Every crisis presents a unique set of issues. But for an interior design studio with a diverse portfolio of private clients, both at home and across the globe, a health pandemic throws up a whole new set of challenges, from the day-to-day running of the business to broken supply chains and keeping to previously confirmed schedules. ‘What’s important,’ says designer Louise Bradley, ‘is to face those challenges with a cool head and to work systematically on overcoming them.’
From her flagship showroom in Knightsbridge, Louise offers a classic, contemporary take on luxury, effortlessly combining bespoke pieces, unique finishes and state-of- the-art technology to deliver an eclectic and ultimately very personal space for her clients. Working with a team of interior architects, interior designers, 3D-visualisers, furniture designers and FF&E specialists, she launches new collections of classic contemporary furniture, fabrics and accessories every year.
‘One thing I have learned is that taking care of my team is the most important thing I can do, especially in difficult times,’ explains Louise. ‘While I still oversee every project, it’s my amazing team that brings everything to life, from the creative team meticulously working through the design process, to the most efficient operations team delivering our ideas on-site. Whether you’re a small or medium-sized company, if your team is strong and supported, you’ll get through any crisis quicker and with more ease.’
Thriving in a pandemic has also meant being consistently resourceful, not least because many of the manufacturers and craftspeople the Louise Bradley team works closely with have had their own difficulties and vicissitudes to deal with.
‘Travel restrictions, here and internationally, have meant not being able to visit many of our clients. Zoom has been a vital tool for communicating with both site progress and clients. We have also had to find alternative solutions for progressing projects or working out how quickly we can get them off the ground once the various lockdowns are lifted, keeping as much as possible to the original completion dates.’
Louise Bradley’s international clients expect nothing less. ‘I think that British brands are trusted across the globe because of their stability and being able to stay calm and deliver even in the toughest situations,’ says Louise. ‘The pandemic hasn’t changed that.’
In that vein, she doesn’t think Brexit will either. ‘Brexit is a political situation, while the Britishness in question, the one that we cherish together with our clients, is timeless. I was born in London and have lived in the capital all my life. I have always associated Britishness with diversity, multinational influences, idea exchange and the merging of international ideas and cultures,’ she says.
Looking to the future, Louise hopes all Great British brands will stay true to their heritage and their visions, entering 2021 with open minds, an enhanced awareness and a flexible business strategy. ‘We will continue working with and supporting British and European craftsmen when collaborating on our new furniture collections, ensuring that their workshops, which have been through very difficult times throughout 2020, can thrive again in 2021.’