Luckily for you, we caught up with Pip McCormac for 5 minutes to find out why she put this competition together and where she gets her interior inspiration from…
1. How did the competition/collab with Habitat come about?
It’s the result of conversations we were having, and both Livingetc and Habitat feeling like we wanted to do something to make design a bit more democratic, to help make it an easier industry to break into. Years ago, I started off doing work experience for free, subsidised by my parents, and I wouldn’t have got into the industry any other way – I know how lucky I was that my family had the funds to help me out. It’s so unfair, there are so many talented people out there who don’t have the means to take expensive university courses, or work for free, or perhaps don’t think there are any routes open to them that lead into creative fields. Hopefully, this will help launch three long-lasting careers for people that might not otherwise have had the opportunity.
2. How did you choose the judges?
We wanted a real mix of people, who could all bring different things to the table. Melanie Eusebe is so inspirational and has a wonderful business mind, while Yinka Ilori understands what makes a good product and has such an eye for design. Kevin Green works with students from underprivileged backgrounds, showing them they can work in the design industry, and so he brings an understanding of what it takes to break through.
3. What are you looking for in the winning entry?
Raw talent. The winning ideas definitely don’t have to be the most polished, or the most professional, or even the most fully formed. Just someone with a spark who we feel we can work with to help grow and learn.
4. Where does your love for interiors come from?
It actually started with food. I love eating and cooking and hosting, and that lead to me having friends over for dinner as soon as I had a place to host in, which made me think about the ambience I wanted to create, the plates I wanted to serve on, the napkins. Then the table itself, the wall colour, the lighting. I realised that design is really about mood setting, about how you want to feel in a space, and the different emotions it can cause is really what interests me.
5. What trend are you most looking forward to for SS20?
Layering. After years of being very mid century, very Scandi, I’m suddenly feeling a lot more decorative. I think it comes from a craving to feel cosseted, I want texture and warmth.
6. Where do you find interiors inspiration?
Instagram, in the most direct way. This is where I’ll literally see products or rooms that I love. But more indirectly, in landscapes – I’ve just got back from Palm Springs and am so in love with the huge and vibrant blue open skies against the rocky, dark grey mountains. It’s a colour pairing I’m finding quite appealing.
7. How would you describe your own interiors style?
Mid century meets Victorian dowager. I have a lot of 1950s-inspired shapes, but I’m also a hoarder, and have shelves of knick knacks. I’d love to be minimalist. But decorative. The perils of this job is that I see a lot of things, and I love so many of them . It’s conflicting.
8. Which interiors-based Instagram accounts would you recommend?
@livingetc and @homesandgardensuk which satisfy my craving for both modern and more traditional approaches to design.