Cornwall LivingIssue #62

In safe hands

We catch up with Elaine Skinner, founder of Camellia Interiors, one of Cornwall’s only BIID qualified and accredited practices.

Tell us about Camellia Interiors

“I set up Camellia in 2003 and now, we have two showrooms in Truro and Rock, allowing us to serve the north coast as well as central Cornwall. We’re planning for a third showroom in the next few years to complete the triangle. The practice employs a team of 16 full-time designers and contractual staff, and we stock a wide range of quality paint, paper and fabrics, available at both locations.

Impressive! When it comes to individual projects, would you say you have a set style or do you approach each differently?

“No. We approach each project with an open book. We’re always looking for new creative solutions, adapting to suit each individual project.”

Is it this approach, you think, that makes Camellia so unique?

“I believe it comes down to process, and a confidence to question the brief. In other words, the difference is how we do it. We’re fastidious managers of the process, delivering with tight procurement, scheduling and attention to detail. Our clients hire us for our insight, expertise and experience and we deliver on their behalf. We’re not ‘yes’ people, so we’re also not afraid to question a brief if we don’t think it’s right – this invariably wins us business.”

It sounds like you and the team really know your stuff! What services do you offer?

“We have a lot of experience working with both private residences and holiday properties of all scales, so we can advise owners on what works. We offer: a bespoke curtains and blinds service, spatial planning and furniture sourcing as well as consulting on decorative schemes for individual rooms or whole houses. You can choose to carry out the work yourself, or use our full project management service, which combines the delivery and build of your design scheme, working to an agreed budget and deadline. We also stock a fantastic selection of paints, paper and fabrics in both our showrooms, so clients can pop in to get on-the-spot advice, or arrange a home visit.”

What are you currently working on?

“We’ve a number of soft furnishing jobs on at the moment, ranging from curtain replacements to a client whose new house needs window treatments in every room! We also have several furniture jobs, where a client has purchased a second home and needs furniture for the whole house. At present, we’ve got four full sized projects, where we’re doing everything, all running at different stages; one in Newlyn, another in Polzeath, one in St Mawes and one in Truro.”

That’s a lot of work, but speaking with Elaine it’s obvious that they relish a busy workload and are passionate about what they do!