Friday, 13 November 2009
interior designer & shop owner abigail ahern
Have you noticed that Abigail Ahern has become the poster girl for interiors. While she has been working in the industry for some years her phenomenally successful book, A Girl's Guide To Decorating, has seen her climb to the top of the ladder, so to speak. Abigail picks up where Domino magazine left off, making interiors fun and fabulous. I absolutely adore her colour palette. Check out her London shop and blog too.
Which five words best describe you? Passionate, fun, maximalist, eclectic, control freak!
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Working on the picture desk for Sir Terence Conran’s publishing house Conran Octopus. I got the job because of the coat I was wearing was so long and over the top I couldn’t get through the door. There my love of interiors intensified; I worked on all the interior books sourcing images and commissioning photographers. Whilst there my husband got offered a job in America so we relocated and I took the opportunity to embrace interior design full heartily. I studied by night and got a job as a designer for an architectural company. The rest as they say is history.
What's your proudest career achievement? Having the confidence to open a store – I had been shooting a campaign in the Middle East for a month and totally admired the attitude of the Israeli people I was working with. They totally believed in themselves and their ability to turn their hand to anything they wanted. That small team of art directors, photographers and models lit a fire in me to follow my dreams no matter how tough!
What's the best decision you've made? It was a tough one and I spent much time agonising about it – but about 18 months ago we had a fabulous opportunity to open a flagship store in NY. We declined the offer and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s the best decision we made. Many businesses, particularly in the retail sector, in the US have gone under. Our NY expansion programme could have taken the business down and everything I worked for as it has sadly done for a number of colleagues.
Who inspires you? Designers. I absolutely adore Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler and Ilsa Crawford. Their interiors are unique and individual. They mix styles with panache (trad with modern, classic with whimsy) and follow no rules just their hearts.
What are you passionate about? Design - obsessed about it – think, dream, eat, sleep and drive everyone crazy with my latest thoughts, schemes and projects.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? Don’t run before you can walk – I hate the phrase but by goodness it’s proved itself right time and time again.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jonathan Adler for creating such a strong business of gorgeousness products that meld happiness with chic-ness. He is going to take over the world you know!
What are you reading? A Wild Sheep’s Chase by Haruki Murakami. Love anything by this author.
images courtesy of abigail ahern