“I am always really interested in hotel mini bars, as I think this is generally a huge missed opportunity for a hotel to express themselves creatively through a curated product mix.” Simone Mcewan
Simone McEwan, designs and consults with leading global brands across hospitality, leisure and retail. She has insider experience across sectors, in her previous roles as Concept Director for Selfridges, working closely alongside the former Creative Director, Alannah Weston, and as Design Director for the Soho House Group. She launched Simone McEwan Design & Consultancy in 2012, providing creative direction consultancy and interior design services. The combination of an architectural education, with interior design practice, and brand concept development, allows McEwan curate a complete conceptual experience that touches every facet of customer interaction.
McEwan has a truly international outlook; Melbourne born, educated and trained as an architect in London, she then worked for Anouska Hempel in London, moving onto New York as a Designer for Studio Sofield, before returning to London. Her project experience spans London, New York, Miami, Georgia and Hong Kong. Recent design consultancy projects include Duddell’s in Hong Kong for Studioilse, Blakes Hotel and Fortnum and Mason in London.
She is married to a Swede and spends her time between London, Sydney and Stockholm.
THC: What inspires you and why?
SM: Any form of visual media but mostly through materials, colour and pattern. This can be anything from tabletop ceramics to graphic tile patterns and colour used on the Paris Metro stations.
THC: How did you get into your business?
SM: I studied Architecture, but was always drawn to Interior Design and worked solely for interior led Architects and Brands that placed value on design and user experience.
THC: What are you working on right now?
SM: I am designing a new private Members Club on Pall Mall in London, in a beautiful London Art Deco building. I also have a new ‘brewhouse’ pub for a craft beer brewery in London and two luxury villas in Ibiza.
THC: How do you see your space evolving?
SM: All my projects start and finish with the customer experience as the focus; pushing every facet that touches the guest experience. My design approach for any project, will always be in constant evolution due to the brief and the context, but I try to always design an environment that connects through emotion and experience.
THC: Who is your hero or icon?
SM: Italian modernist architects and designers – Gio Ponti, Carlo Scarpa, Ettore Sottsass, Franco Albini, Mario Bellini.
THC: What’s your favourite spot around the world?
SM: Torre del Lago – a small sleepy beachside town on the Italian Tuscan coast, which boasts an amazing outdoor opera theatre overlooking a stunning lake. Its not too touristy, has a beautiful stretch of beach and my family has been going for years.
THC: What’s your favourite injection of culture into a brand?
SM: I am always really interested in hotel mini bars, as I think this is generally a huge missed opportunity for a hotel to express themselves creatively through a curated product mix. My favourite has to be Morgans Hotel collaboration with The School of Life. It is intelligent and thoughtful, with the right amount of wit.