One of the difficulties I had as an interior designer, was trying to juggle so many different roles. There’s an assumption by many outside the industry that it’s all fluffily creative, but a wide set of skills is required, particularly if you are going to run your own business. Top of the list is project management, which I have to confess, was not my strong point; scheduling all the different strands of the design process to ensure completion to a deadline, while sticking to a budget. They’ve been touching on this in the current tv show, Great Interior Design Challenge, but there, the contestants are dealing with one room, making comparatively cosmetic changes. Imagine working on a whole house, office building, or restaurant. In addition to the client, you are likely to have to deal with builders, sub-contractors, local authority officials, such as planners, health & safety officers, and the district surveyor. And then there’s the project detailing; unglamorous things like electrical and drainage layouts, and the specification of ironmongery, lighting and sanitary ware. All in all, it helps to work with a partner, rather than alone. Someone whose skills compliment your own. So it was interesting to discover that two of my longest standing clients, Brenda Gibson & Sally Dernie, had pooled resources on a recent project, allowing each to focus on key elements of the design and build. The petite home, in a grand street in central London,had its fair share of challenges, not least the arched vaults under the pavement which had to be excavated and damp-proofed to provide a pair of dramatic bathrooms. Brenda handled the site survey, joinery details and some of the more technical issues, while Sally brought her expertise to the kitchen design and the over all design of the interiors. The complicated process was made much smoother, and as a result, the finished scheme is harmonious and well executed.