Before establishing her own thriving interior design practice back in 2014, Noor Charchafchi qualified as an aviation finance lawyer. Now Celine Interior is not only one of London’s finest interior design practices, but it also enjoys a world-class reputation.
International in outlook, Noor’s Iraqi background means that both her Middle Eastern projects and her home-grown ones are thriving. Noor’s understanding of her clients’ cultural background, combined with her deep knowledge of British design and the quality of craftsmanship that accompanies it, give her a unique design perspective that is much sought after.
Although 2020 inevitably meant big challenges for many businesses, Noor used the year to innovate and reinvent things to ensure her business wasn’t just surviving but thriving. ‘I feel that 2020 was a really creative time for my business,’ she explains. ‘We founded The Design Platform at the beginning of the pandemic to give other British design businesses a voice on our social media channels, and I began to give tutorials to design schools internationally, most recently in the UAE.’
Celine Interior Design has also collaborated on six new product lines with well-known names such as Peter Reed and Couture Editions, and is launching two new sub-divisions of the Celine brand to bring more British craftsmanship to its clients. ‘Overall, it’s been a fully packed year and we intend to keep up that spirit of growth and commitment well into this year and beyond.’
Setting up a business and getting it to the level that it is at today has taken a great deal of hard work and challenges along the way, states Noor. ‘When I started my business I knew I loved design,’ she says. ‘However, passion isn’t enough to run a business successfully. It’s a great start, but there is so much more that you need to be able to deliver outstanding designs. Enhancing your client’s life has to be your ultimate goal at every step of the way.’
Noor is personally involved in every project that comes through the door but she’s also worked hard to put together an excellent team over the years and she credits her staff for the smooth delivery of each project.
‘I believe the difference between running an excellent design practice and going it alone is all about the people – that means the clients, the staff and everyone involved in the project directly and indirectly. I have very high expectations of my team but I also make sure that they have them of themselves. Mistakes will happen in every business but I’m only excited by the creative solutions that my brilliant team come up with and the prospect of having another opportunity to do even better.’
‘To be a great British brand is not only a huge source of pride to the practice,’ she continues, ‘but it also comes at a critical time in history, when being British and supporting the quality that comes from the country is not only important but imperative.’ Noor’s commitment to maintaining that quality is unshakeable and she has an exciting vision for the future.