Interview with Interior Designer Tara Bernerd – Tara Bernerd is one of the most well- – known interior designers in the UK. She’s currently the Head of Design and CEO of Target Living and buying into current style is foremost at Tara Bernard’s company. FOOGO blog will be showing you an exclusive interview with the British interior designer.
The British designer is more known for having founded Tara Bernerd & Partners, a firm dedicated to interior architecture and design (currently based in London’s Belgravia) in 2002. Today this group has a team of 25 architects and designers highly trained to take on many types of interior projects. She gained her talents thanks to the fact that she worked for Starck at his YOO design studio during the 1990s, an experience that would make her and set her up for the challenges she would be facing throughout her unique career.
Tara Bernerd is known for helping many billionaires to fulfil and overhaul their penthouses, hotels and yachts. Despite the fact that the designer once dreamed of being involved in the cinema industry, it was evident that her path would eventually lead her to the design industry. Her creativity is known and acclaimed by many clients throughout the years, often referring to her “intelligent space-planning” and elegance felt regardless of the decor style. According to her home page, the British designer aims to create interior spaces for a variety of clients that are “worthy of today and embraced by tomorrow.” She draws heavy inspiration from contemporary architecture and tends to favour industrial elements within her projects. Another element often mentioned in association with her interior design projects is a “masculine elegance” she manages to give to her interiors, more specifically an environment that can look and feel both warm and seductive for the host and guests.
It’s no wonder that Tara Bernerd is a favourite of fashionistas. The company Target Living has been building up a dedicated following from those with a taste for the eclectic. Tara is also known for designing furniture for furniture emporium Andrew Martin. Among her most notable interior clients, we highlight the likes of Chelsea Football Club, Aspinall and Marco Pierre White.
Right now Tara Bernerd’s studio has a lot on her hands, among them a luxury resort in Mexico; a deluxe villa in Ibiza and a 56m Perini Navi yacht. She’s also working with Frank Gehry (a personal inspiration for the British designer) in the conception of a new hotel for Equinox in Downtown LA. Tara has confessed that she feels fulfilled in every aspect of her work right now “from the design and development of a project to managing a team of talented individuals and collaborating with inspiring clients”.
When asked about what she loves most about her work Tara Bernerd mentioned the mix of having the freedom to create and the responsibility to encapsulate a lifestyle and atmosphere. Not to mention the challenge to make that dream happen. As she mentioned, each project is different as well as the challenges set for them. Which is why problem-solving is an essential element for creative thinking the way she sees it.
During the interview, she mentioned that when she began her company fifteen years ago she had no idea that she would be working on projects alongside remarkable brands such as Equinox, Rosewood and Four Seasons, and making friends with Aron Harilela, The Hari, and Wan Chai. She looked back at her accomplishments with joy:
“(…) as a studio we will always have goals we’d like to achieve. I had always wanted to expand on our work in Asia and have had the opportunity to design in Japan. We are terribly proud to now be working with a prestigious hotel group to bring the first hotel of their new brand to Osaka which will open its doors later next year, so it’s an exciting time.”
When it comes to the future Tara doesn’t hide the ambition of carrying on making a mark in the hotel sector and resorts, having a set of projects lined up in that way. Tara also highlighted the fact that she feels fulfilled in all aspects of her work “from the design and development of a project to managing a team of talented individuals and collaborating with inspiring clients.” She also mentioned the importance of having a certain proximity to her work:
“I am very close to all my projects and each is as valuable as the next. We currently have live projects all over the world so much of my time is spent travelling. Without question, this plays an enormous part in my design ethos and I draw upon the sensations, feelings and attitudes wherever I am.”
“Proximity” is also a concept she takes to heart regarding the relationship with clients. Tara believes that her success, as well as the contacts she has gained throughout the years, are due to the “Communication” factor, an element she considers to be vital to both maintain the relationships with customers and also to know exactly what they are looking for regarding an interior design project.
“As with any relationship a clear line of communication is essential, and this must be maintained throughout. Communication should start with listening to the client, understanding them so they feel that you thoroughly grasp what they are trying to achieve, before you then move on to communicating your thoughts and ideas.”
The interior design world is changing trends minute by minute, however, when asked about the matter of trends, Tara prioritizes quality materials over trends:
“I don’t tend to follow trends and strive to create spaces that are indigenous to their surroundings. However, there is a definite thread that runs through our work that links them all on an aesthetic level. Perhaps it’s a slightly more handsome feel, or the fact that we tend to incorporate raw, more architectural materials within our work. The use of industrial elements such as exposed brickwork or structural ironmongery with softer, warmer tones and textures is a great way to attitude and character to a space which I think we’ll see more of as people continue to experiment more with unusual design finishes.”
When asked about craftsmanship, Tara Bernerd points out that there are many fantastic brands producing great quality fabrics, furniture and finishes that can definitely add a new edge to any type of space. Regarding her perspective about the future of design, she had this to say:
Design is constantly evolving to keep up with the demands of our ever-changing lifestyles whether it be in a home or hotel. Good design is so much more accessible these days that it’s inevitable we will find new ways to approach things. Perhaps it’s using more sustainable materials or integrating technology further into our homes but, for me, the most important aspect of design is seeking components that are authentic and will stand true in time.
Tara Bernard finished the interview with this reflection regarding the ever-changing design industry, prioritizing a quality that will remain in time over a trend. One this is for sure: Bernard is definitely set to be remembered as one of Britain’s most remarkable and influential designers of the 21st century.
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