Designer insights with Ann Henderson

Ann Henderson has worked as an interior designer for over a decade, working closely with her clients to create liveable interiors. She works on residential as well as commercial properties, including homes, vacation retreats, designer showcases and museum installations. By utilising shape, scale, colour and texture she is able to provide unique designs that encourage human interaction. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Ann Henderson.

Designer Insights with Ann Henderson

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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

I like to see myself as a creative listener to each client's unique voice. I am certain that there is a great solution to any design problem. I believe that the vocabulary of good design is universal and can be translated into any palette, any style, any location, any situation. From a young age I have learned some basic building blocks, becoming intrigued with art, architecture and the decorative arts and yet I know it will be a life-long journey for me. Looking back while looking forward, Interior Design has always been about historical and personal interpretation of place. In our modern world this is so very dynamic, global and immediate. The greats always reinvent the best of what came before. Those are the stars I wish to chase but with a focus on the incredibly diverse and rapidly changing lifestyles of our modern world.

2) When starting a new design project, what is your creative process?

Starting a job is like a first kiss. It is amazing in that no matter how many times you may have done this its like it never happened before. There are new people, new spaces, new challenges and new inspirations. Every first visit is like a dream down a windy path. I enjoy breathing it all in - taking notes, making sketches and snapping recordings of what I can of the day. I try to listen with my eyes and my ears. I like to write before I draw and I draw in black and white. The framework takes shape with scribbled word and scaled drawings of black and white but it comes to life with colors that are almost always inspired by existing nature or art.

3) Out of all the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

Like many moms from the 50s, my mom was a homemaker, however she was extraordinary in her appreciation of beauty. She was a quiet and patient collector of antiques as well as an appreciative curator of what she inherited from her family. She exposed me to art, to silver ,to furnishings, to porcelain, to beautiful gardens, to music. She was not ostentatious or famous or pretentious but her vision of creating a home has taught me to value this as a worthwhile endeavor for all of us. Her motivations were purely from the love of imaginative discovery and the sharing of this with her family and friends.

4) Is there a building that you find yourself revisiting repeatedly, because of it’s beautiful and inspiring interiors?

Without a doubt the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston is an inspirational spot. Modeled after a Venetian Renaissance Palace the building surrounds an inner courtyard that is both tranquil and breathtakingly beautiful. The personal collection of art furniture and decorative arts are displayed with a whimsical air. John Singer Sargent's portrait of a flamenco dancer is a life sized study of black and white that I could ponder for hours

5) How did you get into interior design? And what is your advice for design students looking to follow in your footsteps?

I was fortunate to have taken art lessons as a child. My foundation in arts education continued through High School and college where I majored in studio art and art history. Further study in Interior Design helped with organization and discipline. Spending time in Europe and studying at great museums such as Winterthur I have been come to realize that this world is full of beauty which we all can share. It is an ongoing process and to the younger students I would suggest get out there and take it all in.