Charlotte Pearson meets an interior designer with a passion for dark colours and unique items.
Travelling the world and visiting foreign places often inspires most of us in some way.
For interior designer Chris Rivett, working part-time as cabin crew gives him the opportunity to see things he can use when transforming his clients’ homes.
“When I was in Mexico I had some days off and was blown away by the architecture,” he enthuses. “I recently had a couple of days in Miami and visited the art deco district, which was beautiful.
“As well as acting as inspiration I can also pick up some different things that you might not get over here.”
Having always had an interest in interiors, Chris says it was due to the compliments he got from people about his own home which made him think he could make a living out of it.
Chris trained at the National Design Academy, first gaining a diploma in professional interior design (NVQ3) and then continuing on to obtain a distinction in professional interior design at a foundation degree level.
“I have been doing it for the last two-and-a-half years and had been living in London where I had built a lot of momentum with the business,” he says.
“Now we have moved to Horsham I am building up my contacts but will see clients in London, West Sussex and the south east of England.”
The design process starts with Chris asking the client to fill two shoe boxes, one with things they like and the other things they don’t like.
“They can put in items or colours,” he explains. “It just gives me an idea on that first meeting what I have to work with.
“I ask them what they want from the room and how it will be used.
“I really encourage an open dialogue, so any thing they are thinking about they know they can talk to me and I go back to them with different designs so I know they are getting what they want.”
While fashion and interiors are largely dictated by trends Chris says it matters more to him what the client wants.
“When I started I used to avidly follow the trends,” he says “But then I realised that when you are decorating someone’s space you want something that will last past the six months the trend is in fashion.
“They will be living in that room long after the trend has gone so you have to be mindful on how big you go.”
Chris’s projects have included a number of rooms, but there is one in particular he enjoys doing.
“I love the bedroom,” he reveals. “I know you spend most of your time in there asleep, but it is one of the most important rooms and you want to create somewhere that people can relax and feel comfortable in.”
Much of Chris’ previous work revolves around a dark palette, although he admits he is not adverse to bright tones.
“I really love the dark colours, the nearly blacks and greys, and a lot of my clients come to me because that is what they want,” he says.
“I like how you can have a dark colour and then a pop of something vibrant next to it.
“But obviously I will do whatever colour they want.”
So far, Chris’ favourite project has been transforming a one-bedroom flat in Chiswick, London, from muddy yellow former student accommodation to a modern living space.
However, there is still one project on his wish list.
“I would absolutely love to do a complete renovation of a property from top to bottom,” he says. “Really strip it back and do something, that would be the dream.”
For more information on Chris, visit www.cjrivett.com
Tips and trends
“An easy way to update a room is with soft furnishings,” he says.
“In the winter you can opt for more purples while in the summer you can have vibrant colours like yellow to really lift a room, and it is cost effective to buy a few throws or cushions.”
“I use a lot of metals and coppers as this trend has been around now for a while now and I don’t see it going any time soon,” reveals Chris.
“Also the greys which I like using have been here for what feels like forever, so I think this one is here to stay.”
September 22, 2016 Interiors and Property