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Design for life: Meet Strata's interior designer, Angelica


Angelica Edwards-Marsh joins the Strata family to help our customers personalise their new homes

Young and creative

Angelica’s years of experience as an Interior Designer have given her a keen eye for design, and her creativity and passion began at a young age.
“My first experience of interior design was when I was 6 or 7 years old and my mum bought me a wooden wendy house. It was plain wood inside, and I remember asking my mum if I could decorate it. So she got me a piece of carpet, and I used sheets of plain A3 paper to design my own wallpaper. It looked so cool when I had finished! From then on I fell in love with this idea of transforming a blank space into something cool and beautiful and full of personality.”

Discovering this passion at a young age meant that throughout school and college, Angelica focused on gaining the qualifications in subjects that supported her dream, including graphics and textiles, and she went on to study Interior Architecture at Leeds College of Art. 

In 2014, Homebase launched their Design Academy scheme for people wanting to get into interior design. “My year in the Design Academy role involved helping people with their colour choices, and it was interesting to hear more about how people made those choices about colour and interior design, and how much it mattered to them. We would then feedback our findings to head office and go to London to spend days with top interior design experts, learning more about the industry and trends. It was a really exciting year and I learnt so much.”

Fifteen minutes of fame

A year later, Angelica was chosen to feature on a TV show called The Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC2. The challenges for the contestants each week involved a brief for designing room within someone’s house, and a very basic description of the people that lived there and £1,000 budget. “The [Great Interior] Design Challenge was hard work but a great experience, and it challenged the way I approach design. It was very nerve-wracking presenting my designs to the couples each week, but also really rewarding when you saw their reactions.”
Angelica has also had the pleasure of working with the Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux, who she refers to as “the queen of colour”. “Marianne’s experience and knowledge is just so inspiring, I feel privileged to have worked with her and I took so much from the experience. She can take any colour from the thousands of Dulux shades available and mix it right there in front of you, just off the top of her head! She’s my idol.”

During her experience at Dulux, Angelica was part of a team offering an online interior design service, allowing people to receive interior design expertise at a fraction of the usual cost. “The concept of doing [interior design consultancy] online and not having to meet with the client made it more affordable and opened up interior design as an option to a whole new market of everyday people with modest budget; it was a game-changer.”

She has also worked as a kitchen designer at Wren Kitchens, helping customers to design their dream kitchens. “At Wren I got to work with real people and learn about the different views on what interior design is, how design works alongside functionality in a key room like the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so there’s a lot of emotion invested in it, and it’s also a huge financial investment. It isn’t something we change often; some people had saved for 10 years to achieve their dream kitchen, so I loved helping them to design it and making the most of the space and the budget to create a space for them to love and be proud of for years to come.”

What the future holds

Fast forward to 2018, when Angelica was contacted by Gemma Smith, sales director at Strata, with an exciting proposition. “When Gemma told me what Strata had planned for the future and how I would fit it, I couldn’t say no! I can’t wait for what 2019 and beyond holds and to be part of this exciting new journey helping customers to personalise their dream home. It’s such an emotional journey; it’s the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and I feel privileged to be part of that.”

The new technology will be rolled out for customers purchasing at Finesse and future developments. As part of this, purchasers will be invited in to work with Angelica in the exciting new Design Studio at Strata head office in Doncaster, offering a personalised interior design service, helping them to select colour palettes and kitchen designs, bathroom suites and more.