Pretty Dandy

Interview with... Chris Billinghurst

Today is the turn of Chris from GDUKStyle to take part in our series of interviews with interiors insiders.
Chris from GDUKStyle
I first became aware of GDUKStyle through twitter, and have chatted with Chris on there many times. Since then I discovered that not only do they feature great artisans on the GDUKStyle site, but they also offer a fab service to help you "Upstyle" your home, with a real focus on being eco-friendly. Without further ado, why not get yourself a cuppa and let me introduce you to the lady herself...

First, can you introduce yourself and your work for anyone who isn't aware of it?
I’m Chris Billinghurst, a sustainable interior style consultant. I advise on and create schemes for interiors with a focus on unique, eco-sensible design (upstyling). Upstyling is a contemporary, cost effective way of providing a home with a truly individual look, combining new products with those already in situ by having them upcycled with style!  As well as featuring upstyling and staging services, the GDUKStyle website also promotes the creations of talented artisans, retro and vintage retailers and upcyclers. I’m currently putting the final touches to a series of workshops covering eco decoration and upcycling.
 Bedroom upstyle
A bedroom upstyle by Chris - a recent project showing the before & after

Living room vintage upstyle
A thoughtful gift from a husband to his wife, showing her how their living room could look with a vintage upstyle from GDUKStyle

Who are your design heroes and why?
I am a great fan of 20th century modernism and in particular, the Bauhaus Movement. I continue to be inspired by the work of Anni Albers and Mies van der Rohe, both groundbreaking designers who laid the foundations for today’s interior design culture. And of course, Sir Terence Conran for being such a fantastic British design icon who just keeps on going, the man truly is a legend.
Anni Albers rug
Anni Albers Study Rug design from 1926

Mid Century Modern
A mid-century modern moodboard from GDUKStyle
Tell us one of your earliest design memories
I visited Holland in my early 20s and discovered The Rietveld Schröder House. I was amazed how radical (and practical) the architecture and interior style were for a house built in 1924 and thus began a lifelong fascination with architecture and interior design.
The Schroder House
The Schroder House
If you could have one item delivered to your home tomorrow what would you choose?
Bethan Gray’s Herringbone (Carrara and Maquina marble with brass) table from Lapicida would do very nicely! Her unique, contemporary interpretation of classical design and use of stunning materials make each piece extraordinarily beautiful.
Bethan Gray table
Table by Bethan Gray
Where have you visited that has most inspired you?

No single place has inspired me more than another, just in different ways. London is still my favourite city and I love to visit Kit Kemp’s Firmdale hotels, the interiors are witty, individual and exhilarating. I’m visiting Sweden and Denmark in the summer so come back in August and I’ll probably say Scandinavia!!  
And finally, please share a design secret with us…

I’d heartily recommend contemporary philosopher Alain de Botton’s ’The Architecture of Happiness’. Such an inspiring book, which encourages the reader to consider the effect architecture and interior design has on our lives (it also looks great on a coffee table!).
Alain de Botton

Thanks so much to Chris for taking part and sharing some of her design philosophy with us. I will definitely be heading off to purchase the Alain de Botton book - it's been on my list for years, so this is just the nudge I needed to finally read it! If you've enjoyed this interview then have a read through some of our previous editions and look out for more coming soon! If you'd like to learn more about GDUKStyle then visit their website and look out for them on twitter too - @GDUKStyle. Plus, as mentioned above, Chris is planning some workshops to take place soon in the South of England, so you can learn how to 'Eco Chic Your Home'. Keep an eye on their site for more info:

GDUKStyle logo

Thank you for reading, hope you've enjoyed this interiors inspiration and will include a bit of eco-friendly design next time you change your home around.

Date: 14 Apr 2014 11:03
Author: Becky
Tags: Interview with