Taylor Howes
Featured in Great British Brands 2020

Taylor Howes

International interior design studio

Founded in 1992, Taylor Howes now has more than 1,000 projects worldwide to its credit. Since 2016 it has been based at the former Tesla and Aston Martin garage in Knightbridge’s Cheval Place, now handsomely refurbished. Founder and chief executive Karen Howes is the animating spirit of the practice, which employs 45 people of whom 32 are designers. Karen sums up the Taylor Howes philosophy as being ‘an underlying structure of perfect proportions and immaculate symmetry, enriched through the poetics of colours, exceptional craftsmanship and exquisite materials.’


The practice’s work-in-progress illustrates its international scope. A palace in Kuwait, completed in the French-Morrocan style, is nearing completion, while nearer home in Epping Forest, the practice is restoring a mansion to its former glory as a ‘grand house’. In the Cotswolds, Taylor Howes is working on an 18,000 sq/ft new-build country house, which will have the largest thatched roof in Europe when completed.


In London, the practice is working on a large 47-apartment super-prime development in Knightsbridge and Chateau Denmark in Soho, a new hotel, described by Karen as ‘new age gothic glam’. Chateau Denmark is part of a wider transformation project by the client, a substantial landlord in that part of London, intended as a celebration of the area’s status at the forefront of the fashion, media and music industries for decades. These big projects in London are complemented by other contracts as far afield as Vietnam and Bangladesh. At the moment, the practice’s work is divided equally between home and abroad.

Client experience and the team’s engagement and creativity is of paramount importance to Taylor Howes

Taylor Howes

Sustainability is now an important part of Taylor Howes’s work in an industry in which waste is an intrinsic part of the design process. As Karen says, ‘It’s no longer enough to say that “my designs have longevity”.’ The emphasis is increasingly on reusable materials and being aware of the environmental impact of projects and the miles travelled by both materials and people.


At the same time the business is entering new fields. Luxury Business Sphere hosts a summit bringing together leaders from across the luxury design and property industries to discuss and debate the challenges facing the sector. The day was oversubscribed. Taylor Howes also has a number of joint ventures with other designers and manufacturers: one with Clive Christian Furniture Co. aims to reinvigorate the traditional country kitchen. A collaboration with de Gournay will produce ‘Celestial Skies’, a hand-embroidered wallpaper.


Taylor Howes is busy and is in the process of diversifying and expanding, but there are other reasons for optimism. The relationships with its clients are closer than ever, a fact reflected in the recent wave of repeat business following projects from ten to 15 years ago. Client experience and the team’s engagement and creativity are of paramount important to the practice.


It’s a hugely exciting time in which to be a Great British Brand. Britain – and London in particular – remains at the forefront of the world’s luxury goods industry, a centre of creativity, invention and taste.