Interview with Essex Interior Designer Jane Picking

From working with the Middle East’s social elite, to renovating stately homes across the UK, Jane Picking has a wealth of design experience. We interviewed Essex’s supreme interior designer…

Jane Picking, an Essex interior designer, has an incredible luxury showroom called House of Design based in Essex offering complimentary interior design services. Exquisite finds out more.

How did you get into design?

Originally, my background was working creatively with Debenhams, designing their window displays in 1978. In their heyday, Debenhams were appointed to design the interiors for new Emerson Park show homes. This gave me a really good first insight into interior design, and I suppose where my love of luxury interiors began!

What should interior design be about?

The individual. The individual should always be allowed to have their own personality, likes and dislikes, although you can bring people out of their comfort zone. Customers can only like what they see, so our job is to make them see everything they like. Interior design sometimes scares people away
– they think it will cost a fortune and take over their house – but it should be a really enjoyable experience.

Are there different types of designers? What are they?

In my opinion, there are 3 different types of interior designers:
1. The interior designer with their own unique style who will put their stamp on your home. People recognise the interior as a statement design.
2. The trend setting extremists! They fully embrace the current style or hottest trend, but this can mean that longevity isn’t always accounted for.
3. The consultative designer. This individual focuses on the wants and needs of the client, discussing your ideas in great detail. They ensure that your renovation has the ‘wow’ factor, but the nal design suits your style and reflects your personality.

What type of interior designer do you consider yourself to be?

With every client, I always make sure their room or house distinctly reflects their personality, and honours their wants and needs. I also work hard to ensure the design will last, and won’t look dated next season. I think one of my strengths is knowing what products work well together and how they can be incorporated in your home; I definitely developed this skill specialising in luxury homewares in House of Design.

How did the launch of House of Design happen?

I was an interior design consultant up until around 7 years ago, but then made the decision to launch House of Design with my business partner Alan, who had an established interiors business in Chelmsford. I used to take clients there to find unique pieces of furniture, and this was the initial inspiration behind our interiors destination showroom, offering a complimentary interior design service.

Have you got any clients that have been with you since the beginning?

For 9 years, I worked in Marble Arch, designing luxury homes for clients in the Middle East. My work was based purely on recommendation, so you’re only ever as good as your last job! Some clients have been footballers, others celebrities, but I’m sworn to secrecy I’m afraid!

How do you start the process?

When people come to House of Design, we love for them to feel relaxed and just take the showroom in. We will always have a free consultation with the client, to discover their likes and dislikes, and typically go through a brochure showing them our most recent case studies.

Do you have a home that is the closest to your heart?

Personally, the Sacred Heart Convent project because it’s grade II listed. I loved the end result for the customer. The project was so special because, no matter your taste, be it minimalist or modern, you would walk into that house and be amazed. It’s history was incredible and those jobs don’t come around too often.

What do you do for Christmas?

We often take bookings for dressing people’s houses for Christmas, as well as dressing their trees and creating centre pieces for their tables. Come in and visit our showroom to see what House of Design can offer you this season.

Saint Marys Lane, Upminster RM14 3BU, United Kingdom, 01708 221411


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