Lloyd Hodgkinson from Oliver Mark Interiors talks about his distinctive style and signature furniture pieces

Lloyd Hodgkinson from Oliver Mark Interiors talks about his choice of furniture pieces, what design elements he takes into account when wanting to leave his own design signature, and his thoughts on Theodore Alexander.

Bloomingdales blog Lloyd Hodgkinson from Oliver Mark Interiors talks about his distinctive style and signature furniture pieces
Lloyd Hodgkinson from Oliver Mark Interiors talks about his choice of furniture pieces, what design elements he takes into account when wanting to leave his own design signature, and his thoughts on Theodore Alexander

Q: In your use of furniture design pieces, or your choice of pieces more particularly, what do you typically look for in order to leave a “signature” that is distinctively your own?
 
A: I think that really depends on the particular type of furniture piece that I am selecting. To me, the definition of luxury is comfort, so I always make sure that my upholstered items are generous, inviting and upholstered in beautiful fabrics. I also like to add in an unexpected element to my interiors, and find that a great way of achieving this is through the use of interesting round side tables. They come in various shapes, sizes and finishes, and I find the 'less obvious' choice is the always winner. This is where you achieve a multi-dimensional interior, by the combination of disparate furniture pieces. For example, I wouldn't hesitate in using the TA Atticus side table in a classic interior. That might seem like an odd choice, however when you break down the look of the Atticus side table, it reveals distinct classical detailing which wouldn't appear completely out of place.


Q: Where, in your view, is “the edge” in furniture design emanating from? Does any particular region, or country have a distinct design edge, over any other?
 
A: Regarding design in general, over the past couple of years my attention has been turning to what is coming out of the United Kingdom. There is a plethora of young up-and-coming artists, interior designers and textile designers who are paving the way for the return of classical design, but with their own unique and fresh approach. English artist Luke Edward Hall is a big inspiration to me, as is interior designers Beata Heuman and Ben Pentreath. Textile designer Lulu Lytle of Soane is also making her mark with a revitalised approach to classical design. I think what makes these designers so relevant to our time, is that their aesthetic is very appropriate for our Australian way of life. You'll always find bright, clean colours and a sense of playfulness – these things as Australians we generally crave. 


Q: How relevant is tradition, or a manufacturing history, for contemporary design? Do you think that designers are sometime constrained, limited, or overly influenced by “names” and reputation?

 
A: Hugely relevant for me. I'm personally not a huge fan of contemporary design as I find it cold and uninviting. I want my interiors to feel beautiful – which for far too long has been a bit of a dirty word when describing how you want a space to feel! I think there is always a danger to fall into the trap of 'fast fashion' interiors. Even if I am working on a project with a modern aesthetic, I will still try to incorporate some more traditional styles pieces, or perhaps a modern piece with a small nod to tradition. I think sometimes we can all be influenced by specific things, but I think knowing when that thing is appropriate for you and your client – that is the key.

Featuring the Westcliff Table Lamp

Q: How do you personally go about seeking out design inspiration? Do you have a modus operandi?
 
A: I'm an avid reader and have a huge appetite for learning the history of interior design and the great practitioners of design. When I see an interior that I love, I break down each element of the room to try and dissect what it is about the room that appears beautiful to me. There are many great design historians who write about interiors with insight into how the designer or architect approached the space. I don’t think there is ever one distinct way that I seek design inspiration, but more so a culmination of the content that I expose myself to.
 
Turning your thoughts to Theodore Alexander furniture:
 
Q: What’s the very first thought or association that springs to mind i.e. your gut response?
 
A: Quality. In an age where our interiors are fast becoming disposable and trend driven, the desire for beautiful quality made furniture pieces is ever present. 

Q: Please elaborate on this i.e. why do you say this?
 
A: Certainly over the past decade, interior design has become much more accessible and popular. This is a wonderful thing, as I believe everyone should reflect their personality in their interior, however the downside is that we are subject to a constant barrage of fast fashion trends that are here today and gone tomorrow. With this over-saturation of trends, it becomes increasingly hard for people to pin-point their own personal style. As an interior designer, I believe it is my job to push my clients outside of their comfort zone and give them something that is individual to them and completely removed from current trends. I always encourage my clients to invest in pieces that will stand the test of time and be just as beautiful in another 20 years.



Q: Can you describe in broad terms, the kind of client who is happy to include TA in their home?
 
A: Typically more mature age clients, who are ready and prepared to invest in long-term furniture pieces - items that don't bow to the pressure of trends. These clients appreciate quality and detail.
 
Q: If you could send a message to the TA brand owners, anything you want to say to them – what would you say?
 
A: Forge ahead! There are many designers out there like myself who crave distinctive and beautifully made furniture.