Interior Design

Luxury Interior Design: In conversation with Kris Turnbull

By Kirs Turnbull
April 04, 2021 04:16pm

As we continue to explore the relationship between interior design and art and in the second part of our Interior Design Series, we spoke with Kris Turnbull – the founder of the high-end architectural & luxury interior design studio Kris Turnbull Studios. Much like how we approach life at Queen’s, Kris and his creative team approach every commission in a tailored fashion backed by extensive property and design experience and a natural eye for luxury. But interested to see how his approach to designing interiors and choosing art for clients has evolved during the pandemic, we asked Kris a few questions. First up;

With much of the world moving online due to the Covid pandemic, how have you chosen the pieces for your clients?

We have a dynamic network of national & international art galleries, organisations & suppliers but I would also quite often buy artworks via live auctions. Online art auctions have definitely been booming during the lockdown, they are very exciting, quick & easy. I’ve recently been buying some fantastic mid-century lithograph prints for my own home. The pieces came from different places around the world and were all arriving at different times, very thrilling when they arrive, it’s like having another Christmas during the year. The combination of the old & new, lithographs or even holiday treasures from far destinations abroad make an interior more personal & interesting.

Interior design

What part of what you do gets you going/excites you the most?

The beginning of the creative design process of each individual project, visualising the potential of what it could become. The design concept where we translate the client’s needs & wishes into design proposals unique to the client. We love creating unexpected interior design solutions. Most of our interior projects are bespoke designed; from contemporary kitchen & luxurious bathroom suites to the finer details of bold rug designs & window treatments which are lovingly made in our own workroom in Belfast. Seeing it all come together on installation day is very satisfying, it’s fascinating how an original visualisation comes to life.

Why do you like to use art in your designs and why?

Art has been a form of expression since the beginning of mankind. When it comes to choosing art for interiors, too often artwork is treated as an afterthought. When chosen thoughtfully, art has the ability to transform a space and infuse it with personality, it adds soul to a room. Any piece of artwork can immediately make or break a room. Art can help to tell a story through your interior design, add life to a space, bring bold elements into the room or just be the perfect piece for your composition. Life without art would be dull & uninteresting.

What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome as a studio recently and how did you do this?

We haven’t been able to meet with our clients & present projects as we normally would do. It’s sometimes hard for clients to imagine how some materials would translate in reality, especially when presenting via video conference calls. Therefore we have invested & specialised in creating photorealistic rendering & CGI architectural visualisations. It’s fantastic how we have been able to present realistic renderings, animations and even virtual walkthrough experiences for our clients.

Is there some art that has personal importance to you? If so, what is it and what importance does it have?

I’ve bought an original mid-century oil on canvas a couple of years ago by the Belgian artist Pol Mara. He became a widely acclaimed abstract painter and is probably Belgium’s best-known Pop Artist. His now belated wife Maria Mara, organised an exhibition in a gallery in Antwerp, with a great selection of art from the private collection of the Mara’s. I loved it from the moment I saw it, it intrigued me. I guess that’s where it all started, the passion for collecting artworks.

Are you an interior designer looking for logistical support? As part of our ongoing interior design services, our specialist team can assist with condition reporting, inventory management, storage and furniture installation. Find out more or contact the team and we’d be happy to help.

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