Being in Edinburgh, I am lucky enough to stay in such an iconic and historic city. It may not be the most renowned for its choices in interior design education but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a range of outstanding interior designers who have settled here, enchanted by the delights of this beautiful city. From the medieval charm of the Old Town to the plush Neo-classical and Georgian style of the New Town, these characteristic properties are shouting out to be adorned with the latest interior design, so who wouldn’t want to be placed among such a wealth of creative temptations? One of these talented designers is Bryce McKenzie.
Located in Edinburgh’s New Town is the interior design hub of Bryce McKenzie, a show room and studio where the creative magic occurs. Walking through the small entrance is rather deceiving as it opens up to a lovely show room showcasing a selection of upholstered furniture, bespoke cabinetry from Michael Hart, lighting and accessories. Also located here is a fantastic design library where different fabrics, wall coverings and floor coverings can be discovered.
Bryce who has over 19 years experience in the business has worked on projects both in Europe and here in the UK so it’s great that he has chosen Edinburgh for his base, providing the city with such a fantastic service. Bryce and his team have the amazing ability to design a room that carefully balances textures, shades and tones without looking over-elaborate. Not imposing a signature style, the team allow the client to have complete input along the way so that they can express their own tastes and vision. A high quality result is the only option for the interior design team and the finished designs exude luxury and finesse while still managing to fit perfectly around the client’s needs and lifestyle.
I caught up with Bryce to find out more about his career and business.
Where did your interior stylist gift stem from and how did it grow into a career?
I’ve always found myself drawn to the aesthetic — even as early as 12 years old I was arranging and rearranging my bedroom to make it look it’s best and specially painted my wardrobes to fit in with the decor.
It seems that I always had an eye for balance and harmony in a room and was driven enough to change things until they looked right to me!
Despite studying microbiology at university, it wasn’t the career for me and I left to work for Liberty where I very quickly realised that interior design was what I should be doing – I’ve never looked back and that was almost 22 years ago.
When did you start your business and what kind of services do you provide?
I started my business in early 2008 so it’ll soon be 8 years since I started providing a comprehensive interior design and project management service in Edinburgh city centre. Prior to that I’d managed practices for other companies as well as working for london design houses such as Colefax and Fowler. In the last few years I’ve fully developed my own range of upholstered furniture, the Bryce McKenzie Collection and have worked extensively in collaboration with Michael Hart Cabinetry on both a standard range of designs and bespoke pieces for clients. The important thing regarding all this is the originality in the work I do. I like to offer something unique to my clients.
Bryce not only provides an excellent service for his clients but also used his skills to design his own home.
Can you remember your first project? What ups and downs did you encounter and what was the final outcome?
To be honest, I really couldn’t tell you about my first project specifically as it was so long ago! I do remember the learning process with it and every project since – no matter what solution we arrive at we always produce a perfect result for the client regardless of how we get there!
Who or what inspires your creative designs?
My clients inspire me quite a lot of the time as the work I do is tailored to them and their homes. I tend to get clients who want to participate in the thought process and who care passionately about the results.
In a broader sense, I’m inspired by other creatives who I see achieving excellence and pushing boundaries. The most notable example would be Alexander McQueen. He was a genius and someone who proved that despite working prolifically in a commercially driven environment it was still possible to completely retain artistic integrity and produce some of the most incredible works of art I’ve ever seen.
Being in Edinburgh I find interior design opportunities are very limited, what piece of advice would you give a budding interior designer to flourish and expand in this city?
I won’t deny, it is difficult to find opportunities in Edinburgh because despite there being a number of people in the business, most of them are established companies with a full complement of staff and therefore internships and work experience opportunities are rare. Having said that, the best possible way to learn about interior design as a business is to work your way up gaining experience as you go. I’d never dismiss interior design courses simply because my formal education was in another subject, however there are so many aspects to the business I can’t imagine being covered by a standard syllabus.
As well as providing an interior design service Bryce McKenzie also sells a gorgeous selection of upholstered furniture which can be customised in different coloured material. Below is my #high5 of favourites, notice a common theme in the colour! Grey and yellow are one of my favourite combinations, I love the way the yellow pops out against the softness of the grey yet the two colours complement each other enormously;
I also adore a stool or ottoman, they add a touch of class to any room as well as being extremely versatile.
For more information on Bryce McKenzie’s services and products you can visit their website http://www.brycemckenzie.co.uk.