Talking design and interiors with Huddersfield-born, award-winning designer James Everitt
As soon as he could put crayon to paper, the world of design fascinated Huddersfield graphic and interior designer James Everitt.
James recalls being questioned about his choice to pursue a career in the highly competitive world of graphic design, but for him it was the obvious choice.
Since meeting James over ten years ago – when I asked him to create a logo for Applegate Properties – I have always wanted to take a sneak peek inside his home. I knew the interiors would not just be accurately set out and beautiful, but that every item would have been practically interrogated to ensure it would be dedicated to, and thoroughly enjoy, being within its allocated space.
When James launched his interior design services it was the perfect excuse for us to go behind-the-scenes to his barn conversion nestled within the Colne Valley hillside.
On arrival, it was clear to see that thought-out design really can impact not just how a home looks, but how it makes us feel – and even behave! We embraced a cup of coffee in plain porcelain whilst we received the tour from James, and eventually sat down to discuss a topic that he was clearly whole-heartedly passionate about… design!
“Practically everything has been designed,” says James, “many of us think of ‘design’ and then associate this solely with branding, logos and packaging but furniture is designed, as are door handles, books, plates and crockery, clothes, smart phones, tablets, magazine covers, toys, flooring – and so much more!”
James is nearing the edge of the sofa, looking around the room, clearly genuinely inspired by his surroundings and it makes me question my own appreciation for many of the items I see every day in my own environment.
And now for some questions…
What have been some of the most exciting brands you have worked with, and will we know any?
James: Some of the most satisfying projects I’ve worked on are often for smaller, local firms that many people won’t have heard of. I feel a huge sense of achievement having been able to make a big difference to a business – often quite quickly by working on their brand and design.
Other, more well-known brands I have worked on over the years have included Adidas, Reebok, ghd, Illamasqua, Ben Shaws, Seabrook Crisps, Perspex & Vicon. But without doubt the most ‘exciting’ project was obviously Applegate Properties
When did you realise you had a passion for interiors as well as graphics, or does one come with the other as standard?
James: I’ve always been quite a house-proud person – I think maybe it stems from watching Grand Designs and dreaming that I’d like to do that one day! I’ve always bought houses, and done them up, and the dream of building my own home never goes away. I’ve had that many compliments on my home and interior style that it seemed like an obvious thing to offer it up as a service, and help other people at the same time.
Interiors are very personal, how do you manage to bespoke each design to individual clients, and what scale projects do you work on?
James: I think interiors are very personal. I have a lot of Scandinavian influence in my own home, but everyone’s taste is different. If you’re after chintzy or traditional, I’m probably not your man! However, that being said, there’s design principles which underpin any design, scale proportion or light, to name a few. I’m a big believer in less is more – and stripping away the clutter is always a good start.
Meeting with prospective clients and asking them to show me a few images that they like online is a great way to start a mood board creation and open dialogue. I always want to create a 3D illustration of the design ideas too as it’s vital the whole space works for them as an individual or family. Interior design isn’t just about fabric and wall coverings, it concerns the whole living space.
Do great interiors have to cost a lot?
James: Not at all. My home is a mixture of classic design pieces, up-cycled items as well as Ikea!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
James: Pinterest is my go-to, I have boards for everything! I usually start any project with a mood board of inspiration before creating a number of layouts or ideas using SketchUp. This provides a great sense of house the space that you can work with before committing to knocking the wall down for instance!