Founded in 1993, 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 a strong team of 35 people of whom 30 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 the finest materials.’
With projects in Dubai, Vietnam and Bangladesh, the practice’s work-in-progress illustrates its international scope. Closer to home, in the Cotswolds, Taylor Howes has recently completed an 18,000 sq/ft new-build country house with the largest thatched roof in Europe. In London, the practice is working on Chateau Denmark in Soho, a new hotel, described by Karen as ‘new age gothic glam’ (it’s part of a wider transformation project by the client, intended as a celebration of the area’s status at the forefront of the fashion, media and music industries) and a large 33-apartment super-prime development in Knightsbridge.
Emphasis is increasingly on reusable materials and the environmental impact of projects
‘The residential component of The Estate will have market implications, not just here in the UK, but internationally, as it is developing London’s most significant super-prime rental proposition,’ says Karen of the Knightsbridge project. ‘The unique nature and highly covetable address of the development make this a challenging brief and we are relishing the opportunity to present something new to the residential rental market.’
Sustainability is 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”.’ Emphasis is increasingly on reusable materials and the environmental impact of projects, plus the miles travelled by materials and people.
At the same time the business is entering new fields. The practice’s charitable initiative Rest Nest – which focuses on redesigning nurses restrooms in hospitals to improve their working life – is soon being rolled out on a much larger scale, and, in response to the pandemic, Karen spearheaded the #KeepCreativityGoing campaign to support and profile smaller brands and artisans.
Taylor Howes also regularly partners with other designers and manufacturers (past collaborations include an ironmongery collection with SA Baxter and wallpaper with De Gournay); next up is a project with AGA at the end of the year.
Taylor Howes is in the process of diversifying and expanding, but there are other reasons for optimism. Relationships with its clients are closer than ever, 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 importance to the practice.
A world leader in its field, Taylor Howes is a go-to for private clients and developers looking for luxury interiors and exquisite living spaces.
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