In Conversation with Chantel Elshout

Chantel Elshout Design is a boutique interior design consultancy passionate about making design accessible and specialising in kitchens & joinery. She relishes in designing beautiful interiors with exceptional spatial planning that improves clients lives. 

 

What inspired you to be an interior designer?

My mother was an art dealer in South Africa and I visited many beautiful homes with her as a little girl. I was fascinated by the architecture and style of each home and how different homes could be. I loved art classes during my school years but was guided by everyone to undertake a degree in finance. After finishing school, I decided to do a foundation course in Art & Design at London Metropolitan University to explore different mediums - it was during one of our projects, model building that I realised that the only thing I truly wanted was to be an interior designer. 


If they were to make a toy action figure of you, what would your accessory be?

My laser measure, comfy boots and my Fitbit - I love being on building sites seeing the project come to life from the early days and my Fitbit keeps me motivated by showing how many flights of stairs I climb each day!


To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life within the design world has taken?

I decided at a young age to pursue a career that I had no experience with and against the advice of my parents - so I was extremely motivated to make it work. In the early days, I had great fun with internships at Elle Deco and Homes & Gardens on the styling team. After working at a couple of specialist kitchen companies where I built up a huge amount of experience, I interviewed at several interior design firms and although I was offered a couple of roles, I decided to set up on my own instead.


What would be your dream interior project?

Designing a small, boutique hotel set amidst the vineyards in South Africa or New Zealand - I would love to be able to design every last detail and couldn't imagine a more beautiful setting.


What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I love hearing from my clients how their lifestyles have changed for the better when we have completed their projects, and because of this, I love being involved in each and every project from the very start. I also like to incorporate treasured items that clients don't always know how to display, into the design giving them a truly unique interior.


If you could go back in time and speak to your adolescent self, what advice would you give them about the design world?

It's a very competitive and saturated market, with everyone striving for perfection which can be detrimental to your well-being. So don't compare yourself to others and focus on honing your own skills, explore, source new materials and use what is already there as much as possible.


Chantel Elshout Design Consultancy Ltd

www.chantelelshout.com

@chantelelshoutdesign

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Photo courtesy of Chantel Elshout Design

“I would like to thank you very much for the wonderful furniture pieces that arrived today. I can say that they have absolutely exceeded my expectations. It has been my pleasure and privilege doing business with you, and I hope we will again have an opportunity to furnish houses together in the future.”

Terri Steinberg, Interior designer