Some people have an innate eye for design and this is certainly the case with one of the hottest new Scandinavian interior designers on the block, Cat Dal. Especially when it comes to Scandi chic…
Scandinavian interior designer Cat Dal is one to watch. Having set up Cat Dal Interiors, based in Victoria, in 2015, she immediately scooped the Top Interior Designer award at New Design Britain 2015. So who better to turn to for the Scandi chic look so popular in Britain right now?
Dal’s projects are fresh, bold and affordable. A project that shows this off very well is the recent refurbishment and renovation of her own home, a Victorian top floor, split-level flat in Tufnell Park, where they constructed a dormer in the attic bedroom.
Natural materials play a starring role in Scandinavian design; it connects you to the vitality of the outdoors, which, as Dal tells us, simply makes us feel good.
‘The Victorian flat has beautiful proportions and a double height window overlooking the gardens, so we wanted to make the most of the natural light,’ says Dal. ‘The result is a clean, modern yet mid-century atmosphere with high-end finishes, pops of rich colour and reclaimed materials.’
It was dated and unloved, but Dal and her husband loved the dimensions of the property and the character, so decided to stay and make it their project. ‘It was quite a big project that started the day after we got married in Ibiza, so there was no holding back,’ she says.
For the past 10 years I have been keeping a treasured edit of suppliers; everything from cement tiles, reclaimed flooring, antique markets and small unknown danish textile designers
‘It was a lot of fun, but a learning curve. I had two heads on with this project: my design business brain and my owners’ heart, so I had to be quite strict with myself. I loved diving into my little black book of my favoured craftsmen.
‘For the past 10 years I have been keeping a treasured edit of suppliers; everything from cement tiles, reclaimed flooring, antique markets and small unknown danish textile designers.
‘My favourite room is the en suite bathroom, which has polished plaster called tadelakt, a Moroccan plaster they use in Spain and it’s like silk to touch – it’s truly beautiful,’ says Dal. ‘With the light coming in onto the Bert and May tiles, it’s just a really lovely space.’
One of her biggest hates is having unnecessary clutter, so this is often part of her thought process. In the large and airy master bedroom renovation there is a place for everything and this, combined with the teal colour scheme, sets a calming atmosphere to the room.
‘You have to constantly remind and be honest to yourself about how you actually live,’ she says. ‘That’s why I get very personal when I work with my clients.
‘I often start with a conversation, getting to know them and then looking at images together with them to see what they like. It sometimes just starts with artwork. It’s sort of a two-way street where we kind of interview each other.’
Design has come to the forefront of a lot of restaurants and bars now, so Dal tells me that she gets a lot of inspiration from there. ‘Inspiration comes from the heart though,’ she says. ‘And from being brought up in Scandinavia, I always start my designs from a feeling and how I want the room to feel. Then I move to the colours, materials and nature – there will always be organic materials in my rooms.’
Versatility and diversity in projects is clearly something that Cat Dal takes in her stride, and something that means hers is a name we will see all over in 2017.
CAT DAL CREATES
Gianlucca’s coffee cult
Cat Dal Interiors also takes on commercial projects, her latest being Gianlucca’s Coffee Cult in Fulham Broadway. A special collaboration with Ardour Designs, their brief was to convert a dark and cluttered two-storey Grade II listed building into a minimalistic, relaxed and modern space.
On the ground floor concrete Hexagon pendants float over the marble breakfast bar, and Kokedama plants swing delicately reflecting onto an antique mirror. A fireplace was lovingly restored with geometric tiles and a stunning marble frame. Upstairs they continued the muted palette and mix of textures, with bespoke leather banquettes with brass detailing, concrete wall lights and brass geometric terrariums.