Past President of the British Institute of Interior Design, Diana Yakeley has been awarded an OBE - Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016, in recognition for services to the interior design profession, announced on Saturday 11 June.
A multi award-winning designer, Diana Yakeley has enjoyed a wide-ranging career, spanning over 35 years and embracing interior, garden and furniture design for projects in Britain and internationally. Her work covers all aspects of contemporary design, both luxury residential and commercial, including a commission from The British Government during the London 2012 Olympics to showcase the best of British design to world leaders, policy makers and investors.
Diana has served as President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) for two terms, and is the first BIID Past President to receive an OBE. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers (FCSD).
Services to the Interior Design Profession
Diana trained at the Inchbald School of Design in 1979 and commenced practice in 1981 with Yakeley Associates. Her career flourished as she built a reputation for understated, elegant and luxurious design. In 1983 she was elected to the BIID and her involvement with the Institute continued to grow, with her election to fellowship of the Institute in 1994.
In 2003 she chaired the Institute’s Continuing Professional Development Committee where she helped drive the BIID’s commitment to on-going professional training and development. In 2008 she was given the BIID’s prestigious Award of Merit. In 2005 she served as President of the BIID and again in 2011. She has been instrumental in enhancing the professionalism of the Interior Design profession and continues to maintain an active role in the Institute by chairing its Audit Committee and by mentoring young Interior Designers.
In 2004-05, Diana chaired the joint RIBA/BIID committee which produced the pivotal British interior designer/ client Form of Agreement and has continued to advise on subsequent updates. In 2009, she was instrumental in the BIID joining the Construction Industry Council and in 2010 she co-authored the first book on the professional practice of Interior Design, The BIID Interior Design Job Book, which affirmed the growing reputation and credibility of the interior design profession. She has given seminars on professional practice at a number of university interior design departments and has judged numerous interior design awards schemes.
Diana has designed numerous interiors for residential, commercial, civic and other buildings in Britain and abroad. In 2011, she was asked by the British Government to curate the temporary conversion of iconic Lancaster House in the Mall as The British Business Embassy during the London 2012 Olympics to showcase the best of British design and manufacture.
Garden design is another area in which Diana excels. In 2007 one of her projects won the Best Small Garden Award given by Prince Edward as Patron of the London Gardens Society. She is an author of two books about gardens in interior spaces - Indoor Gardening and Conservatories - which have been best sellers worldwide, having been translated into several languages. She has recently contributed an essay on Carlo Scarpa’s iconic garden in a new book, Dreams of Venice Architecture. For over a decade, her own stunning garden in Islington was open under the National Gardens Scheme.
In 1992, Diana won an international design award at the US National Business Aviation Association convention held in Dallas for excellence in the interior design of a business jet for a Formula One motor racing team.
Daniel Hopwood, BIID President commented: “On behalf of the BIID, I’d like to offer our congratulations to Diana for this prestigious accolade which recognises her enormous contribution to the Interior Design profession. Through her work with the BIID she has done great work to develop professional standards of best practice and to champion the importance of continual professional development of those in the interior design industry.”
Past President of the International Interior Design Association (UK Chapter) and Past Chairman of the BIDA Christopher Vane Percy commented: “I am delighted to congratulate Diana on this well-deserved honour in recognition for all she has done to develop levels of professionalism for the Interior Design industry. Her extensive body of work demonstrates her considerable design talent and the OBE is a fitting testament to all she has done for our profession.”
Graham Watts, OBE, Chief Executive, Construction Industry Council, said: “Diana has made a huge contribution to our industry and this honour is so richly deserved. I warmly congratulate Diana on this important achievement and for all she has done to help raise professional standards across the built environment sector.”
Diana is married to the renowned American-born architect, Stephen Yakeley, and they have five children.