Twelve minutes with Harriet Forde
Founder of Harriet Forde Design
Harriet Forde founded her company, Harriet Forde Design, in 1990, providing a range of interior design services across the commercial property and hotel market, as well as for high-end residential properties.
With Harriet's twenty plus years' experience in the interior design industry, we wanted to pick her brains for tips for making your home an inviting and warm space, as well as finding out about some design-led memories that are significant to her...
Sitting down with Harriet we asked; as a child, what is your first memory of a piece of furniture?
"When I was about four years old and living in Liverpool, there was a huge storm which ended up with the roof leaking really badly! The water ended up all over a very special black baby grand piano which sat in our flat."
Harriet went on to tell us that as well as this special family piano, she remembers that her grandmother's dining room was adorned with an African animal hide pouf which even though slightly politically incorrect, it always caught her eye. We wanted to know why she felt emotionally connected with these pieces...
"Although never learning to play the piano - I did try and bash out scales very badly - the baby grand piano has followed us for at least 30 years since then and remains with us to this day. The pouf on the other hand, was (although not very PC) great to touch and always caught my eye. The pouf was a nod to my Grandfather's exotic time spent as an academic in Nigeria."
Memories can be brought back from a smell, a piece of music and even from a piece of furniture. But what pieces are irreplaceable? We asked Harriet, if you could only keep three pieces of furniture from your home, which would you take and why?
"Truthfully, nothing. I would love the opportunity to start again and use very, very little."
Probing further, we managed to find out that Harriet would take a new art purchase with her. A beautifully moody oil-on-canvas by Abigail Bowen called Pitch would definitely stay with her. And her second choice would be her bed, manufactured by Hypnos Beds who hold a Royal Warrant and have provided beds for Royals since George V in 1929.
Her final selection would be another sentimental piece that belonged to her Grandmother - A beautiful victorian shell chair. This opulent style of chair dates back to the mid 1800's and is a stunning example of Victorian design.
We couldn't let Harriet leave without giving us an interior design top tip. We asked; what would she suggest to a new homeowner who wants to create a welcoming space for themselves and their guests?
"Buy pieces that you love! Go without and improvise until you can save up enough to afford what you really want. If you do this, your house will be filled with things you have a passion for and your guests will pick up on that vibe!"
For more information about Harriet Forde Design visit hf-design.co.uk