After graduating from the Chelsea School of Art and working at Conran, Juliette set up her own business ‘Juliette Byrne‘ in 1988.
Her work is renowned and was most notably recognised in both the UK and International Property Awards. She is listed consistently among the top 100 designers in the UK by House and Garden published by Conde Nast.
Moreover, she was awarded by the telegraph the accolade of being one of the ‘Top 20 Interior Designers in Britain’. She is also a member of the British Institute of Interior Design and lectures at The Inchbald School of Design at KLC.
Today and more than three decades later she continues to work closely with and inspire a team of designers at her studio in Chelsea, where the office mascot Minty is well known… the family’s Jack Russell.
After my graduation I recall spending hours in front of the computer sending out CV’s in the hope of finding a job and moving to London to pursue my career as an interior designer.
When I was starting to lose hope and I felt like my dreams were fading away I received a response inviting me to interview for a well renowned London based interior design studio. I couldn’t believe my luck. My interview was a success, I moved to London and spent the following three and a half years working for Juliette Byrne.
In that time I learnt so much from Juliette and it’s safe to say I wouldn’t be where I am today if she hadn’t given me that chance. I admired her from the day I walked into her studio and her achievements have been a constant source of inspiration for me.
Outside of her typical working day Juliette lives in London with her two daughters, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to grab a few moments with her.
Was there a turning point in your early career that led to you to set up your own studio?
I had my first commission when I was still at the Chelsea School of Art. It was a busy time in the 80’s with developers in London. I started work on a project in Eaton Place at 19 years old.
What was the most difficult challenge you had to overcome?
Juggling two jobs at once. I worked a second job alongside my my part time job at Conrans. I took another job to cover the cost of the rent on my office in Beauchamp place, Knightsbridge.
What surprised you most about yourself?
My ability to adapt to clients from such a diverse range of international backgrounds, as well as accommodate clients for an English style.
Was there anyone you looked to for inspiration and encouragement?
I worked alongside Catherine Pawson on some of her early projects, her style of design and knowledge of fabrics from her training at Colefax has always been inspirational to me.
What are the key qualities young women need to have to succeed?
To persevere and not to be put off by any set backs. Always remember that the industry is a small and friendly one, so you need to make sure you support your suppliers. Work on building loyalty with those suppliers, consequently clients will appreciate the quality and service.
What drives you to continue with your success today?
I simply adore the industry. I thrive on the variety of the projects we work on. We also get to work with all the new products being launched every year, so I continue to be inspired to reach even greater success.
Away from business, what makes you happy?
I love spending quality time with family and friends. I also have a beloved thoroughbred horse and spending time alone with her is precious. It is a very relaxing time for me away from the office.
What is your favourite colour combination?
I love strong accent colours such as fuchsia pinks, emerald green is one of my favourite choices at the moment. I mix these colours with a neutral palette to offset them.
Back to business, what’s next for Juliette Byrne?
We have just won the International Property Awards for best London town house, which we are proud to have achieved. We also look forward to continuing to work on projects which are further afield, such as Jersey and the French Alps. Equally continuing what we do for the residential properties in London and countryside.
Written by Linsey Skepper
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