New Year’s Resolutions: How The House Directory Members Will Be Heading In To 2024

To celebrate the start of 2024, we asked some of our esteemed members what ambitions they have, what decorative approaches they will be taking and what changes they will be making to their practice – large or small – as we head into the New Year.

Dani Neville, Founder, Dani Neville Design

“When decorating your house, stay true to yourself. With so many external influences and endless feeds on social media, I feel you have to really focus on your own personal needs in order to create a concept that truly reflects what you love and what suits your lifestyle. Be honest, don’t be frightened of individualism and stay true to your brief. This year as a design firm we will be encouraging clients to work with us to dig deeper in order to find the essence of what they want for their home. How you feel in the space and how it functions is so important, not just how it looks. And what looks great in one person’s house, a magazine or Instagram post may not translate into what you or your family need.”

Image: Dani Neville plans to help clients really dig deep to discover their own individual style.

Anouska Tamony, Creative Director, Anouska Tamony Designs

“This year I’m keen to incorporate more British furniture, in particular woodwork, joinery and upholstery, into the studio’s schemes. We have a wealth of talent in the U.K. and supporting British craftsmanship and traditional methods of making is not only good for the environment but it encourages future generations of artisans and makers to continue and evolve their various crafts.”

Lindi Reynolds, Founding Creative Director, Lindi Reynolds Interior Design

“Our resolution for 2024 is to protect and nurture creativity. The last three years have been incredibly busy for us with little time to pause and reflect. Creativity is at the centre of what we do both for design and problem solving activities, but I realise it was in short supply towards the end of 2023. There is great value in building time for reflective thought and pause around our work endeavours, because it’s the space that feeds inspiration, like oxygen feeds a fire. This in turn propels creativity – our most valued asset. So in the year ahead we will be making every effort to build ‘pause’ into our programme, particularly at the end of every major milestone.”

Carolyn Parker, MD, Carolyn Parker Interior Design Ltd

“I am at a stage this year where I want to focus on doing things that I will enjoy most! I have always loved putting layer upon layer of pattern and colour on top of one another, the challenge being to make sure it all gels together. My one tip is to be brave because if you chicken out it will never look cohesive – so my mantra in this situation is always GO FOR IT. This year, I am also keen to design rooms around individual pieces of art. I’m fortunate that we often buy work for clients and that they often love a simple room where the attention falls on a very strong piece. There are so many wonderful artworks available to buy, that will suit all budgets and I especially love going to art exhibitions and shows where you get to meet the artists. This is another example of where my mantra, GO FOR IT really applies.”

Carolyn Parker
Image: Carolyn sourced these sculptural chairs then chose the striking artwork from her favourite gallery in the Algarve. In the future, she plans to incorporate even more art. 

Mary Barber Fray, Founder and Designer, Mary Barber Fray Interior Design

“An ongoing resolution is to try to reuse clients’ existing pieces, repositioning them in the home and if needed, repainting or reupholstering them. In the past I have encouraged this but clients aren’t always on board. However, people are at last seeing the benefit and realising how it can not only save money but reduce unnecessary landfill. I personally have furniture that’s lasted for years, which I’ve reinvigorated with brilliant new fabric.”

Mary Barber Frey
Image: Mary Barber Fray plans to reuse clients’ existing pieces, which can not only save money but reduce unnecessary landfill.

Rima Tatjana, Founder, Rima Tatjana Interiors

“Embrace the power of natural crystals in your home and kick start the year with their healing and protective qualities. Black tourmaline protects against negative energy and place rose quartz in the bedroom for calmness, soothing and love. Clear quartz works well in the kitchen as it helps restore order and remove toxins from food.”

Julie Parkinson, Owner, Jane Duncan Interiors Ltd

“Modern living means that kitchens have really become the heart of the home, often serving not just as a space to cook but also to entertain guests. When you’re using the kitchen in so many different ways, it’s easy to feel like it could benefit from a refresh. At JDI, we’re always looking to reduce material consumption and to be more sustainable and cost effective for our clients, which means that on some projects, we find that rather than investing in a brand new kitchen, making a few simple changes could be just as effective if you want to put the wow factor back in your space. Whether its small updates such as repainting units, changing the worktop, handles, light fittings or doors, or even something more substantial such as adding in a breakfast cupboard, an island in a contrasting colour or even some open display shelves to show off your favourite cookbooks and crockery, working with what you already have can be such a great way to give a fresh perspective for 2024.”

Image: Going forward the team at JDI plan to update more kitchens by using new doors and fittings or adding extra shelves or a new island rather than replacing the entire thing.

Maria Speake, Co-Founder, Retrouvius

“Our design team’s resolutions include using air source/solar panels in our projects where it makes sense to do so. In 2023, three more of our projects were heated by air source including a listed timber framed barn, a freestanding Victorian villa and our church in Gloucestershire. Ideally, for buildings where air source heat pumps are installed, solar also needs to be installed to supply the electricity required for the pumps. Insulating is also key to maximise heat and natural materials are an effective solution. Lovely smoky cork insulation panels are particularly effective in new buildings or spaces without cornicing. Other materials our team continue to work with include fabric walling for additional warmth and acoustic insulation – see Pavatherm-Plus wood fibre boards from Insulation panels can be plastered over but can be appreciated for their inherent natural qualities.  Cork in particular offers a great interior finish.”

Lucy Hammond Giles, Associate Director, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler

“Every year I try to give up fretting. A lot can go wrong on decorating projects but mostly it’s all solvable, given enough time and a calm mind.  Thinking time is also something I try to allow myself more of. Decorating can be like throwing autumn leaves up in the air – there are a lot of ideas and you need to see how they land, in what combinations.  And importantly, there has to be time to live with schemes and time to edit and refine. Schemes designed to last decades don’t like being rushed.”

Philip Hooper, Joint Managing Director, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler

“I think I need to rethink curtain linings – the subtle stripes and geometrics that are my default need a shake-up. Maybe it’s time to have the subtly on the outside and the colourful surprise on the inside. Wool sateen curtains lined in chintz anyone?”

Colefax & John Fowler
Image: Philip Hooper at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler plans to switch up the way he combines his curtain fabrics.

Emma Painter, Founder, Emma Painter Interior Designer

“2023 was a year with so much going on in the wider world that it was impossible to ignore. It’s had a huge impact on how we view our own space and I’ve noticed that the home as a ‘retreat’ has taken on far more significance at base level. Bringing this forward to 2024, I feel there’s a need to add even greater meaning to all the things we bring in when creating our home environment. I’ll be working harder to source items that last. This isn’t just about the provenance but also about delving deep into the things that mean most to my clients so that choices are for the future as well as the now. Every item must be even more carefully researched and considered and should pique excitement and joy so that it will be cherished for years to come. Our ongoing resolution must be to ensure our homes are as far away from throwaway culture as is humanly possible.”

Emma Painter
Image: Emma Painter is keen to use even more items sourced and made locally, so minimum air miles are involved. She is also focusing on pieces that are built to last.  

Eleanora Cunietti, Director and Co-Founder, Carden Cunietti Ltd

“My number one resolution on a personal level is to have more time to think and be creative. For me, it’s about having the time to breathe as life since Brexit and Covid, both of which impacted the design world, has eaten up my time significantly. I spend too much time on administrative duties so in 2024 I’m going to push the paperwork away. We are currently recruiting for a new studio manager/accounts dept head so fingers crossed! In addition, my design resolution is to recycle as much as possible. The construction and design industry can be very wasteful, so wherever possible when we remove fixtures, they should be reused or donated to charity. A few years ago, we had an event called Spring Clean, which sold old stock for charity so it may be time to think of the next phase of this (if I have time after getting creative!)”

We hope you have enjoyed these inspirational New Year’s ideas and directions from The House Directory members. Please share this blog with a friend who might also find it useful. You can also read our other interior design blogs for more insights from the experts on your favourite topics, such as beautiful bathrooms, conservatories and multifunctional kitchens



One thought on “New Year’s Resolutions: How The House Directory Members Will Be Heading In To 2024

  1. I appreciate the idea wishing all the designers success and achievements in the coming year

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