In the spotlight

Karen Michelle Evans, managing associate at HBA International, tells CID what led her to becoming Interior Designer of the Year

I always wanted to make things. So my whole career started from that when I was very young,” Michelle Evans starts out. In conversation, she’s soft spoken, with a kind tone that makes you open to asking her more about her life, which has seen many corners of the Earth, from Brunei to Brazil.

“So when I went to school, I chose an art direction and made a conscious decision to go to art college… I was interested in architecture, even from then and it became a natural progression,” the managing associate at Hirsch Bedner Associates explains.


Having always displayed a passion for textiles, surroundings and design, it didn’t take much wavering before Evans found her career path; however, where that path would take her seemed to be up to the universe.

She always managed to maintain an openness that would enable her to take on such opportunities—opportunities that would one day lead her to be crowned Interior Designer of the Year at Commercial Interior Design Awards 2013.

After spending her childhood in South Wales, Evans made her first move to Birmingham, where she studied three-dimensional designs, leading her to take up interior design.

“From then on, I never wanted to do anything else,” says Evans, claiming: “I became more and more involved [in interior design] and decided to learn more. At the same time, one of my passions was travelling. Even from an early age, I wanted to go overseas to explore different cultures.

And it’s very visual when you’re younger and you have an interpretation without experiencing it. And when you’re older you can actually go there, absorb and take more in. So I was always attracted to the challenges in different countries. It was really about exploring.”

Through Evans’ recounted memories, one gets the sense that she embodies the mantra of “do what you love”. Standing there was someone who very successfully fulfilled her childhood dreams. From travelling to creating, she managed to zone in on what was important to her and made a lifelong career out of it.

Evans continues: “After my studies, I started working with design companies and then after that took off, I went overseas for a position to Zimbabwe, and since then…well, I haven’t been back to the United Kingdom for work.”

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