An interesting and important piece by Adam Branson in PROPERTY WEEK, Sept 5th, on how interior design should both respect a place’s history and reflect its modern character, with quotes from Naomi. https://www.propertyweek.com/markets/the-outside-is-in-for-modern-office-design/5104140.article?sm=5104140 It is an approach that interior designer and TV presenter Naomi Cleaver adopted when working on Moda Living’s Angel Gardens BTR scheme in central Manchester. “Taking inspiration from a neighbourhood’s architecture or heritage and bringing the essence of that into the interior design plays an essential part in creating a sense of place for people,” she says, adding that providing a sense of place is particularly important for BTR developers, given that they need to build a long-term relationship with tenants. “Angel Gardens is a fascinating site,” says Cleaver. “It was once home to Shudehill Mill, Manchester’s first steam-powered cotton mill built by inventor Sir Richard Arkwright. We referenced this history by taking inspiration from textile manufacturing to influence the materials we used and the bespoke pieces we designed.” Cleaver also believes caution is needed when taking interior design cues from the history of an area. With Angel Gardens, she says it was essential to recognise that the area was no longer industrial. “Most importantly, I wanted to get the right balance of elements that portray how much the city has transformed to become the place it is today,” she says. “By blending the industrial grit of the city’s heritage and architecture with contemporary Mancunian glamour, while also retaining a cosy, welcoming feeling associated with northern hospitality, I feel we have created spaces where people can feel at home.” Cleaver adds that ensuring a building respects both an area’s history and its modern-day character can help prevent it from being regarded as just gentrification. “By tying the interiors of a new development to the culture and character of the existing area, it can make a building feel far less alien and more welcoming to the communities who already live and work there,” she says. So, while an interior that fails to recognise its surroundings can seem out of place, one that relies too heavily on it can end up looking like a pale imitation, stuck in the past. Local history and architecture can be a great jumping-off point for interior design, but the message from interior design experts is that it is best to exercise restraint.