It’s been a whirlwind of a year for Gina Everett. A talented design student, selected from thousands to exhibit at the Grand Designs show, Gina now has her own design company and is going from strength to strength, working on multiple projects – and being asked to exhibit her work again, this time for the Ideal Home Christmas Show.
Although Gina has always had creative flair, she hasn’t followed a conventional path to becoming an interior designer; first dabbling in photography, teacher training, health care, managerial work, a-bit-of-retail and property renovation. It was while renovating property that Gina really caught the design bug and she enrolled on a course with the KLC School of Design.
Despite studying interior design and now working in a high-end design store, Gina still wasn’t sure at this stage if interior design was what she wanted to do; Gina was determined that whatever role she was in was focussed mainly on helping people, and wasn’t sure if interior design was quite… worthy enough. It was becoming a mum that showed Gina how important the home is, not just for raising a family but also for our personal wellbeing: Gina came to understand how important it is to live in a comfortable home, and how lighting and colour can affect our moods. Gina incorporates her knowledge of colour therapy and her appreciation for the importance of comfort into all her designs.
Now convinced that interior design can have a positive impact on people’s lives, Gina decided to continue her studies and was planning to establish her design studio in 2017. However, being selected to feature at the Grand Designs event at the NEC last May saw Gina bringing her plans forward, setting up her design studio a year ahead of schedule in order to maximise the benefits of her exhibit.
The earthy dining room Gina created for the Grand Designs show was inspired by the children’s book The Secret Garden. Gina’s brief was to design a room inspired by a ‘famous place that never existed’. Gina chose the children’s classic where the unhappy children find refuge in this hidden outdoor world, showing us the importance of having a retreat. Gina chose to conjure a secret dining room because it’s a room that fits with her ethos of healthy happy homes for healthy happy living – a dining room is a place to congregate and talk, to socialise away from TVs and technologies.
To create her tranquil dining garden Gina used calming colours and natural materials: everything is reclaimed or recycled, from the second hand books on display to the dining table and chairs.
The main challenge of creating her design was sourcing – without any contacts within the trade Gina had to make friends fast and learn quickly in order to loan what she needed to create her space.
The Grand Designs show launched Gina’s career as an interior designer and her design studio, Create Perfect. Her design landed her several clients – projects she’s working on alongside parenting and studying.
As well as traditional design services such as complete overhauls and room styling, Gina also offers work using an innovative 3D rendering package. These clever computer designs enable clients to see their room designs before committing to paint and purchases – avoiding costly mistakes.
Gina’s clients all have access to a webpage dedicated to their project so that they can view their 3D designs, samples, mood boards etc. This helps Gina, now based in Buckinghamshire, and her clients collaborate on designs remotely – essential for a designer who works far from home.
The 3D renders have proved so popular with clients that she now offers them as a separate service.
Keeping it real
Committed from the beginning to make her chosen career one about helping people, Gina is always keen to share tips and ideas to help people create a healthy living space and is often found doling out design advice on forums such as Houzz.
Like her design heroes Kelly Hoppen and Dan Hopwood, Gina believes in making design accessible to all. There are many ways in which we can make our homes happier and more comfortable place to be: Gina features an awful lot of natural materials in her design, balancing them with modern design elements so that they don’t appear twee. Furnishings are for use and comfort, and neutral walls maximise light and sense of space.
Gina is also determined to keep interior design affordable by shopping for bargains and recommending her clients splash out on key and worthy pieces – in one of her current projects, a 1960s themed living room in a detached house in Milton Keynes, Gina has sourced many original sixties fixtures from second-hand sources, but has gone all out on a feature light fitting and a fireplace.
The future for Create Perfect
Gina is currently working on a variety of projects, including a living room revamp in Canary Wharf, a commercial 3D render project and a complete restyle of a three storey Cotswolds home. We hope to catch up with Gina early next year.