Behind the scenes at Octagon with Joe Taylor


Welcome to a new series of interviews with people who have helped to make Octagon the premier name in luxury housebuilding. This month’s interview is with Joe Taylor, Designer.

How did you end up in property?

I was born in Kingston, but grew up in East Molesey close to the Octagon Head Office. My father, chief designer Tony Taylor, had been working there for as long as I could remember, but initially, I never envisaged following in his footsteps. I have always been interested in design, so after finishing my A Levels, I started studying at London College of Fashion, but as the course progressed, I became disenchanted. On a trip to the V&A museum, my partner Nina noticed I was taking more photographs of the architecture and interior detailing, rather than the clothes that I was supposed to be studying. It became clear that the property industry was where my future in design might be. I left LCF and completed a degree in building and design at Southampton, and started my working life as a self-employed designer and technician. I was lucky enough to start working on some very high end projects, which helped establish me within the field.

What led you to Octagon?

In between switching universities in 1999, I was employed at Octagon as an office junior, and enjoyed every minute of it. A few years after I had finished university and whilst self-employed, I was carrying out a project near to where Colin Tutt (our CEO) lives, and he asked me if I would be interested in coming back to Octagon as they were looking for a new member of the design department – eight years on and I am still here!


What have been the highlights so far?

My job is very varied, and that’s what I love about it – from designing new homes, submitting planning applications through to helping with the interior design & bathroom specification, there is so much opportunity for creativity. I work very closely with our Bespoke division, and take great pleasure in assisting our clients to help design, specify and build their dream home from start to finish. My biggest highlight, as corny as it might sound, is working alongside my father Tony Taylor – his design work and attention to detail is fantastic. My passion for design and architecture has all been influenced by him and my 16 year association with Octagon.

And your least favourite thing?

It has to be the paperwork and report writing, but then again, what designer wouldn’t say that!?

What does the future hold?

I hope to continue to develop and improve the Octagon product, using the benefits of high quality design and specification whilst still having the individual Joe Taylor influence.

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