‘My style is simple and earthy’ – we meet OKA’s Giselle Mannering
Unrivalled British interiors brand OKA was founded in 1999 by Annabel Astor, Sue Jones and Lucinda Waterhouse. Over the years, they have gained a reputation for their high quality craftsmanship and elegant bohemian style. With an exquisite range of products available and a team of talented creatives on hand to offer an Interior Design service, they are a firm favourite with our own clients.
We talk with OKA’s talented Head of Interior Design and Trade, Giselle Mannering to discuss home style, key pieces and top tips…
What does your role at OKA involve?
I’m responsible for a team of sixteen designers, who are spread throughout the country, as well as four trade associates based in London. I support and encourage designers so that they produce work that is at the very top of our game.
What do you love most about your job?
I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing our designers flourish and develop. It is always with great excitement and pride that I see the completion of an interior project and the transformation of someone’s home.
A big part of a designer’s role is about creating schemes that your customers will love – but how would you describe your own personal style?
My own style is simple and earthy. Warehouse meets country. High ceilings and elegant rooms full of lovely old things. I live in the country and my home is a homage to re-found, reclaimed items.
Think natural linens, white paint and old wooden and polished concrete floors.
Which OKA products are in high demand with your customers right now?
Left to Right: Cullinan Rug with antique brass Opplyst Tables, Ellesmere Rug
How would you style your own dream garden room extension?
It would be simple and pared back. It would give a nod back to the original use of an orangery, perhaps with a reclaimed terracotta floor filled with plants. The room would be full of scent and greenery – with plants hanging, climbing and planted in floor troughs surrounding the room.
Tjikko Dining Table design
I would include hidden lighting and light from the outside too, offering some magical inspiration at night time. To finish, big comfy relaxed-white sofas, rush rugs and a wood burner.
Can you share your top tips for readers who are embarking on a new home project?
Draw a scale plan of the house and really think about how the space needs to work. Before considering any furnishings, think about your lighting, floor and wall finishes and compose a scrap book of your favourite things.
This will be the solid foundation to ensuring you have explored your full creative potential.
Take a look at how statement pieces from the OKA range bring a sense of style to this Westbury orangery.