An Interview with Tom Shelley

Amber Moore
September 19, 2017


Well, we did, so we spoke to interior designer Tom Shelley of Bowman Riley. With over 15 years of experience, Tom is the perfect person to give us a sneak peek into the mindset of an interiors expert.

Here’s what Tom had to say…

1. What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on and why?

My favourite project was designing Team Sky’s office in Manchester it was a big challenge to maximise their current office at the Velodrome in Manchester.

It is probably one of the smallest projects I have worked on but the end result was a massive success and it was great to have an insight into the hugely successful cycling team.


2. Where did you source your inspiration when beginning this project?

Working closely with the client we developed a detailed brief and and were also able to get inside the ethos of the team which was to be reflected in the workspace.



3. What was your thought process when selecting the colours and materials for this project?

The client is very brand driven but in a clever, consistent way so we adopted this approach which would reflect well in the environment for the staff.


4. What was your thought process when selecting lighting for this project?

Function was the key factor to enable the working environment to be adequately illuminated. By opening up the office, we were able to maximise the ingress of natural light, providing all spaces with a glimpse of the Sky outside.



5. If you have to invest your money in just one piece of furniture, what would you advise it be?

With this project, it was the chairs. They went for a super high spec chair; I guess if you are sat down for long periods you need to be comfortable.


6. What mistakes do you see over and over again in interiors?

None because we always plan as best as possible! Planning and preparation along with communication can help clients along the journey.



7. What advice would you give to those that want to make an impactful change, without completely renovating the room?

An overriding concept can help. Perhaps a theme that can be used to encompass all the individual elements and gel the scheme together.


8. What is your biggest golden rule when it comes to interiors?

You have to listen to the client – they are investing time and money. If you can sit back and absorb all the factors from an early stage, you can then respond in an efficient, clever and creative manner to meet and hopefully surpass your clients expectations.



If you want to see more of Tom’s impressive projects, take a look at the Bowman Riley website.

All of the beautiful imagery used here belongs to Bolia and the items are available here.

Amber Moore

Amber Moore

Amber is a MSci Biology student at University of Southampton, and is a firm believer that pale pink goes with everything. She lives for Grey's Anatomy, beautiful Scandinavian interiors and cute puppies - or anything fluffy really!