Interview: Bryce McKenzie

Five minutes with...

This month for our 'Insider Interview' we chat with Scotland based designer Bryce McKenzie. Bryce’s design style is recognised by the layering of patterns, colours and textures, producing subtle rhythms that draw the eye around a room.

Describe your design aesthetic / signature style to us in a few words?

Over the years, I’ve developed a distinctive blend of signature techniques, producing an aesthetic instantly recognisable as my own. It’s basically about balance in all aspects, between light and shade, pops of definite colour against neutrals, masculine and feminine, scale, geometric and organic shapes. In particular, you’ll find a certain degree of organic softness in the feel of my rooms, never a hard edge.

Where do typically draw inspiration from?

From the moment we open our eyes each day, we’re inundated with visual stimuli. Inspiration is all around us, it’s just a question of opening your mind to possibilities and letting go. Kelly Wearstler is my current design hero, not just because her designs appeal so much to my own aesthetic but because she is unafraid to push boundaries. Working this way, there is no room to worry about being wrong and that’s where true creativity is born. If a thought occurs to me about a room, I feel very lucky if a client lets me follow it right through – after all, I’m working on people’s homes and the first point of inspiration has to be the client themselves.

What has been your most exciting project to date?

It’s one I’m working on currently as it happens, mainly because the client and I are so in tune with one another but also because the space is so light and fantastically proportioned, the rooms are very spacious but matched by ceiling heights of almost 5 metres!

What textile trend are you most excited?

I love woven fabrics. Texture is very important to me, especially if I’m using neutrals as a foil to some sharper contrast colours and want both your infinite subtlety of a neutral, soft colour palette is invaluable.

Is there a colour combination that you think works really well together?

At the moment I’m experimenting with clashing greens together with teal. I find mid-century style very appealing and having just moved home myself, I’ve been trying out these combinations in this context. I’m lucky to be able to indulge myself for a while.

What would be your best advice to anyone wanting to enter the industry?

Getting an internship with an established company can be difficult but it would definitely be the best way to get a handle on the industry. Hands on experience or shadowing a designer will stand anyone new to the industry in great stead for applying for full time jobs, and is likely to help crystallise thoughts on their own style.

What is your favourite Chase Erwin fabric?

There are several but I think the relaxed but interesting matte and sheen texture of Rocco is so useful on larger pieces of upholstered furniture, acting as a foil for stronger colours or patterns. I also love Diva, it’s just the most flawless silk to use on lampshades or as drapes with a fantastic colour palette.

Thank you kindly for your time Bryce. From the CE Team X