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Interior Designer Tobias Oliver Celebrates 5 Years in Berkhamsted

tobias oliver

As he celebrates five years on Berkhamsted High Street, Tobias Oliver discusses how his interiors company has evolved and what the future holds.

What did you want to offer from day one when you launched Tobias Oliver Interiors (TOI) in 2016?

Seamless elegance with a hint of quirk! With every project we take on, this is at the core of each design scheme. What separates us from the rest is that we have no ‘in-house’ design style. We draw upon our far-reaching knowledge of suppliers, craftsmen, and artisans to produce luxury interiors that are totally unique and, more importantly, reflect the lifestyles of our clientele.

How do you look back on the first 2-3 years in business?

Looking back on the initial years of my business, I view them as both challenging and incredibly rewarding. Those years were a steep learning curve where I dealt with everything from client acquisition and managing finances to executing complex design projects under tight deadlines. Despite the hurdles, these years were crucial for establishing my reputation and refining my design approach. Every project and client interaction taught me something valuable about the practical aspects of running a design business and about my own creative capabilities. Overall, those early years laid a strong foundation for the sustainable growth and success of my business.

Why did you choose to open a showroom on Berkhamsted High Street?

I chose to open a showroom to create a tangible experience for my clients and showcase my work’s quality and diversity. Having a physical space allows clients to touch and feel the materials, experience first-hand the level of quality and craftsmanship, and visualize their own spaces more effectively. It also serves as a platform for displaying a variety of design styles and solutions, helping clients to understand their preferences and options better. Additionally, the showroom acts as a creative lab where my team and I can experiment with new ideas, keeping our designs fresh and innovative. Ultimately, it enhances our ability to connect with clients and provides an immersive environment that supports our design process.

tobias oliver interiors

Why Berkhamsted?

I grew up in Berkhamsted and have always loved the area. I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have been brought up here until I lived elsewhere and abroad, so it felt natural for me to return to my roots. Most of my family and friends all live locally, and having Ashridge on our doorstep is perfect for walking Otto, my four-legged friend!

How has this changed how you work as a business?

Opening the doors to the retail side of the business was exciting! Probably with the most ominous timing as after just six months, we were all hit with Covid and Brexit, along with many other challenges. Ultimately, when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade! We put an enormous amount of effort into the e-commerce side of the business, onboarding luxury brands that synergized with us. Four years on, we are now a leading luxury online retailer, which has meant we moved all our stock to a state-of-the-art fulfillment center, and we are now a By Appointment Only showroom. We made this decision to re-align our main focus back to interior design, with our online retail shop working smoothly in the background.

Today, what would we find in the showroom?

The showroom is now our private client meeting space, and upstairs is a dedicated design studio. We also hold events and offer the space to hire for third-party private meetings in a luxury setting; if you are interested in hiring the space, please do get in touch.

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What recent projects really showcase what TOI is all about?

There are so many it’s difficult to choose. There is one particular one we are working on now that is very special, but it won’t be finished until later in the year, we can tell you more then. But two standout ones we completed last year both won national awards and are very different from each other in terms of design, and that is exactly what TOI is all about. We work with our clients’ design aspirations and turn them into reality, ensuring the design truly reflects them.

We are working on a variety of projects in the local area as well as across London. They are all very different in terms of design briefs and types of clientele, and we love the diversity it brings us.

How do you see the future of TOI evolving?

There’s much in store for our brand. We have further developed the website for our online customers. Not only can they now purchase fabrics, trimmings, and wallpaper, you now have the option to use these fabrics and trimmings to design and have your own bespoke cushions made. We are developing this functionality further to be able to make roman blinds and headboards using the many thousands of fabrics available through our website. In terms of the core part of our business, this mission will remain the same; to deliver luxury interiors, leaving a lasting impression in the minds of our clients, through exceptional service and sustainable means.

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