Our World / International Women's Day - Meet Helen Bygraves
This week we continue our recognition of International Women’s Day by sharing our stories. Up next our talented director, Helen Bygraves, shares her story. Helen leads our predominantly female creative team with Jenny Weiss. We hope her words offer encouragement and motivation to other aspiring women out there!
Where do you find your inspirations?
I would say my greatest inspirations are formed by my love for international travel. Once you catch the designer's bug you can't help but draw inspiration from everyday surroundings. It's in your blood so to speak! But when you're placed in a foreign space, this sense heightens. You take note of every detail.
When I visit India, for example, I'm overcome with colours, spices and an absolute raw display of artistic talent. Hand-woven carpets, detailed embroidery and handcrafted pieces are all forms of inspiration to take back to the drawing board. Morocco is another wonderful example of this. During our recent trip to the ancient city we were inspired by outstanding architecture and interiors displaying mesmerising mosaics and beautiful intricate details. We returned with a brilliant new avenue of thinking and ready to put this to work!
Hill House design for an array of clientele coming from many continents, cultures and backgrounds. So, I think travel is not simply a subject of inspiration but something that is invaluable to be in touch with in this industry.
What is your career highlight so far and why?
Trends come and go both in the fashion and interior design world. But, I always feel a great sense of pride when looking back on projects over a decade ago to find they're still relevant in today's market. If the property has been given the care and love that they deserve, they're still current and a source of inspiration for future projects.
I would say a notable career highlight is being recognised by our peers and the public. Interior design is an ever-evolving world filled with an abundance of talent. So being awarded by people in the industry that we aspire to means a lot. We're fortunate to have been nominated for many awards and often featured in the latest publications. We always feel a great sense of achievement to be published and know that our work is admired.
When did you realise that you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?
I think a career as an interior designer is exciting for creative and passionate individuals who want to make a living in an artistic field. I fell into interior design after years of being involved, in different aspects, with the creative industry. It just seemed like a natural evolution for me. My inclination to conception and composition in the dance world had evolved and translated to interior design. Music aroused my senses in the same way a space did, and I had the desire to bring harmony and a spatial flow into it, just like when I perform. Once I began my work with interiors I was immediately fixed. The feeling you achieve when you look upon a space you've transformed - it's like a drug. I knew then that this was my final calling in the creative world.