With generations of couturiers in the family, Michelle Japheth grew up surrounded by exquisite fabrics. Small wonder that she went on to found a design service with a special emphasis on soft furnishings and upholstery. We caught up with Michelle to find out more…
How did the Oui Design concept come about?
The Oui Design concept was originally born from a need to keep creating, and since fabric can be used for so many things, soft furnishings seemed to be a great route to follow, however, once I started, I couldn’t help going beyond this realm. Bathrooms suddenly became a regular item on the request list, then kitchens until finally I was requested at the very beginning when the architects’ plans were coming together. My husband has always played a role in the company, so Oui Design was just a play on words.
What made you decide to move from fashion to interiors?
As it happens, after I sold my first clothing collection, one of my clients asked me what was next going forward, I responded by saying that I wanted to study to be an architect, my clients convinced me to stay in the fashion world, so my career in interiors was somewhat delayed, but inevitable.
What would be your dream project?
My dream project is definitely a willing client with a budget to match! Of course no building restrictions gets a big tick too! It really does sound like a dream doesn’t it!
Can you tell us about trends for 2017? What’s going to be big this year?
The trend for the feeling of luxury continues for 2017. Natural textures like marble, stone and even precious stones are being emulated and incorporated into furniture and interpreted into wallpapers, smaller polished pieces are being made into accessories as well as being used as stand alone pieces. Shades of grey and silvers are still very popular, but they are being injected with shots of smart navy blue and a dash of gold and bronze as accent colours creating a layered and 3d effect. All kinds of things are vying for first place as works of art this year as we see more designers using accent walls made up of a jigsaw of mirrors or textures to interesting presentations of furniture and unexpected lighting designs.
Any exciting projects coming up?
In actual fact, the most exciting project this year will be the long-awaited refurbishment of my own house, I’m always excited to see the elation on my client’s face when they return to their properties after what seems like a long gestation period, this time I’m looking forward to seeing the smiles from my own family.
(020 8958 6621; ouidesignlondon.co.uk)