In My Shoes – With Dream Box

I’ve had such a blast writing ‘In My Shoes’ and what a series it’s been too! I’ve interviewed so many talented and creative individuals and have loved every minute of it. Sadly, the series is coming to an end however, I’m not going out without a bang! And what better person to end my series than the lovely Laura Adkin of Dream Box Interior Design. I met Laura through blogging and have since been an avid fan of both her work and progress. I took the opportunity to interview her and find out how she started her company as well as what makes her tick! Let me know what you think folks!


HOP: What has been your biggest challenge thus far in design in your career

LA: Me! I am unbelievably critical of my own work, which can work as a positive and negative. It is great that I am always striving to be the best that I can be and you can be sure that you will not receive work from me that is anything less than my best but on the flip side it means I have the ability to hold myself back and my husband has endured many nights of tears. I forget how far I have come over the last 2 years and when I remember where I started, it puts everything back into perspective because actually have I come a long way, so I am trying not to be so hard on myself and trust my instincts more.


HOP: Where do you draw your inspiration from for each project

LA: Everywhere. The internet, pinterest and fancy, magazines, books, other designers. I once went away for work and was working on a bedroom at the time. I had been trying out a number of furniture plans and it wasn’t quite working, I was staying in a rather ugly hotel room but the way the wardrobe was fitted suddenly provided me with a new idea and bang, everything fell into place. I never force inspiration. I can change mood boards a stupid number of times before I am happy with the final product, if I am not happy I just leave it and wait for the final part of the jigsaw, one day I’ll come across something and know that it is the missing piece.

HOP: So describe what a typical 24hours is like at the Laura Adkin studio

LA: I always start with a to do list! I am an organised geek and I am always over ambitious and end up working late forgetting to cook dinner! Typically you’ll find me pulling together ideas for mood boards, usually on the floor rather than on a desk! Drawing up plans and elevations, product sourcing, running from shop to shop trying to find the perfect cushion. Having a break down as the decorator has started hanging the wallpaper only to discover there are not enough rolls! Or perhaps the client has now decided he no longer wants the furniture plan you spent hours designing *pulls hair out* Every day is different and brings new challenges, when you’re starting out you don’t think about all the mistakes that can be made but we all make them and it is our job to keep cool and find a solution to the problem, its not all sunshine and rainbows! You also underestimate the paperwork involved but the inner organised geek in me means I actually quite enjoy this, I feel calmer and more relaxed afterwards, it’s soul cleansing. 

HOP: Many of my readers are keen to break into the industry. What advice would you give to those either hoping to start their own studio or hoping to land their first role a designer 

LA: Have self-belief and confidence. Set goals! I have a book at home where I have set a number of goals and it is so rewarding when you reach them, it pushes you onwards and upwards, if you don’t know your goals, where are you heading and how can you measure your success? Try to gain experience, whether it is working for another design consultancy or working on independent projects. You will make mistakes, learn from them and gain knowledge for the future. And don’t worry about what you’re earning – it will come right in the end.

HOP: What is your fantasy job

LA: My dream has always been to renovate my own barn so this is top of the fantasy list, complete with my own studio in the garden, all designed by me, obviously…………. *sighs*


HOP: Who do you admire in the design industry

LA: To mention a few….…. Sophie Paterson, she has a great eye for detail. I love her sophisticated designs, they are created with function in mind and still maintain a sense of glam! Lets face it, we all want our homes to be lived in and Sophie manages to balance the practical with super chic perfectly. Heather Jenkinson, her colour palette is faultless, she uses such beautiful colours and finishes in all her projects. I always admire her work.

I met Abigail Ahern last year and she was positively lovely, it was an inspiration hearing her stories of coming into the industry and looking at where she is now! I love that she isn’t afraid of bold and brave designs.

HOP: What makes you happy

LA: This Sunday was a great example! Curled up on the sofa with my husband and Bobby cat, no TV, no noise, a new design magazine in one hand and a hot chocolate in the other. The simple things in life! Baking cakes and picking flowers from the garden.

Images Supplied by: Laura Adkin @ Dream Box Interior Design

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