Inside out

Exploring the symbiosis of family and design with Charis James of AKI Design.

We sat down with the esteemed Charis James, Principal of interior architecture and design firm AKI Design to discuss the core of home and family in a design context, and the symbiotic relationship between places and generations.


How does the mother/daughter dynamic influence design perspectives and practice?

The dynamic between mother and daughter can be a bit tricky to navigate at times, however overall, the combination of both generations working in design brings a very unique perspective to a project. My experience and vision for design and Candy's fresh contemporary ideas and tech-savvy skills bring a well-rounded direction to every design project.


Is there a similar parallel when designing a balance between client needs and personal aesthetics?

Finding the balance between a client's practical needs and their vision for their project is probably one of the hardest things to deliver, especially in a residential home. 

This is where the importance of working through the various stages of the design process is so prominent, and also guiding the client through each stage and keeping the communication with them open is imperative.


Moving between urban and coastal, residential and commercial, how do you retain your personal brand across different mediums?

Each design project, whether it is residential or commercial, always has a flavour of AKIs aesthetic running through it, paired with the client's brief and vision for the project. Our designs always retain a level of European sophistication, luxury & craftsmanship, which we aim to bring to each project.


Do you think our relationship with home interiors is more important now than ever?

In my opinion, the home interior has always been one of the most important things when creating a happy home. However, because of the lockdown, everyone is now realising that the way we feel in our home plays a huge part in our emotional health and happiness.


What is your favourite Just Adele piece, and how would you style it?

My favourite piece in Just Adele's collection at the moment would be the Brera console. I love its sculptural simplicity, and the fact that it effortlessly brings an air of elegance to a space. In terms of styling, I see it as a console at the end of a beautiful Victorian hallway, with a simple modern mirror above it, a small marble dish for keys, etc, and my favourite Tom Ford candle.