F5: Sam McNally on His Spiritual Home, 35mm Cameras + More

Co-Founder and Director at Echlin architectural design and development studio, Sam McNally has over 15 years of experience working with some of the UK’s most respected property developers and world’s most reputable design houses. For his clients he’s managed FF&E design, procurement, and fit-out contracts on over 150,000 square feet of high-end residential development projects. In 2010, Sam started designing and managing his own successful residential developments in Central London. Three projects later, The Sunday Times Home supplement dubbed him as “one to watch,” featuring Sam alongside established industry professionals. A year later, in 2012, he co-founded Echlin, bringing together architecture, design, property, and marketing expertise to deliver landmark projects.

Today, Sam is joining us for Friday Five!

light-skinned male with dark hair and glasses wearing dark clothing and sitting on a rust colored sectional sofa

Photo: Aude Lerin

seaside town covered in colorful buildings

Photo: Getty Images

1. Travel

I love exploring and adventuring. Ultimately that is why I think I am so fond of travel. My passion for architecture, design, culture, international cuisine, and meeting people means that every trip is an explosion of the senses. I try and do one or two long-haul trips a year, which always involves an element of local adventure, but I equally love a city break. Europe, for example, has so much to offer here.

interior living space with large sliding glass doors

Photo: Nathalie Priem

2. Well-Being at Home

My home needs to feel serene, and a connection to nature is paramount. I like to be able to see some kind of greenery or nature from wherever I am in the house. Lots of plants are a must, but also natural materials and tones in both the architecture and furniture are important. Last year, we bought an air purifier which consistently keeps the air circulating and feeling fresh.

open blue water with rocky outcroppings and blue sky

Photo: Getty Images

3. Ibiza

My spiritual home. I have spent a lot of time out here over the last couple of decades, to both relax and party. In more recent years, there has been more relaxing going on, and I’ve had the opportunity to spend time hanging out in some of the more secluded parts of the island. It’s a magical place and an island that attracts some wonderful people, but admittedly you either get it or you don’t. It’s not for everyone.

cookbook with illustrated lemon on the cover surrounded by orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and piece of pine on a white background

Photo courtesy Ottolenghi

4. Middle Eastern Food

A question I think we all get every so often – what is your favorite type of cuisine? As a self-proclaimed foodie, I’ve always found this a tough one to answer, but in recent years my steer towards a less meat-based diet has seen my tastebuds most satisfied by Middle Eastern food. Ottolenghi Simple, Zaitoun, and East are the go-to cookbooks for my partner and I. One of my favorite London restaurants is The Palomar in Soho.

black point and shoot Pentax camera on yellow background

Photo courtesy Film Camera Store

5. 35mm Cameras

I have a newfound fondness for 90’s film cameras, particularly the point-and-shoot models sold just before everything went digital. My latest is a little Pentax Espio Mini. It’s smaller and lighter than my modern Canon equivalent and so much more fun to use.

Work by Sam McNally + Echlin:

interior space with two chairs, sofa with pillows, coffee table, and large artwork

Photo: Nico Wills

interior living space with large cream colored sectional sofa and black and white artwork

Photo: Nathalie Priem

neutral interior dining space with table, bench, and chairs

Photo: Taran Wilkhu

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.

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