In Conversation with Jessica Preston from Colour + Shape

Colour + shape is an interior design studio established by former textile designer Jessica Preston with the aim of creating inspiring spaces.

What inspired you to be an interior designer?

I've always been a very visual person, always noticing (and obsessing over!) the details of my surroundings and from a young age I felt the impulse to design and make things, there's a real sense of satisfaction in creating and being able to see the physical results of your work. I originally trained as a textile designer/maker and loved it, but always wished I had pursued interiors, so after a break to have my daughter, I decided to take the plunge!


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

A pen, a tape measure and an iPad, all in a very nice handbag of course!

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

Often being a bit of a control freak comes with the territory when it comes to interior designers, and it can be tough to put yourself out there not knowing what projects will come along, but it's exciting too and I'm a believer in making the most out of the opportunities that arise. Whoever the client and whatever the brief, you have to love the process of responding creatively to it.


What would be your dream interior project?

An ice cream parlour! Whilst I love residential design and am fascinated by the relationship we have with our homes, I'd absolutely love to design a space which is just inherently fun and where colour and pattern could rule! So many materials of the moment seem perfect - terrazzo is just like sprinkles on top!


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

I try to always have an open mind about what an interior can be and approach design without preconceptions. Designing domestic spaces it can be easy to be formulaic and fall back on tried and tested styles or trends, or to think you can't do certain things because it's a home. For me, interiors are like a playground, spaces to experiment with colour, shape, materials and finishes. It's about reflecting my client's story, respecting the history of a property, and going on a journey with new ideas.


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

I'd say, 'just go for it!' Growing up in an area where science based industries dominate, I struggled to see examples of where design could lead, but if design is what gives you a true sense of fulfilment, then you have to do it. 

colour + shape

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Photo courtesy of Colour+Shape