In the latest in our series of features on the people working in the furniture and beds industry, Cabinet Maker meets design sales consultant Faye Armstrong, from Designer Contracts, who shares an insight into her role.
Can you describe your current job role and responsibilities?
I work within Designer Contracts’ show home interior design team as a design sales consultant. I travel throughout the UK, visiting clients and developers promoting our interior design service.
How long have you been in your current role?
Just over two years.
Can you give a brief background on yourself?
I graduated from Huddersfield University with a degree in interior design. I’ve always been a creative person and interiors have always been a passion of mine.
What is the best thing about your role?
It’s incredibly diverse. One day I could be in the office briefing the team on a new show home scheme, the next I could be on the road visiting one of our sites, ensuring the installation is running smoothly, or handing over a completed show home to our client.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
Ensuring we are ahead of the times in terms of what’s hot and what’s not in the design world. So making sure we are knowledgeable on the latest trends, taking environmental factors into consideration and being able to translate everything into a target-driven show home interior scheme.
Can you describe your typical working day?
A lot of travelling — we have clients throughout the UK — creating briefs for our design team, and ensuring our clients are happy.
What would you say pulled you into wanting a career in the furnishing industry?
I love interior design and being creative, and the fact that no two days are ever the same.
Can you share something that your co-workers may not know about you?
I grow a variety of vegetables in my garden, which I absolutely love! But on the whole, I am an open book.
What are your favourite things in life?
The simple things. There is nothing better than harvesting my home-grown veg and cooking a delicious meal with the results!
What are your future ambitions?
To continue pleasing our clients. Nothing drives me more than seeing a happy client once the show house interior has been revealed.
Do you have an icon?
I have an eclectic taste when it comes to furniture and furnishings. Whether it’s ultra-modern or vintage style, there are a number of influential designers who I appreciate and couldn’t possibly narrow it down to one.
Do you have any career highlights that spring to mind?
Landing my first client and revealing the completed design.
What is your favourite piece of furniture you own? And why?
My favourite has got to be a nursing chair that has been handed down through three generations of my family. It needs some TLC but one day I’ll have it reupholstered and hopefully use it for myself.
What do you love about the furnishing industry?
The constant evolution of fashion and the fact that many iconic trends are reintroduced to the market place with a modern twist.
What could be improved to make the industry better in your opinion?
We are becoming more aware of the origins of products in all aspects of life, not least the furniture and furnishings sector. Companies are becoming more considerate of this and are steering towards making a more conscious choice. More can be done though and this is something that can be improved going forward.
What industry trends are you seeing at the moment?
There’s a demand for more environmentally friendly products with wood and natural stone proving popular. We’re also seeing a demand for multi-functional items, which can be used for more than one thing. Finer details are important to house buyers too, such as chrome light switches and plug sockets, along with tech options such as integrated Wi-Fi plugs and built-in speakers.
Can you predict any future trends that may emerge?
In contrast to the natural approach we’re seeing, colour popping will make a comeback. Bold furniture and accessories against muted walls, or floral wallpaper and neutral furnishings.
Did you know that Cabinet Maker has been established since 1880? How long have you been reading the magazine?
No, I didn’t realise that it had been around for so long! It’s a great magazine that we do receive here at Designer Contracts. I always enjoy your interesting and thought-provoking articles that surround the furniture and interiors sector.
If you weren’t working in the industry, what would you be doing?
Property developing or running my own B&B.
And finally, if you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
I asked my colleagues for their opinions and here’s what they had to say; creative, enthusiastic and a perfectionist. That’s good to know!