One To Watch: Heather Jenkinson

16th February 2011
Today I have the lovely Heather Jenkinson joining me on my ‘One to watch’ series. Heather is an interior designer and colour consultant where her timeless designs and her great spatial awareness really transpires through her work. Her attention to detail is sublime and I love how she is one of those designers who is not afraid to take a risk as her use of colour and materials is utterly fabulous. Here is peek into the inside world of Heather.

When did you realise you had a passion for design?

My Grandfather was an Architect and a beautiful human being. He had many interests and would talk to me as though I was an adult (and I loved him for that), and so, from an early age, I was aware of buildings being discussed in a certain way. He and my grandmother had a beautiful home. The furniture was mostly of the ‘50’s and 60’s – clearly the peak of his career. I recall a set of armchairs, which I used to favour with their feline-like limbs: one, placed to receive the afternoon sun, the other by the bookshelf. I loved sitting in his chair, it made me feel sophisticated and grown up and, being an accident-prone tomboy, I can’t say that was a state I was particularly familiar with. I can still remember now, how smooth the armrests felt to touch and the memories that invokes are filled with muted colours and a dignified atmosphere.

Of course, at the age of 9/10, I didn’t know that these were iconic pieces of design I just loved how things looked and felt and so I think I was already a designer, then, I just didn’t know it.

Where do you inspirations come from?

This is a tricky one because inspiration is not a conscious thing, for me. I think I am always looking for that ‘sweet spot’ (to borrow a phrase from Roman & Williams). Cycling around the city, I sometimes fantasise about inventing a camera that could be embedded into my eyes so that I can record flashes of inspiration as they wiz passed. What I can say, with confidence is that I rarely need to go looking for inspiration – I just don’t think in that way. I see, I feel, I take note and it’s only afterwards that I connect the dots. When it comes to pulling mood boards together, for clients, Flickr is a great source for colour inspiration.


What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have been very fortunate in that I have just met the right people at the right time and as a result, I’ve worked with some fantastic clients. My business has grown organically and I don’t think I could have planned it better. The most recent event that has made all the difference is working within a team alongside an excellent project manager and architect. We have a number of projects on the go and it is a revelation to be able to do what I do best and that is working with colour and spatial layout.


What do you hope to achieve in 5 years time?

I’m not a brilliant planner – I tend to roll with it and, so far, that attitude has put me in the position to grab opportunities as they come up. With that said, I am very serious about what I do and in five years time, I plan to be an established name within the industry and more than that, I want to be working with colour on an international platform – it’s coming.


What famous artists/designers do you admire or inspires you the most?

Paintings by abstract artist Franz Klein move me – his work is so intimate.  Another painter whom I can happily spend hours with is Vermeer. As for design, Tom Dixon and Thomas Heatherwick are the first that come to mind. Above all, I celebrate what New York based Architectural designers Roman & Williams do. Their work is incredible, it’s what they stand for that I love most of all. They remind me so much of my Grandfather – similar ethos, and in a way, looking at their work brings him back to life.


What five words best describe you?

Articulate; straight talking; liberal; empathetic; responsive.

 What 5 things couldn’t you live with out? 

My bicycle; good coffee in the morning; my sister, Samantha; great design & TED.


A big thank you to Heather for taking time to feature on Arianna Interiors, I know she has a very busy schedule at the moment so I really appreciate it. I am also looking forward to seeing more future projects from this very talented designer and I am so positive, in a few years to come, she will be very well known within the industry and rightly so. Her grandfather would be ever so proud.



  1. SnOOp

    16th February 2011 at 2:52 pm

    What a FANTASTIC piece! I can't wait to see more of Heather's work. She stands for the things I believe that make great designers. "I see, I feel, I take note and it’s only afterwards that I connect the dots".

    Can't wait to see what Heather is going to be sharing with the world regarding colour

    Amanda xxx

  2. Carole

    16th February 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Fabulous Ari. Great questions and some very revealing answers.
    Heather, I agree with the five words best used to describe you and I love that photo. xx

  3. heather jenkinson

    16th February 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Arianna,it was so lovely doing this with you and like a true designer you connected and highlighted the essence of what drives me. I'm touched. A great job well done. x

    Oh, and just a little piece of funny: I just connected a dot – see profile shot? I could be Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring, right?

  4. sophie Paterson

    16th February 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Brilliant! Always enjoy hearing about Heather's latest musings on design and this was a great insight into how she thinks and works, she's always so articulate and manages to say things so beautifully without sounding superior. Keep up the great articles Arianna, this post is always one of my favourites.. how about doing one on yourself? i'd love to hear more about your background and where you see yourself in 5 years etc..! x s

  5. Kelly Berg, IIDA, IACC-NA

    16th February 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely. Great photos and great insight from a great talent. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Arianna

    16th February 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Amanda and Carole I couldn't agree with you more….
    Heather I am so happy you liked it, but really I had great content to play with so no merit of mine! haha the girl with the pearl earring, fantastic! 😉
    Kelly you are welcome!
    Sophie I am glad that you liked it and I can see your a fan of heather's work, she is delightful. In regards to myself well I feel I am not quite ready yet to appear on the series, with time maybe but thanks for asking 😉


    16th February 2011 at 11:21 pm

    really like this space she has created, the choice of wallpapers, the bathroom tiles and color scheme, I would like for all of to get together soon to talk, design, interiors, magazines etc..over a nice coffee…

  8. PopArtRockGirlYeah!

    18th February 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Great interview! Really nice to get to know more about Heather's background and inspirations, and such lovely photo's of her work. Particularly liked the bit about being a designer when younger but not realising until later – I know a lot of creatives that have had very similar experiences 🙂

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