Nikki Rees has a background working for global fashion houses, designing new stores and visual merchandising, so it’s no surprise that the work she now produces as an interior designer has a timeless, fashionable elegance. As the eponymous founder of Nikki Rees Design, Nikki and her team work on sleek, chic schemes from her South-West London based studio.
We chat to Nikki about her most treasured pieces, her love for Ercol Originals and how a home should never be like a show home – but full of the memories and beautiful pieces of furniture that you collect along the way. We couldn’t agree more!
Is there a signature Nikki Rees look? If so, how would you describe it?
I am influenced by the architecture of a home and the aspirations of my clients making every design bespoke and personal, so I never feel I have a signature look. However, I have a love for natural materials, layering textures and tones balanced with a muted colour palette that allows the little details to stand out. An interior should reflect your personality I love to create homes with purpose, that are beautiful and tell your story.
In terms of furniture, what design classics standout for you?
I adore simple shapes and well-made furniture, like the simplicity of Ercol Originals. Timeless mid century modern furniture that is elegant and understated which you can use and enjoy every day. I love pieces like the classic Panthella table lamp from Louis Poulsen, simply, beautiful and iconic.
What would be your top interior design tip for our readers?
Be confident, go old school and create a mood board with everything you love thrown in. There are so many digital ways you can collect ideas but nothing beats a material board that you can touch and feel and keep coming back to. If the ideas work together on a material board they will work in your home, so be confident and don’t ask too many peoples’ opinions!
What does home mean to you?
Home is a harmonious mix of happiness and chaos; we have two small children and I work with my team from a studio in my garden. Work and home life constantly overlaps therefore my home must be calm and function well. I’m obsessed with clever storage solutions to hide away the everyday clutter and give our favourite things space to breathe. A home should never feel like a show home; it should be full of memories and beautiful pieces of furniture that you collect along the way.
What are your three most treasured pieces?
My Ercol bar stools, my eldest son sits on them while telling me about his day, my youngest tries to climb them and I sit there with friends and family having a glass of wine enjoying the day.
I have a Victorian nursing chair that I picked up in a vintage market, they knew how to create chairs back then as the arms are perfectly formed for bedtime feeding and stories, it is the most comfortable chair in my home. The beauty of an upholstered chair is you can reupholster it and change the look and feel as you update your home.
I have a mannequin bust which I had made for a Valentino collaboration in the softest of fabric. She keeps us company in my studio and is a nod to my past in fashion retail.
A perfect Sunday is…
Discovering London all over again, I have lived in London all my life and I never tire of it. There are always gorgeous shop windows to browse, new restaurants and hotels to discover and countless activities for the kids to enjoy come winter or summer.
If you could choose one piece from Layer, what would it be and where would it live?
I love the Mid-Century Brass Drinks Trolley, My Grandfather had one when we were young. We were always being told off for moving it and playing with the bottles when we visited him. It would be a great addition to our lounge.
ON THE MARKETPLACE
- 5 Tips on How to Spot an Original Ercol Chair
- Meet the Designer: Rachel Winham
- Focus on the Designer: Fornasetti
- The South London Vintage Furniture Flea
- Sunbury Antiques Market: Feeling the Love
- Make March the Month to…
- Meet the Designer: Susan Knof of KNOF Design
- Before and after: Denise’s Cottage renovation
- 6 Influential Female Designers of the Twentieth Century
- Bloggers in our Corner: Owl Design