Head of Interior Design – Client Side

Head of Interior Design – Client Side




We are looking for a talented forward-thinking Head of Interior Design to work alongside our Development and Construction teams through the concept, planning, design and construction phases both on new build projects and refurbishments.

Based in Liverpool, the successful candidate will ensure that we have a cohesive brand identity across multiple real estate development projects through consistent and thoughtful interior design choices and space planning that is synonymous with quality, is current and meets customer expectations.

Operating for over 35 years, Downing is a family-owned, market leading real estate investment, development and property management business; highly regarded in the student accommodation sector with 13 student accommodation sites across 9 major cities, commercial space and a further £1bn of upcoming developments in our pipeline.

This is a new and exciting position presenting an excellent opportunity to join a highly successful company with a reputation for innovation and quality in design and operation, together with an established portfolio and growing pipeline of developments. You will join a structured working environment, with opportunities for progression and ongoing training and support.

Key Responsibilities

  • Development of interior design brand standard layouts and specifications for apartments, communal areas and building functionality from user perspective, to ensure consistency across the portfolio and economies of scale.
  • On a project-by-project basis produce interior design brief and initial outline concept design.
  • In conjunction with other Downing departments, managing the interior design consultant’s development of project specific interior design intent, layouts and specifications, to ensure they develop creative and innovative interior design concepts that enhance the marketability and value of the real estate development projects.
  • Working with the procurement team, supply chain management of furniture, fittings and equipment and finishes packages, working closely with suppliers to select and source appropriate materials, finishes, furniture, and fixtures that meet quality standards and project budgets. This would include sourcing and costing of loose items such as furniture, lighting, accessories, gym equipment, planting, artwork.
  • Provide expertise and guidance on interior design regulations, codes, and standards to ensure compliance with building codes and safety requirements and the company’s sustainable design brief.
  • Monitoring of interior design development of projects under construction, ensuring interior design and build quality meets design intent and specification, assisting as necessary with co-ordination and reviewing design and layout related issues on site.
  • Working closely with the development and operational functions of the business to ensure lessons learned in live operations are fed back into the interior design to constantly improve operational costs and customer experience.
  • Stay current with industry trends, materials, and technologies to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to each project. Active market research and benchmarking of interior design and operational developments in the living and hospitality sectors in particular.
  • Collaborate with the marketing team to create visually appealing presentations and marketing materials showcasing the interior design of the projects, including the design and dressing of show flats.


Key Requirements

  • A degree in interior design, architecture or related discipline and able to demonstrate an innovative flair.
  • Experience of purpose-built student accommodation, build to rent or hospitality industry projects.
  • Expertise in concept development and space planning and enthusiasm to understand how people use the space.
  • Excellent eye for detail and a passion for design excellence
  • Experience of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team and ability to manage external design consultants to deadlines and budget.
  • Full working knowledge of CAD.
  • On-site construction experience liaising with suppliers and contractors and ensuring that design intent and quality are delivered.
  • Working knowledge of current interior design regulations, codes, and standards to ensure compliance with building codes and safety requirements.
  • Ability to be pragmatic and through design help reduce management/maintenance cost without comprising the look, feel and finishes.
  • Strong organisation, reporting and communications skills.
  • Prepared to travel as and when required.


  • Competitive salary.
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays.
  • Pension scheme.
  • Private medical insurance.
  • Life Assurance cover.
  • Employee Assistance Program.

The benefits

25 days holiday

+ bank holidays

Life assurance


Mental health


Company pension


Work for us

Our people are our success and there has never been a more exciting time to join Downing as it enters the most significant expansion for three decades.

Our team is united in a mutual respect and a desire to move the business forward. Here you’ll find all our latest job vacancies. If you’re excited by opportunity and want to be valued for your contribution, take a look at what we currently have available.

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