Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an Interior Designer? We caught up with Daniela Tasca York, winner of this years Great Interior Design Challenge, to bring you her top interior design tips, to find out what it was like on the GIDC and get the scoop on how she managed to juggle 2 kids with her blooming Interior Design career. In this interview Daniela gives us some great advice to inspire and encourage you, sharing her experiences and favourite interior design trends of the moment!
– Introduction – Who are you?
Daniela Tasca York
– What do you do?
I’m an Interior Designer
– How old are you?
– Who do you live with and where?
I live in Epping with my fiance, Calum and two children, Palmer, 4 and Bambie, 2.
– Have you always been interested in interior design?
Yes, I’ve always been interested interior design. My whole life seems to have revolved around design of some sorts. Since a young age I can remember redecorating my Barbie houses on a weekly basis and my favourite programme was changing rooms… I was an odd child! Through my teens I would design and plan my bedroom, create mood boards and get my lovely Grandad on board to make custom design desks for me. Luckily I had an incredibly supportive family that allowed my creativity to flow.
Kelly Hoppen, Tom Dyckoff, Daniel Hopwood, Sophie Robinson – Great Interior Design Challenge Judges
– How did the The Great British Design Challenge come about?
I had just moved back from 3 years living in Ibiza and felt at a bit of a loose end. I wasn’t sure where my life was going and was feeling so desperate for a new and exciting challenge. At that same time I was obsessed with the Great Interior Design Challenge, and when the series ended I saw the call for new contestants so I thought ‘what the hell’ and applied for the show. I never thought I’d get accepted, let alone win the whole series. Looking back I’m very thankful for that time where I felt fed up as it pushed me to change my life and take a risk.
– Who or what would you say your main design influences are?
Most definitely movies. I think fashion plays a huge part with colours and fabrics, but movies inspire the mood and the atmosphere for me. My favourite films are from directors such as Tom Ford and Lars Von Trier as well as the usual suspects like Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson. I love being transported into someone else’s vision, their perspective and how they view the world.
– Why do you think you won the challenge?
I’m not entirely sure why I won, Oliver is incredibly talented and would have been a worthy winner but I suppose you could say I am a versatile designer and I like to take risks and push the boundaries a little. Design is about moving forward and this is something I focus on, whilst giving a nostalgic nod to the past.
– How would you describe your style? What would you say was your signature style or your trademark stamp on a room?
I think I’m still finding my feet as to what my signature style is but I’d like to think it exudes a laid back cool with touches of modern luxury, but with a 70s Americana look! I love simple lines and fresh clean palettes, but I’m quite schizophrenic and occasionally love clashing prints and florals. It depends on my mood, my clients and the room itself. I want to stay as versatile as possible as it will broaden my range as a designer and hopefully strengthen my designs by doing so. I like using inspiration from opposite ends of the scale and seeing what happens when you mix things up. Juxtaposition is my favourite word!
– How do you decorate your own home? Is it all white? Do you change and update your own home often?
My home is rented so I find it incredibly challenging to put my own stamp on it without risking losing my deposit!! We are also on a tight budget as saving to buying our own home, most of my furniture is from charity shops, Ebay or Ikea and I have upcycled a lot of things recently which has helped to add an identity. Most of the rooms are white which as much as it might be a little trademark of mine, I’d love to put some colour on the walls. I’m a bit of a rebel and when I’m forced to have something all I can do is think about changing it!
You mentioned then that you live in a rented house at the moment…how easy is it to make the house your home when there are some restrictions in tenancy agreements etc? What tips would you give people who are renting and want to give their home personality without making it too permanent?
I have been a bit naughty, I must admit! I have wallpapered a couple of the rooms but I have used an inexpensive wallpaper from Ebay so it won’t be a shame have to strip it when we move again. I think a great tip is to focus not on the walls but the artwork. This is where you can bring colour and personality without blowing the budget or upsetting your landlord. There are lots of companies now that are making removable wallpaper, a brilliant idea for renters. Houseplants can help fill spaces too, there is something so lovely about having a living thing in your home, I feel like houseplants bring a good energy to any home.
– You have two small children so how do you incorporate that into your home style?
Lots of storage is a must with children although my house still looks like Toys ’R’ Us most of the time! I made my son the centre of his bedroom with family photos and lots of books. I try to get both of my children excited about design and help them pick out accessories and paint colours.
– Are you a wallpaper or a paint girl?
Totally split down the middle on this one! I love both equally but like to use wallpaper in more creative ways, I think we need to start thinking outside the box as how wallpaper can be used in our homes. I also love using real wood veneers in place of wallpaper. It’s not as expensive as you would think but looks incredible!!
– What sort of homes did you grow up in? Did they influence your design choices?
I lived in modest but beautiful homes. We moved a lot and always bought fixer uppers, I loved seeing the makeover process happen. From knocking down walls to pulling up 70s carpets to then adding new kitchens and bathrooms. My style is quite different to my parents but this definitely inspired me to jump straight in and get my hands dirty when needed!
– I understand you lived in Ibiza…. I’m very familiar with the island – I see some Ibicencan influence in your style….would you agree and if so what do you most love about that Balearic look?
Most definitely, it was one of the main reasons we moved there. I am an incredibly visual person and love to be surrounded by beauty as much as possible, Ibiza was perfect for that. It has defiantly influenced my style a lot. I love how the Ibiza style is so laid back, so effortless, it doesn’t ever feel ‘themed’ which shows how genuine the designs are. It’s at once eclectic and modern and brings in influences from all over the world.
– What’s next for you as a designer? As a bit of a fan of the show (I’m the changing rooms generation too) I want to know what’s next for you?
Lots of exciting things are happening now, I have to pinch myself to believe how lucky I have been. I now have lots of projects on the go ranging from big to small, from boho to modern and that’s all crazy good for me as it means each project has totally fresh ideas. Im also building a portfolio of product that I will be launching in the summer, this will include wallpapers, cushions, candles and some smaller pieces of furniture.
– What do you love most about an empty canvas? How do you develop your ideas for an interior space?
I find that empty canvas’s are the hardest to work with. For myself it’s ok, but for clients I really like to see one or two pieces of furniture or colour that they love to get the ball rolling. The one great thing about starting from the bones of a room is that you can play more with lighting, flooring and layouts, that’s always super fun! I develop my ideas from my clients needs, I try my best to find out how the will use the room and try to harness their own style and enhance key pieces of furniture that they like to incorporate. From that point everything starts going crazy in my head. I try not to look on pinterest until the later stages as I think it can confuse a situation and you are in danger of losing the original sentiment to the design.
– I loved your budget ideas – great ways to make a big impact without breaking the bank – is that something you’ve personally had to do, or is it just so you can help people achieve their dream interior on a budget?
I have to be tight on budget for myself as we are saving to buy our own home, but with clients I try to incorporate some money saving ideas where I can, even if they have generous budgets to play with. I think they really appreciate that and feel like I am looking after them which I’m happy to do.
– What would your top three tips for great style on a budget be?
- Source from charity shops where you can. Not only are you getting a bargain but also your money is going to a good cause… Win win!
- Pick one standout special piece for every room, whether this be your sofa or you bed, an armchair or curtains perhaps. Make sure it’s a show piece and follows its lead with everything else you buy style wise but go highstreet instead. You won’t regret spending a little on one piece if it save you money in other areas. Buy better, not more.
- Artwork once again is an amazing way of styling you home. Try creating some yourself with a canvas and some tester posts of emulsion, it’s fun, relaxing and you may be surprised at how much you love the end result!
– If you had to live in one design decade which would it be?
– What’s your favourite place in the world?
New York, New York!
– Who is your favourite designer / influencer?
La Muralla Roja, Ricardo Bofill
– What’s in your handbag right now?
Baby wipes and a notebook!
– What is your favourite book?
– What 3 things couldn’t you live without if you had to live on a desert island (not including partner and kids as they are allowed to come too!)?
Scented candles, crisp bedsheets and something to play music on… sounds quite romantic doesn’t it!
– What is your favourite piece of Danetti furniture and why?
I love the Serin Occasional Chair in white leather, I want one!
– So Daniela, what’s your instant response to the following choices….you can just answer with one word or give a bit more detail as to why!
Linen or Velvet: Velvet….No linen…No velvet, arghh I can’t choose!
Moodboard or Pinterest: Moodboard
Timber or Marble: Marble
Facebook or Instagram: Instagram
Curtains or blinds: Curtains
Carpet or concrete floor: Concrete Floor
Matt or gloss: Matt
If you want to follow Daniela and her new projects check her out on Instagram (@danielatascayork) and keep your eyes peeled for her new range of products!