Douglas Mackie studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and subsequently worked in New York before setting up his interior design company in London in 1995. At his W1 offices, he has a team of ‘simply two’; he is super organised and involved with every aspect of each project. Douglas joins House & Garden editor Hatta Byng on Tuesday 22 September to talk about his design ethos and distinctive approach.
Conversations in Design: A Philosophy of Design, 3pm, 22 September. Tickets are £10: book here
What are the ingredients of the perfect interior? Achieving the right balance is highly intuitive. It’s usually the point when nothing further can be taken out of the room, rather than added. While there is no such thing as the perfect interior, if one can achieve a sense of individuality and comfort, then you’re getting close.
What’s your starting point when you take on a new project? It can vary hugely according to the client. Ideally it’s something wonderful that the client already owns; a painting, a great chair, or even a carpet. We designed a wonderful room recently where the starting point was a phenomenal 19th-century white Agra carpet, whose white ground and jewel-like colours were a glorious way to begin.
Do you think your approach is different to that of other designers? We all work in different ways. I tend to think of each new project as a fresh beginning, and enjoy the challenge of evolving, developing and creating something new every time.
Career highlight? In creative terms a recent project in the Middle East was the most challenging, and the end results the most satisfying. In terms of recognition, it was pleasing to be included in AD France’s list of their favourite 100 designers internationally.
Where do you head to first at the Design Centre? I have great admiration for Tissus d’Hélène – Helen Cormack’s eye for textiles, pattern and colour is unparalleled.
Your Instagram feed is quite globe-trotting – where have you gained inspiration from lately? I travel a lot; I am constantly inspired by what I see, whether in a gallery, on the street or in the presence of great architecture. These don’t necessarily provide direct reference points, but they form the backbone of an immense visual vocabulary which informs everything I do as a designer.