22nd May 2020 | IN EXPERT INSIGHT | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn SBID Accredited Partner, Mark Taylor, managing director of Mark Taylor Design reveals his journey in the design profession, and shares the advice he would give his younger self before he began his career as a designer. What is your current job? I’m the Managing Director of Mark Taylor Design, a British furniture design business, responsible for designing, manufacturing and fitting kitchens, bathrooms, studies, bedrooms, staircases and more. What is your background and how did you get into interior design? The company was set up 20 years ago, because I was trained in both furniture production and management and was a keen designer. I also completed an MBA and wanted to apply all these skills to build a business doing something I loved in this industry. Describe an average day in your job role.. I will get in by 8.30am most days, contact clients throughout the day to ensure everybody is happy. I have a meeting most days with my teams on various projects. I might be designing or sketching, liaising with suppliers, costing projects, sourcing materials, working with my interior design team and, depending on the day, there’s usually a site visit or two. Which elements of your profession do you enjoy the most and/or find the most rewarding? Winning really exciting projects at one end, and seeing great work installed and happy clients at the other. I get a real sense of achievement out of a problem cleverly solved. Is there anything new you are excited to be working on? We are about to work on a swimming pool and gym construction which is exciting, as it’s a ‘start from scratch’ project, in a beautiful setting, with a client I’ve worked with a great deal in the past. This is the next phase of turning his home into his perfect home, which is always very satisfying. What do you find the most challenging aspects of your job? Finding enough hours! What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance? Don’t be afraid to be bold in your designs. Use interesting materials and play with shape and colour. As I’ve become more experienced, I’ve learnt that the braver designs are the ones that the client remembers and enjoys most – they have a talking point and so do we! When I was starting out, I always worried that my simple designs wouldn’t be noticed. I’ve learnt that the opposite is true; simpler is often bolder and more stunning than complicated. Finally, having conviction in your ideas. What has been your favourite project to work on? Working alongside Interior Design, Charlotte Jackson of Nice Brew Design, we fitted out a very large basement extension, with a bar, bowling alley, wine cellar and entertaining space. It was a great project because the space was large but dark. The lighting and ambience of every element of this space was so crucial to it feeling comfortable and exciting. We worked with different textures, materials and even screens to bring the space to life. What do you think is the biggest problem the interior design industry faces? I’m not sure. It feels healthy to us at the moment. The world is quite fragile though with Covid-19, and I guess it might be about whether people have the funds to afford interior design. Hopefully, the economic recovery will be relatively swift and people will continue to see the value of investing in their homes. Who do you admire the most in the industry and why? Small artisan craftsmen are still my greatest source of admiration because of the enormous love they have for what they produce, and for the techniques and skills that are so precious to us. Those who are teaching younger manufacturers and designers these traditional skills, and who are adapting them to today’s market are fantastic examples of how our industry will stay relevant and desirable. Want to become SBID Accredited? Click here for more information.