?
We’ve worked on a number of bathrooms that are semi open plan with the bedroom, which creates its own set of challenges. We recently worked on a beautiful project in Hampstead where we combined 2 apartments into one. We specified interesting materials throughout the project such as poured concrete flooring, live edge bog oak and dark bronze metals. It followed that the master suite would be as tactilely interesting.  The master bathroom is semi-open plan with black steel and glass double doors opening into the ensuite. The bedroom aesthetic was warm and calm in tones of greys but with unexpected details such as a concrete and brass headboard.

In the open plan ensuite we used limestone for the floors and the same limestone for the walls in a  carved striated pattern. The grey, wall mounted vanity unit facing the doors had a pair of  round bronze framed mirrors hanging from the ceiling with a mirror wall behind. Rounded edge square composite basins and wall mounted taps complete the look. The shower and showerhead are luxuriously large with the shower floor in the same stone, with drainage for the shower is between the stone tiles, a lovely minimal detail.

Q: What would your dream bathroom be like?
A freestanding bath in a great finish, like the Raw Usk, overlooking a beautiful view – so I could lie there and daydream, a fireplace – just for the sheer indulgence of having a fire in the bathroom.
Plenty of storage – there’s never enough! Wonderful lighting; so many bathrooms don’t allow for both task and ambient lighting – it’s so nice when you’re relaxing in a bath to be surrounded by soft lighting, and good task lighting for when you need it.
As well as really generous powerful shower with a large shower head.

Q: Complete this sentence – Home is… where you really feel most comfortable.

See ‘Iconic Furniture’ at: www.llidesign.co.uk/iconic-furniture