Ria Da Costa
Originally from Canada, and having lived in Trinidad & Tobago, I now find myself in Scotland for what’s already been a fantastic two years. My move to Scotland is the result of enrolling in a furniture design & making course in East Lothian, at The Chippendale International School of Furniture. Here I was able to enrich my design skills and indulge my passion for creating objects with my own hands.
Prior to this, I was at Ryerson University in Toronto, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Design, after which I worked for various architecture and design firms both in Canada, and in Trinidad & Tobago.
I came across Jeffreys Interiors originally when I was out for a stroll. My boyfriend encouraged me to apply, and when I got offered the position a couple months later I was reminded of the Scottish expression “What is for you will not go by you.” Every day at Jeffreys Interior is exciting, constantly learning new things, meeting new people, and contributing my own skills to a fantastic team of designers.
What are your greatest influences?
Certainly my family, both immediate and extended. I have numerous cousins, aunts, and uncles, and they have all encouraged and supported me in the pursuit of my goals. Not to mention they happily participated as guinea pigs in my first ever design ventures.
Also, having had the privilege of living in different countries I can see how other cultures influence my design decisions. It’s really exciting for me to come up with concepts that incorporate a little bit of everything: North American neutrals accented with Caribbean brilliance and finished with rich British textures and fabrics.
What is the most challenging project you have worked on and why?
I think every project presents its challenges, but perhaps what is consistently challenging in all projects is learning who your client is and understanding exactly what they are trying to achieve, because most of the time, they aren’t entirely sure themselves! I believe this aspect of a project to be the most interesting and rewarding. Once we learn and understand our clients’ personalities, we can reflect that in our concepts and give life to our designs as well as a result they’ll love.
What is your favourite icon or image?
I have always been drawn to portraiture because I think it’s fascinating to be able to capture the essence of someone through that form of art. I once saw an amazing painting that really struck me – and sadly I never found out the name of the artist. It was of an older gentleman with a wrinkly faced, pot belly under a collar shirt, and grey balding hair. He was painted looking down at a cigar between his fingers from which he had just taken a puff. The artist had captured the moment showing the utter pleasure. A moment of pure contentment captured in brilliant colours, and magnificent painterly technique.
What is your Favourite restaurant, bar or hotel?
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Savoy Hotel in London which I absolutely fell in love with. From the grand entrance to the lavish interiors, the hotel engages you in the ultimate design conversation. I think it’s really special that the hotel’s numerous rooms, including bars and restaurants, each display their own design personality with English, French and Art Deco influences.