Updated: Sep 29
Sarah Cutler I CWC Director I 28 Sept 21
With a career of twenty years under her belt, Sarah Davies is the passionate and award-winning designer at the helm of Floella Interiors. After forging a successful career in London, Sarah moved to Cheltenham and now offers her services for clients across the Cotswolds and beyond – from soft furnishings and upholstery, whole room ‘refreshes’ to full redesigns and virtual design services, Sarah is the woman you want to let loose in your house! We chatted to Sarah about her love of design and the amazing things she’s doing with Floella Interiors.
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CWC: Hi Sarah, thanks for chatting with us today, could you tell us what you love about interior design and did you know you always wanted to be a designer?
S: I always knew that I would do something creative. I started out studying fashion design as I always loved making clothes. I completed an ND in fashion design and started my HND ,then realized the industry wasn’t for me and kind of moved into Interiors. Interiors bring me the same joy as fashion did. I love how your home can make you feel if you decorate it well and to suit your personality (much like how we dress) I adore fabrics/colour and pattern and the whole phycology to colour is a constant fascination to me.
To me our homes should be a reflection on our personalities so creating a space that you truly love (and not caring if it’s on trend or not) is so important to me as that’s when you will truly be happy with your surroundings.
CWC: Do you have a favourite type of project to work on and is there a particular job that sticks in your memory that you loved being involved in?
S: Every job I take on is always my favorite – I love the process of starting a new job and a new scheme and because I design for the individual each job is so different and refreshing.
I think its really important not to take on a job that I didn’t feel was going to be a great experience – I think not just for me but for the client it is so important that the relationship between designer and client is good and the whole process a fun one.
Most of my work is residential which I love but I am branching into corporate work and have just designing my first office/work space which has been a great experience and I’m so happy with the results
CWC: You’ve recently worked on some amazing shop and café window designs in Cheltenham too – how long does it take from start to finish to develop such designs and where does your inspiration come from?
S: I got asked to help with a shop window by a friend and fellow business owner when they were about to re-open after lockdown no. 1. It was something I hadn’t done before but I loved the idea as the client was giving me full creative license to create something eye catching and different and not necessary about showcasing what the shop was selling –it was such a beautiful installation and one that really did a lot for the business in terms of marketing and getting there name out there. I’ve continued to create their windows for them and have gone on to create windows for another café in town too.
The whole process can come together quite quickly once I get my brain in gear. My inspiration can come from anywhere – I tend to do my best work when I’m in a quiet space – driving to London in the quiet – before I go to sleep – walking the dogs. I throw lots of ideas around and play with ideas until suddenly I’ll get that light bulb moment. Once the ideas are there then it comes together quite quickly and the window can be installed in about 2-3 weeks. It’s a side line to my business that I really want to expand on.
CWC: You started a virtual design service during lockdown – would you tell us a bit about it and will you continue to offer this service after all lockdown rules lift?
S: The Virtual design service was my life saver during lock down – not that I made lots of money doing it (because I didn’t) but that wasn’t my main objective. I knew that I had to use this time to good use, keep my name out there and keep myself busy with other things than just the kids. I adore my kids but I have never wanted to be a stay at home mum so I needed to have that balance of still working. What the virtual service did was open my services to another type of client and also get amazing content and testimonials from my new clients – and the money I did make on it went to creating the most incredible brand videos for my Business and also for this service.
CWC: You also run some popular workshops don’t you, what do they involve and where do they take place?
S: The workshops were a new thing for me and I started them at the end of 2019 unfortunately we had to cancel the rest due to lock down. The workshop was all about finding your confidence and your colour style and were packed with lots of useful info to build your confidence and create beautiful interiors yourself.
I’m now in the process of creating a new one with a Interior loving friend so watch this space – they’ll be coming next year.
CWC: Tell us about the awards you’ve won?
S: We have been lucky to have won the Build Design awards for Interior design and be a finalist for the So Glos home and interiors of the year award both in 2020. For us as a company 2020 was our best year – sounds strange as we were in the middle of a pandemic but I managed to work all the way through and really grow the business.
CWC: Tell us a bit about yourself - what do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not designing?
S: I love to get out and about with the kids – walking the dogs (I have two Labradors) in the local hills or driving off to the wye river for a paddleboard. Its full on at home and work so really important that we all down tools and get out in the fresh air.
CWC: Do you have anything exciting planned for the future you can tell us about?
S: I always have so many plans that are swimming around in my head so yes lots of things to come as and when I can implement them. The immediate future will be creating these new workshops and just growing the business. We are looking at re-branding a little soon so that’s exciting too.
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