Meet Carly Madhvani, Creative Director of NW3 Interiors

Following my degree in art and design, I worked for Knoll’s largest european dealership, where I was fortunate enough to collaborate with architects and designers on a range of commercial and residential projects. I also obtained experience in all sorts of departments there, including project management, account management, sales, advertising and marketing. I attended many trips around Europe, visiting the factories, and seeing the furniture being made. Having seen this exclusive furniture in many settings across mainly London, I fell in love with the design. Especially how one piece could look so different between one leather colour to the the next, I thought it was intelligent both in style and function. And even though many pieces were designed so long ago, they maintain their form and beauty depending on where you put them and in which colour.

What influenced me to use my own home as showroom?

I want to truly to show potential clients the different ways this type of furniture could be used in a family setting. The dining table and chairs I’ve got from Knoll are 12 years old now and they still look great! They’ve gone through 4 different properties and have always fitted in well with the other pieces, such as side tables and iconic lounge chairs that I’ve collected over the years. Its just amazing how what ever type of home or space I use, it always looks like a statement piece. I wanted to show how they could still look so good even though they’ve stood the test of time in a busy family home.

What are the benefits of having strong, direct manufacturer relations?

Most importantly, I can do favours and help clients in ways that shops and retail outlets selling this furniture cant. My clients are mostly mums from the local area in NW3, they are busy people with young kids, and they just want a holding hand. If they want to view one of the pieces from a showroom in town In there own home, to see in situ against other furnishings, then I can sort that out. I can help with getting furniture quickly, with reduced delays, being in direct contact with the factories in Italy and Germany allows for total co-ordination. I’ve  also known these people for a long time and they’ve worked with me before, it is a strong relationship. It helps in many ways to really know who your working with, and that only comes through time and experience.

With the addition of two children to the mix, it’s hard to find time to relax!

Life is busy, two kids, a busy husband, its trying to find a balance. Kids go to school early at 8, so when they finish at 4 o’clock, I have some one-on-one time, its not always possible everyday of the week, but I do really try and focus on the time that I do have with them, making sure its quality time. And I really try and keep that quality time within balance with the busy demands of work.

My morning routine…

Get up early, get the kids sorted and off to school which is just a walk away. I tend to go to the gym, and practice martial arts ‘muay thai’ training or circuits/bootcamp, do some explosive, intensive workout to get my body working, and to get my brain switched on. Have a good coffee and then enjoy my client meetings in the showroom. I may have to visit other furniture exhibitions or shows but importantly I then get all the admin done to make sure my customers are looked after, but generally in the morning its eat well, train hard and get a fresh, clear mind for the day.

Carly Madhvani with the Skeleton chair in copper, by Knoll

Carly Madhvani with the Skeleton chair in copper, by Knoll

My secrets to curating the perfect living space?

By having a combination of textures, warm and soft as well as pattern in either cushions, rugs, blinds or within wood as well as plain surface, giving you  approximately about a third-mix of each. So any home then feels balanced with a cohesive interior design. Use a colour pallete of no more than five colours and one of those should be light or dark. And have an accent colour within that five and then try and have, for example a plain sofa with a patterned cushion, patterned rug with a wooden floor. Painted walls with art to bring in some detail so that you’ve got a combination of textured, plain and patterned, and if you manage to achieve that it should be fairly relaxing. If your colours are well thought-through in a pallet which can be really easily obtained with any interior magazine, I think they’re a brilliant source of inspiration and houzz.com is also really useful to make sure your on the right lines with that. But as a general rule of thumb, that would create a feeling around you of balance.