James Ashfield and the Rigby & Rigby Interior Design Studio is Profiled on SBID
“Interior design studio manager of SBID Accredited Design Practice, Rigby & Rigby, James Ashfield highlights what he believes to be the two biggest challenges the interior industry faces today, and tells us how he forged his successful career in interior design.
What is your background and how did you get into interior design?
I always had a passion for art and technology, so architecture and interior design was a great fit for my creative and practical interests, which led me to study Interior Architecture.
I now have 15 years industry experience. My first role was for a small architecture, interior and development practice and I’ve since held positions at leading London architecture and interior design practices including the Harrods Interior Design Studio.
Describe an average day in your job role…
A typical day consists of multiple client meetings and presentations with our team across many disciplines. There might be a site visit to a Prime Central London site to inspect progress or a coordination meeting for a landmark residence Rigby & Rigby are developing in Knightsbridge.
Sometimes my job takes me overseas if clients are based outside of the UK. For example, I worked in the Middle East for two and a half years where I acted as a client advisor on all architecture, interior and development projects for an UHNWI who was based there.
Which elements of your profession do you enjoy the most and/or find the most rewarding?
The most rewarding element is the design journey with the client, whose lifestyle we try to facilitate through the delivery of creative solutions and beautiful interiors.
I also have the pleasure to work on some of the finest and most incredible homes, with the multi-disciplinary support from our architectural, construction and marketing teams and a young and energetic interior design team. It’s always exciting to see a project come to life.
Is there anything new you are excited to be working on?
I love the scope of what I do and where it can take me. Currently I am working on a 17,000 sq ft landmark private residence in Knightsbridge, a 50,000 sq ft private development in Asia, and a 300sq ft Chairman’s office in Central London.
What do you wish you knew before working in the field?
I think it’s useful to know that success can be found in all ways, not necessarily the obvious routes. I think it’s important to also have an understanding of growth opportunities in your chosen career, and evaluate these against your skills and values.
What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?
That working hard and putting in the hours does pay off.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
The landmark residence in Knightsbridge and a modern ski chalet on a remote island in Japan.”
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