Q&A with Interiors Expert Sam Beckford

Q&A with Interiors Expert Sam Beckford

Imogen White |

How did you get into working in interiors?

Although I love interiors, I actually work as a project manager in the dance and theatre industry. My husband Akil is an aquarium designer, so spends at lot of time in gorgeous homes and commercial spaces. We are both really passionate about our home reflecting us as a family and that's how the @becksfamilyhome Instagram account came about.

How do you go about selecting lighting for your space?

We firstly consider how we want a space to feel. We were really lucky that we had our entire home rewired, which meant we could really be thoughtful about where we placed our ceiling, wall and floor lights. Having a family home means we really have to think about practicality as well as design. For example, our communal areas need to be well illuminated, but choosing dimmable bulbs has been key to us changing the mood of our multifunctional spaces.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Akil loves biophilic design. As a result we have an obscene amount of house plants. Our bathroom is like a rain forest! However we draw interiors inspiration from so many things we see. This could be from a piece of old art work we have on our landing, to a costume from a show I may have worked on.

What are your favourite home design tips?

Whether rented or owned, a home should reflect the people living there. Creating a space that truly reflects you does not happen overnight, so take your time. We acknowledge that our taste will evolve over time, but not everything needs to be brand new. We have found so much joy in upcycling - reusing and recycling our old pieces in creative ways.

What are your favourite materials and colours to work with in lighting?

We love the vintage-look bulbs with a visible filament. The warm glow works really well in our home, especially against the black and brass accents we seem to be drawn to. However, our daughter does have a brilliant white plastic cloud flush to her ceiling which illuminates the whole room and brings a playful vibe to the house!

Besides @becksfamilyhome, you are also a co-creator of @BlackHomesUK, what inspired you to start this account and why do you think it's so important?

Black homes UK came out of an Instagram group chat that we were a part of back in June 2020. We were a group of 20+ black renovators notably upset, hurt and angry at the George Floyd Murder and social injustice we faced daily. We took this pain and turned it into passion for making our accounts more visible to the world. Dehumanising images of black people being murdered were dominating social media and we wanted to change that. We wanted the world to see everyday black British home owners renovating properties and doing "normal" things. Since then BHUK has been taken on an amazing journey by a group of 7 amazing co-hosts who do a fantastic job of continuing to engage a community that seemed to be so hidden from view until very recently. It's a thriving community which we are really proud to have contributed to!

All images were contributed by Sam Beckford.