Daniel Hopwood | Architecture and Interior Design, London

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A secret stash of Interior Designers: A podcast by James Swan

A secret stash of Interior Designers: A podcast by James Swan

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You know how it is, a colleague recommends me to listen to an interesting podcast but I never get round to doing it. Then at a party I overhear some highly respected designers talking about the same podcast.  I listened to it and now I’m hooked. You can find it at http://milliondollardecorating.com

It is relevant to both professional designers and those passionate about design. Hosted by the charming, velvet toned, James Swan who is based in Maine. He interviews designers and architects from around the world. I compare it to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, as it is a sort of confessional for designers. Each contributor tells the story of how they entered into the industry and what motivates them. There are discussions on how they run a business, find clients and their design philosophy. It gets personal too, with chats about their own homes and favourite rooms. What I love, is that people are fairly candid, sharing more than is usual, talking as much about the difficulties of being a designer as well as the highs. It is very assuring to hear that others have been through the same experiences as I have and give an insight into how to keep going in what can be a volatile industry where client is king.

You’ve just got to listen to episode 149, Hutton Wilkinson a classic old school decorator who was at one time assistant to the great Tony Duquette, who designed for all the Hollywood stars. His stories of those days are fascinating and his take on our industry is honest to the extreme and had me bursting out in laughter whilst listening to it on my bus ride home. I’d also suggest that you listen to episode 200, one of my favourite designers, Scott Maddux, an American who is based in London.

A secret stash of Interior Designers: A podcast by James Swan - Daniel Hopwood review
© Hutton Wilkinson

Each designer is asked to recommend  a favourite book. There are some many design books available and it is easy to be seduced by the pretty pictures but it is difficult to find a book on design that is both informative and a joy to read. James has listed all the books on his web site and saved us all the trouble of having to research the best ourselves..  Outside The Box: An Interior Designer’s Innovative Approach by David Scott was one suggestion, If you want to be inspired outside the box of traditional interiors then this book is the ideal purchase.

A secret stash of Interior Designers: A podcast by James Swan - Daniel Hopwood review

There is another interior designer who has shared a few stories on Million Dollar Decorating who you might know.