Having been designing and manufacturing designer light switches and plug sockets for over 100 years, we thought it would be interesting to hear from a leading interior designer what it was like working with us plus get an insight into the design process and the importance of supplier selection . So we recently sat down with Katie McCrum founder and hands on Creative Director of leading London interior design practice, McCrum Interior Design to delve deep into the thought process of selecting electrical accessories and working with us.
1. What are the key competencies you look for in a supplier?
Relationship is the most important to me – building trust is paramount in terms of the products and service. Response time is crucial, being as busy as I am, I need to be able to get hold of someone immediately if there’s an issue. If a supplier can make my life any easier, they get a huge tick from me.
I spend a great deal of time chasing people for this and that, when I can be spending this time on the design board or with clients, it is a huge relief knowing that you can rely on a supplier to meet the demands not only of the design and end product, but also in building a relationship.
2. When you are designing a residential project how essential in the design are small power and lighting?
Lighting is always a key component to any design I undertake – the mood/feel of a room can be altered drastically depending on the lighting solutions selected.
3. Is the ability to design and develop bespoke solutions an important factor when choosing a supplier and how often do you look to incorporate bespoke touches to a design, electrical or otherwise?
It’s really good from a sales angle to add bespoke touches plus it means I don’t have to compromise on my design vision. I also love offering my clients a personalised one off design, they are always a big hit.
4. When selecting products for your design, how much importance is placed on the build quality of the products?
Very important! The products I choose need to stand up to day-to-day living, it would reflect poorly on myself if I installed low quality components that needed replacing.
5. With designs trends and styles ever changing, is it important for suppliers to offer a wide range of finishes?
Yes, it allows me unrestricted freedom during the creative process, as well as giving my clients plenty of choice.
6. Is it an important statement for you and your clients that the selected products are Made in Great Britain?
For lead times it’s good, and the perception, which I think through my experience has borne out, is that British products are more solid and reliable, evidence being your products that I have used on various projects. Plus as a country it is good for “us” to make as much as we can here.
7. How important to you is it that the suppliers you work with are able to provide technical guidance and design advice?
Very important as I’m not the most technology minded . The team at Wandsworth have always brought to my attention lots of upcoming lighting features that I can offer my clients, which helps me in building a strong relationship with my customers.
8. Is technology and the evolution of products a key consideration for clients? and do you find yourself pushing new technology developments or being requested for them?
Yes, technological evolution always gives a good conversation piece when I liaise with clients. Though some are more interested than offers, it is key to understand your client and what they want and if technology would be of interest.
9. With the ever growing usage of smartphones, do you see Integrated USB sockets as the ideal solution to congested plug sockets? What are your thoughts on the Wandsworth USB range?
It’s a great idea, and one I’d imagine will become the industry standard in the next few years! The fact Wandsworth offer the USB plates across all their ranges is fantastic as it means I’m not restricted to either style vs functionality, and vice versa, when offering them to my clients.
10. What trends do you see in interior design related to electrical accessories and what developments would you like to see?
Any time saving, flexible solutions, that give my clients a better/more convenient way to enjoy their lives at home (lighting/checking+setting alarms/appliance controls)
11. What advice would you give to someone who is considering a cheap white plastic light switch/plug socket?
Query your budget; see if you can make savings in other areas to avoid using cheap fittings when possible. If you do find yourself using cheap white accessories – Try and offset it against more aesthetically pleasing items. To summarise, if you are choosing white – pick a flat plate, and install in locations where it blends naturally.
12. In three words could you summarise the key benefits of working with Wandsworth?
Support. Samples. Quality.
If you’re keen to find out more about Katie and the many projects she’s worked on – be sure to head over to her website ‘www.mccruminteriordesign.co.uk’ and keep an eye on our blog for a follow up piece, next week, centered around her work on the Bourne Estate Project.
If you want to understand how we can help look after the finer details on your next project contact us today or download one of our brochures