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Meet the Designers - South West and Wales

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Learn more about the designers and projects that won BIID Interior Design Awards

Now open for 2024, the BIID Interior Design Awards returns with its new South West and Wales regional award and the search is on for this year’s winners. The awards celebrate exceptional design projects across the UK, with both residential and commercial projects previously receiving the accolade for the South West and Wales region. Zelah Studio received the inaugural regional award for its impressive project at the Verdant Brewing Company in Cornwall, followed by Frank and Faber with their Somerset hotel project, Number One Bruton - The Forge, in 2023.

Boutique Beauty

The Forge at Number 1 Bruton forms part of an acclaimed boutique hotel, located in Bruton, Somerset. The Frank and Faber design team were commissioned to oversee the transformation of this historic building into 4 additional luxurious boutique hotel bedrooms, which would be in keeping with the aesthetic of the existing hotel, whilst staying true to the character of the building.

The team developed an aesthetic concept that was inspired by the heritage of the building and underpinned by a rustic simplicity. Existing features and finishes were intentionally highlighted and enhanced with warmth and texture introduced consistently.

“To have our work acknowledged was very gratifying. We work so hard on our projects (as all designers do) so to be recognised by industry experts and peers is an amazing stamp of recognition. I was keen to raise the profile of the company as well as network with other designers and this provided that opportunity. As the main industry body, the BIID is highly respected and it provides a real mark of quality” says Sarah Ellison, Interior Designer, Founder of Frank & Faber.

The judges admired how the design maintains consistency across the diverse architectural buildings, blending rustic simplicity with a range of playful elements. The project’s resourceful use of vintage and reclaimed furniture added notable character and sustainability, while skilled resourcefulness, room planning, and a harmonious blend of materials and craftsmanship create a cohesive and award-worthy environment.

“It’s most definitely important to recognise and reward the great interior design projects that are happening outside of London. There are amazing practices all over the country and we can tend to be very London centric. The response from our peers and community has been so wonderful; really thrilling and an honour. Pretty much all our previous clients congratulated us and commented on the award being very well deserved, so that was lovely. It has been really well received on social media too.” explains Sarah.

Bold Brewing

Cornish design practice, Zelah Studio was briefed by a local brewery in Penryn, Cornwall to help relocate its business into what was originally a large, rundown industrial unit. The brief was to develop the building to allow the production side of the business to flourish, in a highly functional factory with a greatly increased capacity and, to deliver new offices and a public space in the form of the Tap room, that would allow the local community to feel part of the business.

The interior of the Offices and Tap room was built around a new steel frame installation and steel framed glazing, alongside natural materials to provide a light and contemporary interior space. Views from the public spaces into the working brewery were paramount to the design, as well as developing a more sustainable building and to involve as many local suppliers and trades people as possible.

“We are a new company and I was keen to expose our work to a wider audience, the BIID Interior Design awards offered a very accessible platform for us to showcase our team’s work. As a small company, you don’t know when the next big job is going to come in, so it is important to take these opportunities when you can” explains James Collins, Founder of Zelah Studio.

The judges commented that the designers were successful in transforming this industrial space into a thriving commercial, hospitality and community space. They particularly liked the sculptural design and clever use of contrasting dark and light colours for a dramatic effect. They commented that the project featured ‘excellent, innovative detailing and execution’ and that ‘a good use of materials and reclaimed elements were evident throughout.’

“We were thrilled to be announced as the winner in the South West region at the BIID Interior Design Awards. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to show our team’s incredible work on an outstanding project. The BIID award scheme reflects the supportive and rewarding community we all work in and provides an opportunity for unknown projects and small teams to have their moment to shine. After 3 years of work it was just fantastic to have some recognition for all involved.” comments James.

Entering the BIID Interior Design Awards

The winners will be awarded across 7 regional categories, celebrating every type of interior design, from the largest commercial project to the smallest residential dwelling. In addition we award 2 landmark prizes – the Interior of the Year Prize, which is awarded to the best interior design project in the UK and the Anna Whitehead Prize, which is awarded to the best achievement in sustainable interior design. 9 awards will be given out in total, along with acknowledgements of Highly Commended projects.