Creating aspirational homes

Published: 6th June 2022

Caroline Gardner has been at the forefront of high-end interior design for nearly 20 years creating luxury homes throughout the UK and Europe, including Ibiza, Spain and Portugal.

Caroline has a wealth of experience in both fashion and design and specialises in modern and contemporary projects, ranging from city centre penthouses to Grade II listed country estates.

In 2004, she set up her Harrogate Design Studio and has been looking after a diverse range of commercial and residential clients ever since. SWM spoke to Caroline’s business partner Iain, for an exclusive insight into the studio.

What makes Caroline Gardner Design unique?

What makes us different from other interior design practices, is that we have hands-on experience building our own home. Not only designing the interior and exterior, but fully project managing the construction from the ground up. Therefore, we can talk with authority when providing advice and support to potential clients.

With a background in fashion, Caroline has the added advantage of extensive knowledge of fabrics and the ways in which fashion influences interior design. 

What affects interior design decisions?

Primarily a client’s way of life. By identifying how they use a space and what their priorities are, we can establish whether current layouts meet day to day requirements.

Simple likes and dislikes can also affect decision making, whether that be colour, texture, pattern versus plain, or a number of external factors such as your favourite hotels, restaurants, holidays destinations, and even the influence of social media.

What is a typical project for CGD?

In our experience, there is no such thing as a ‘typical project’, every project poses its own challenges. At CGD we design for individuals with unique requirements, tastes and priorities which keeps us on our toes and life interesting.

Design is constantly evolving, with new products and techniques being introduced all the time. We keep abreast of these changes by attending specialist trade shows and factory visits, so that we are in the best position to advise and source the most up-to-date products. We work collaboratively with our specialist partners so that we can offer our clients a comprehensive design service, including home cinemas, kitchens, bathrooms and swimming pools.

What are some of the key considerations for a client?

• What is the current market value of the property, how long do you envisage staying there, and what would be the maximum resale value if the property was refurbished to the highest standards. In our experience, high quality interior design can add significant value and should therefore be seen as an investment, rather than a cost.

• What is the objective of the potential project, i.e, improve an existing space or create new living, working or entertainment areas. This will help identify the scope of work involved.

• What are the timescales / budget. At CGD we take pride in offering our clients multiple choices from both a design and pricing perspective to ensure that the project will be delivered realistically, on time and on budget.

At CGD we have a diverse client portfolio, with each and every project handled personally with professionalism and discretion.