As we say goodbye to 2019 and welcome a new decade with 2020, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on the year that’s been and look ahead at our objectives for the coming year.
2019 was a busy year for the studio – we completed work on six projects and started work on eight new ones. We designed 22 bathrooms, 5 kitchens, 31 bedrooms, amongst other rooms and received 5-star Houzz reviews from six clients. Looking forward to what exciting designs 2020 will bring.
We were also proud to receive the ‘Best of Houzz 2019’ award, and (to my surprise) we were nominated for the Amara Blog Awards for ‘Best Interior Designer Blog’.
In February, our joinery design was featured at Surface Design Show on the stand of our partner joiners, End Grain. It was an honour to have our work displayed and on show to so many visitors.
In 2019, we launched our ‘Eco Mission’ – environmentalism has always been an issue close to my heart and there have been many moments during my career as a designer that I have felt at odds with wasteful practices in the refurbishment and interiors industries. One of my main drivers for starting Pia Design was to be able to be able to make more conscientious decisions on the suppliers and manufacturers that I work with and to make efforts to decrease the carbon footprint of our refurbishment projects.
This started out with many changes in the studio –
Waste Reduction: We’ve managed to significantly reduce our waste by composting our food waste, separating recycling (glass, cans, recyclable plastic, paper and card). We have also expressed our concern to our suppliers and cancelled all of our paper catalogues (we prefer to receive new catalogues digitally) and requesting that samples are sent either without plastic or (if bubble wrap must be used), as little packaging as possible. We also now effectively an entirely paperless office.
Selecting our Manufacturers: We have also made some changes in the suppliers and manufacturers that we work with and do our best to align ourselves with suppliers who share our values. This means working with brands who have achieved eco-credentials and sourcing new and exciting products made in more sustainable ways, either from biodegradable or recycled materials with a low manufacturing footprint.
Reuse, Refurbish, Repurpose: When it comes to refurbishments and projects, our policy is to start with what the client already owns and only replace if something cannot be refurbished or repurposed. This has been met with enthusiasm from our clients, as it’s also a cost effective approach.
In December, we were delighted to be featured in Estila Magazine’s ‘Sustain/Able’ magazine edition, in which selected brands talked about their efforts to design and manufacture more sustainably.
As of January 2020, we have also joined 1% for the Planet, a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions. We donate 1% of our sales revenue to approved environmental non-profit organisations, with particular focus on charities aimed at reducing the impact of manufacturing linked to the interiors and refurbishment industries.
The team has also expanded – last year we worked with three, wonderful part-time freelancers without whom our projects would not have been possible. I hope we will continue to work together. We are also happy to introduce Emily, who has joined the studio as a full-time junior designer and will be helping with current and upcoming projects.
Some of the current projects we are working on include a 6 bedroom new-build, a grade 2 listed farmhouse, a period townhouse, and a gorgeous property on a private estate. Looking forward to sharing the design development and eventually the finished photos in due course.