Pretty Dandy

Interview with... Yasmin Chopin

Welcome to the latest in our series of interviews with interiors insiders. Grab a cup of tea and a biscuit or three and have a read of our interview with interior designer Yasmin Chopin.

I first came across Yasmin on twitter, where she's a lovely warm presence who always shares good ideas and kind words. Since then I've enjoyed her blog (newly re-designed! Pop and have a look) and am planning to check out her Google+ community too. Without further ado, 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 an Interior Designer and Blogger. My design philosophy is to help as many people as possible achieve a unique space that will be enjoyed for a long time. So it's not just about designing creatively for my clients, it’s also about reaching a sector of homeowners who have never used a professional interior designer before.
I write a blog, speak to groups, run workshops and have recently set up a Google+ community called ‘Talking Interiors’. It’s all part of communicating the message that great design is less about spending money and more about making clever decisions. I don’t want to keep the tricks of the trade to myself, I want to share them.
Yasmin Chopin
Who are your design heroes and why?
I admire Nicky Haslam, a UK design celebrity, who I had the pleasure to meet last year at the trade show for professionals, Decorex International. He demonstrates such confidence in his schemes and I like the fact he is quirky too. His work taught me how to ‘layer’ items which is a very sophisticated design trick. 
My other hero is Kit Kemp, joint owner of Firmdale Hotels. She has the enviable task of expressing her interior design ideas both at home and at work! With a wonderful sense of colour she puts together a complex composition that is impressively easy on the eye. She has what I would describe as a painterly appreciation for colour, shape and context.
 Kit Kemp design
Image: A Kit Kemp design at the Number Sixteen Hotel in London

Tell us one of your earliest design memories

I bought my first house at the age of 18 and had saved the deposit money from my Saturday jobs, which took years as you can imagine. My teenage shopping trips were never for records or clothes but instead consisted of going to housewares and furniture stores to get my ‘bits'.
By the time I was ready to move out of the family home I had packed dozens of boxes, which were stacked in my bedroom, containing everything you need to set up home:- crockery, cutlery, table-linens, sheets, towels, bakeware, saucepans, you name it I had collected it. Yes, at 16 I would get excited by a tea towel design or a clever set of storage containers!
If you could have one item delivered to your home tomorrow what would you choose?
Without doubt it would be a blue electric Mercury cooker. I currently live in a tiny cottage and we don’t have mains gas. Now a small kitchen doesn’t mean I have to go petite with all the appliances, in fact I have a massive Fisher Paykel fridge freezer. So this piece of design gorgeousness from Aga Rangemaster would be perfect: I love its clean lines and solid elegance. I snapped this image at a trade show in 2012 and I’ve been lusting after this exact cooker ever since.
Mercury cooker in blue
Where have you visited that has most inspired you?
I think my trips to Paris whilst I was studying for my Honours degree in Art History were truly memorable. Drinking in the architecture, the art and the cafe society I was enthralled by it all. From the Moulin Rouge to the Musee D’Orsay, the Pompidou Centre, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Versailles… I could go on and on.
And finally, please share a design secret with us…

OK, saving the best 'til last... there’s a wonderful product called Zinsser 123 by Bulls Eye, it’s a primer, sealer and undercoat all in one. It’s easy to use (make sure you get the water based version). You can achieve a really good finish if you use this as your base coat whatever your project. So next time you think you need sanding muscles get out the Zinsser instead and save yourself a shedload of time and effort. And don’t forget to join me on Google+ as we are Talking Interiors; there’ll be lots more brilliant ideas to share.

So there you have it, our latest interview with someone behind the scenes in the interiors industry. And wasn't it a good one? Lots of inspiration and practical tips and ideas - exactly what you hope an interior designer will bring. Plus I love Yasmin's story of having all her 'bits' ready for when she bought her first home. I was just the same!

Thanks so much to Yasmin for taking part in our "Interview with..." series. If you enjoyed this why not pop over to Yasmin's blog and have a read of that too. Or click here to read another interview with an interiors insider... Igor from Happy Interior Blog

Thank you to you too for reading!


Date: 30 Apr 2014 15:20
Author: Becky
Tags: Interview with