Peter and Victoria are our husband and wife design team; the people who create the blueprints for better places to get better and envisage environments that encompass the needs of patients in hospital. Peter joined us at Grosvenor Interiors 15 years ago before Victoria joined us around two years later.

After first meeting at art college, they both graduated in fine art before setting up a small interior design practice together working primarily with residential clients. During this time, Peter also worked as an interior design tutor for a large online design school before becoming part of our team at Grosvenor.

We recently caught up with them both to find out a little bit more about how they transform hospital wards into healing environments.

Victoria has a variety of different roles to play in creating our ward designs, but she says they boil down to two main things: listening and looking.

Listening to the staff who work on the ward that she is designing is crucial as they can provide an invaluable insight into their patients’ needs, something that is key to creating an environment that best supports them on their individual health journeys. It also gives her the opportunity to listen to their ideas. They may have specific colours or themes they like which Victoria is then able to incorporate into her designs for their ward, while also using her experience and specialist knowledge to ensure she uses colours and imagery that work best for the space.

‘When I first arrive to take a brief, I have the advantage of seeing the space with fresh eyes. My first thought is, ‘How would I feel if I were coming here for a scary appointment or if I were bringing my child here?’ which gives me the insight into how to make the space feel more comfortable, more inviting and less threatening. I can then quickly identify the problem areas and start to create a design in my head.’

One of the biggest challenges that comes with designing wards is ensuring that the space that she is creating meets the needs of different groups of hospital users.

‘Each patient group definitely has different needs. When dealing with children for instance we need the spaces to be bright and engaging, but they often need to cater for a wide age group, often from babies through to teenagers. We also have to work around contradictions, too. For example, some children need less stimulation and need to feel calm, so it is often a very fine balance between all these requirements. Whatever patient group we are dealing with, it all starts with the same question, ‘How do I want to feel in this space?’.’

WallGlamour is often the design element that has the biggest visual impact on a space and the first thing that Victoria incorporates into her designs for its ability to completely transform a ward, even on a small budget, and even when there are a lot of different needs to be met. But this isn’t all that goes into creating a better healing environment.

‘After WallGlamour, we consider flooring, storage and other furniture and finally good seating, using recliners where possible and of course comfortable chairs are a must.

I think a good layout is important too. I always try to fit clever little hidden storage ideas into my designs as often there is so little space available. Most important to me is colour as it can change the feel of the space so drastically.’

After 10 years of designing wards, Victoria’s work has helped a countless number of ward users; from patients, to staff, to families. But there’s one project that she is particularly proud to have been a part of.

‘I’m so incredibly proud of the Bereavement Delivery suites at Leicester Hospital. The team I worked with there were so passionate about their service they truly inspired me. It was such a difficult brief and having a sister who went through this process it was a subject very close to my heart.’

After Victoria has taken the initial design brief from a client, it is passed on to Peter to bring it to life.

Peter is responsible for producing all of the CAD (Computer Aided Design) elements of a project, translating the needs of the clients and Victoria’s ideas into floor plans and elevations of the spaces into which the proposed designs are placed. Peter will then produce detailed drawings of any bespoke furniture pieces for the team of joiners and lay up the graphics that will later become WallGlamour installations. He also produces fully rendered, photo-realistic 3D drawings of the proposed designs to help hospital staff to visualise themselves living and working in the finished space.

Grosvenor originally worked in residential interior design and Peter joined the team while we were still working with private clients. Since he began working in hospital design with us, Peter says that there has been a lot to learn in the transition from designing home interiors.

‘There’s no doubt that it’s been a steep learning curve. Our aim as designers is to provide a beautiful, comfortable environment that offers all the comforts of home for patients that often have to spend many weeks in hospital. Coming from a background in residential interiors, we’ve had to learn how to apply those design principles to ensure that they work within hospital environments; making sure that our designs meet the strict criteria required for health and safety, infection control, moving and handling, fire regulations and so on.’

‘There are so many projects that I am proud of. I’ve been very fortunate to be involved in the designs from the very beginning. The one that stands out to me was the design we did for Teenage Cancer Trust on Hogarth Ward at Nottingham City Hospital. Victoria’s designs were so beautiful, and I was fortunate enough to be able to compliment her designs with furniture designs that were not only good to look at but that provided the patients with a truly comfortable and uplifting space to get better in.’

To find out more about how Peter, Victoria and the rest of the team can help make your hospital a better place for your patients to get better and create a more positive environment for you to support them on their health journey, get in touch. And keep up to date with the latest from our design team and the rest of Grosvenor Interiors by subscribing to our newsletter.