Designers 7: Becki Willis

becki willis interior designer dubai


Meet Becki Willis from Studio van Oliver

Becki is the founder and interior designer of Studio van Oliver. (I have to mention that she was one of the first designers to reach out to me after I launched Nordic Edition and is wonderfully supportive of other women in the field! Yay, female empowerment!) Her style in my eyes is bold, yet balanced with plenty of interest, go ahead and find out more below.

I asked Becki 7 questions to get to know her a bit better and learn a thing or two about interior design. I hope you enjoy the read as Becki's writing skills are natural - she was in communications industry before taking the leap into interiors!

  • How would you describe your design style? 

I would describe my signature style in 4 words: clean, calm, contrasted and cosy.

  • From your point of view, is interior design an art or a science?

It’s both!

There is a lot more science involved than people think, especially when it comes to space planning. You need to understand how people move around a room and how they use things, so you can design a space to be comfortable and sensible for everyday use. Is your shower mixer mounted high enough on the wall for you? Can you open that drawer and still have enough space to stand in front of it? Will your dining chair slip off the back of the rug when you pull it out? Yep – we think about all those things.

With styling, whilst there are a number of general ‘rules of thumb’ you can follow (you can find loads of them on my blog) – it’s also important to trust your gut. If you think something doesn’t look quite right, go ahead and move it, even if it doesn’t conform to the ‘rules’.

  • When designing a room what is the most important factor for you?

For me the most important factor is definitely how a room feels. Whilst I err on the side of minimalism (too much ‘stuff’ is the antithesis of calm for me), I like my spaces to feel cosy and inviting. Like a big hug at the end of a long day. I tend to add layers of texture, with organic material & shapes, to create warmth and a just the right amount of informal.

  • Tell us something unusual that has happened in your career.

My jaw still hits the floor every time I start a new bathroom renovation… why are standard-issue bathrooms here so…brown?

  • If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?

I’d buy a plot of land in the Outer Hebrides and build my dream family home with huge windows and Yakisugi cladding – the ancient Japanese technique of charring wood at high heat to make it more durable. I’d add a couple of out-buildings to rent as short-term lets for busy people who want a little escape. And I’d grow my own courgettes.

  • How do you know when interior design is “good”?

When it makes you feel good. When the proportions and the balance are just right. When it’s not too much, but not too little either. When it looks effortless, but in reality everything has been selected and placed with exacting purpose.

  • Give us one foolproof piece of advice in home decorating.

Fill your home with things that make you feel good; things that makes you smile when you walk into room and see them. That’s home.


Studio van Oliver

Make sure to check the Resources page, where you'll find guides packed with useful tips and the Blog as well!