During a visit to Covet London, we had the opportunity to meet Peter Staunton, a famous British Interior Designer from the Peter Staunton Office. Since the first look, it’s possible to understand what inspires him and how he lives the lifestyle he sells to his clients. In a very casual interview, we had the chance to know more about Peter and about his work and inspirations.
Peter Staunton Designer
CE: How long do you work as an interior designer?
Peter Staunton: Ten years. I came to it quite late. I came into the interior design’s world because it was a family business, and ten years ago I moved from London back home and I’ve doing it for full time, in and out for ten years.
Harbury Country House by the Interior Designer Peter Staunton
CE: And how did you embrace this family business?
PS: With a completely open mind, always wanting to learn, fully aware that I will never know it all, and that I can pick up design inspiration in the unlikeliest places and through the unlikeliest people. Also always keep pushing creative boundaries and not stand still, as well as always try to do a better job than the last one.
Harbury Country House Detail by Peter Staunton Design
CE: What you look for when you create a space?
PS: I always try to create something different, something with an edge. I think that are a lot of interior designers out there and there are lots of them that look very similar. There are many interior designers and they all create the same things, sometimes is extremely difficult to understand who did what. When I design a space, I try to create something that is different, that has a soul, a little of rock and roll, something iconic, and I always try to bring some fearless to it, rather than stick it something that you know that will work. So it’s trying to create something that people can look and know “yeah, it’s him”.
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CE: Do you consider you have a signature, something that defines your projects?
PS: Yes, it’s basically to have a slight rock and roll edge. It’s kind what is different. Because we work with so many different clients and they all have different styles, I have to be flexible to work with different people and try to bring something into it that is part of me. And for me that is the rock and roll: I use the black colour very much and I try to use different metals, and more refine materials, mixing that with lovely velvets and sleek blacks, golds and stuff like that, and I think is that right mix that gives such little bit of edge, a little of rock and roll.
Peter Staunton Project
CE: What do you think that is essential in a home?
PS: A soul! And that’s what I look when I work with clients. It’s a balance of what they want and a kind of what I believe in, my style. We have to respect them because it’s their home but then we also try to say that they came to me for a reason, and I want to give them a little of what I think that works. The trick is the balance between these two. We want that people walk into and not being like a showroom because it’s very easy to do that, so I always try to give that little bit of soul, where people feel comfortable and relax with friends and family, space where people walk in and really feel welcome.
“…One that the clients came to you and say “I want your style, this is my house, just do what you think it will be right.”
Harbury Country House by Interior Designer Peter Staunton
CE: Do you think the rock and roll vibe is what make your clients choose you?
PS: I hope so! I think that part of what I do is try to live it, and I don’t mean walk around on drugs and drinking and all that. That was a long time ago! (laughs) But I mean in terms of what I wear and how I look, what I do. It’s trying to say to people that it’s a lifestyle, this is what I believe in. So I believe if people come to me it’s because they want a little bit of that look, of that edge, whatever it is. I like to think that it is part of all package, and it’s what I believe and how I live, it’s kind of how I try to look.
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Peter Staunton Project for Elegant Harbury Country House
CE: Do you prefer to design residential or hospitality projects?
PS: Residential, because it’s much nicer to work with people that are doing it because it’s their home, they love it. If you work in a lot of commercial and hospitality, you deal with boards and directors, they don’t really care, it’s purely about the money. And it’s purely about getting the profit margins and stuff like that. And I am not interested in that, I want to work with a client, I want to work with them because they want to transform the home because they want to live in there with their family and friends, and I think that is much nicer. I would like to do some commercial works like some bars or hotel entrances, but on the boutique side, so it gets more personal. And work on people residential and homes is so much more personal.
CE: As an Interior Designer, what would be your dream project?
PS: It’s often said: “do whatever you want”! (laughs) That’s when clients come to you and say “I want your style, this is my house, just do what you think it will be right”.
Entrance Hall Project
CE: I must say that I was expecting you to answer that it was the design of Keith Richards’ home.
PS: (Laughs) That would be nice! But there are a lot of people, you know, people like Lenny Kravitz who has his own design company but the thing is to see that work as a compromise with the client, where you chop and change the things a little, because the client allows that and you will try to direct for what you think will work and if it doesn’t work, you will tell them. You could be honest with them, but the dream will be to have the budget and someone says “do what it will be your ideal of perfect home”.
CE: Still about your inspirations. Do you have any favorite interior designers?
PS: Lenny Kravitz, because he crosses over music, rock and roll and design. He has his own design company and his stuff on the houses and flats are amazing, moreover, he also collaborates on furniture and a lot of design projects. Peter Marino, the architect, and again, he’s another person who lives a lifestyle, and he really does: “this is who I am, you come to me for this all package”. I really like Kelly Wearstler, I love the fact that she has her own signature and all that Californian vibe. Those few designers they have this look and a lifestyle about them. Like I’ve said there are a lot of designers in London, for example, but I just think some of them are all the same. You can put all of them in one apartment and the final result wouldn’t be so much different.
Peter Staunton’s Harbury Country House Project
CE: What do you think there are the major interior design trends for this year?
PS: For me, I think it’s the within design is mixing the metals, golds, and silvers. You know, it’s like to go back in the seventies, eighties, it was all about gold and then it was the silver and people used to think that everything had to be gold or silver. So, if two handles are gold, everything else has to be in gold. And I think people realize now that they can mix the metals, that is a great finishing. There are no restrictions, so you can constantly evolve over the year. So if you change your home in five or ten years and if you already mix the metals, it will give to you the flexibility and the freedom, and I think that is great. I think people are realizing that this combination creates a very interesting space and gives it soul.
CE: And, to finish, tell us what you love about your work!
PS: I really love the fact that I get the opportunity to truly transform the feeling, soul, and character of a space, in a positive way and influence the way people live their lives. What surrounds us can hugely influence the way we feel and how we interact with those around us, and what I want to do is to create this perfect atmosphere where people feel comfortable and welcoming.