Rachel Moore - the award winning interior designer from Appleton
PUBLISHED: 18:56 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 19:14 07 March 2017
Rachel Moore, from Appleton, won a prestigious prize at the Northern Design Awards 2016, for her first ever commercial property interior design, writes Kate Houghton.
Rachel Moore is clearly still thrilled by a great achievement last year, but then winning a prestigious prize at the Northern Design Awards for her first ever commercial property interior design is quite thrilling.
Rachel, from Appleton, trained in interior and textile design at Nottingham University. Her first job after graduating was with Living Edge magazine, then just launched in Hale and now a sister publication to Cheshire Life, as the fashion and interiors editor. A move with her husband Ian to Yorkshire led to a similar role for a fashion trade magazine company, for which she also did a regular slot looking at how independent retailers could optimise their space to increase business. This ignited her desire to work in interior design, so when Ian decided to establish his own landscaping business, and moving back home to Cheshire to do it seemed a sensible move, Rachel took the opportunity of an enforced career break to undertake further study, in both residential and commercial interior design before taking a role with the Laura Ashley interior design service.
‘This was a really great grounding,’ Rachel says. ‘I stayed there for a few years and then started doing freelance work before I had my son Ed, when working from home became the best way to achieve a work-life balance. It’s not easy, juggling work and children, as any working mum will testify, and I have had no maternity leave, ever. But I do feel very, very lucky to be able to do this and still be at home for my children. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
‘My projects vary a lot, from city apartments to family homes in the Cheshire countryside. I work with clients to create something special to them. Your surroundings have such an impression on you that getting them right can be life changing.
‘My attention to the design detail and personal approach is often what I’m noted for, as I always incorporate all elements of the design into my schemes right down to sculptures, art work, fine china and even coffee table books! In order for a scheme to look beautiful all these elements need to be considered and I’m happy to help clients with the finer details too. I’m also very hands on with my work. This suits many busy clients as they often don’t have the time or inclination to source this for themselves.’
Rachel’s win at the highly regarded Northern Design Awards came in the highly competitive ‘Commercial Interior Design Project <£250k’ category. She beat six other finalists to the tape, all of whom specialise in the discipline.
The company, Incorporate Travel, was moving to new, larger offices in Manchester and as such Rachel was offered a clean, blank sheet on which to work.
‘It was a completely empty shell. As we talked about what they wanted to achieve, it became clear that it was more than just an office move, it was an opportunity to completely rebrand the business.
‘The conversation we had drove a recognition that they hadn’t thought about their corporate personality, their mission statement, how they wanted to be perceived as an organisation by both clients and employees. ‘They brought in Matt, from Rapport in Manchester, who developed an identity, a fully layered brand personality, with logo and colours and a ‘voice.’
‘It’s vital to give clients the right impression. They’re young, dynamic, flexible – they wanted not to look too corporate. They asked for a two zone approach – an area for the directors with a meeting room for clients, which needed to be bold and masculine, yet youthful; and a large open plan space for the sales teams, which had to be light, bright, airy and fun to be in; plus a staff kitchen and breakout space.
‘I just think that if we spend so much of our lives in our workplace, it needs to be somewhere you feel good to be.’
Rachel’s done a marvellous job. The clever balance of corporate brand and personality ensures that the professionalism of the company cannot be in doubt, while its dynamism and versatility is clear.
Rachel was encouraged to enter the awards by another designer, and went into it with no expectation of success.
‘It was very much the “I have nothing to lose” feeling and I genuinely didn’t expect to win. I see awards like these as a bit of a barometer; I can see how I’m stacking up within the industry when such direct comparisons are made, so winning was a huge compliment and a reassurance.’
Rachel’s own home is wholly reflective of her personality. When we meet on a chill February day, it’s warm and welcoming, super-comfortable yet deeply stylish. It’s the sort of home one aspires to, but without the know-how and experience of an interior designer, most can’t achieve. I know I can’t, so I shamelessly pick Rachel’s brains on fixing what I know to be a very boring sitting room. With three sentences and the demonstration of some neat little uplighters my imagination is fired and solutions in place.
With her experience, creativity, practicality and personality, I have a feeling 2016 won’t be the last time Rachel sees industry recognition for her work.
‘I haven’t taken on any more commercial projects since this one,’ she tells me, ‘but I am working on several residential projects that I’m really enjoying.’
There you go then…watch this space.
@rachmooredesign | 01925 268 427