Establishing her eponymous interior-design studio in 2018, today, Taylor’s portfolio spans grand countryside manors, sophisticated townhouses, and quirky pied-à-terres.
A Pandora Taylor-designed room is likely to comprise of a masterful blend of colour tones, beautifully textured fabric, mural wallpapers, and natty interiors pieces. Playful, with a sophisticated finish, Taylor admits to Maximalist tendencies – and encourages her clients to embrace an expressive, and joy-sparking approach when it comes to reimagining the places and spaces they occupy.
How did you get into interior design?
It started with the Sunday Times Homes section. I used to cut out the interiors I liked and put them in a scrapbook; eventually my mother let me design my own bedroom when I was 10. It had faux-fur curtains and a gold metallic fireplace… I have never been afraid to be bold! I went on to study History of Art at school and university which furthered my interest in art and design as a whole, and the idea that we can change the way we live by shaping the world around us.
What is your design philosophy?
If I had to sum it up in one line, it would be: ‘why be less, when you can be more’. Like fashion, interiors are an expression of who you are or who you want to be, how you live and most importantly, how you want to live. They should be practical, yes, but who said practical had to be boring. It’s about creating a space that sparks joy every time you’re in it.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
In my work, I like to be client led. For me, a project is a collaborative approach where I can help bring a client’s vision to life. It is an amazing experience because not only do I show them things they wouldn’t have considered before, but they also widen my appreciation for different styles and ideas. The backbone of these interiors, however, is my deep understanding for balancing colour and texture, as well as an appreciation for interesting and well-designed furniture pieces. For me a well-designed piece of furniture can have the same impact as a beautiful piece of art.
Talk us through some of your favourite projects to date…
I have just completed a really interesting project in Primrose Hill, where the client wanted the whole house and its contents to be VOC free, so no harmful off-gassing. I did a lot of research into what materials contain VOCs and how to avoid things that are damaging for us and the environment. We are all becoming more conscious of the environment and it has reminded me of my responsibility as a designer to be considerate of this when specifying materials and furniture.
I also loved working on a recent Dorset House project, as it was my first every country home. I had already designed the client’s London apartment, so they trusted in my vision from the off and together we created a playful, modern twist on country living.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I grew up in the English countryside and have a great love for stately homes, they are so rich in detail and fine craftsmanship. I think a lot of my interiors are influenced by this without me realising. I balance this with my readings around Modern Art concepts – at the moment I am particularly drawn to Surrealist interiors of the 60s and 70s. These are interiors where the rule book has been thrown out the window, they challenge your ideas on how we live and the way we use different materials. It’s so important for me as a designer to be constantly pushing my own boundaries, style is an ever-changing substance.
What places/locales do you find particularly inspirational?
If I want to recharge my creative brain, I go to an art gallery. I love the calm and quiet, soaking up the different colours and styles or art. My brain is always buzzing with ideas afterwards. I think that really I am a frustrated artist, so it is great I can channel this energy into my interiors.
How does travelling influence your designs and tastes?
It reminds me of the vast variety in the world, how different cultures have different norms and ways of living. I love going to flea markets or bric-a-brac shops where you get an insight into people’s homes and the things they once used. Also, the different architecture and materials you see used in buildings, and even things like pavements, it all gets stored away in my internal design library for later use.
What are some tips you have on how our readers can bring a touch of Pandora Taylor magic into their homes?
Your home should be about what you love. Take time in sourcing little pieces that spark joy – like a decorative lamp or colourful headboard fabric – as they will continue to make you smile. Too often I hear people saying they are afraid of using colour or pattern in their homes for fear of getting bored of it. Life is too short for fear, and as long as something sparks joy you will not regret it!