The 50 Best Interior Designers 2020

Ready for an interiors revamp? Look no further than our A–Z of the UK's top 50 interior designers

Our panel of experts has taken a good hard look at the UK-based designers who are pushing boundaries, consistently delivering excellence and inspiring on every level. Welcome to our chosen 50 for 2020. Words by Emma Love

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Best Interior Designers UK 2020

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Axel Vervoordt


Set up by Belgian antiques dealer Axel Vervoordt in 1969, this Antwerp-based practice bridges the worlds of art, architecture and interior design (the latter is now overseen by Axel’s son Boris). Their trademark is refined simplicity; homes that are restorative and re-energising, and somehow feel like they’ve always existed – whether it’s a riverside sanctuary in Kerala or a historic Surrey estate.

‘We believe that each home is an oasis. To achieve this, we collaborate in a quest for harmony, beauty and the creation of atmospheres that are rooted in the past and connected to the future,’ writes Axel in the studio’s recently published Portraits in Interiors. Art and artefacts; the Wabi Sabi notion of celebrating beauty in imperfection; and, according to Boris, ‘the notion of discovering what is essential’ within a space are all major strands of their design philosophy.



‘We love to design to a narrative; every space has a story and its own sense of place,’ says Marie Soliman, who co-founded Bergman Interiors four years ago with Albin Berglund. Both have a background in hotel design and decided to team up on what turned out to be a big break: the Anthony Joshua-backed BXR London boxing gym in Marylebone where they channelled industrial-chic (they have since finished a second site in Canary Wharf and Battersea Power Station is slated for 2021).

Playing with light and shadow by using interesting dividing screens is a recurring detail: ‘once we used braided straps to act as a partition which cast thousands of shadows on the floor,’ says Marie. Past clients include Eagle Lodge Belmond Botswana, the Ritz Carlton in Oman and Four Seasons London at Ten Trinity Square; residences are ongoing in India, the Middle East and the UK.


BradyWilliams Reception


BradyWilliams is an acclaimed interior architecture and design studio based in London, founded by Shayne Brady and Emily Williams in 2013. BradyWilliams offers a fully comprehensive, bespoke interior design service. ‘Our general style is often described as timeless and classic. We pride ourselves on acute attention to detail and project management to ensure the client experience is seamless’ says Emily.

Projects span across luxury residential projects for private individuals and property developers lead by Emily and select hospitality projects overseen by Shayne. ‘Within our residential projects, we layer texture and tone, complimenting the architectural envelope whilst ensuring the space is ultimately functional as well as beautiful,’ concludes Emily.


Celine Interior Design


‘A Celine Interior Design home is synonymous with opulence and luxury whilst simultaneously feeling cosy too,’ explains director Noor Charchafchi, a former aviation finance lawyer who switched careers eight years ago. She is renowned for her flawlessly finished spaces which often feature hand- painted chinoiserie wallpapers (‘there’s a subtle extravagance in using such unique wallcoverings and it’s a real privilege to be able to do so’) and light, neutral tones.

‘We want to make sure that the shapes and forms of the interior speak for themselves so rather than allowing too many bold colours to overshadow the balance of the room we use soft accent colours like blues and greens.’ Projects in the pipeline span the globe from London to Pakistan, the Middle East to Monaco.


Chester Jones


This long-established eponymous studio was set up by revered interior designer Chester Jones and is now run by his two sons, Ben and Toby. ‘Our design style is investigative. It combines a respect for history with the clients’ interests and lifestyle, which we weave together into a story they can own,’ explains Toby of their restrained, refined approach.

The studio has recently completed a mid 19th-century home in Highgate where they spent several months designing furniture and carpets, sourcing antiques and specially made pieces, and choosing fabrics and colours. ‘Rather than use exotic woods, increasingly we find it more responsible to employ exciting treatments such as shou sugi ban [a Japanese way of preserving wood by charring it with fire before coating in natural oil],’ he continues, ‘and patinated black steel usually finds its way into our schemes too.’


David Collins


Having completing Thomas Keller’s TAK restaurant within the Hudson Yards development in New York, designed new lodges on the Delaire Graff Estate in South Africa and unveiled the Dining Room at Harrods within the Grade I-listed tiled hall, it’s understandable that David Collins creative director Simon Rawlings names 2019 as one of his favourite yet. ‘It really illustrated the depth of design quality we are producing at the moment and emphasised the global reach of the studio,’ he says.

Whether working on commercial spaces such as these or residential commissions, he likes to use materials and techniques, such as tapestry in unexpected ways. ‘For instance, each of the stools within Harrods Dining Hall has an embroidered detail, which I love, as it adds a whimsical touch and there is always embossed leather, marble and timber somewhere.’




At the age of 11, Charu Gandhi knew that she wanted to be an architect, but it wasn’t until a stint working for Candy & Candy that she fell in love with interior design too. She opened her practice in 2014, specialising in tailored designs for super prime clients, and four years later won several career-defining contracts including creating private apartments in Clarges Mayfair and a number of spaces with the landmark Chelsea Barracks development.

‘At Chelsea Barracks we were heavily influenced by the history of the site and its links to chalk and clay,’ says Charu. ‘We chose a calm new neutrals colour palette and bold statement pieces such as a wall panel designed in collaboration with artist Geraldine Larkin and a rug with graduating earthy tones inspired by the process of silting clay.’ 2020 is proving to be just as busy with residences in China, Dubai, London and yacht designs and a hotel in Sri Lanka in the planning.




When Tara Craig launched Ensemblier Atelier five years ago with a range of customisable headboards, beds and sofas, the idea was to champion British craftsmanship and vanishing artisan trades. This principle is integral to her interior designs too so furniture is made with natural, sustainable materials and traditional upholstery produced, where possible, in British workshops and mills. ‘I particularly love linens and corduroys.

Quality is paramount so we create pieces of longevity,’ explains Tara, who often works closely with Marcus Ayshford Sanford of Archidrum on the interior architecture and joinery detailing. She has recently completed an apartment in Kensington and a house in Notting Hill, and in both instances the owners had wonderful art collections. ‘My spaces are built over the long term as I consider the antiques and artworks, and I work a lot with art dealers. Beautiful interiors don’t happen overnight; any noteworthy interior is embellished over time.’




Rich colour and bold pattern are the backbone of Flora Soames’ aesthetic which puts a contemporary spin on country-house chic. Last year marked a decade since going solo (prior to that she was creative director at Talisman) and the launch of her much talked about fabric and wallpaper collection. Many of these re-worked patterns (more are on the way in the autumn) are threaded through her interior schemes alongside nostalgic prints by the likes of Pierre Frey and Jean Monro.

Recently, Flora has been working on a house in Gloucester where the design was inspired by the client’s art collection and appreciation of vibrant hues, and ‘a streamline penthouse in London with a more minimal architectural shell than I’m used to.’ Here, a pared-back approach and championing British craftsmanship were crucial – the latter is an integral part of the company’s ethos. 




Sophisticated neutrals interlaced with interesting and unusual materials are characteristic of Fiona Barratt-Campbell’s highly textured spaces. For instance, for an in-progress ski chalet in Chamonix she has chosen micro-cement over more traditional marble in the bathrooms, paired with contrasting dark gunmetal and bronze sanitaryware finishes. Of her design style, she says, ‘Provenance, a sense of locality and a love of objects with a narrative meld together to bring the client’s vision alive.’

Alongside the interiors studio, she is also behind FBC London (the collection includes furniture, lighting and kitchens): a New York showroom is opening in imminently and she is working on the first FBI/FBC London branded residence, just off Cadogan Square. Her mood boards for spring include marquetry (she has just commissioned a headboard in an Aztec-style pattern) and boucle fabrics.




A trained architecht who was a director at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler before setting up on his own 18 years ago, Guy Goodfellow is an expert in restoring grand listed houses (noteworthy properties include West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire, Hopetoun House in Scotland and Garsington Manor in Oxfordshire), as well as more modern homes and new builds. He describes his design style as ‘rich and clubby’, often incorporating furniture from all eras, red for warmth and antique textiles.

He has also developed his own range of wallpapers and fabrics (his most famous is ‘Fez Weave’ which has been adopted by the Soho House Group). ‘We are working on a new print inspired by a Persian tile and striving to get the tones as close to the hand painted original as possible whilst playing with a new palette for the additional colourways,’ says Guy.


Oliver Laws


‘Working as an interior designer is a bit like being the conductor of an orchestra or the director of a film, bringing artists and artisans together to create one harmonious space,’ says Guy Oliver, whose spectrum of work ranges from commercial commissions such as The Connaught hotel to private planes and country houses. Having cut his teeth working alongside his mentor Michael Inchbald, Guy joined David Laws as co-director in 1995, assuming ownership (and changing the company name) seven years later.

For Guy – who has just reached the end of five years spent restoring and refurbishing the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin – ‘understanding volume and sight lines’ is important. His most challenging task to date? ‘A magnificent restoration of a yacht which the client described as a loose association of rust held together with air. His brief was to make her look like she has been in continuous ownership since she was built in 1937 – which I did.’




Since being founded almost 20 years ago, Helen Green Design has become known for its considered, understated style. ‘The brand is synonymous with a very British aesthetic which we fashion around the skilful use of layering and pared-back detailing, ever faithful to Helen Green’s legacy,’ says new studio director Ivana Allain, who joined the company last summer from Martin Kemp Design and is working on a family penthouse in St Petersburg and a London townhouse, among other projects.

‘I believe simplicity is the key, and steer towards a look that is unfussy and clean-lined but thoughtfully curated. Working with specialist artists and artisans, I like to create a piece specific to the client, location or property which always makes an interior feel personal.’ Expect warm, earthy neutrals as a backdrop, interspersed with engaging pops of colour.




Having cut his teeth at Nicky Haslam’s NH Design and The Studio Harrods, Henry Prideaux set up on his own in 2014. ‘My main goal is always to design a house that feels complete by using as many different layers of textures, artwork and decorative lighting as possible to create interesting vignettes and unexpected features,’ says Henry, who likes to think outside the box when it comes to floor plans too.

He has just completed a trio of London tonwhouses, one of which was a Regency family home in Kensington. For this, the finishes included custom de Gournay wallpapers, specialist polished plaster and a ‘secret door’ to the study made using cherry-picked vintage books. ‘A design trick I am particularly fond of is creating a border out of ribbon on the walls to frame a room and define architectural elements. I also love a tassel: as embellishment on cushions or to dress the handles on the fitted joinery.’


K&H Design


Whether planning a Hong Kong apartment according to the principle of Feng Shui or designing a bespoke bas relief panel for a powder room as part of the renovation of a neoclassical duplex in London’s Belgravia, K&H Design co-founders thartie Glaister and Henry Miller-Robinson always begin the design process with a sketch. The pair, who set up their studio five years ago, cite ‘thinking projects’ as their favourite kind and are interested in designing homes
for people to really live in, which make the most out of every inch of space.

Unique touches might include designing their own curtains (some are dyed and hand-woven in Laos, others are hand-smocked in Suffolk), lining under-bed jumper boxes with vintage fabrics embroidered with the clients’ initials, or favouring sustainable materials such as Pyrolave, a volvic lava stone, for kitchen worktops. ‘No nook goes unnoticed; it’s the details that make each project so interesting and rewarding,’ confirms Katie.


Katharine Pooley designed blue and white sitting room. Foreground: blue swirl carpet, metallic coffee table, white sofa with blue scatter cushions. Background: white fireplace, windows.


A self-labelled visual magpie who takes much of her inspiration from travel, Katharine Pooley officially launched her business in 2004 with a home accessories boutique in Knightsbridge. She is renowned for her ultra- luxury look, whether it’s a minimalist villa in Hong Kong or an English country retreat. She does lots of work in the Middle East and Asia – but always has several London projects ticking along too. ‘It is wonderfully freeing not to have a specific house style; I design with the client, their life and happiness in mind,’ she says.

For Katharine, one of the most enjoyable aspects is commissioning bespoke pieces such as couture- level embroidery that elevates an item from the ordinary to the extraordinary. ‘There is artistry to interior design – albeit on a rather large scale – and to my mind it is the seemingly effortless balance of light and colour that creates a beautiful room.’




It was refurbishing flats for her lettings company that ultimately led Emma Deterding to the interiors industry. Since 2006 she has injected her passion for colour into a range of properties. ‘Without colour, Kelling Designs wouldn’t have an identity,’ confirms Emma. ‘You can use it in so many ways: warm shades for optimism, cool shades for a calm atmosphere. How can you achieve that with neutrals?’

Her current roster includes working with Adam Architecture on Spetchley Park, in Worcestershire. ‘Our initial proposal featured greens, pinks and oranges; then we learnt the owners had discovered 25 rolls of original chinoiserie with identical shades to the ones we had chosen.’ Her favourite hue? ‘Orange. It really is the new black.’




One of the most high profile – and prolific – interior designers today, Kelly Hoppen’s affinity for taupe, texture and a subtle East meets West aesthetic is legendary. Neutral palettes are often contrasted with matte black accents (‘matte finishes are much more forgiving and durability in the home is key,’ she says) and materials such as wood, metal and marble. ‘Lately we are using more ceramic as it’s practical and you can create anything you want, as well as cork, which I’m loving.’

One of Kelly’s most anticipated recent launches was her design for the Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Apex and she cites designing the interiors of a train as a dream commission. The studio has more than 45 global projects on the go, including hotels in Mauritius and the Caribbean and private residences throughout Europe.




Co-founder and head of design at Laplace, Argentinean-born, Paris-based architect Luis Laplace predominantly conceives spaces that are centred around collections of contemporary art (he was behind Hauser & Wirth Somerset and is now creating another arts centre for the gallery in Menorca, which involves repurposing the disused outbuildings of a decommissioned naval hospital).

‘Iwan Wirth calls me the silent architect because I put the art in front of my work,’ says Luis. ‘Decorative arts and objects are part of our DNA and we love to dive into flea markets and antique shops – I believe it’s the way to get great finds and having the experience of the discovery is magic.’ The majority of the studio’s output is residential (currently these include a house on the coast of Mexico and a flat in Hong Kong) and their furniture line, Laplace, is on display at the Parisian showroom, open to clients only.




Creative directors Michael Keech and Graham Green head up the interior design division at Linley, where their unobtrusive aesthetic is based around ‘updating classical themes to fit in with a modern way of living’. Whether working on a palace or a penthouse the approach is the same: ‘we strip back the structure to make sense of the function and flow; it’s fundamental to the design,’ says Michael of his architecture-first philosophy. ‘There is always a natural rhythm to the positive and negative spaces.’

Most recently, the pair has waved their wand over 22 rooms and suites in Claridge’s, two apartments in the 1 Queen Anne’s Gate development in St James’ Park, and a huge new build baroque-style house in Yorkshire alongside Adam Architecture. ‘We like the combination of working on big and small jobs. It keeps things fresh and keeps us on our toes.’


Louise Bradley


Fashion might have been her first calling but it wasn’t long before Louise Bradley realised that interiors was her real passion. That was almost 30 years ago. Since then she has made her mark with timeless, classic contemporary interior designs and an acute attention to detail. Natural materials and a muted palette often feature, as does unexpected joinery – a hidden bar, say – or a powder room. ‘It’s a space that often gets overlooked but can make such a statement within the home,’ she enthuses.

Projects include a recently completed Grade I-listed townhouse in Regents Park which involved working closely with English Heritage to ‘create an interior that enhances the architecture while also satisfying the modern needs of its owners’ and the Magna Carta Park residences just outside Windsor. ‘The grounds of the private estate have several ancient trees so that was the starting point for the tones and textures inside; we intended to ensure that residents felt like the woodland was part of their everyday life.’



Annabel's Ladies Powder Room


Over the last 20 years, Martin Brudnizki has designed some of the most recognisable bars, restaurants, retail spaces and member’ clubs around the world, from Scott’s and the new-look Annabel’s in London to The Surf Club restaurant in Miami and Fortnum & Mason in Hong Kong. Happily, he also has a small, dedicated residential design team who take on select private commissions.

‘Materiality is at the heart of our designs,’ says Martin, whose bedtime reading ranges from a biopic on Dorothy Draper to a collection of furniture drawings by René Prou. ‘We enjoy working with marble, brass and timber as well as high gloss lacquer, sea-grass wallpaper and rich fabrics. Recently, we’ve explored using straw marquetry and hand-painted murals too, which bring another level of detail and craftsmanship into the scheme.’




Free-thinking design duo Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson are best known for putting a fresh twist on traditional country house hotel style at properties such as Coworth Park, the Treehouse Suites at Chewton Glen and The Grove in Hertfordshire which they have recently decorated for a second time (case in point: the marble sculptures in the garden are tattooed by an artist in Camden).

Recent residential projects include a classic Greek villa in Corfu where the chalky colour palette was inspired by the sea views and a house in Regents Park which combines antique furniture with specially designed pieces. ‘We have also just created a new textile range which will launch next year and right now, find ourselves attracted to using handmade and hand-printed fabrics in warm citrus shades.’




The super prime market’s go-to designer, Martin Kemp is known for being incredibly discreet and detail-driven. His impressive rollcall of past achievements includes yachts, private jets and residences such as the landmark development Clarges Mayfair overlooking Green Park; a private bolt-hole apartment in New York’s Time Warner Building; and a showcase sub-penthouse in China for an international property company.

What links them all is his client-first agenda: ‘we endeavour always to reflect the philosophy of our clients, bringing their aspirations to life through our creative approach,’ he says, recalling a surprising picnic on the exact spot where a dining room would eventually be as one instance of helping someone envision a scheme. He prides himself on working with the finest materials and using craftsmanship in an inventive, original way.




‘My vision of design has long been buffeted by travels in the most remote places,’ says globe-trotting founder Martin Waller. For more than 40 years he has featured treasured finds from his far-flung trips in his interior schemes, from maize grinding tables sourced in Naga Land to hand-woven textiles from South America (‘the weavers there are not circumscribed by the tyranny of taste, so they are fearless and inspirational colourists’).

The result is always a cohesive multi-layered, multi-cultural mix of art and artefacts, colours and textures (‘fusion interiors’ was the phrase once coined to define his style). His international outlook extends to his collections of furniture, wallpaper and fabrics which can be viewed at his flagship showroom on Walton Street and new space in Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.




‘Materiality, spatial planning and good proportions are always important elements,’ says Natalia Miyar, a trained architect and former design director at Helen Green Design who set up her own studio in 2016. She has made her name with tactile spaces that are woven together with bold colour, pattern and a glamorous sensibility. ‘The natural, earthy elements and the effortless luxury in my work play a vital role. I love classical design with a modern interpretation and think that having travelled a lot has influenced my style too.’

More and more she is focusing on conscious design, encouraging clients to invest in one- of-a-kind, long-lasting pieces. As usual, her work spans the globe, from a historic house in Miami which is being given ‘a new tropical flair’ to a contemporary villa in Ibiza where she is employing shades of blue, green and coral. ‘Blue is both an anchor and a versatile colour for interior schemes; it can feel calm or invigorating, bringing a wonderful energy to a room.’




Nicola Harding excels at creating eclectic spaces that combine flea market finds, unusual colours and bespoke furniture. ‘I like to accentuate the character of a building and craft interiors that feel as if they have effortlessly evolved out of the spirit of a place,’ she confirms. ‘Clients come to us because they want a home filled with thoughtful details and interesting finds; something nurturing rather than showy.’

Various shades of green, mauve and chocolate – balanced out with muted neutrals – are a particular favourite, and often complemented with unexpected natural materials such as heavy canvas. ‘I also enjoy the imperfection of hand block prints which add depth and lend a relaxed feel to a space,’ adds Nicola, naming Nancy Lancaster as an eternal inspiration. Recently, she has been working on a Marylebone townhouse where the brief was ‘1960s Laura Ashley meets the Bloomsbury set’ and modernising an apartment in a 1930s block in Westminster.


Nina Campbell


A much in-demand doyenne of the interiors world, Nina Campbell’s extensive portfolio includes a residential complex in Maine with a pool house and a party house; a small apartment in London for a client downsizing from the country; and the exclusive women-only Alexandra Club in Melbourne. ‘In one section, it’s gone from being hospital green to marvellous crushed raspberry; it’s electrifying,’ says Nina, who established her eponymous company in 1972.

She adores the comfort of a high bed and often incorporates fabric lined walls into a scheme: ‘now we all have wooden floors, fabric on the walls absorbs the noise; it means you can have 12 people round for dinner and still hear. I like natural linens or a print such as toile de jouy which is very cosy.’ Colours of the moment include amethyst (‘I’ve got every fabric, wallpaper and paint from amethyst to deep purple and back again’) and Persian blue.




Whether tasked with creating ‘the most beautiful garden property on the Mediterranean’ or a ‘sophisticated interior around an art collection’, for design duo Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen, capturing the personality of their client is always the main objective. The pair began working together in 2008 after Paolo took over Nicholas Haslam.

In-progress projects include a hotel in Palermo, houses in the Dominican Republic, chalets in Gstaad and a hunting lodge in Berkshire – a testament to the breadth of the studio’s output. ‘We are working increasingly with wallpapers, especially the hand-painted collection we developed with San Patrignano,’ says Philip, who also attributes the secret to a welcoming space as ‘good lighting and a fully stocked drinks trolley.’




Whether she’s lacquering a wall in an especially dark corner to reflect the light or mixing favourite shades such as dirty pink and French blue, South African born Penny Morrison likes a room to always ‘have a little surprise, something not expected’.

Over the years, she has turned her hand to hotels in the Caribbean, cosy Welsh cottages, slick urban crash pads and country houses on the Scottish Borders: uniting them all is her injection of colour and character, often evidenced through an abundance of paintings, lamps and vintage textiles that she has collected on her travels. ‘I think providence is vital to making a room interesting; I often buy bits and pieces made by local craftsmen and then find a place for them later,’ says Penny. She has her own collection of patterned fabrics and bespoke wallpapers which are on display in The Fabric Collective, her showroom in Chelsea, alongside a curated selection of textiles by other designers.




Former fashion designer Peter Mikic made the fateful leap to interiors after his designs for uniforms for a yacht crew led to him being asked to create the soft furnishings too. That was nearly 15 years ago and since then he has become known for his playful yet considered spaces. ‘My design style is eclectic and luxurious, mixing contemporary with antiques. I like rooms that look a little loose, but well thought through. It’s OK to go off piste a bit to avoid symmetry,’ says Peter.

Inspiration can come from anywhere but he has been ‘studying the design principles of the greats, such as Jean Royere and Carlo Scarpa. Their mastery of scale and refined detail are elements we’re continuing to integrate into our design work’. Right now, he is splitting his time between properties in West London, St Tropez and Sussex.




A design authority on both sides of the Atlantic, Rita Konig is renowned for creating effortlessly relaxed, pretty spaces. ‘The first move is always to work out how to make each room really useful: that’s where the luxury is, and when it starts to become exciting,’ she says, naming carving out shallow cupboards for extra glasses or finding the best place for a drinks trolley, as examples. She also focuses on the finishing touches from the beginning. ‘A room comes to life through plants, objects, jugs and the things that someone has accumulated and we can help with that.’

She’s working on an 1820s-style new build home in Nashville with architect Gil Shafer (‘collaborating with Gil is always amazing, he’s a classicist so everything is always beautifully detailed’) and reconfiguring several rooms in a historic property in Chiswick Mall. ‘I like creating spaces that have multiple functions so there will be a dining room, which is also a study. It’s about making more out of the space than the clients have got.’


Robert Kime


An antique dealer and textile collector with a passion for putting rooms together, Robert Kime is renowned for instilling an abundance of pattern and comfort into what are often quite grand homes. ‘I always layer patterns and colours, styles and cultures,’ he says. ‘It is important that the designs are easy on the eye, timeless and comfortable, always comfortable. Textiles are about warmth; the more you layer in a room, the more comfortable the room becomes.’

Special interest lies in the historical element of textiles and the process of discovering something unique (‘I love the hunt; a recent trip to Japan was very successful’). He is busy refurbishing a farmhouse in France, a pub and restaurant in Norfolk and a villa in London. Plus, alongside his annual collection of prints and weaves, this month sees the launch of The Nara Collection of fabrics in collaboration with Tory Burch.


Rose Uniacke


Multi-talented Rose Uniacke is a trained furniture restorer, gilder and a specialist in paint and lacquer – all of which come in handy when creating uncluttered, harmonious homes for her A-list client list (which includes the Beckhams, Peter Morgan and Jo Malone). A room should be ‘welcoming, contemplative and effortlessly comfortable,’ she says.

‘Generally, I want to make the best use of somewhere by enhancing the way it flows and functions, focusing on the architecture first. I love breathing space and sometimes leave rooms fairly spare to balance with something else, or to create energy of some sort.’ The business continues to grow with a new in-house architectural arm and additional ranges for RU Editions, her collection of furniture, lighting and accessories, and RU Fabric. ‘In interiors we use antique and collectible furniture, as well as our own collections and always try to be sensitive to sustainability.’


Salvesen graham christie's


Co-founded by friends Nicole Salvesen and Mary Graham seven years ago, Salvesen Graham is known for reinventing typically English-style spaces with a fresh, modern spin. ‘We like to create classically beautiful and carefully curated homes that feel stylish and comfortable now and in years to come,’ says Nicole.

The pair, whose work covers everything from London apartments and a Mayfair club to alpine chalets and family homes, have recently completed a Georgian vicarage in the countryside and an apartment in India. They combine a flair for colour and pattern (‘whether fabrics, wallpapers, paint or artwork, colour will always be included in a scheme in some shape or form’) with mismatched antiques to anchor a space. ‘We also love including small details such as a trim on a cushion or a braid around the edge of a room – it’s the little details that really make a difference.’




A former art director who set up her eponymous practice eight years ago, Samantha Todhunter creates relaxed informal interiors infused with a dash of glamour.

Favourite projects to date nod to the eclectic narrative at the studio’s core: these include a ski lodge in Aspen that was completely gutted and remodelled, transforming it from a pastiche Colorado townhouse into a light- filled contemporary space; a family home in San Francisco filled with iconic furniture and bespoke designs; and a series of listed barns in Devon, each given its own distinct style depending on its function. Underpinning every commission is a dynamic use of colour and pattern. ‘We thrive on colour,’ she confirms. ‘It’s a very important theme throughout our designs and we regard leopard print as a  neutral.’




Since the 1930s, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler has been renowned for its integral role in evolving English decorating style. Once a purely traditional interior decorating firm, now the eight leading designers bring a contemporary touch to a diverse portfolio that ranges from refurbishing a classic motor yacht to an artist’s Victorian studio-house in Chelsea. ‘The common thread is that a space is calm, coherent and reflects the architecture of the building,’ explains managing director Wendy Nicholls. ‘What we do is help the client realise their vision of themselves.’

Unusual colours, marvellous prints and considered lighting are all signature touches. ‘Lighting is enormously important: a mix of candlelight and electric light is lovely. It is essential to be able to read and to see one’s dinner but few things are more depressing than sitting in a drawing room under a blaze of overhead light.’




Since setting up her Cotswolds-based design studio over a decade ago, Emma Sims Hilditch has been an advocate of ‘elegant and contemporary English’ style, favouring natural materials and calming tones (such as the blues and greens found in nature). ‘We believe that a house should first and foremost feel like a home and lived in from the offset,’ she says, citing the layering of antiques, modern furniture, art and accessories as a way of creating depth. ‘We have really enjoyed the revival of colourful patterned wallpapers and particularly love using block prints on gathered lampshades and bed valances.’

One word she keeps at the forefront of her mind when designing is drama: for instance, varying scale and proportion in a classical dining room with an eye-catching oversized pendant light. The team usually has around 15 homes on the go, all at different stages; at the moment, this includes a beach house in Guernsey with an American east coast feel and several properties in Perthshire and Yorkshire, in collaboration with Adam Architects.




Over the last 12 years Sophie Paterson has made a name for herself working on listed properties across the capital but the Surrey-based interior designer’s portfolio also runs the gamut from a holiday home in Portugal to a new build in Oman. Clients typically lean towards either opulent luxury or the rustic chic look. ‘I have a personal affinity with rustic chic so when appropriate, I love to combine classic contemporary interiors with finishes such as limed weathered oak, jute rugs and heavily textured linens,’ she says.

Her ongoing hand painted chinoiserie wallpaper collaboration with Fromental has led to a new-found love of burgundy: ‘I used one of the wallpapers in my own bedroom and now I’m increasingly drawn to this colour; we also love using tan and rust accents.’ With every home, the goal is to ‘ensure it still feels relevant in ten years’ time and feels as good to live in as it looks’.




Brigitta Spinocchia Freund is the dynamic principal and creative director of British design company Spinocchia Freund. London based, she and her talented team work with on developer, hospitality and private residential projects ranging from 5,000 to 250,000 sq ft. Brigitta champions creativity, beauty, artisanal technique and artistry all in equal measures. Articulating and implementing interior design concepts that sit between 18th Century craftsmanship and modern art, has allowed Spinocchia Freund to work at only the highest level for both prestigious private clients and international developers.

Brigitta, with over 20 years’ experience leading her own business and as creative director of a world-renowned property developer, clearly understands the nuanced lifestyle of the private client or the strategic ambitions of the property developer; enabling her and her team to design with concept, purpose and with refinement at the earliest stage of the project. Her work frequently centres a space around a specially commissioned installation or art piece – ‘I work very closely with the artist and client to develop a piece as it is integral to the complete look; these are the kind of touches that make a space unique,’ says Spinocchia Freund, who is an avid art collector herself.


Studio Ashby


‘With any room, we often start with the art, sometimes literally taking an artwork and building an interior around it, and other times more figuratively using art as the start of a narrative journey,’ says creative director Sophie Ashby whose recent designs include an apartment in Holborn where the colour palette was inspired by the Bloomsbury Set
and a joyfully bold Covent Garden penthouse. ‘For the penthouse, we designed some really unique bespoke pieces including a dining table in collaboration with Berlin-based flower styling studio Mary Lennox who created a floral installation beneath a glass surface.’

Typical features include a compelling mix of vintage furniture, hand-crafted objects and unique in-expensive pieces that add up to a richly layered space. ‘I love colour and don’t really think you can have too much of it. Generally speaking, I am drawn to simple natural materials: raw timbers, stones with real movement, ceramics that show the hand of the maker.’




With experience in set design and interior styling it’s perhaps no wonder that Tiffany Duggan has spent the last nine years creating liveable yet dramatic spaces that fuse an eclectic range of eras and styles. ‘I have a real mix of inspirations: right now, I’m very into 1970s colours – oranges, browns, greens and blues – juxtaposed with natural
materials such as jute and rattan, and I love everything by the late Italian artist-designer Gabriella Crespi, who is known for her sculptural furniture designs of the 1960s and 1970s,’ says Tiffany, whose studio team only takes on a handful of homes at a time.

These currently include a listed, converted boathouse in Henley and a pair of new builds in northwest London. ‘One is classic with an emphasis on timeless design; the other is an homage to colour, contemporary architecture and mid-century vintage furniture.’ The studio has also recently launched home and lifestyle brand TROVE with an in-house bedroom collection alongside a lovely selection of global finds.




Industrial chic paired with soft tones and warm textures are the hallmark of Tara Bernerd’s inimitable design style. ‘Drawing on the local culture, history and atmosphere, we seek to create a design DNA that embraces the character and identity of the location in which a space is set,’ says Tara. ‘That being said, I do find myself drawn to more industrial elements such as exposed brickwork or structural ironmongery.’

The majority of the studio’s time is taken up with hotels (currently this includes a new brand in Japan, the Four Seasons in New York and working alongside Frank Gehry on the Equinox Hotel in LA) but Tara does take on select private residences and yachts too, whether it’s a villa in Ibiza, an apartment in Central Park or a penthouse in Hong Kong.


Taylor Howes


Since Karen Howes co-founded Taylor Howes 26 years ago (she took over as sole director in 2011), she and her team have completed more than a thousand projects, from royal palaces to penthouse apartments and country cottages. ‘We pride ourselves on our ethos of “true design for living”: a space will have details, bold use of colour, balance and symmetry,’ says Karen, who has recently finished two properties within the Lincoln Square development in Holborn and a penthouse within Landmark Place.

‘We are using a lot of natural materials at the moment and working with our suppliers on sustainable materials and finishes. For instance, we’re looking at how Piñatex, a leather substitute can be introduced into our schemes.’




Founders of Th2 Designs Gail Taylor and Sheila El-Hadery sum up their style as ‘relaxed luxury’. Diverse projects range from designing 40 apartments for a high-end private rental scheme in W1 (‘these are aspirational spaces that reflect the demand in the London property market for luxury homes to rent’) to a penthouse in the South of France. ‘As well as looking good, an interior has to feel comfortable and welcoming,’ says Gail. ‘Our interiors are often described as being calm and peaceful, which comes from really considering how a space is to be used at the outset and, primarily thinking about hidden storage so that excess clutter can be tucked away.’

Multi-functional interconnected spaces with hidden sliding doors have become a signature, alongside soft palettes and natural materials. The studio also recently completed two show apartments in Battersea Power Station. ‘It was a privilege to work in one of the capital’s most recognised landmarks and a good example of where we were able to reflect the architecture, designing an urban space with vintage touches.’




Over the last 13 years ago, Timothy Corrigan has garnered a reputation for creating timeless, elegant spaces that are brilliantly comfortable too. ‘I believe that even the most beautiful room should be used every day; comfort is not antithetical to elegance but rather its backbone,’ says Timothy who previously had a career in advertising before moving into the world of interiors. ‘I have always gravitated towards a mix of European elegance with Californian casual and incorporate antiques into my schemes.’

Based between offices in Paris and LA, his global clients include Hollywood A-listers, Middle Eastern royalty and government leaders – all of who appreciate his classically rooted design style. Ongoing commissions include what will be the world’s largest private yacht and a château in the Dordogne area of France.




All of Tim Gosling’s interior schemes are rooted in architecture, whether he’s designing a new build in New York’s Greenwich Village or a palazzo in Venice. ‘I’ve loved the many palazzos I’ve worked on along the Grand Canal which were about respecting the 15th-century starting point but also taking into account the light and water,’ recalls Tim, a trained theatre designer who was a director at Linley for 18 years before setting up his own studio in 2005.

For Tim, using deep colours such as Soane Yellow, Atomic Red and Roman Purple, is one of the best ways to make a space feel welcome. He is known for designing bespoke pieces, such as a recent miniature ‘Dome of Curiosity’ which was created ‘to hold an amazing pair of miniature globes and other extraordinary objects. The leather is embossed with names of historic astrologists and thinkers.’ He is also creating furniture for a superyacht and restoring his own French château in Normandy.




Dream team duo Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle have been successful interior design partners for more than 20 years and their experience shines through in a diverse range of projects, whether that’s country mansions and New York apartments, ski chalets or Hoares private bank, not to mention yachts and boutique hotels.

‘We don’t impose a Todhunter Earle design style but rather respond to each individual house: its architecture, location and how our clients would like to live,’ says Emily. ‘Comfort is our overriding aim… and for homes to look un-designed.’ Works in progress include a farmhouse in Jersey and historically important Arts and Crafts Rodmarton Manor in Gloucestershire, one of the last country houses to be built where everything was made by hand, by specialist craftsmen.




‘Contemporary design shaped in classicism’ – that’s how internationally revered interior designer Veere Grenney sums up the sophisticated output of his eponymous studio, which he set up nearly 25 years ago. Wooden floors, upholstered walls, and cherry-picked colours from either end of the spectrum (for instance, in an entrance, he might pair off-white with a dark green) are all signature, elegant touches for this former director of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler who began his career selling furniture and decorative objects from a stall on Portobello Road.

Current commissions include a Regency townhouse in Norfolk and a modern apartment in Manhattan. Any especially memorable assignments? ‘A house on an archipelago in Sweden; it was set in beautiful countryside and the architecture had a nod to the 1930s.’




For the last two decades, Inchbald-educated Henriette von Stockhausen has made a name for herself working on county houses – specifically listed properties and homes of architectural interest. ‘I always look to work with local craftsmen, often drawing on traditional techniques that would have been used when the properties were first built. I also incorporate antiques while still creating a modern contemporary feel through the selection of art,’ says Dorset-based Henriette who has just finished a grade I-listed, ten-bedroom Scottish castle.

Trimmings around architraves, fabric wallcoverings and exquisite tapestries such as one by Watts of Westminster which is being installed for a client in a double height hall, are all staples. A listed dairy in Dorset and several grand-scale Georgian country houses (in one, the kitchen extension will feature two prep kitchens, a pantry, a flower room and three islands) are a sample of her current commissions.


Featured image: Penny Morrison

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