This month we’re sitting down with one of our young rising stars. Maeve Bellerby joined the company three years ago and at that time, she has been very busy working on some fantastic projects. Join us as we discuss her passions for design, fabrics, studying for a degree, and working with some of the most creative minds in our company.
You started working in our Next Day Sales Team, how did working in Sales help you to move into the Design Team?
I found starting in the Sales Team very helpful as it took me out of my comfort zone, you have to be super confident when dealing with our customers and clients, and make sure that you consider all their needs and requirements. I think having that initial contact with our customers has helped me consider what it is that our clients need when designing a space. The skills that I have learned, ultimately, have helped me to progress into my passion, interior design.
One of the most important aspects that I took from working in the Sales Team was learning all about our furniture and accessories, we have a lot! Having our furniture catalogue in my mind helps me when creating a new design.
Your currently in the middle of your studying for your Interior Design Degree, do you feel that by working alongside studying is helping you put theory into practice?
It’s quite challenging balancing studying with work, even more so during COVID 19, by having that all under one roof at home, navigating WFH. But it means that I can put my skills into practice. It’s a great way to explore and it helps me to understand certain aspects of my course. Having the tools and exposure to real-life situations means that I already feel familiar and prepared.
I come from a design background, so I always knew I wanted to study interior design. Working at LOFT it’s offered the perfect opportunity to study by giving me that creative environment at the same time.
How has working alongside our Head of Design Lauren Maylor helped you to develop?
Having Lauren as a mentor is very inspiring as it has given me exposure to experience live projects. Having worked in the interior design industry in various sectors, Lauren is good at giving me practical hands-on advice, offering guidance, and encouraging me to bring my ideas into life. I’ve had a lot of support throughout my course. My team is great a pushing me and helping me. We all bring something different, whether it’s in our experience, knowledge, or style. It means we can collaborate better to create more innovative designs for our clients.
You’ve got to work with some big clients and some exciting projects, what do you most enjoy about working on a big scheme?
I’ve been so lucky to have been able to work with some great clients helping to bring their visions to life. It’s great to have the exposure to speaking to the clients, which has really helped build my confidence in my career as a designer. I love working closely with the client and being able to work with them from the concept through to the final look.
Where do you find your interior inspiration and how would you describe your design style?
I like that I’m still developing my own style, I am open-minded so I can focus on the client’s brief. A style that I am currently loving though is industrial/heritage look, I like how it can be bold and vibrant but not overpowering, with some great textured materials. It’s important to us that we stay up to date in our designs. Finding inspiration from the upcoming trends means we can stay at the forefront. I’m always excited to see what’s coming next or what vintage interior looks might be making a comeback. Something I always find inspiring for a new project in the surrounding area of the project, where it sits can give context and depth to a design. And with that the history can also influence the space, helping to pull certain styles and materials into a design.
Tell us a bit more about your typical day as one of the Design Team?
On a typical day, we have our morning meeting with the team. We catch up on project progress and what new work has come in. Keeping connected is key, as it helps to make sure everyone has a full understanding of the workflow and means we can offer support to each other. I love that our days can be varied, from working on a design concept and creating mood boards, to liaising with suppliers on fabrics. What’s also exciting is when a project is due for completion and we’re onsite. It’s great to get to work with our installation teams and our photographer when we’re onsite for the final stages of a project.
How did you make your way into the interior design industry? And what advice could you give to those wanting to follow in the same footsteps?
I am very lucky that my mother is in the same industry. I got to spend three summers interning at the design company she worked at. Having that access, helping to create physical mood boards and working on supported living and student projects opened up the variety that there is to interior design. I then did a diploma in Interior design which I absolutely loved, and then I got a job here. The one thing I would recommend to anyone is to go and get as much experience, from anywhere they can. What’s great at the moment is that there are also lots of free online course that you can try and built up your knowledge.
Tell us about your about favourite Design project you have worked on?
Working with Essential Living on their BTR development Union Wharf has been my biggest project and the most amazing experience so far. Getting to design a mixture of amenity spaces and working so closely with the client to help them realize their vision. From making sure that the books selected for the bookshelves matched the colour theme in each of the social areas to sourcing huge, to sourcing beautiful hand-painted canvases from Europe to compliment the furniture.
We wanted to promote the wow factor but in an understated way, with resident comfort still being at the forefront. As the development was also the first BTR development aimed at the ‘multifamily’ we had a variety of factors to consider. Through a combination of style, zoning and coupled with the backdrop of the amazing London skyline we created a truly bespoke look for this project. I think this will always be a special project as it was my first live project to work on from concept to completion. It was amazing to hear that last year the project won Best Community Living at the British Homes Awards.
When you are not designing beautiful projects, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Focusing on my degree is a priority at the moment. To relax I like to watch whatever the latest Netflix series is, and I enjoy going for long walks. When we’re in a normal world I enjoy socializing with friends and spending time with family.
Can you tell us what is coming up in 2021?
We all bring something different and it’s that combination that makes the Design Team so creative and innovative. We support each other and the opportunities with different projects we are working on. At the moment with life not being so normal, the team have really come together to help keep everyone motivated and positive. Instead of bouncing ideas off each other in our samples room at our Head Office, we’re finding new digital ways to design and work.
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