10 QUESTIONS WITH SARAH NICOLLIER AND BARBARA CHANAKIRA OF MAYFAIR INTERIORS UK
We caught up with Sarah Nicollier and Barbara Chanakira, talented partners of Mayfair Interiors UK, a renowned Mayfair-based design studio responsible for the creation of exceptional residences and interior spaces. The designs produced by Mayfair Interiors UK are derived from bespoke measured principles – and that’s what makes them stand out.
1.) In terms of your background, what led you into creating Mayfair Interiors UK?
Sarah: I owned an Interior Design company in Geneva since 2007 and when I moved to London, my project was definitely to carry on my business here. I was very lucky to be introduced to Barbara with whom I had an immediate connection. It did not take very long for us to open Mayfair Interiors and get our first projects running.
Barbara: I have always been very keen on interior design as I manage very luxurious properties that always needed to be well presented and furnished in order to rent. It was such a relief when I met Sarah as it meant that I did not have to sub-contract the interior design companies anymore as I used to do.
2.) What services does Mayfair Interiors UK provide?
Sarah: Our key word is “service”. We are very keen and careful to give a very personalised service to our clients and to listen to their needs and desires. A good sign after finishing a project is when clients still want us to keep their house keys. When clients call you back to do their second or third property, that means that somewhere we are doing something right. I believe it is very important that a client feels he or she is taken well care of and that we deeply care about what we do.
Barbara: Our service goes above and beyond. Most big companies do not have the time to accommodate clients who are looking for small details. Our aim is to make each project as stress-free as possible for customers because decorating your new home should be a fun process.
3.) How do your individual skill sets compliment one another?
Sarah: I think we found out very quickly our strengths and weaknesses. I am more on the interior design side, preparing design proposals and quotes for clients. I am the creative one so I spend a lot of time with suppliers, at fairs and on project sites.
Barbara: Working in the Property Management business, I have a big network of contacts that needs to be kept up to date. I take care of all administrative matters, marketing and the acquisition of new projects. I think we compliment each other very well, which is a time saver.
4.) You’ve worked on some very talked about projects. Do you have a favourite project to date?
Sarah: Each project is a great adventure and I am always excited when a new one starts. I have my secret favourites…
Barbara: I think all the projects we have worked on so far have been special in their own unique ways. For some, it has been the amazing client who puts their 100% faith in us and for others it has been the freedom to be more creative and be able to do whatever we want.
5.) Following the initial meeting / consultation with a new client, how do you ensure their design needs are understood and met?
Sarah: We always listen very carefully and we never try to sell our taste no matter what. I think it is very important to follow the client’s tastes even if they sometimes might not be our kind of style. If a client likes yellow, we will work will yellow. This way of working makes every project unique in its design - ultimately, it is the client who has to love it at the end. I don’t really like it when I visit properties completed by a designer who has used the same lamps and tables everywhere.
Barbara: We have worked with clients who want to furnish a property but have absolutely no idea of exactly what they want. In these cases we come up with different proposals and usually it doesn’t take a long time until things take shape. For clients who know exactly what they want, the task is easier.
6.) How do you gain fresh inspiration for new spaces?
Sarah: Inspiration can come form anywhere, especially travelling abroad. I like to stroll through shops and just take a day at the Design Centre without any particular project in mind. Attending the most important design fairs is also a great tool in order to see new trends and to form new ideas. Often it is just an idea that comes to mind and leads to an entire new project.
Barbara: We love to keep in constant contact with our suppliers in order to see the new trends, fabric, colours and designs.
7.) What do you do to completely unwind from the hectic whirlwind of London life?
Sarah: Having lived for 30 years in Switzerland, I must say I love busy London. I travel a lot and I am always happy to come home to this fascinating town. A great dinner with good friends and excellent wine is always a good way to de-stress.
Barbara: I live in Kent in a quiet little town. I am always looking forward to going back home after a busy day in London.
8.) Do you have any British design heroes, past or present?
Sarah: Martin Brudnizki is number one on my list! The new Annabel’s club in Mayfair is truly a masterpiece.
Barbara: Being a fan of fabrics and colours I very much fell in love with the work of Kit Kemp. Her work is a great inspiration.
9.) What is your favourite part of London?
Sarah: For me it’s more about streets…I have my favourite streets in many different parts of London. Having just moved from Mayfair to Chelsea I am very excited to discover my new neighbourhood more in detail.
Barbara: It has to be Mayfair and Covent Garden for me…I have worked around Mayfair since 2005 and I just love the glamorous and vibrant life Mayfair has to offer.
10.) What is the overall brand ethos of Mayfair Interiors UK?
Sarah: “Always deliver more than expected"
Barbara: I agree on that one.
Get in touch:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: + 44 (0) 744 4838542
Mayfair Interiors UK | 52, Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 5DS