15th March 2018
Jen is a leading interior designer with a passion for tailored design. Her natural ability to put clients at ease, along with her infectious energy, creativity and effortless attention to detail are the driving forces behind the success of Bernard Interiors.
Where do you live in Newcastle?
Gosforth. It is so close to the city centre but with a relaxed vibe. There is a loads of green space, good restaurants, delis and coffee shops. It’s a great place to socialise, network and raise a family.
What makes Newcastle so special?
Without a doubt the people. Newcastle is renowned for being friendly and welcoming and has also established itself as one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the UK. There is a thriving tourism market and lots going on culturally. I find it a very inspirational city to live and work.
If you had to describe Newcastle in 3 words what would they be?
Vibrant, stylish, home
What is an average day like?
I get up at 6.30am with my son William who is two, we have breakfast and get ready for nursery. If I have time, I try to squeeze in a quick run on the town moor and grab a coffee on route to work. This sets me up in the best frame of mind for the day ahead.
If I am not on site with clients, an average day in the office is fast-paced and non-stop, but I love it. We start the day with a team meeting where I get an update on current projects and upcoming deadlines. We always have several jobs happening at the same time so it’s important I stay focused and keep my team motivated. The day will consist of reviewing schemes with our designers, conference calls with clients and planning meetings. We usually order lunch in to maximise time.
I leave the office usually by 5.30pm to collect William and then its home for some family time. I tend to work for a few hours in the evening and it gives me some quiet time to catch up on emails, plan for the next day and spend time on Instagram and Pinterest.
What is the inspiration behind your brand?
Polished, personal and professional
Tell us a little bit about your career so far
I was always interested in art, drawing and loved anything creative. I did some work experience and was inspired to follow a career in interiors. I studied Interior Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art and after graduation I joined an architectural practice. Prior to setting up my own firm in 2008, I worked for an international wall-coverings company and built a free lance portfolio.
Describe your personal style?
I would describe my style as classic with an edge. I always invest in great quality basics like good jeans, chic flats (essential when on site) and fabulous coats. I like preppy inspired pieces like oxford shirts and blazers, and my go to work uniform is leather trousers or jeans teamed with a crisp white shirt and French Sole ballet flats or a pair of my beloved worn-in Stan Smiths. A man’s style watch and diamond studs are my go to accessories.
What about Newcastle style?
Newcastle is a style conscious city and fashion and grooming is a big deal! The retail scene in Newcastle is exciting with great department stores and boutiques like Fenwick’s and Cruise – they always delivering when you are looking to invest in something special. However, places like Jesmond are also home to great independent boutiques, which I frequent a lot.
Plans for the future?
This is an exciting time for Bernard Interiors. We have expanded our team with new design talent and secured a new client, which will see us develop further into the retirement sector. We are also focused on growing our high-end residential projects both in the UK and abroad and are currently on site in Spain with a villa refurbishment.
Cafe 21 always
Arlo is my weekend go to
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