Published On:

Wednesday 30th November 2016



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Past President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) Diana Yakeley, has been presented with an OBE by HRH Prince William in recognition for services to the interior design profession. The Investiture was held at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 29th November.

 Diana Yakeley is an award-winning designer, who has enjoyed a wide-ranging career, spanning over thirty-five years and embracing interior, garden and furniture design for projects in Britain and internationally. Her work covers all aspects of contemporary design, both luxury residential and commercial, including a commission from The British Government during the London 2012 Olympics to showcase the best of British design to world leaders, policy makers and investors. Diana’s OBE was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June this year.

 Diana has served as President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) for two terms and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers (FCSD). Diana comments:

“I am exceptionally honoured and proud to have received the OBE, particularly as the citation was for services to the UK interior design profession. It was a huge privilege to receive it from Prince William, in the company of so many other remarkable recipients at Buckingham Palace today.”

 Services to the Interior Design Profession

Diana trained at the Inchbald School of Design in 1979 and commenced practice in 1981 with Yakeley Associates. Her career flourished as she built a reputation for understated, elegant and luxurious design. In 1983 she was elected to the BIID and her involvement with the Institute continued to grow, with her election to fellowship of the Institute in 1994.

 In 2003 she chaired the Institute’s Continuing Professional Development Committee where she helped drive the BIID’s commitment to on-going professional training and development. In 2008 was given the BIID’s prestigious Award of Merit. In 2005 she served as President of the BIID and again in 2011. She has been instrumental in enhancing the professionalism of the Interior Design profession and continues to maintain an active role in the Institute by chairing its Audit Committee and by mentoring young Interior Designers.

 In 2004-05, Diana chaired the joint RIBA/BIID committee which produced the pivotal British interior designer/ client Form of Agreement and has continued to advise on subsequent updates. In 2009, she was instrumental in the BIID joining the Construction Industry Council and in 2010 she co-authored the first book on the professional practice of Interior Design, The BIID Interior Design Job Book, which affirmed the growing reputation and credibility of the interior design profession. She has given seminars on professional practice at a number of university interior design departments and has judged numerous interior design awards schemes.

 Work Highlights

Diana has designed numerous interiors for residential, commercial, civic and other buildings in Britain and abroad. In 2011, she was asked by the British Government to curate the temporary conversion of iconic Lancaster House in the Mall as The British Business Embassy during the London 2012 Olympics to showcase the best of British design and manufacture.

 Garden design is another area in which Diana excels.  In 2007 one of her projects won the Best Small Garden Award given by Prince Edward as Patron of the London Gardens Society. She is an author of two books about gardens in interior spaces - Indoor Gardening and Conservatories - which have been best sellers worldwide, having been translated into several languages. She has recently contributed an essay on Carlo Scarpa’s iconic garden in a new book, Dreams of Venice Architecture. For over a decade, her own stunning garden in Islington was open under the National Gardens Scheme.

 Susie Rumbold, BIID President comments:

 “On behalf of the BIID, I’d like to offer our warmest congratulations to Diana for this prestigious accolade which recognises her enormous contribution to the Interior Design profession. Through her tenacious hard work with the BIID, she has made huge strides in the development of professional standards for best practice in Interior Design and has championed the importance of continuing professional development for those in the Interior Design industry.”

 Diana is married to the renowned American-born architect, Stephen Yakeley, and they have five children.

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