Interior designer Tiffany Duggan’s appreciation of the past and contemplation of the future is behind the ethos of Studio Duggan, and is evident in the recent renovation of a Georgian property in Hampstead. Using a neutral colour palette and an eclectic mix of materials and textures, she created a personal sanctuary for a very special client…
Firstly, what was the brief for the project?
To refurbish Penny Lent’s, retired Director of the London Weekend Television Studios and my mother, Hampstead home, Hogarth House, and create a warm, social and inspirational space not only suitable for herself and her two dogs (Otis and Tanya), but also for relaxed family gatherings…and boisterous grandchildren.
How did you come up with the design concept?
In some ways this has been the easiest project Studio Duggan have embarked on — knowing our clients, breaking down barriers and gaining trust is by far the hardest and most important part of our job. Knowing my mother as well as I do meant that I knew how she wanted to live and the reasons that the house didn’t work for her in it’s previous incarnation. The style of each project we take on is entirely inspired and informed by our clients, but sometimes people don’t know how to vocalise what they want to achieve.
What were the biggest challenges you faced along the way?
I don’t think my mother knew exactly what she wanted to achieve, just how she wanted her home to ‘feel’, so our biggest challenge was to develop this fairly loose brief into a design concept which truly reflected her style and way of life.
Client involvement: hands-on or hands-off?
Hands-off. She really surprised me by how much she left us to it! She liked almost everything we presented to her and totally threw herself into the process. I think really our tastes are quite similar — we both like interiors to feel warm, live-able and beautiful without appearing contrived or over the top. We kept the colour scheme relatively neutral and played with texture and unusual materials to keep it fresh and interesting.
Where did you find your inspiration?
My design inspirations come from various sources. I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with collecting old interior magazines and books as invaluable ‘go-to’ reference materials. Art fairs, antique markets, design blogs, as well as new hotels, restaurants and bars also provide great perspective and inspiration. Travel always dictates that I return invigorated with fresh ideas.
What’s your favourite part of the project?
Working with my mum — this was the first time we had worked together. There wasn’t trepidation and my mum and I are very close, but of course you never know how these things will pan out. This project served as an opportunity for Studio Duggan to create a very personal space for my mum — a sanctuary where she felt comfortable, young and uplifted.
Sum up your style in three words….
Eclectic; layered; soulful.
How much do current trends inspire your work?
We try not to be overly influenced by passing trends or fads, although inevitably everything acts as inspiration. Only too often we’ll think of a really great original idea or colour palette, only to find it on the cover of World of Interiors a few weeks later! One must be careful with trends, they pass quickly! We like designs to be timeless and live-able, with a touch of the unexpected.
Do you have any exciting interior design projects in the pipeline for 2016?
Yes! It’s a hugely exciting time for the Studio. Our current projects include the full refurbishment of a double fronted property in Kensington for an antique dealer with impeccable taste; a development of four Marylebone townhouses and a beautifully British inspired new build home in Kuwait. We’re also putting the final touches to an incredible Tudor country house in Hertfordshire — watch this space!
One client once said to me, “I don’t know how you knew what I wanted, because I certainly didn’t, but the house is just so me”
We’re also working on Hogarth House part 2. During the refurbishment, the opportunity arose to purchase the house next door, which was previously part of the same stable block, with the two houses connected by a central courtyard. Penny jumped at the chance and Studio Duggan are now in the process of reinstating and connecting both houses. Hogarth House comprises of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, formal dining room, kitchen and reception room — 1600 sq ft. At the end of stage 2, it will have 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a large open plan kitchen/dining area, two reception rooms and a self-contained annexe, complete with an additional kitchen, bathrooms and garden access. The square footage will increase to 3200 sq ft and will be a very special home indeed.
What excites you in the world of British interior design?
Individuality, quality and craftsmanship are welcomed and encouraged. We don’t play by the rules and we mix and match periods, styles and colour palettes to wonderful effect. A quietly understated, elegant and bespoke aesthetic; British style is both grand and inviting in equal measure.
There are so many, it’s hard to choose! Certainly every time we are appointed on a new and exciting project, but also sometimes it’s the little things like fine tuning our processes and structure. We’re working on some amazing projects at the moment, and upon completion these will certainly raise the bar for Studio Duggan. It’s always wonderful to hear positive feedback at completion of a project, and makes the all consuming journey of getting there totally worth it. One client once said to me, “I don’t know how you knew what I wanted, because I certainly didn’t, but the house is just so me.”
Whose work do you admire in the world of luxury interiors?
The work of design greats Jacques Grange, Joseph Dirand, Jacques Garcia, Ilse Crawford and Roman and Williams in NYC never fail to animate me — my appreciation of the past while contemplating the future is very prevalent in Studio Duggan’s ethos.
And finally, what is your everyday luxury?
I’ve recently completed the refurbishment of my own house, and it’s the first time I’ve really started from scratch with a home personally. I absolutely love what I do and every member of our team works incredibly hard, but to get back from a long day at work and enjoy a very personal, special space with my husband James and our two boys is what life is all about.
For more information, visit Studio Duggan