5 December 2022
Following our introduction of Omar Group’s new design team, we thought we’d put the kettle on, pull up a chair and have a chat with each of the team. Completing our design Q&A series is Group Designer Lola-Rose Gibbons.
Q: How long have you been into interior design?
A: Since childhood, I’m constantly immersed in interior design brochures, magazines and looking out for new ideas on Pinterest. I’ve always been obsessed with good design and luckily shared that interest with my father. When I was little, I turned our front room into a faux interior design shop, put price tags on everything and my Nan had to pretend to be a shopper when she visited. I’ve just moved into a new home and I’m still unpacking items with price tags on!
Q: Where did you train?
A: I’ve recently graduated from the British College of Interior Design, but have been learning for all my life! As part of that course work, I designed 26 homes making use of all the skills taught on the course. That was brilliant, as it’s meant that while testing boundaries you could make mistakes in a safe environment. It’s as important to learn what doesn’t work as well what does before putting it into practice.
Q: What is the hardest part of the process?
A: With Omar’s Woodbury letting Lodges getting things right from all perspectives meant refreshing the themes in a particularly price-sensitive way, and that can take a bit longer to get right. The refreshed Waterside, Woodland and Highland themes lend themselves to seasons and locations. The fabrics are the same in all three but in different colour palettes. The Waterside is summery and uplifting in blues and yellows, and those naturally lend themselves to Waterside locations.
We also try not to fall into the obvious and choose more subtle ways of delivering themes. For example, in the Waterside, rather than the usual nautical visual references we’ve looked at tone and textures reminiscent of the beach, sand and pebbles in places. The Woodland is now a little more autumnal in feel with natural wooden tones, burnt orange and greens, and the Highland Woodbury is full of drama and contrast, as moody and atmospheric as winter can be, although they are all designed to work at any time of year.
Q: We love the new Heron, what was the design brief?
The Heron is one of our more luxurious lodges and as a brand-new design I was lucky to have been given the freedom to unleash my creativity on it. It felt quite personal as I chose a lot of the same elements I used in my own home, but with a twist. My aim was to deliver comfort through use of textures and colours, while injecting a good measure of colour in a timeless, classy way that wouldn’t go out of fashion. I was also conscious of tonal balance and the potential end customer, so it’s fairly masculine in terms of shapes and textures and chunky furniture, but with feminine materials to soften that. I’m really proud of it.
Q: Do you want to bust any myths about park and leisure homes through your work?
A: Although for park and leisure homes some of our customers are older, I strongly believe that there’s a difference between old fashioned and traditional, particularly on the residential side. People’s brick and mortar homes prior to purchasing are more design-led than they used to be, so we need to deliver that same visual appeal in our homes, whilst also making them cosy and comfortable to live in.
Q: How does the design team work together?
A: There are many at Omar Group who share the design group’s passion for good design, and we work across several disciplines. For example we have a cabinetry expert in-house, and we have been working with him to look at new styles, shape and form to create something different. Being part of such a great wider design team means we can bring the best of ideas together, along with the most interesting discoveries. It’s great to be a part of it, there’s a real buzz in the air when we are together.