This month's #JoieMuseSeries takes us across the pond to check in with London-based interior design talent, Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan. We chat with Tiffany about her ever-eclectic design approach, developing a homeware line, pro-trips for anyone looking to "DIY-refresh" their space, and what makes Londoner style unique.
On your career...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT YOUR START WITH INTERIOR DESIGN?
I studied Scenic Art and Set Design and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama before working as a Scenic Painter for theatre. I then moved on to Interior Styling for magazines such as Elle Decoration and Livingetc. After moving into my first flat, I became obsessed with all things interiors and made the transition into Interior Design. I started designing houses for friends and completed a Diploma course at the KLC School of Design. I then set up my own Studio in 2011 and haven't looked back!
WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND YOUR HOMEWEAR LINE, TROVE BY STUDIO DUGGAN, AND HOW DID THIS CONCEPT COME ABOUT?
Opening a store is something I have aspired to do since first setting up Studio Duggan. It was driven by queries on where we sourced products and also gaps that we felt were in the market for well made, customisable, timeless pieces - with a dash of the unexpected. I wanted to create a collection that encompassed our own designs, a selection of our favourite accessories and a carefully curated collection of vintage pieces. Trove is a vibe, it's a lifestyle - our style is nomadic and eclectic, yet timeless.
YOU HAVE A DISTINCT STYLE... HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN APPROACH AND AESTHETIC?
There is always a varying degree of eclecticism - a little old and new, a touch of humour, and a bit of drama. It's all about the balance and the mix - combining pieces from different periods and origins to create something new and fresh. It's a little like my own home in Queens Park, London...a carefully considered collection of things I love that make me happy.
HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS EVOLVED/ADAPTED (IF AT ALL) WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST YEAR?
We managed to complete a handful of really large projects last year which were relatively unscathed by Covid. We sourced lots of vintage pieces and focused largely on British makers and craftsman to avoid shipping issues and delays. It was also a way to be more environmentally friendly...which is not easy in this job! It pains me to see how much packaging is left after an installation and is something we are working to reduce with our own line, Trove. Luckily, we have seen a real renewed interest in the home. People have been spending so much more time in their houses and are being more critical with what works and what doesn't. Our homes have such an effect on our wellbeing and it is so important that they reflect who we are and how we live.
DO YOU EXPERIMENT WITH DIFFERENT INTERIOR LOOKS ON YOUR OWN HOME?
Yes, and no. I try not to follow trends to obsessively although of course one does become influenced! I just buy what I like and slowly add new pieces that I think will work with those we already own and love. Our Client's style is of course the starting point on each project we undertake so I'm able to delve into different looks at work. There are some projects which don't feel like the right fit design wise and these we don't take on, but my boundaries are pretty wide and I can usually find a way to fulfill the brief whilst injecting a little of my own design ethos.
WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF STUDIO DUGGAN?
I have no intention of growing the Design Studio too much - I like being personally involved in every project. I would love to design a hotel which really feels like a home - considering everything detail of the experience, but residential design is where my heart is. It is such a personal and often very fulfilling job. We are in the process of expanding Trove to cater for other rooms of the house (we launched with a bedroom collection) and I have lots of
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE "LONDONER" FASHION STYLE?
Pretty chilled. I think we like to mix it up in a way that doesn't try too hard or scream too loud - pretty Summer dresses with biker boots or smart cropped trousers with a vintage T shirt. Londoners love to combine high and low and new and old and combine it a way that feels personal. It's not about replicating somebody else's style.
WOULD YOU SAY YOUR OWN PERSONAL APPROACH TO DRESSING REFLECTS YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN STYLE?
100%, although I'm probably a little bolder in interiors than I am with fashion. I live in jeans and dresses and like to look smart but not too 'done' - a simple knitted top and jeans with chunky jewelry or a jumpsuit is my mainstay.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SUMMER TRAVEL PLANS, AND IF SO - WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO HOLIDAY PACKING STRATEGY? ANY KEY "MUST PACK" PIECES?
We are due to go to Puglia in Italy to stay in the most magical villa called 'Trull° Dei Pini'. I'm not sure if we will be able to go or not due to Covid...but am keeping my fingers and toes tightly crossed! My packing strategy is pretty much winging it the night before...I am not an organised packer but I've become pretty good at rushing it. Vintage denim shorts, leather strappy flats, some day to night linen dresses (I love the Rosabel Maxi Linen Dress), and a straw sun hat. I like to keep it simple and casual on holiday - for me it's a time to rest and rejuvenate. Skincare wise I pack my usual routine but throw in a tan maximiser, an SPF30, a hair mask, a body scrub and a face mask. I'm so busy at home that skincare tends to fall off the priority list but holiday is my time to try out new lotions and potions!