Our First Barbados Scholarship Student Leaves London with Flying Colours

Barbados Student Leaving pic1 TyraTyra Woodroffe came to Jenny Blanc six months ago winning our first scholarship to be awarded to a student on the 1-year Interior Design Certificate programme created by Jenny Blanc and offered to the design students of the Barbados Community College. And the prize ? To be flown to London all expenses paid including accommodation and remuneration to work for the first 6 months within the London design practice alongside our talented team.And, to get a good overall grounding and experience of the realities of working within Interior design which as you can see includes site visits! As Jenny Blanc also has two very beautiful design showrooms both here in London and Barbados, Tyra also spent time within the showroom gaining valuable knowledge about how to run a high end store. During her time she also attended Richmond upon Thames College to study AutoCAD Level 2 and to gain a City & Guilds Certification. She gained a 2nd place !
At the end of this life-enhancing experience for Tyra and everyone at Jenny Blanc, we asked Tyra to write a blog post about the key points she will take with her back to Barbados about interior design.

So in her words …….

Understand Your Client and The Brief – It’s vital to the success of the final outcome of any design that you understand what the client’s likes and dislikes are and combine that with their expectations for the design. Taking into consideration the budget and the aesthetic they are aspiring to, you can begin to piece together a scheme.

One of the mood boards I have created during my scholarship in London
One of the mood boards I have created during my scholarship in London

The Importance of Space Planning – Many people are unsure of how to maximise the functionality and enjoyment of spaces because they’re unable to visualise how furniture will come together in a space. Making use of space properly so there is enough room to move around comfortably and carry out tasks is essential. Therefore placement of furniture should be done carefully and to create a comfortable flow. Once these decisions have been made, then electrics and plumbing etc can be suitably positioned.

Scale and Proportion Meets All Aspects of Design – Although some furniture may go with the particular style you are aiming for, if the size is not in proportion with other elements in the scheme, the room can look lopsided or out of balance. Similar guidelines apply to prints in fabric or amounts of colour and texture.

A perfectly balanced interior created by Jenny Blanc for a client back home in Barbados
A perfectly balanced interior created by Jenny Blanc for a client back home in Barbados

Colour, Texture and Lighting – In my eyes, the three ways in which design begins to come alive and exist as more than mere pieces in space are when choices are made involving applications of colour, texture and light. At Jenny Blanc the attention to detail where fabric is concerned is remarkable and it’s the main way of introducing colour and texture. So making sure the right type of fabric is chosen for the right use like something with more substance and strength for upholstery and high traffic areas whilst also maintaining an appeal from a tactile standpoint so it feels lovely to the touch. And, of course, without light we can’t perceive colour, so it’s crucial to make sure the placement and intensity of light fixtures is well thought through.

A sunny verandah showing the design team's clever use of colour through fabric
A sunny verandah showing the design team’s clever use of colour through fabric

The Ability To Be Flexible – Like all other things the world of design can never be completely perfect. What a good designer will understand is how to adapt to changing situations like a customer changing their mind or a finish being out of stock or damaged etc and still have the job pulled off to deadline and looking beautiful.

Professionalism – The design side apart, in order for your business to be taken seriously a high level of professionalism should be maintained both between client and designers and also among all members of a design team. Without this standard clients will not be drawn to work with you despite the end product.

One of my all-time favourite images showing Jenny Blanc's attention to detail
One of my all-time favourite images showing Jenny Blanc’s attention to detail

And finally, as a young adult newly entering the world of work, I never dreamt it would be as it has – I’ve been so fortunate to enjoy this experience over the past six months. Unsurprisingly, I am eagerly awaiting the Barbadian sunshine at home, but also looking forward to new and exciting challenges on the Caribbean side of Jenny Blanc. My time spent here has been an invaluable part of my growth process and the start of, hopefully, a long and rewarding career designing spaces to inspire.
Tyra Woodroffe Assistant Interior Designer

Barbados Student Leaving_Pic5 TyraAnd the next stage of her scholarship …..
Tyra is back on home ground as we post this blog. After catching up with friends and family and having a restful Christmas basking in sunshine, she will join the Barbados showroom team for a further six months training on the other side of the design and retail business that is Jenny Blanc. This will include working alongside Emma Blanc, Jenny’s daughter, who runs the Barbados Showroom. Tyra’s training there will be based on new design enquiries, assisting clients to choose beautiful and practical accessories for homes Jenny Blanc may have just completed, or clients visiting us for the first time to add to their existing homes or a refurnish. This involves working on the retail side of the business and, very importantly, learning all the details and marketing of our outdoor furniture ranges which are so important within The Caribbean- the majority of life is spent outside in hot climates. As well as using her new skills in AutoCad, Tyra will assist our Design Director, Sue Thomas-Richardson, whilst she is overseeing design projects which Jenny Blanc is currently working on in Barbados and other Islands. Say hello to Tyra from us if you meet her there!

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