Look of luxe

Elizabeth Masters is a talented local designer whose USP is creating interiors that are both timeless and reflective of each of her clients. Here she tells Eileen Leahy all about her fledgling business and what inspires her…


So Elizabeth when did you get into the wonderful world of interior design?

It was four years ago that I began the transition into the world of interior design. I was studying at KLC school of design alongside my day job which was Brand Marketing Manager at Chapel Down winery. In 2020, Covid obviously turned everyone’s world upside down, and I like many others ended up on furlough. I realised that this was the perfect time to finish my interior design qualification and gain some more experience in working with people outside of my friends and family.


How did you go about launching your business?

After enhancing my KLC qualification with additional courses in SketchUp and CAD I created a couple of adverts that I then posted on local social media including Facebook community pages and NextDoor. I explained I was a student looking to help people within the local area with all their interior design dilemmas…for completely free! I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and clicked ‘post’ and thought ‘no one will ever reply’. Low and behold, an hour or so later I had to remove the posts as I had received so many enquiries. They ranged from needing help with paint colours to layout advice on a new extension.
I quickly pulled together a schedule for the summer, listed out all my new clients, project briefs and got to work. I filled my entire summer as if I was still working a full-time job.


How did you make the transition from being employed to going freelance?

At the end of the summer I was told the news that I was sadly being made redundant. Even though I knew that this outcome was inevitable, I was still petrified at the thought of being unemployed and the idea of becoming self-employed in the middle of a pandemic was enough to send me over the edge!  But actually one of my favourite sayings is ‘trust the process’ and whilst it was a scary one, I truly believe this was always how it was meant to be. I spoke to the clients I had taken on over the summer, explained the change in circumstance and they all very kindly agreed to pay me. I’m pleased to say some of those clients I am still working with today, almost four years later.


Do you have any favourite style of interior?

I would say ‘Relaxed Luxury’. It sounds like a contradictive term but it’s totally possible! I think there is nothing worse than designing a ‘show home’ that you can’t relax in or enjoy.


What would you say your interior design USP is?

My team. I’m very lucky to work alongside two other incredibly talented ladies who I’d be lost without. I can say with absolute confidence that we are a team of three. We are very normal, kind, efficient and hardworking people who do everything they can to make sure a client’s vision comes to life.


How do you ensure each client has their character reflected in their home?

I make sure we get to know them as soon as possible. Normally it begins in the initial consultation where we go through a very detailed design questionnaire and any inspiration images they have collated. We cover pretty much every detail you can think of and just that one conversation alone normally takes two to three hours After that, I’d say we speak with clients on a weekly basis. Whether that be in person or over the phone or on our WhatsApp groups.


Which local companies do you like working with on your projects?

Normally, we’d keep all our trade contacts exclusive to our clients but to name a couple, R J Rogers Ltd is a fantastic builder who we have worked with many times before. And if you’re looking for a bespoke kitchen look no further than Peter Alexander. Pete and Leo are incredibly talented carpenters and are just the nicest people to work with.


Is there a local public building you would like to work on in terms of its interiors?

At the top of Grosvenor Road (where you join St Johns Road) there is a beautiful, red brick, grade II listed building which I believe used to be factory and is currently boarded up and derelict. I’d love to restore this building and inject some new life into it whilst keeping its original features.


Who would be your dream celebrity client to work with and why?

I’d have to say Diane Keating. My favourite film is ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ in which she stars with Jack Nicholson. The beach house in The Hamptons, where the comedy is set, is my absolute dream! So, Diane if you’re reading and would like to design a beach house together, get in touch!

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