Q&A with Salvesen Graham | Interior Design


Founded in 2013 by Nicole Salvesen and Mary Graham, Salvesen Graham is an interior design and decoration practice specialising in classic interiors with a modern twist. Working with both private residential and commercial clients in the UK and abroad from hotels and houses to private members clubs, design duo Nicole Salvesen and Mary Graham draw on their combined experience of over 25 years to bring a fresh interpretation to traditional interiors.

Underpinned by the use of colour, texture and pattern, and the juxtaposition of antiques with contemporary pieces, Salvesen Graham create beautiful interiors that sit comfortably within their environment and meet the high expectations of their clients.

What is your background, how did you meet each other and why did you decide to set up your own interior design practice?

We met each other at University.  We then went on to work separately for other well respected designers, for nearly 10 years before setting up Salvesen Graham. Over this time we each gained an understanding of what we liked and realised that we had a shared love of an updated, fresh approach to a traditional interior, which lead to us setting up Salvesen Graham.  Working as a partnership means that we can give our clients two different perspectives.  We can also use each other as a sounding board when we are designing.

Can you describe a typical day in the life of what you do?

Our days are really varied so it is rare that two days are the same. We are often on site meetings with builders and the wide range of talented craftsmen and women we work with. In the office we will be found scheming for projects or managing every last detail of a project. We are also working on a number of Salvesen Graham products, which is very exciting and love to spend time designing these as well as bespoke pieces for our clients.

What’s your dream project / client?

We are really lucky to work with a lot of lovely clients on some truly beautiful homes. We work on commercial projects (we’ve recently completed a members club in Mayfair) and on the whole, large residential homes in London, all over the UK and abroad such as a chalet project we’ve recently been working on.

What is your starting point for a new project? 

We like to really listen to what a client wants from their home. Not just how they would like it to look but also how they live. This will have an effect on what furniture is appropriate for a room and also what textures and colours we choose. It’s important that the design is practical as well as stunning.

What’s your favourite place in London for food / drinks / to relax?

We love Petersham Nurseries in Richmond; it is very easy to spend several hours there.  The food is delicious and they have a wonderfully curated collection of products.  We are delighted that they’ve just opened a new showroom in Covent Garden.  The Riding House Café is another favourite of ours; delicious cocktails and we love the design of the restaurant.  The V&A is a wonderful place to relax and be inspired by and we spend a lot of time visiting historical houses in London and the Country.

What are your most loved interior design brands? What’s your favourite interiors store either in UK or worldwide?

We work with so many fantastic brands, but Pimlico Road is currently our top design destination.  There are so many of our favourites there: Soane, Luke Irwin, Howe, Jamb, Colefax & Fowler and Robert Kime.

Irving & Morrison is a must for colourful lampshades, cushions and ceramics. Balineum’s collection is a delight and elevates bathroom design.  Vaughan and Hector Finch are our go-to brands for lighting, while we often source antiques from Lorfords, who have recently opened a showroom in London.

What ‘s next for Salvesen Graham? 

We are really excited about the coming months and have a lot happening from chalets abroad to large country estates across the length of the country! We are also thrilled to be launching some of our new products, so watch this space!

To see more work by Salvesen Graham to visit their website.

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