Q. What makes Houseology different to other websites?
A. We have design heritage and experience that underpins everything we do and that's great for our customers, especially when they are investing so much time and money in their home. Evolving from our design studio means that we have an incredible team of talented, multi-disciplinary designers powering the website. I knew we could set ourselves apart from other websites by combining the worlds of design, e-commerce and technology to deliver something quite different and our concept of empowering our customers to unlock their inner designers is unique. The past five years have been a whirlwind of pushing boundaries and creating an amazing website filled with stunning brands and beautiful furniture. Our purpose has been to inspire customers to search for the extraordinary and provide everything they need to make informed, stylish decisions for their homes.
Q: Where did your initial interest in design come from?
A. I grew up in an interior-based family business and was surrounded by designers, textiles and furniture on a daily basis. As well as working in the showrooms and workshops, I travelled a lot and loved the theatre and styling of all the hotels we stayed in.
As I got older, I constantly experimented with our home’s interior and became fascinated by the way different architecture and interior design could impact our surroundings and quality of life. That curiosity and interest in design led me to study architecture at The Glasgow School of Art, where I immersed myself in the world of architectural interiors, interior design and the decorative arts.
Q: Talk us through your career and starting your own business?
A. I worked on hotel and residential projects in design and architect’s offices for about five years after graduating. Shortly after starting a family, I worked freelance with hotel clients and did this for another five years, working with a variety of hotel groups in the UK. When my children started school, I went back to full-time work in another architect’s office, running their interior design department and consulting on hotel projects. In 2003, I made the decision to start Occa-Design to specialise in architectural interiors for hotels. That decision marked the beginning of an amazing journey, and, as a result, the design team has spent the last 10 years working on fabulous hotel projects for global hotel groups across the world.
Q: What made you think about taking the business online?
A. When I was working with clients, I was often surprised by how nervous they could be about putting together their homes or hotels. I loved helping to demystify the process for them and encourage them to be more confident about their design decisions. I wanted to open up the world of professional design to everyone. I wanted to make hotel chic, hard-to-find products accessible and interior design easy in order to give everyone the confidence and tools to unlock their own inner designer. Being online meant that we could reach a global audience and have a shop that was open 24/7.
Q: What's next for Houseology?
With new interior design content and inspiration being published daily, and over 500 new products being launched monthly across hundreds of new brands, Houseology is the go-to destination for designer furnishings and everything interior design. Always fresh, new and inspiring, Houseology will continue to evolve, regularly delivering exciting new concepts and tools to make our customers design lives a breeze!