Each month we’ll feature a 5 question interview with one of our team – whether it’s one of our internal designers or trusted external contractors. This month we’ve got our Design Director, James Smith, in the hotseat…
1. Where do you find inspiration?
I love art and design and follow many creative people on Instagram and Pinterest, as well as reading books, travelling and visiting gardens. There’s lots of healthy competition out there, and seeing what others are up to really drives me to do better and keep our ideas fresh. We never stop designing even in these difficult times and it drives us to create even more beautiful spaces for people to enjoy.
2. What’s your favourite landscape?
A really tricky question as I love all sorts of landscapes. I really like sculpture and art and so The Yorkshire Sculpture Garden has to be high up on my list and I would recommend a visit to anyone passing that way. I also love coastal landscapes, as there isn’t much that can beat a sunny windy walk along the sea front. My parents live on the west coast of Scotland and the landscape there is beautiful and rugged in equal measure!
3. What are you working on now?
As a design team, we’re now all working from home during the Covid-19 crisis and still very much available for all of our existing clients, and we welcome new clients. We have some great projects in design, including a roof garden scheme at 78 St James Street, an exciting mixed use development for Cadogan Estates on the King’s Road, and a high-end residential scheme for Caudwell Collection called Audley Square House, in the heart of Mayfair. We also have numerous private residential gardens ranging from small courtyard spaces to large country estates.
4. What’s the best part of your job?
I’m very fortunate to work with some of the most talented people in the design industry from various disciplines – I love making new contacts, listening to our clients and building long-lasting relationships. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality schemes, and the best part for me has to be seeing our concepts turned into reality. This is even more satisfying when our experienced construction team undertake the work, as it’s great liaising with them.
5. Why do you work at Bowles & Wyer?
I will have been at Bowles & Wyer for 15 years in October this year – that really is a testament to the type of business John Wyer and Chris Bowles set up and developed. There have been significant changes during this period and I’ve enjoyed the ride, playing my role in moving the company forward. I’ve been given great opportunities and trust to develop my skills as a designer, working on some stunning gardens along the way. Most of all it’s the family friendly atmosphere that exists, plus we do a mean 10am coffee!