Davina Stanley

Creative Director
Paper + White – Interior Architecture, Interior Design and Art Sourcing
PAPER+WHITE is an award-winning international interior architecture, interior design and art sourcing consultancy with studios in London’s East End and Cambridgeshire. Our small core team, together with our team of exceptional builders, have been lucky enough to work on many projects both here in the UK and also in Asia, Europe and America. 
We pride ourselves on keeping our team small, and the number of projects we work on low, which allows us to provide a highly personal and tailored service to each of our clients. Every step of our journey with our clients is an expression of our love of uncluttered clean spaces; spaces that reflect each client’s personality over a house style that are beautiful yet say “home”.

What does good design mean to you?

For me, good design is timeless, eclectic, textured and balanced, but most importantly letting the building or space itself guide the design. Creating timeless interiors that can adapt over time, while introducing drama and interest with artwork, and creating spaces that reflect a client’s personality over a house style is a key driver behind the work we do.

What do you think makes a good interior designer?

Attention to detail, creativity and being able to problem solve are all key but, more importantly it’s listening to and understanding the client, and not sticking to a house style. Often we’re asked to create clean and uncluttered spaces that are beautiful yet still say warm and welcoming family home, and the ability to sit down with the client right at the start of the creative process and get a true sense of their personality and style is essential.

What are the most important features when designing a space?

Space planning is number one – assessing the room, both in terms of its functional benefits and deficiencies, to see how existing elements can be improved to better suit the people who are going to be living there. Then we look at balance and symmetry. The space you create is often as important, if not more important, than the furnishings you include and often we try to steer clients away from trends, and instead get an understanding of who they are and what they need from their living space. People often think they need more of everything – space, storage etc. – but clever planning and reorganisation of the existing footprint can offer deliver clients what they need in more creative ways.

What is the one thing every home should have?

Beautiful art. My belief in art as a fundamental design tool for conveying style, personality and ambience is a key design aspect at Paper + White and art choices are factored in right at the start of the creative process rather than as an afterthought at the end. Spending time with the client to establish their style and what speaks to them, what existing artwork could be refreshed and rehung, and what new pieces needed to be sourced or commissioned for specific spots are all part of the initial discussions we have.

There are so many fabulous suppliers out there, combining them, knowing what to use from where and in what project is a hard task! What is about Julian Chichester that draws you in?

I love your simplicity, innovation and attention to detail. I also love the nod to mid-century design that has always played an important part in any design we are working on. Every piece looks and feels hand-made and, even though you may be using the same piece of furniture across different homes and projects, the fact that we as designers are asked to select our own fabric choice, the textures and materials ensures a unique piece every time. At Paper + White, once we have the functional space sorted and the artwork hung, we start to collate, layer and mix other styles, artefacts and items of intrigue that bring the client’s personal story and sense of character to life, and the wide variety of hand finishing and craft skills from Julian Chichester enables us to do this very easily.

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