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May 6, 2024 —

Love What You Do: Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement Interiors

Detail Movement Interiors is a conscious design service created by Raluca Vaduva with a focus on authentic, considered interiors made to cocoon and comfort their owners
Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement inside her Edinburgh studio
Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement inside her Edinburgh studio
Sine Fleet - contributingeditor of 91 Magazine
Sine Fleet
91 Magazine contributing editor,

Photography

Anna Considine
Photographer,
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Hi Raluca, how would you describe Detail Movement? 

It’s an interior design studio that creates thoughtful homes for the quieter soul, homes that people love to live in. How? By simply collaborating and putting the clients first, allowing them to be part of the  process. Detail Movement is a design studio that refuses to follow trends and instead (sometimes blindly) follows the heart.  

Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement inside her Edinburgh studio

What inspired the idea of setting up your business? 

I was lucky enough to work with some amazing high-end design studios in London, right at the beginning of my interior design career. I would absorb everything like a sponge, every project, every meeting, fabric samples, site visits etc. But after a little while, I realised a common thread throughout them all – the client was never really put first. Instead, expensive products were pushed onto the clients, getting images for portfolios/magazine spreads  seemed more important. 

That never really sat right with me, maybe because of my initial training as an architect, where you would build everything around the client. The client was always the centre of the project. So, I decided to start a studio where I can  do just that – put my clients first. Plus, this was also something I dreamed of doing since I was little, so my inner child is very happy about it.  

How did your career begin?

I trained as an architect (in Romania), and while I loved it, it took a very long time for anything to be made. Pair that with the global economic crisis of 2007 (that reached my country in 2012-2013), everything began to feel very  flat from a creative point of view because nothing was being built anymore. Everything came to a halt so to speak. 

I function on creativity, so I decided to pivot a bit and follow my initial passion instead – interior design. I used to relax after work every day by going down the Pinterest rabbit hole. One day I saw an ad for an interior design course, and I decided to use my savings and just go for it. I mean why not? 

I absolutely loved it. After a couple more months, I decided to move to London with my husband to become an interior designer, even if it felt incredibly vulnerable to leave the safety of my life, family, and friends behind.

I did a short course at Inchbald School of Design and got a job right off the heels of finishing that. I worked for a couple of years before deciding to go at it on my own. So, it all worked out. 

Japanese inspired dining room by Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement
Image by Raluca Vaduva + St Walls

Where do you find creative inspiration? 

It’s a very hard question for me to answer because it is literally everything and anything. It can be something as simple as a flower in the park, the colours of a shop window I am passing on the street, the way birds fly, the beautiful (and quick) movements of the clouds here in Edinburgh, where every day the sky looks like a 19th century painting. 

Sometimes it’s an image on Pinterest or social media, or in a magazine, something I saw in a movie, a song, or even in a video game that I play. 

How would you describe your style? 

I used to think my style was minimal, modern, and Scandinavian. But lately, I realised it’s a living, breathing thing that grows alongside me. It is shaped by everything I see and, funnily enough, by my clients. Each project and client have certain needs and I love it when they take me out of my comfort zone so that I can, in return, take them out of theirs. When that happens, I just know we will create magic together. 

If we were to look at its core, my style is still modern, a mix of Scandi, Japandi, and Mid-Century, rooted in functionality, comfort, and sophistication. So perhaps a casual, quiet luxury style is more appropriate. 

Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement inside her Edinburgh studio

Are there themes or influences that run through your work? 

I’ve always been attracted to Japanese aesthetics ever since university. I love the natural diffused light combined with the warmth of the wood and the presence and focus on nature. I’ve always found that fascinating.  

Even though I may not always manage it in my projects (because they are also shaped by client’s needs), the values that they teach: calmness, presence, mindfulness, slow living, focusing on the things that truly matter, and living your life, are the big themes that influence my life and my work. 

Japanese inspired pink bathroom by Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement
Image by Raluca Vaduva + St Walls

Tell us about your work and creative process… 

I always start with the layout – pen to paper (I am an architect at heart after all). There is nothing quite like the old-school way of transferring ideas from my brain and seeing them come to life. 

So that is how I start. I love sketching different ideas and seeing how much of the client’s wishes and needs I can fit in. It’s like a personal challenge or puzzle that I get to do to see if I can come up with a better solution every time. 

Another idea pops into my mind. As a result, I often come away with at least two different layouts.  

After this (almost therapy-like session for me), I start gathering inspiration from Pinterest, magazines, photos I take while out and about, etc., and create mood boards for the project. This serves as an anchor, a visual reference for  the project, which I will come back to throughout the project. 

These, of course, are also edited and shaped by the client as well. Once I have their ok on which layout option they like best, we start developing the design and look for the best furniture to bring that vision to life. 

It is a collaborative process because I want the client to feel they have a say in the matter. If our roles were reversed, I would want the same thing. To be informed, not wondering what is happening with my project. After all, it’s their home, they are the ones who are going to live in it. So, it’s important to me that the space reflects that.  

Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement inside her Edinburgh studio

How did you first discover your love for what you do? 

I can vividly recall a memory from when I was about five years old, drawing. Where most kids would draw the common house with a garden, white fence, smoking chimney and sunshine, I would often draw the inside of  a home. It would always have a table with a vase and flowers, a painting on a wall, a window with curtains, and a bed with a rug underneath. 

One day, my dad added a few lines to my then 2D bed, giving it a 3D dimension, which I saw instantly. Needless to say, my mind was blown that day. That memory paired with seeing a home model when I was about 13 years old set me on this path of wanting to create beautiful homes for the rest of my life. I was also always interested in toys like Lego and Polly Pocket throughout my childhood. They simply felt like a whole other universe worth exploring.  

Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement inside her Edinburgh studio

Could you describe a typical working day? 

Every day is different. Which in all honesty, I am grateful for. I like the diversity in my tasks because as a solo designer, I still get to (need to) do everything, whether I like it or not. 

But no matter the day, I always start with a cup of coffee in the morning, followed by doing something that brings me joy. This often means just chatting with my husband, playing a video game, or reading either a fictional, mindset or design book.  

Then I get ready for work, check my emails and deep-dive into my work. Sometimes it’s content creation, other times it’s admin or design work. When I have design workdays, I 100 per cent get in the zone and end up working for hours and stop when I realise I can barely see what I am doing because it got dark outside. Not the healthiest of practices, I know. I am working on incorporating breaks into my day, especially ones that take me away from the computer.  

What is the ethos behind your business? 

Helping people live well and thrive in their own homes. Making the world a better place one home at a time, because when people feel safe and happy in their homes, they are more inclined to relax and go for their dreams. And who knows what that might lead to?

As for values, I have a few core ones that I use as a guide both in my personal  life and in my business: honesty, human-to-human connection, quality over quantity, slow and intentional living, and the freedom to be yourself. 

Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement inside her Edinburgh studio

Is there an element of your work that you love the most? 

I don’t have just one. I love multiple elements of my work. I love creating layouts, solving the puzzle of integrating all the client’s wishes and needs into a finite space (with its constraints), creating mood boards (my soul thrives on beauty and creativity), and putting the design together. 

But the best, best bit, is seeing it all come to life in my clients’ homes. Seeing their faces light up when they see their new home is priceless to me. It’s one of the reasons why I do what I do.  

How valuable is the online community to your work? 

Extremely! It’s a lifeline sometimes for me. But not for the obvious reason (as in having clients to work with). I’ve met some incredible humans through my community and being a part of others’ communities as well. I’ve made friends with some amazing like-minded people, we’ve laughed together, grown together, healed together and created together. 

My community has helped me grow into the person I am today, both personally and business-wise. I’ve never been one to care about the number. No person in my community is just a number. I would rather have 50 – 100 people with whom I can engage authentically and have deep discussions about design and life in general, than thousands with whom I don’t really connect because we have different values. 

Japanese inspired kitchen by Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement
Image by Raluca Vaduva + St Walls

Do you enjoy working as an independent – what are the joys, and what are the challenges?

I do! And even though sometimes it gets tough, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I read somewhere years ago a post that said, “If you want to know yourself, start a business on your own”. To this day, I can’t find a better way to  express what it’s like to work as an independent, self-employed, entrepreneur.

Besides the obvious admin, technical, and financial challenges that come from working alone, people don’t talk much about the mindset blocks, limiting beliefs, and sometimes traumas (from your own life and/or the society we live in) that hinder your growth. As much as we’d like to think these are not important, they absolutely are. 

Going blindly into my business, thinking that I could do this without knowing about the rest, was honestly the best way to start. I don’t know if I would have started otherwise, or at least not so soon. The amount of personal healing and growth work that is needed alongside trying to grow a business is a lot. However, the rewards are invaluable. 

I got to know myself in ways I never thought possible. I’ve grown confident, more compassionate, patient, and kinder in the process. 

The ebbs and flows of business life will always be there, due to external factors outside of our control. But if we are calmer and balanced in our inner world, we can manage everything that comes our way hopefully better. After all, isn’t that what they say? Ten per cent is what happens to you, 90 per cent is how you react to it! 

What’s one thing people would be surprised you do in your work? 

I don’t follow rules or trends when I design. Of course, I do apply some guidance, functionality rules, codes and measurements to make sure the design is safe to use and the home can work as intended. But otherwise, I just follow my intuition.  

I never send out a design until I am in love with it. When I think it’s ready, I take a break and if, when I come back, I still love it, then it’s ready for the client to see. If not, I tweak it until I get that feeling. It’s a bit odd, but it has never failed me so far. 

Japandi inspired work space by Interior designer Raluca Vaduva of Detail Movement

Do you have any creative pastimes or hobbies? 

I love playing video games, reading, walking in nature, exploring the city I live in, going to art galleries and museums, listening to music, cooking, sketching, and cloud-watching. There is something fascinating about doing that here in Edinburgh, where everything moves so fast because of air currents. Something in it just stops time for me and allows me to slow down, be present in my own life. And that is saying something in this fast-paced world.

What does the next year hold for you? 

I’m working on a design service dedicated to the introverted people in my community. As an introvert myself I know what it’s like to have to go the extra mile just to find out some basic information, especially when most businesses only offer those in exchange for a (video) call.  

As introverts, we would rather do anything but that, even more so if our energy is low on the day. We dislike being cornered into making decisions (especially financial ones) on the spot, with services that we don’t really need. 

Sadly, this means that often we give up or postpone working on our homes for these (and other) reasons. But everybody deserves to have a beautiful home where they can be themselves. I truly believe that. 

That is why I am working on a bespoke design service that will allow them to only receive the help they want or need. Nothing more, nothing less. I am excited to see how this new service will be shaped and used by the community. 

QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS


Books I love:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. 

Creative Heroes: Bergman and Mar for design inspiration, Becky Lloyd Pack for being your authentic self and communicating that with the world through messy action. And as cheesy as it may sound, two best friends (a sister duo) from back home. Even if our design styles don’t match, I am in awe of how they express themselves creatively in everything they do. 

Shops I love: It really depends on what I am working on. I love finding local artisans, so places like Etsy and local lifestyle shops in the city are the places I go to first. If had to choose one or two, I’d say Naked Clay Ceramics and Lifestory Edinburgh.

Inspirational places: Edinburgh, Kyoto, Amsterdam, Spain in general (especially little seaside towns and resorts), but mainly any place in nature, where I can see the sea. Last, but not least, the balcony of my current flat. A lot of inspired ideas have come from just being there and watching the clouds passing by. 

Instagrammers I love: @bergman.and.mar, @theinteriorfox, @japandi.living and  @avenue.design.studio.

detailmovement.com

@detailmovement

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