“Working with and personally having experience of hearing issues, I know it can be difficult to have a conversation in an environment where the acoustics are not good,” he says. “If you have a lot of hard surfaces, then background noise isn’t absorbed. “If you have nothing to absorb the sound, it can make it difficult to hear. “Even people who don’t have hearing problems can go into a restaurant where there are marble tops, wooden chairs, no table cloths, no pictures, with the coffee machine in the corner and music playing, and they end up shouting at each other because they can’t hear.” Emile explains softer furnishings absorb background noise which improves the quality of sound. “It’s about going into a space and being able to enjoy yourself with the people you’re with,”
As a member of the British Institute of Interior Design, I work hard to keep my knowledge up to date and regularly goes to design exhibitions and trade shows to make sure I use the very latest in products and techniques.
“Cork is great – everybody thinks of cork from the 1970s, but the industry has developed considerably and now it’s incredible,” says Emile. “It has a number of strong physical advantages: it’s a great insulator, absorbs sound and it comes in all sorts of finishes.
“There are also a number of wallpapers available now that are three-dimensional and they also help to absorb sound.”
I also use textured acoustic panels made from materials such as wool or polyester to help diffuse sound, as well as under- floor products which can also make a big difference. Having spent so much time working in London, Emile says he hopes to use a mixture of big brands as well as independent traders when expanding his business into Norfolk.
“I always try to use British companies where possible for my interiors. I have a strong ethic in supporting local businesses because it helps to support the economy and create jobs,” he says.
Working with an interior designer isn’t something many of us have done before so Emile explains that people can be quite nervous when they first come to him. “It’s good to have a telephone conversation and an initial visit – which I don’t charge for,” he says. “People need to feel comfortable because we work on a very personal basis.” As well as finding out more about you and how you live, I bring elements of creativity and inspiration to every project to make the most of any given space.
From single room projects, to homes, restaurants and even hotels, I like to offer people something a bit different – but insist it has to “feel right”.
“It’s so expensive to move now, people are looking to use the space they already have,”. “It can range from just a bathroom or kitchen, to making a whole house work. For example, rooms may feel disjointed or perhaps you have a child on the way and you need to create extra sleeping space.
“Norfolk is a big holiday area too and a lot of people have boutique hotels. It’s a crowded market so I like to help people offer something a bit different and create spaces where guests feel relaxed and warm.”
Having a home that you love to spend time in is so important – not only is it where you can close the door on the world and escape the bustle of everyday life, but it’s where you can relax and be yourself. It’s the one space that reflects who you are and how you feel.
Your home can be calming, inspirational, energising – whatever you want it to be – so it’s important it gives you exactly what you need.
Founder of Chameleon Designs, Emile Azan has been helping people to maximise their interiors and feel happy in their homes for the past 12 years.
Originally based in London, Emile has spent the past two years visiting Norfolk on a regular basis and has now set up a studio in Dussindale, Norwich, bringing his knowledge and expertise along the way.
“I love Norfolk, it’s incredibly beautiful and so inspirational,” says Emile. “I love the houses and the architecture here.”
And when it comes to Emile’s interior designs, there’s a lot more to them than first meets the eye. Not only does he work to solve issues surrounding design, purpose and flow, but Emile also has a keen focus on acoustics.