Cat was awarded ‘Top Interior Designer’ at New Design Britain last year, and this year she’s taken on a project which is a bit more personal – her own home in Tufnell Park.
Her passion for sourcing intricate furniture started a few years back whilst visiting Williamsburg flea market in Brooklyn, New York, and since then Cat Dal Interiors has gone from strength to strength.
Access London caught up with Cat to discuss the importance of understanding your interior designer, her favourite places in London and how she got started.
What brought you to northwest London?
I have lived all around London over the past 8 years, but I have always ‘felt’ north London the most, so when I was able to buy I immediately searched in the Kentish Town/Tufnell Park area.
We love the parks, the pubs, the people and in particular the new booming Fortress Road, which has some amazing local shops; Jonathon Norris fishmonger, Bear and Wolf café and Meat are all brilliant.
Why did you get into interior design?
As a Scandinavian (half Dane, half Norwegian) I was brought up with the concept of ‘Hygge’, which sort of translates into ‘cosyness’, making the most of small/everyday things (for example lighting candles at dinner).
I think this idea had a great effect on me, and it made me want to learn more about the importance of our surroundings and how to make them feel amazing.
Transforming your home or office for example by bringing in more light, better use of space, personality and intelligent design can elevate your mood and increase the quality of daily life dramatically.
What’s going on in the world of interiors at the moment?
In regards to residential design, there is a big shift into bringing the more organic attitudes into the home, whether it’s allowing for more natural light, having an indoor garden or using more natural materials.
In terms of office design, I have that noticed clients are eager to move away from traditional ‘corporate’ spaces into atmospheric, almost ‘living room’ like spaces (with table lamps, rugs and beautiful lighting) that encourages creativity and interaction between employees.
What would be your top tips for those choosing an interior designer?
I think the most important factor would be making sure your interior designer understands and respects the constraints of your budget, so you don’t feel pushed to spend more than your comfortable with.
Checking they are part of the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design – a regulatory body for interior design) is a good idea, and also ensuring that you like their personality, as you will probably be communicating a lot!
What is your favourite part of your apartment/flat?
My dining table, with my huge copper pendants hanging overhead. I think the dining table is the heart of the home; it has so many important functions – I love working from it and having dinner parties round it.
I have a large fig leaf tree in the corner, and used my old floorboards as shelving to contrast with the metallic pendants, very ‘rustic luxe’. I believe that imperfections make you feel more comfortable.
How does your day start and end?
I usually start with a workout – I love sprint or weight classes. Anything involving loud music and someone yelling instructions at me sets me up amazingly for the day.
I then spend my day either darting around London meeting suppliers and looking for tiles/flooring/lighting, or at my computer drawing up plans, working on budgets, blogging or mood boards.
There might be a visit to a site or a client meeting in the afternoon, and then I’m usually cooking at home with my fiancée and planning our wedding in Ibiza over dinner!
What recent projects have you been working on?
I have recently completed a grade II listed two-storey coffee shop in Fulham and a gorgeous jewellery store in Kentish Town, Jessica De Lotz. Jessica found her shop space in December and wanted to open 6 weeks later, so we had an incredibly quick turnaround, but it was completely worth the effort.
The shop is an eclectic space on Fortress Road (Kentish Town) with art deco features, salvaged curiosities and cherished treasures. Since its opening it has had so much attention, being listed in Evening Standard’s Top 50 Boutiques and featuring in several magazines worldwide.
The best place to shop in London?
It very much depends on what you are looking for; Columbia Road is great for art, plants and home wares, West Elm in Tottenham Court Road for mid-century furniture, Kempton Market for vintage treasures and Bert & May for fabulous tiles.
You need to relax – where do you go?
I love walking through the Heath (Hampstead), Regents Park, or along the canal to Victoria Park, and then cooking and having a long dinner with my family.
What is your favourite evening venue?
Aren’t we spoilt for choice in London with restaurants and bars! Locally I love dinner in the fantastic Patron de Cave or Del Parc (Junction Road) for fabulous Moroccan/Spanish tapas, and perhaps a cheeky cocktail at Ladies and Gents. I rarely go out dancing these days, but I love good music or comedy gig at The Forum.
Find Cat Dal Interiors