Designer outlet: Victoria Hopkins Interiors brings out the colour and joy

Setting up your own interior design consultancy can be daunting and costly, particularly if you are switching careers. But Victoria Hopkins’ passion for the industry has led her to build a successful firm in just a few years.

Picture: ZAC and ZAC

She says: “I’ve always been interested in interior architecture but, because I loved making things, I opted to study product design instead at university. I enjoyed the creativity of the course, but my first job was in branding in London and I felt I wanted to get back into design.

“I have always made soft furnishings and I set up a side business, selling cushions and reupholstered chairs on Etsy.”

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In 2015, she bought her first flat in Edinburgh, and describes its subsequent refurbishment as “an opportunity to flex my creative muscles – to see if I could do it.”

Victoria Hopkins Interiors

The project provided an example of her capabilities and she gained experience and contacts from there by taking on redesigns for friend’s homes – initially for free – before setting up her business in 2017.

Victoria’s company offers a full design and project management service. “We have just finished a full townhouse on Inverleith Row, and a typical project will be start to finish, sometimes involving new kitchens and bathrooms. It can involve every aspect, right down to the finishing details, particularly for clients who live overseas.”

The consultancy employs a seamstress, so the furnishings are bespoke, and Victoria works with Edinburgh firm Umbre + Ochre Construction for trades. Bold wallcoverings from the likes of Divine Savages and House of Hackney are another feature.

Victoria says of her style: “My signature, if I have one, is colourful and joyful – sometimes that is on trend, sometimes it isn’t. If you like it, that is the only consideration.”

Victoria Hopkins

The first step is to create a mood board, to suggest colours, furniture styles, wallpapers, fabrics and how they fit together. After that she produces a 3D visual to give clients a good impression of what the finished project will look like. Victoria explains: “It is a very collaborative approach with the client feeding back at each point.

“A lot of people have just bought a property and they come to us even before they’ve moved – particularly if they are viewing this as their forever home – so it is worth making very special. Many are professional people who are time-poor, but a lot of my clients are younger than I think would have been the case even ten years ago.”

Victoria puts this demographic profile down to both her style and the fact that she has an Instagram presence. “I do think interior design, because it is showcased on social media, is now seen as more accessible for ordinary people.”

Her branding background is useful with commercial interior, but it isn’t wasted on private clients either. She says: “A business wants to put over its ethos in design but that is true of residential work too. You don’t necessarily come up with an overall concept, but you definitely need to understand who the client is to reflect their personality, rather than yours.”