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Jo Hamilton talks luxury at INDEX's opening Design Talk

Interior designer to the rich and famous Jo Hamilton opened this week's OFIS-sponsored Design Talks at INDEX with a lesson in luxury across all budgets.

The London-based designer, writer and broadcaster took part in an In Conversation seminar this afternoon, during which she explained the opportunities and challenges that come her way as the go-to interior stylist for the well-heeled.

Jo also explained how she managed to create the Jo Hamilton brand - first making a name for herself in the world of interiors after sprucing up her local pub - and how homeowners can go high-end at a low-cost.

Speaking at INDEX, Jo said: "I'm in a very honoured position in that I am trusted to enhance people's lives and change the environment they live in.

"What really excites me is getting to be creative. If there's a bigger budget, it just means we can really go for it, the likes of bespoke pieces with one-off materials from all around the world. It gives you a lot more freedom.

"The current market is really interesting. For years it has been very sort of fixed in terms of trends. Now, 2017 says anything goes. You can mix it - everything goes in together and that's really exciting.

"Marble is back with a vengeance. Mixed metallics are really in; a lot of beautiful bronzes, brass, copper. Marble and metal together especially. 

"Colour is another fabulous and exciting area. We're seeing jewel tones coming through, really rich, decadent, luxurious colours that create drama. When people are brave we're seeing pattern on pattern, which sounds really scary and dangerous but actually it's really exciting."

With more than 20-year industry experience, Jo has helped shape the luxury design market, and has worked with international clients on a magnitude of stunning projects.

When asked if she'd noticed any changes in what the super-rich want from their design, she said: "For the uber-wealthy it used to be about 'this guy having this and this guy having this', so us having to tick all these boxes to give them the same thing. It's not about that anymore.

"It's now much more about creating something fabulous, utterly unique. The trend now is artisan pieces - beautiful bespoke pieces. That's really the opposite of what it used to be; people are now saying 'Well, if he has that I don't want that'."

As well as the well-heeled, Jo also works with many clients with a more modest budget.

Probed on how anyone can incorporate luxury into their own home, Jo explained: "Not all of us have huge budgets. I obviously work with a lot of people who do have money, but I also work with a lot of people without, who still focus on how to get the look.

"Luxury design is like a really well put together outfit, in my opinion. You can put on an old pair of jeans and a relatively cheap top, but a good pair of shoes will make that outfit seem fabulous and expensive.

"Interior design is like that. There are certain products that can change a room. First, is curtains - really thick, sumptuous floor-to-ceiling curtains that hang really beautifully. Another area I think is really important is in area rugs. It's a bit like having trousers that are a little too short - it's never going to look good. Having your rug that little bit too small is the same. Get a really nice, big rug that lets your furniture sit on it. It is an expensive item, but it's worth it."

Watch Jo's Design Talk in full by visiting our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/INDEXDubai

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