Jim and Catherine met while working together in an architectural design company in Brighton. In 2009 they both left the firm to start their own separate companies, but increasingly worked on projects together, so a year later decided to set up Arior Design, offering a complete architecture and interiors service.
Jim Bennett MA (Hons) B.Arch. PG.Dip. RIBA Chartered Architect
“With more than 20 years’ experience in the public and private sector, I have worked in the UK as well as abroad on a range commercial and residential projects. These have included schools, hospitals, student halls, sports facilities, theatres, private residences, conservation and listed building projects.
“I specialise in high end remodelling residential projects with expert knowledge of working within historically important buildings and their surrounding and associated environments. I have a particular passion for the visual and textural qualities of materials, and how they visually and physically connect to the existing historic building fabric.”
Catherine Smith Dip. Interior Design
“When I was 10 years old, I did a school project which was to design my dream house –mine was a thatched cottage and everything with willow pattern inside! I knew then that I wanted to be an interior designer.
“In the early 1990s, I studied Professional Interior Design and, to get some student work experience, camped on a local interior designer’s doorstep until she gave me a part time job in her studio and small showroom. This proved to be my dream job and she taught me so much".
"After that I worked for various designers and architects, one of whom asked me to head the interior design department of his Brighton practice which is where I met Jim".
“I have a wealth of experience designing in many sectors including hotels, bars, restaurants and offices, but my heart lies in designing high-end residential homes.”
We offer a full and complete turnkey service to suit a variety of client needs, from smaller jobs, such as revamping a room, to bigger projects including extensions or remodelling an entire house. Our process begins with an initial free consultation, after which we project manage the whole concept from start to finish, right down to the smallest detail.
If a project involves structural work, we provide architectural drawings as well as deal with any planning issues that might arise. We are well versed in issues dealing with Listed (Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 2*) properties, and homes that fall into any regulations concerning Conservation areas. We also have a great team of skilled builders that we use regularly, who share our professionalism and help ensure that the work runs smoothly.
For both the architectural and interior design service we feel that we interpret the vision of a client, while simultaneously helping them push the boundaries of their comfort zone. The aim of this is to create a scheme that is beautiful, with personalised touches, and a strong element of practical workability.