Meet Thomas Coombes –
A Conversation with...
We caught up with Thomas Coombes, the founder and creative director of Thomas Coombes Interior Design. We wanted to find out a little bit more about the man behind the brand.
Where did your interest in interior design begin?
I started working for the family business which originally began as a painter’s and decorator’s merchant before becoming a Farrow & Ball paint specialist. Using the skills I gained on the job – as well as what I learnt while studying textile design in America – I decided to start my own interior design business in 2009.
Do you have a signature style and where do you find your inspiration?
Interior design magazines such as Elle Decoration are constant sources of inspiration, as are look books and trade shows. Instagram is also a great resource for discovering new and upcoming brands.
How does the process begin in deciding the “look” and how important are mood boards and client collaboration?
My team and I work extremely hard to ensure that each project is unique and perfectly suited to the client’s wants and needs. Everything from budget to how they wish to use the space and what they do and don’t like is considered. We then draw up a proposal, present it to them and once approved we start working on the project. The whole process is extremely collaborative.
What other design services can you offer your clients? For example could you source art to compliment the concept?
Alongside the interior design side of our business we also offer a maintenance service and work closely with a network of experts to ensure that a client’s house is kept to a consistently high standard. A lot of people like one-off pieces so it is very common for us to commission bespoke furniture and artwork and we manage and oversee that whole process.
Wallpaper Or Paint? Colour or neutral?
Wallpaper! Nothing is quite as luxurious as a room that has been fully wallpapered. It also adds depth to a space and gives a more consistent finish than paint. As for colour, it’s dependent on the look and feel of the whole project but I generally prefer layering neutrals with hints of bolder shades.
Which interior designer do you admire and why?
Kelly Hoppen because her designs are simple but make an impact and stand the test of time.
Can you give us an example of the challenges faced as an interior designer?
Planning spaces with CAD illustrations can be tricky. If there are any errors regarding furniture dimensions – even tiny ones – they can have a big impact on the planning.
What do you love most about your career?
I love the fact that every day is different. One day I can be picking fabric for curtains and the next day be overseeing the installation of a swimming pool.
If you weren’t in interior designer what career path would you have taken?
I would probably be working in fashion or textile design.
Where can you be found when you’re not working?
On the golf course or renovating my new house.