Interior and Exterior designers work together

It’s that time of year again, when all the big guns come to London to see the latest interior launches at London Design Week. This year’s show looks set to be as exciting as ever with some sumptuous new launches from the many fabric houses now located at Chelsea harbour.

This year the organisers are showing just how closely linked Interior design and Garden and Landscape design are linked and garden designers Thomas Hoblin is profiled. His views on how interior and garden designers can compliment each other is reassuring. It’s coming that we have been doing here at Alison Hutchinson Design for some years.

We work on interior design and garden design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and Northampton. If you have an interior or garden project in mind and need some expert help and advice then please get in touch. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Industry profile: Thomas Hoblyn. From Decorex

Thomas Hoblyn

Garden designer Thomas Hoblyn developed his passion for plants in the West Country were his family lived and farmed for generations. He went on to hone his horticultural skills at Hadlow College and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. During his time at Kew, he won a scholarship to study wildflower communities in the south-eastern United States where he spent 10 weeks knee deep in bogs being attacked by various forms of wildlife. On his return to England in 2002, Tom set up his landscape and garden design company Thomas Hoblyn Garden Design Ltd and has been working on commissions that are as geographically diverse as they are varied. Last year, he won the People’s Choice Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

How did you start out in the industry?

I was trained and ready to take over a family farm in Cornwall when I discovered that playing with plants was far more interesting. I worked my way up to being a head gardener of a small estate in south Devon and applied to train at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as a means of escaping my tyrannical boss.

Thomas Hoblyn

What’s been your proudest career moment to date?

Winning the People’s Choice Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012. As a designer, I try to create beautiful spaces that people will enjoy. And while it’s great to receive acknowledgement from your peers, those accolades often come from ticking various boxes. The People’s Choice Award on the other hand, means that I successfully achieved my aim.

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Initial brainstorming of a new project and overseeing the planting phase, in other words, creating a vision and seeing it come to life.

What do you love the most about Decorex?

It’s a unique opportunity for me to get a sense of developments in the interiors industry and to mingle with like-minded individuals. Garden design is starting to gain wider recognition as a crucial element of both residential and commercial developments, and as this happens it’s important that our two industries work closely together.

Thomas Hoblyn

What do you think are the benefits of exhibitions? 

To see what’s new, particularly where materials and finishes are concerned.

Do you find interior trends influence garden design? If so, how?

It depends on the scheme. I think it does so more for contemporary design – especially stone finishes, lighting and pots. Our style is more traditional and the property tends to dictate what trend one should follow.

How do you collaborate with interior designers when coming up with garden schemes? What are the biggest challenges?

On large projects, we are often part of a design team that is headed by the interior designer. It is important to share ideas and get their take on the client’s wishes at the conceptual stage of a project. Interior designers often look at situations differently, which can be very valuable.

There is a big grey area between inside and out and it is important to recognise that both parties will have input for a successful outcome. The biggest challenge is when clients want to design the interior themselves. Otherwise: interior stone versus exterior stone choices and exterior lighting seem to cause the most debate.

Thomas Hoblyn

What are your top tips for ensuring cohesion between the garden and the interior style of a property?

1.     A good relationship between the two designers

2.     A working knowledge of each other’s profession

3.     Early brainstorming together, if you have the fortune of beginning a project at the same time

4.     Establish a hierarchical system if necessary

Who or what inspires you?

At the moment: mossy, ferny, lichen-y weathered rocks found on the West Country moors – each one a work of art. I’m just trying to work out how to use them in my design without upsetting the flora. Also, the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Tate was life-changing stuff.

If we could give you an extra day per week, what would you spend it doing?

An extra day in my beloved walled garden would be bliss – we were nearly self-sufficient in a few fruits and vegetables last year, and an extra day would improve my chances.

Thomas Hoblyn

Where do you live and why?

A small rural village in Suffolk. We fell in love with the house and garden without a thought for the practicalities of the important things like work and children going to school. Fortunately, there are good links to London and the schools are very good.

Can you tell us a bit about your own home and garden?

Our home is a 16th century farmhouse with an imposing 19th century addition on the front of it, in a rural village near Bury St Edmunds. The garden is 2.5 acres and surrounded by wetland – so very wild with lots of wildlife. We have a (crinkle-crankle) walled garden and greenhouse, orchard, wildflower meadow, streams, ponds, natural swimming pool and woodland barely kept under control by myself, my wife, a small flock of Shetland sheep, chickens, ponies and, on the rare occasion, my four children.

Thomas Hoblyn

What are you working on at the moment?

On the restoration of Hillersdon House, Cullompton, Devon. The 1849 house was designed by Samuel Beazley in 200 acres of parkland. The interior designer is Guy Goodfellow and we both have the brief of making a period country house work in a modern day environment. I’m designing rhododendron walks, restored pleasure grounds, a deer park, lakes, a sculpture park, an arboretum and a working walled garden – it’s heaven.

Anything else you’d like to share?

All of our London projects involve creating a bigger house by excavating beneath the gardens – essentially turning the garden into a roof garden. The long-term effect of this trend worries me.