5 minutes with... Robert Angell
Well actually a little longer than five minutes as I met with Robert over breakfast last month at one of his recent projects, the two Michelin starred Marcus at The Berkeley, to find out more about his work and hear his thoughts on luxury design.
After working closely alongside David Collins for 15 years as the Creative Director of David Collins Studio Robert established his own studio Robert Angell Design International in 2010. Throughout his career, in the early days with David Collins and more recently with his own studio, he has designed interiors for some of the word's most iconic and prestigious hotels, bars and restaurants including Kaspar's at The Savoy (nominated for Best British Interior by Elle Decoration), Marcus Wareing Restaurants, The Maybourne Hotel Group and Lime Wood Lodges, the forest hideaway retreats at the Lime Wood in Hampshire (a finalist in the prestigious Gold Key Awards 2014).
Subtly referencing the great modernists and masters of the past, and characterised by his attention to detail and a love of durable, honest materials that develop patina with age - oak, leather and marble are all very much in evidence at Marcus - Robert's interiors have a luxuriously elegant contemporary aesthetic that is designed to withstand the test of time.
Which three words best describe your work?
Timeless, unique, luxury.
Who or what inspires you?
I find inspiration in so many things. From the people that I meet every day to travelling the globe and encountering the varied cultures of the different countries I visit, to reading inspiring books and magazines and visiting antique markets in London, or the rich history we have in design and art. These have all helped to shape my own design aesthetic. And finally of course my clients inspire me every day - they are worldly and always searching for the next ultimate luxury and I thrive on creating interiors that surpass their expectations and that are entirely bespoke and personal to them.
What is your most treasured object in your own home?
My art. I collect contemporary photography by artists such as Miles Aldridge and Luis Monterio.
Where's your favourite place to be?
It has to be London. I love this city that I live in. It is constantly evolving and has such a global presence. There is always something new and exciting happening.
What would you be if you weren't an interior designer?
With my love of design and art history and as a creative and visual person I would definitely be doing something in the arts. Perhaps an architect or a couture designer? In my early days especially I took a lot of inspiration from the great couture and fashion icons of our time, for instance Jean-Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood.
What are you reading right now?
David Hicks - A Life in Design. I often buy books of great designers and influencers as these have a profound effect on our lives today and their legacies can be seen everywhere.
Which words of wisdom do you try to live by?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. As quoted by Leonardo da Vinci. But that said, simple is far from easy. It makes you value what you design and the effect that it will have on its end user.