It’s always exciting to learn of new designers (at least new to me), especially one with innate talent. Such is the case with London based interior designer Christopher Prain. I have come to know Christopher through email and I am most impressed with his talents and good nature.
Shortly after Christopher and I started corresponding I sent him an email by mistake. Thinking that I was sending it to my husband (also a Christopher) I wrote, “Hi honey I tried you at the office but no answer. Can you please look at these photos and tell me your thoughts. I LOVE YOU!” To which Christopher Prain replied, “Dear Ronda I love the photos but I may be the wrong Chris(topher). Are Texans meant to be this passionate?” I liked him right away. And, after viewing his portfolio, I was equally impressed with his design aesthetic.
Christopher established his firm, Christopher—Chanond, in 2000 with former business partner Chanond Purananda (who now practices in Thailand). Chanond, a fully trained interior designer, and Christopher, a product designer, quickly caught the eye of The Times writer Lucia van der Post. She commissioned the two men to redesign and refurbish her drawing room. Clearly pleased with the outcome, she referenced their work in her book Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me – A Guide to Living With Impeccable Grace & Style.
For some people design comes naturally, as it obviously does for Christopher. “Having no formal skills means that from a technical point of view I have no constraints. I design with a freedom rarely afforded to most people. I am also a big believer in surrounding yourself with the best support team and qualified consultants.”
After several years of making an impact on this side of the pond, Christopher is taking on the American market with a project in New York. “It’s very exciting and will bring with it a whole new fresh set of challenges.” I am certain he will rise to the occasion.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Stolen lunches. Great friends. An honest life. Health. A good business. The perfect tailor. A beautiful house and a family to fill it with love and laughter.
What inspires your creativity and designs?
A whole list of things: proportion, colour, balance, rhythm, layers, imagination, tradition, technology & craftsmanship.
Which talent would you most like to possess?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
On one level it would be building up a really good and successful interior design practice. However, creating a beautiful house for a happy client is always such a satisfying feeling.
What is your most prized possession?
Our two Cocker Spaniels Lulu & Cooka. They are endearing, loyal, boundless and charming dogs who love jumping fences and messing up the house!
What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Work or rather creativity, as it allows me to express myself and it brings me into contact with a fascinating array of people.
Who are your style icons?
Harry Creighton for teaching me to dress. He was always impeccably dressed and had a great eye. Also, Yves St Laurent for his marvellous collection of art, furniture, sculptures & style.
Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
A top-drawer builder with the best suppliers and craftsmen/women and, of course, the perfect client! One with oodles & oodles of taste, time and personality.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
12 Books That Changed the World by Melvyn Bragg.
Who would you most like to meet and how would you spend the day?
I would love to meet all the members of my family alive and dead, introduce them to my world and try and understand my past.
Profile by Ronda Carman