The Designers' Advisor Asks: Hélène Dabrowski

Hélène Dabrowski

Hélène Dabrowski Interiors

Established in 2001, Helene Dabrowski Interiors specialises in high-end residential and boutique commercial interior design and decoration. From a townhouse in Chelsea to a pied-a-terre in Hyde Park, a family home in Belsize Park, detached homes in Surrey and Kent, a Cotswold manor and a farmhouse in Brittany, Helene’s projects cover London and its surrounding counties as well as her native France. With over 20 years in the industry, Helene has a wealth of contacts and experience on projects of all sizes. Structured and efficient while keeping a sense of fun and originality at the centre, she works closely with her clients – whether it’s a full house refurbishment or a single consultancy – to create spaces that are alive and reflect their style, taste and personality.

Hélène Dabrowski

As an interior designer or brand, how has the pandemic affected your work?

It has slowed down my work and potential projects have been put on hold as clients want to see the effect of the pandemic on financial markets. Also, ongoing projects at advanced stages have had to pause as clients cannot move forward without going on-site as well as tradesmen being on-site.

Further to that, how have you responded to the challenges? What measures have you put in place to not only ensure safe practices but to safeguard your business?

I am trying to keep projects that were at planning stage going by doing all work remotely and having virtual meetings with clients. This seems to be working quite well so far. Also, I’m trying to be more present on social media.

We are all trying to find silver linings to this crisis. Some are finding more time to be creative – with or without children! – to think about issues in a different way, to explore a new skill or to improve an existing one. What has been your experience so far in terms of creative thinking and output?

I have been wanting to learn or improve skills, particularly with software designing programs, but finding it quite a challenge to cope with balancing day-to-day life and work in the current conditions. On the positive side, I have more time than usual to develop ideas, which is quite refreshing.

Trying to stay on a positive note, we’d love to hear about any benefits you may have discovered amidst the difficulties?

More time to think creatively and focus on the business, more time to home cook, more family time and a tidier house!

Looking ahead to the future, when this pandemic is behind us, we’ve been thinking about how this enforced shutdown might be an opportunity to do things – personally, professionally and as a society – a bit differently. We’re thus interested to know how, if at all, you might take your own business forward in a new way?

For clients that are really busy and want to meet in the evening, I might propose to do the first stage of design remotely by having virtual instead of face-to-face meetings.

  • Perhaps propose a virtual, quick room fix.
  • Be more focused on specifying products from small companies and artisans and try to support their business as the pandemic will have been a challenge for them.
  • Specify products made in the UK or Europe and are sustainable.

Many thanks to Hélène Dabrowski

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