Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

The Best of British Interior Designers in the UK

Do you know who are the most popular Interior Designers in the UK? We’ve hand-picked the 26 hottest names in the Interior Design industry, read on to discover their backgrounds and most importantly, celebrate their achievements! Get to know them and their work here and be inspired for your next project!

Antique French Style Bedroom

Kelly Hoppen

Kelly is currently considered Britain’s foremost interior designer, which isn’t bad for someone who started their career at sixteen years of age by designing a family friend’s kitchen!

Although she began life in South Africa, born 28th July 1959, her family relocated to London two years later. 

Britain has been Kelly’s home since then, aside from a brief time in South Africa, where she spent some time in a rock band and was arrested for mixing with black musicians, in direct contravention of the apartheid laws at the time. 

Her career has been the very epitome of success, with nine books published and numerous prestige design projects for some of the most famous people and opulent locations in the world. These include private jets, 5* luxury hotels, cruise ships, and private homes. 

She is no stranger to the world of television either, presenting her own Channel 5 show, Superior Interiors with Kelly Hoppen, as well as a two-year stint on the popular BBC show, Dragon’s Den, and appearing as a guest judge in the Great Interior Design Challenge.

It’s no cliche to say that Kelly’s work is her life, and that she pours her heart and soul into her work. She offers a unique insight into the world of interior design that few others can. 

Kelly is famed for her use of ideas and patterns from Eastern culture fused with a neutral palette (earning her the name ‘Queen of Taupe’) to create a balanced, harmonious atmosphere, which is central to her philosophical approach to interior design. 

Doucet Natural Linen Chair

Her numerous awards and accolades, including an MBE in 2009 and a CBE in 2020, as well as her extensive involvement in charity work are a testament to her admirable character. All of this has been achieved despite a personal struggle with dyslexia, which only reinforces her position as a role model and inspiration. 

Andrew Martin 

The name Andrew Martin has been at the heart of British interior design for more than forty years, since being founded in 1978. 

The secret behind its success has an unlikely origin: chicken pox!

As a child, founder Martin Waller was suffering from this illness, and to pass the time he began reading. One of the books he picked up was the Readers Digest book of travels. This sparked a love of global travel and a fascination for worldwide cultures and exotic places that continues unabated to this day. 

His pursuits have earned him the reputation of being a modern-day Indiana Jones, a label which he rather enjoys. Although he doesn’t actually raid tombs or carry a whip, he does spend a lot of time travelling the globe in search of inspiration for his design ideas.

Born in 1956, Martin was educated at Eton before launching into his career in design. In 1978, at age 22, he opened his first store in Richmond-Upon-Thames.

Nine years later, it was relocated to Walton Street, South Kensington. Since then, Andrew Martin has opened fifteen showrooms around the world, including Dubai, Beijing, Moscow, Los Angeles, and New York.

Martin has worked on countless design projects, from James Bond film sets to Miami Hotels. He even boasts Her Majesty the Queen as a customer!

The ethos that has kept Andrew Martin at the forefront of interior design for so long, aside from Martin Waller’s infectious enthusiasm, is that their designs are not restricted by era or cultural origin, or confined to a particular style. It’s a method of design best described as eclectic, leading to Waller’s trademark use of ‘Fusion Interiors’. These unique designs explore the exotic cultures of the world, combining multiple textures, time periods and other objects into one fascinating, uncompromising whole. Somehow, it all comes together beautifully, evoking the romance of travel and the rich traditions and crafts from around the world.

Andrew Martin, with Martin Waller at the helm, is nothing short of genius, celebrating world cultures through interior design

Eiffel Tower & Butterfly 3D Canvas Wall Art

Susie Watson

It started with a set of wedding china stored in a cupboard. It was well-made, a piece of art in which someone had invested their time, effort and skill. This got her thinking about what art was, and how we often keep out locked up instead of enjoying and celebrating it. Art doesn’t have to be a picture on a wall, it can be the everyday objects we know and love

Susie acquired a factory in Stoke, determined to create hand-crafted goods only. She spent many months researching craft methods in India and Sri Lanka. 

Her efforts were rewarded when the factory could not keep up with demand, so a second was opened, which also couldn’t match the phenomenal volume of sales.

The company evolved from attending fairs in the early 2000s to opening its first two shops in 2008.

Now, Susie Watson is a well-loved and respected name across the UK, with ten stores serving most regions of the country from Sherborne to Harrogate.

So, what keeps customers returning to Susie Watson stores? 

Susie herself puts it down to four things. First, she still views herself as being self-employed, almost as if she is running a small business.

This leads to the second factor: customer service. Susie employs staff who enjoy their jobs and who welcome the customers like old friends. The stores are inviting and stuffed with beautiful objects, and the staff get involved with the customers, helping them with their choices. 

Thirdly, it’s about the skills of the people who craft the items for sale. Each object, whether a cushion, a cup, or a chair, is lovingly and carefully handmade. It’s a unique work of art that can be enjoyed every day.

Finally, it’s about the designs themselves, which Susie describes as ‘relaxed, informal, but elegant’. Susie takes her inspiration from the classic English country garden look, but adds a contemporary dimension. She also infuses her designs with a twist of Indian flair, taking them to another level entirely.

It’s a recipe that is sure to remain successful for decades to come.

Mumbai Coffee Table

Anouska Hempel

This name might be familiar to fans of 70s movies, as Anouska (or Anoushka) Hempel appeared in several films, including On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, starring George Lazenby as James Bond. 

New Zealand born Anouska, now 79 years old, looks back at those times with light-hearted affection, admitting that acting was not her forte. It was a means to an end, allowing her an avenue into London society, where she still holds sway all these years later. 

Anouska Hempel arrived in England in 1962 with £10 in her pocket and not much else. She has the title of Lady Weinberg, following her marriage to Sir Mark Wienberg in 1980.

After her brief but eventful acting career, she became a hotelier, then turned her hand to her first-love – interior design.

By 2002, she was listed among the top 100 interior designers and architects in the world.  

Her success is built on a foundation of sheer determination and hard work, starting with the legendary Blakes hotel in South Kensington. 

Once a run-down and neglected building, she transformed it over a period of four years into a spectacular mix of east meets west opulence. It is regarded as the world’s first boutique hotel, attracting the rich and famous from around the world. It still attracts them today, with clients such as Lady Gaga, the Beckhams, and Quentin Tarantino.

Aside from hotels, she has created interiors for two yachts (one being her own), stores for Louis Vuitton and Van Cleef & Arpels, Henry Cottons, and Lokum. There have been many private commissions as well, including a memorial garden for Princess Margaret. 

This connection with the royals was a long-established one, as she would have met Princess Margaret at numerous events. Indeed, she designed couture clothes for her, as she did for Princess Diana.

Anouska Hempel’s grit and determination are awe inspiring, and at times intimidating. And it is the secret to her continued success. 

Rose Uniacke

Rose Uniacke is one of those extraordinary people who can work wonders but make it look so easy. 

Could it be that her background in philosophy, that she studied at UCL, instilled a sense of serenity that influenced her later? It’s possible. The Sunday Times has labelled her the Queen of Serene, because of her gift of melding materials and textures to create a simple, refined look that exudes quality and remains understated. 

Rose works this magic by focusing on how light affects the space, and how that space then affects us. She firmly believes that rooms are there to be used, not set aside as sterile showpieces. 

After finishing her studies in philosophy, Rose went on to train as a furniture restorer, learning how to gild and lacquer furniture professionally. Her interest in this field was probably sparked by her mother, who owned an antique shop. 

This training gave Rose a real insight into the craftsmanship involved in furniture making, and she developed an eye for quality antiques over the years, especially during her time in France where she sourced antique furniture for her mother’s store.

Antique French Style Sideboard

For Rose, interior design is all about the flow. The flow of light through the room, the flow of people as they come and go. She pays attention to how the light plays, then forms the design around this. 

Her designs mix old and new seamlessly, creating elegant spaces that people just want to use. And what’s even more impressive is that she manages to make each design different. She takes a personal interest in all of her clients and projects, discussing their likes and dislikes, and creating a unique plan based around this, but still using her trademark style and flair.

It’s precisely this ability that has led to Rose being described as the best interior designer in London, and arguably the UK, in recent years.

Celia Sawyer

Born in South London and raised near Bournemouth, Celia Sawyer left school at age fifteen with a handful of qualifications and started her working life as a dental nurse. She is now a multi-millionaire, with an interior design company based in Knightsbridge, London, called Celia Sawyer Luxury Interiors. She also owns an extensive property portfolio, both here in the UK and Barbados, as well as having investments in the film industry.

The journey from the dentist’s surgery to becoming a self-made millionaire wasn’t straightforward, as there were many twists and turns. 

She is now best known for her work in the world of interior design, appearing in 2012 as one of the dealers in the Channel 4 program called Rooms. This led to the BBC asking her in 2014 to host another design show, entitled Your Home In Their Hands.

As if her business responsibilities and television appearances weren’t enough, Celia also sources art and collectables for an exclusive list of rich and famous clients. And on top of this, she finds time to contribute to publications such as Hello! Magazine, the MailOnline, and the Huffington Post, amongst others. 

Silver Abstract Figures on Black Stand

All of this doesn’t stop her from having time for her Husband, Nick, and their two children.

Celia’s style is the last word in contemporary opulence. She has designed the interiors of luxury yachts, helicopters, beach villas, and royal residences. Each one carries her distinctive style: breathtakingly bold without being ostentatious, with flowing, clean lines and pleasing symmetry.

Celia has, deservedly, won awards over the years, including Inspirational Woman of the Year in 2013. She has also been named in the top 250 most powerful women leaders, and the top 100 most influential British entrepreneurs. 

For someone with such humble beginnings, this is a truly remarkable achievement.

Ben Pentreath

Ben’s background in art history, which he studied at Edinburgh University, gives a clue to his love of the past. It’s a central feature in many of his designs, illustrating his philosophy of ‘timelessness’. He is famous for thinking outside the box, for ignoring the restraints of current fashions and fads.

After Edinburgh, he moved on to the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture. Following a five-year stint in New York and some work for the Prince’s Trust, he opened his practice in 2004 which has gone from strength to strength. 

As well as his successful architecture and interior design business, he also runs a home furnishings shop in Bloomsbury, London, called Pentreath & Hall. 

The key to Ben’s success is that he trusts his team to work with him to create strong designs that will transcend time, regardless of budget or size.

For Ben, it’s all about the space and how the homeowners relate to it. He spends time teasing out details from the clients about themselves and their characters before creating a design that connects them with the space in unique ways. This often means filling spaces on walls or in corners with interesting objects, such as ottomans (Ben loves ottomans!) and sideboards, and lots of fascinating prints and photos, then adding colour and texture to enhance the whole thing. Ben doesn’t shy away from bold colours that you perhaps wouldn’t have thought go well together, but he makes it work!

Large Green Rectangular Storage Ottoman

Many clients are surprised at just how much the finished design reflects them and their lives.

This approach has won him acclaim from far and wide, with Country Life magazine naming him ‘one of the best country house architects in Britain’.

One indication of Ben’s worth as an architect and interior designer is the fact that he has been commissioned by royalty, working on the Duchy of Cornwall’s urban extension of Poundbury near Dorset, as well as other properties owned by the Prince of Wales. He was also responsible for the recent refurbishment of Anmer Hall for the Duchess of Cambridge, a project that raised his profile even further. With prestigious clients such as these, Ben and his team are sure to stay at the top for the foreseeable future.

Nina Campbell

The year 2021 was a significant milestone for Nina Campbell Ltd, as the company marked its 50th year in the world of interior design.

It’s a journey that started when Nina was 19 years old, joining the distinguished London-based furniture and wallpaper designer Colefax & Fowler – as a tea maker! Thankfully, she wasn’t very good at this job, and was given other tasks to do which eventually gave her the opportunity to prove her interior design skills.  

Following her three years with Colefax & Fowler, she found her independence, establishing her own decorating business. Her early projects included designs for a Scottish castle, and redecorating the legendary members-only Annabel’s nightclub in Berkeley Square.

Nightclub owner, Mark Birley, was so impressed with Nina’s work that they went into business together, opening Campbell & Birley in 1970. This shop, based in Pimlico, London, was uncompromisingly luxurious, selling superior-quality home furnishings and china imported from Europe. This chapter came to an end when Mark Birley decided to branch out into the wine business, and Nina went on to open her own place in Knightsbridge. This beautiful store is still as popular today as it was back then.

And so, Nina (born Henrietta Sylvia Campbell) began a phenomenally successful career in retail and interior design. 

Born the day after the end of World War Two, Nina shows no signs of slowing down. She takes an active role in designing fabrics, home accessories and wallpaper, as well as overseeing the Walton Street shop, which still stocks her ‘hearts’ design bone china.

The heart motif is one that Nina is famed for, with her iconic heart-shaped glasses. Could this be a subconscious revelation of her personality? Her clients would probably say that it was. Nina takes a personal interest in each and every client, paying attention to the slightest detail until everything is exactly as it should be. She specialises in making the client happy. She genuinely cares about getting things right, which is surely the mark of a great designer. 

Silver Heart Shaped Metal Frame Wall Clock

Sophie Robinson

In the time-honoured tradition of success stories, Sophie’s route to fame in the world of interior design was slow, steady, and with a few diversions along the way. 

Graduating from Brighton University in 1997 after studying 3D design, where she learned about plastics, metalwork, woodwork, ceramics and jewellery, she moved to London to join a business growth scheme called Cockpit Arts.

To boost her income, Sophie began helping out with interior design projects, which eventually led to work on the shopping pages of various magazines. 

This experience culminated in a position as a journalist at the BBC Good Homes magazine between 2000 and 2005, a role of which she is rightly proud, and which set her on the path to success as an interior stylist.

The training and experience she received at the BBC, including designing room sets and writing features, built a solid foundation for her eleven-year run as a freelance interior designer. 

Somewhat disconnected from the world of design, Sophie took time out at age 21 to enter the world of professional rally driving! 

However, this exciting interlude didn’t stop her from continuing her career in design, and she soon secured roles in several popular TV design shows. These include 60 minute makeover on ITV, and the BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge and DIY SOS.

Many designers have a chosen style or reflect the trends of the time. Sophie doesn’t allow herself to be limited as to what designs she uses. Her mission is to make designs accessible to everyone, regardless of who they are, to inspire and encourage ordinary people to design their own spaces how they feel they should be and which reflect them as a person. 

From her home in Brighton, which she shares with her husband, Tom, and their son, Sophie juggles her amazingly successful career with family life. She has embraced the future, using Instagram, her blog, and podcasts to share her wealth of knowledge, skill, and experience. If there was an award for Interior Designer for the People, then Sophie Robinson would need to make room for it on her mantlepiece.

Nicky Haslam

Interior design is no stranger to glamour; it comes with the territory. This line of work is bound to attract some larger-than-life characters. 

Nicky Haslam fits this description with ease. Reading his bio is like diving into another world, the type of details you find in glamorous novels. You find references to his skills as a cabaret singer, artist, editor, and book reviewer. He is famed for his sartorial elegance, appearing on GQ and Vanity Fair magazine’s best dressed list.

Born on 27th September 1939, Nicholas Ponsonby Haslam was no stranger to luxury, beauty, and fascinating people. At age 11 he contracted polio and was confined to bed for many months. To pass the time, his parents commissioned an enormous doll’s house to be made, which allowed him to arrange the rooms as he liked, sparking an early passion for design. He was an accomplished artist, even from a young age, and he expanded this talent at Eton. 

His experience of art college, however, totalled only three weeks, before he launched himself into the world. Moving to London, he took residence in a workman’s cottage in Waterloo and enjoyed 1960s life. He eventually joined Vogue magazine, then Vogue in New York, where he collaborated with Andy Warhol.

Then followed a six-year stint as a cowboy on an Arizona ranch, before two further years in Hollywood, before Haslam returned to the UK to decorate a house for Alex Hesketh (3rd Baron Hesketh). 

These are the bare bones, giving a brief glimpse of a life lived to the full. 

Maya 9 Pendant Light

Nicky Haslam built on his reputation, eventually establishing NH Design in the 1980s. Now called Nicky Haslam Studio, this architectural and interior design office combines timeless elegance with contemporary opulence. Each design is infused with the same wit and humour that Haslam exudes. It’s surely the secret of his youthful spirit and appearance, belying the fact that he is in his early eighties.

Haslam’s client list reflects his value as Britain’s ultimate interior designer, and it reads like a who’s who of royalty and rock music. It’s an accomplishment that few have matched before or will be able to match in the future. 

David Linley

Few people may realise that the face behind David Linley, the luxury gift, furniture and interior design company, is none other than the Queen’s nephew, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon. 

Being the son of Anthony Armstrong-Jones and Princess Margaret was always going to cause a stir, which is probably why the name David Linley was chosen, to deflect some of the glamour and restore a sense of calm professionalism.

Obviously, this lofty position afforded him close contact with some of the best quality fixtures, fittings and furniture that money can buy. This may be what inspired his passion for arts and crafts, which he developed while at the exclusive Bedales School in Hampshire. Following his time there he spent two years at Parnham House in Dorset, known as the School for Craftsmen in wood, which gave him a real insight into the traditional skills required for making high-end furniture.

La Rochelle Collection

This love for craftsmanship and bespoke pieces was given an outlet when Viscount Linley bought a workshop in Dorking, where worked for three years, designing and making furniture. Then, in 1985, he launched David Linley Furniture Limited making and selling interior design products, accessories, and bespoke furniture. 

The idea of a royal – the Queen’s nephew, no less – working for a living caused an immediate surge of interest, as one would expect.

However, it’s fair to say that David Linley could have survived on its own merits. The quality of the items is peerless, made by master craftsmen of the highest calibre using ideas created by some of the world’s most respected designers.

The interior design section of the company came about in 2007 due to popular demand from clients. The team works together with each individual client, whether for private or commercial projects, to create a truly unique finish, for chalets, studios, or hotels. Designs can range from metro-chic, to understated luxury, to a perfect balance of traditional and modern styles. No challenge is too great and attention to detail means everything. More recently, the company has shortened its name to Linley. And this name has become a byword for premium-quality design.

Robert Kime

You know immediately what calibre of designer you’re dealing with, when they are described as a ‘royal decorator’. And this is precisely the way Robert Kime is mentioned in most design magazines. 

On top of this enviable title, Robert has received praise from one of those royals: none other than HRH the Prince of Wales, who described his design skills as ‘genius’ following Robert’s redecoration of Clarence House. 

These legendary skills have been refined over the past 50 years, and Robert’s contribution to and influence of British interior design over this time can’t be overstated. It’s a name that’s synonymous with the classic English ‘lived in’ style, effortlessly merging textiles, antiques, curios, and subtle colours, as if they had been there forever, rather than being placed deliberately as part of a design. 

His skill lies in assembling a collection of items that you wouldn’t believe would work together and working his magic so they look as if they were made for each other.

Robert came to the world of interior design by way of the antiques trade. He made a name for himself selling antiques to dons and fellow students while reading Medieval History at Oxford. Prior to this, he left school at 16 to be an archaeologist in Greece, which sparked a fascination for the textiles of those regions that continues to this day.

His main interest was (and still remains) rugs and textiles, because of the stories they contain. He is inspired by history and travel, accumulating a collection of rugs and textiles that have featured heavily in many of his designs. 

Montezuma Rug

At the heart of it all, Robert’s secret is in the simplicity of his ideas. He doesn’t see himself as a designer, but more of an assembler of interesting items. He has the mind of a dealer, rather than a decorator. He and his team have a clear aim when creating designs. Robert wants his rooms to be lived in, not looked at!

This outlook has served him well, as his wonderful designs, as well as his prestigious showrooms in Pimlico and Marlborough, are held in high regard by a client base that spans the globe.

Birdie Fortescue

Like so many eminent British designers, Birdie Fortescue is inspired by global travel. This love for other cultures influences her designs, allowing her to meld classic English ideas with the rich flavours of India, Africa, Eastern Europe and beyond. 

Birdie launched her successful interior design career off the back of an equally successful time dealing in antiques, prior to which she gained a wealth of experience at Colefax & Fowler, the world-renowned interior design company.

In 2014, Birdie bought a warehouse in Burnham Market, Norfolk, from which to sell her antiques. As the space was larger than anticipated, she was inspired to fill the place with contemporary art and homeware. This proved to be a winner, rapidly gaining a faithful band of enthusiastic followers. 

Multicoloured Monkey Wall Art

Four years later, Birdie Fortescue’s eponymous showroom relocated to Fakenham, where it still draws customers. It’s a combination of design studio, shop, and warehouse, keeping the business on an intimate, approachable level, which is exactly how Birdie likes things. She regards this as a small business and feels that it is important for her to play a central role and to take a personal interest in the clients and their needs. 

It’s a one-stop-shop for exquisite homeware and design, mixing old and new, subtle and exotic, and it works beautifully.

Despite Birdie’s strong connection with North Norfolk, she invests heavily in quality craftsmanship from overseas. Her designs aren’t limited by place or time, and can be appreciated by customers of all ages and backgrounds. 

Her company has a strong sense of ethics, driven by Birdie’s own beliefs, including the introduction of measures to reduce its global footprint as well as sourcing textiles and handcrafted items from traditional artisans who are members of cooperatives or small businesses. 

With credentials like these, Birdie Fortescue’s future in design is assured. 

Fiona Barratt

Fiona grew up surrounded by rugged beauty and ancient history in the northwest of England. Both instilled a sense of timelessness and tangible history: nature seems infinite, and the past lives of our ancestors leave traces in the land that we can still experience today. 

Although Fiona’s interior design and architecture businesses are based in London, Northumberland is still deeply ingrained in her heart and soul, and it often emerges in her stunning designs.

Fiona and her multi-disciplinary team have an almost holistic approach to their work. They examine all aspects of the space to discover the best design that maximises the use, location, and all of the elements within it. No detail is too small to be missed, and they use terms like alchemy and vision, adding a real sense of mystique to the process.

The team is deliberately diverse, a truly global enterprise that draws on the best of all worlds to offer a better understanding of the client’s needs. 

And it works fantastically well. 

Fiona Barratt Interiors excels in providing leading-edge contemporary designs that merge bold accent colours with sophisticated neutral textures. Stark symmetrical shapes are offset by complex and detailed finishes. 

Orange Velvet Footstool

Quality is never compromised, and Fiona makes sure of this personally by employing only the best craftsmen from around the world. Her clients would expect nothing less, being used to premium-quality products: many of Fiona’s clients are connected with some of the best luxury hospitality companies in the world. 

Design and architecture are in Fiona’s DNA, as her grandfather was Sir Lawrie Barrat, founder of the property development company, Barratt Homes. He was her mentor and inspiration, influencing her decision to study design at the Chelsea College of art and the Parson School of design, New York. In 2006 she launched Fiona Barratt Interiors, and since then has earned recognition as one of the country’s foremost designers.  

This is a rare and commendable achievement for someone who has only 17 years experience in the interior design business.

Studio Ashby

Some of the best British interior designers of recent times have achieved success by combining the old with the new, and Studio Ashby definitely has a place among them, despite only being established in 2014.

Studio Ashby, under the guidance of creative director Sophie Ashby, avoids being pinned down by the fads and whims of passing fashions, carving its own style and sense of authenticity on each space it transforms. 

And, once again, like some of our best designers, Sophie has a background in antiques, as well as a BA in Art History (Hons) from Leeds University. 

Each design draws on Sophie’s love of antiques, contemporary art, photography, and a whole eclectic mix of fascinating objects. Not everyone can combine these things successfully, and it takes a practised and skillful eye to achieve a pleasing balance. This is definitely an area in which Sophie and Studio Ashby excel. 

Art takes a central role in each design, as Sophie strongly believes that it completes a space, and looking at Studio Ashby’s body of work, it’s hard to disagree with this sentiment.

Another idea that sits at the heart of Studio Ashby’s ethos is the strong connection and good working relationship with the artisans and craftsmen who supply the exquisitely crafted items that feature in the designs. At Studio Ashby, integrity is everything.

This ideal extends to the relationship with each client, with an in-depth consultation to discover what inspires and moves them. The space, whether in a home, restaurant, commercial setting, or a hotel, is for people to use and inhabit. Studio Ashby takes the client’s inspirations to create a design that fulfils their desires, using a combination of clever lighting, art, and furniture, set against a natural palette of textures and finishes.

Stellan Faux Fur Throw Ochre

This approach has earned Studio Ashby a host of accolades, including a listing among the House & Garden top 100 Interior Designers in 2018.

Fran Hickman

Interior designers use a variety of approaches and ideas to create their designs, but each one has a central theme: the relationship between people and the spaces they use. 

Fran Hickman and her team of highly qualified designers, based in London and New York, take this a step further. They firmly believe that a well-designed space can change the way people behave within them. It’s all about feeling.

The aim is to create a design that enhances the social aspect of any space, wherever it may be. Whether a luxury hotel, a private residence, a modern office, or an upmarket fashion boutique, good design can influence people’s behaviour for the better. Make the space special, and people will feel special within them. 

Ottinge 2 Drawer Desk

Fran’s vision and drive were inspired in part by her childhood. As one of six siblings in a Kensington townhouse, she sensed the need for a well-planned personal space keenly. There was noise, clutter, people all around, and this drove Fran to examine the relationship between people and the spaces they inhabit. She realised that spaces have a story to tell.

For Fran, good design isn’t really about things, but the materials. And these materials, with their varying textures and colours, are tailored to suit the locale, environment, and personal history of each client. 

There’s a touch of zen about these designs, as each and every aspect is deliberately placed as part of the overall design in perfect balance and harmony. It enhances the mood and lifts the spirit. 

It’s a brave approach to interior design, with the implicit suggestion that these spaces can improve the lives of those who use them, even to the point of making them happier and healthier.

Does it really work? The astonishing success of Fran Hickman Design & Interiors since its establishment in 2014 suggests that it surely does!

Laura Hammett

Born into a family of artists, Laura was acquainted with creativity, colour and beautiful designs from an early age. But it wasn’t until her teenage years that she was exposed to the concept of interior architecture while visiting a family friend in France. 

This place, the house of an architect, had a profound effect on her, firing a creative desire that is still evident today. 

After graduating in Interior Design at Brighton University, Laura immediately secured a role at the illustrious interior design agency, Godrich, where she was immersed in the world of high-end interior design, mostly involving the homes of celebrities and VIPs.

This formative experience was followed by an equally exciting period with Suzy Hoodless, after which Laura opened an online boutique called Echo Interiors in 2007, selling luxury homewares and speciality handcrafted items. 

A year later, Laura teamed up with husband, Aaron, to launch Laura Hammett interior design studio, to create some of the finest bespoke designs available. 

When pushed to describe her individual style, Laura would probably say that it is classic contemporary. But what concerns Laura most is the ability to adapt and evolve as a designer. This is essential, as it not only keeps ideas fresh and exciting, but it also helps to gain the advantage over less adventurous competitors. As Laura has admitted, it’s a saturated market – if you don’t stand out from the crowd, you’ll be overlooked.

Daxton Wingback Chair

Laura Hammett interior design shows no danger of this happening, so it seems that this philosophy is working. With a seriously impressive portfolio of successful designs in such diverse places as Belgravia, Bangalore, The Isle of Man, New York, the Bahamas, and the South of France, Laura’s position as one of the UK’s best interior designers is secure.

One example of Laura’s visionary outlook is that she has embraced the current challenges of the day, seeing the need to rethink how we use our living spaces due to the pandemic, as well as becoming involved in a charity called United in Design, which tackles the lack of diversity in the design industry. Such thinking, for someone so deeply involved in the world of luxury interiors, is a testament to her character and humanity.

Finchatton

It takes a special company to stay at the top for ten years in the world of interior design. Finchatton has achieved this twice over, with 2021 marking two decades of truly exceptional designs. 

Founders Alex Michelin and Andrew Dunn are famed for their revolutionary outlook, always striving to push beyond the boundaries of convention. They have evolved a distinctive style that is both sophisticated and timeless, and at the same time elegant and modern. 

When you study Finchatton’s superbly impressive portfolio of the last twenty years, including 75 private projects and more than 60 development projects around the globe, one fact becomes abundantly clear: there is never any compromise on the quality of the materials or craftsmanship.

Responsibility for these projects is divided between the two wings of the company, Finchatton Residences and Finchatton Private. Both rely not only on Alex and Andrew’s guidance and leadership, but each has a highly-qualified and experienced team of designers and architects that liaises with discerning clients worldwide to consistently provide astonishingly excellent designs. 

Unlike some luxury brands, this is not opulence for its own sake. These designs celebrate excellence of craftsmanship using only the very best materials, but they retain a sense of functionality: these are spaces to be enjoyed and lived in. 

In Finchatton’s own words, it has a signature trademark of ‘effortless elegance and timeless modernity’. And when you see Andrew and Alex’s most recent London developments, at The Whitely, and Twenty Grosvenor Square, you have to agree.

Venetian Mirrored Console Table

Taylor Howes

When a company fosters a culture among its staff based around the mantra, be passionate, be kind, be honest, you instinctively know that you’re dealing with something very special. 

This is precisely how Taylor Howes is run, from its base in Knightsbridge. The staff are encouraged to be passionate in all they do, to be honest in what they deliver to the client, and to be kind in their dealings with colleagues and clients alike.

And when you see the studios themselves, you immediately realise that this is no idle boast. It may well be that the premises hold some leftover ambience and spirit of the previous occupiers, as this was the old Aston Martin showroom. Whether this is true or not, the Taylor Howes HQ exudes class and quality. 

In its own philosophy, the company uses the term quiet glamour to describe its designs. This is evident in the decor and interior architecture of the Taylor Howes studios. There’s a distinct air of elegance and symmetry, alongside understated luxury with no hint of pretentiousness.

Founder and CEO Karen Howes is very much the driving force at the heart of the company, and has guided it towards its place as one of Britain’s most highly respected interior design studios of modern times. Karen’s talent lies in combining her business acumen with her design skills. This has enabled her to raise Taylor Howes to its enviable position, as well as establishing the award-winning th2 Designs based in Chelsea Harbour.

Karen’s warm nature and generosity of spirit match her passion and drive for entrepreneurship and interior design, as proven by her brainchild called Business of Design. She established this forum specifically for design-led businesses to meet in order to collaborate with a view to exchanging ideas, all with the aim of advancing each other’s knowledge. 

Taylor Howes has won multiple awards since being established in 1993, and continues to thrive. Each design re-imagines the space with the aim of breaking down barriers to a better life. To sum it up in its own words, Taylor Howes aims to create ‘true design for living’.

Helen Green

Founded in 2002, Helen Green Design is one of the most highly regarded interior design studios in the UK, showcasing the best of British luxury design and craftsmanship right around the globe.

The aim is to produce designs that are luxurious but livable, and the company’s extensive portfolio certainly proves this beyond doubt. With a focus primarily on the best of British, Helen Green Design proudly sources all of its materials from the UK, using the highest calibre artisans and specialists.

After a decade of well-deserved success, and having put the studio firmly at the heart of British interior design, Helen tragically passed away in 2012. 

Rather than signalling the end of the studio, Helen’s legacy drove her passionate and dedicated team to continue to produce exceptional designs. 

Although the focus is firmly on interior design and interior architecture, this studio has extended its work to offer comprehensive turnkey solutions, providing a complete service from the basic concept right through to the finished article. 

Helen Green British Interior Design

It’s no cliché to say that Helen’s spirit lives on through the sophisticated and elegant designs created by her team. 

Helen’s family also set up a foundation in her name, knowing how passionate she was about inspiring young people on the subject of design. This foundation offers bursaries and training to help aspiring young designers to fulfill their dreams. 

Although Helen Green Design was acquired by the Rigby group in 2017, and is now a founding member of Allect, now one of the foremost names in luxury design worldwide, Helen remains a strong influence on the team, having imparted her considerable talents, wisdom, and integrity. It’s a name that will be respected for many decades to come.

Oliver Burns

There’s a fair amount of competition in the world of luxury interior design. Each studio has its own qualities, seeking to give them the edge over the others.

Oliver Burns, founded in 2004 by Joe Burns and Sharon Lilywhite, has found that edge in the concept of thoughtful luxury.

Where other studios offer beautiful, stunning designs, Oliver Burns offers nothing less than perfection.

Luxury underpins every aspect of its processes, with each element perfectly balanced. Aesthetics and functionality are expertly blended to provide the ultimate in modern, luxury, super-prime living spaces.

Adagio 9 Pendant Light

What’s even more impressive is that the Oliver Burns Studio doesn’t just focus on the modern day. Many of its commissions deal with listed or heritage buildings, and the designs preserve and restore the integrity of these properties sensitively, with a precision that is second to none.

Each building is dealt with as a whole, within its location and with respect to its heritage. And each client has a single point of contact, from start to finish. Treating the client as a creative partner has great appeal, proving to be extremely popular among Oliver Burns’ discerning customer base. 

As testament to this, many of these clients have developed long-term relationships with the studio, involving projects in some of the most exclusive London postcodes, as well as high-end commercial enterprises. 

Oliver Burns Studio doesn’t strive for perfection, it delivers it without apparent effort. You just know that there’s a tremendous amount of hard work going on behind the scenes, but as a client all you see is the exquisite result – thoughtfully designed, thoughtfully built, and thoughtfully finished. 

Turner Pocock

Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock established the Turner Pocock studio in 2007, and within a few years it was clear that they were destined for great things. By 2012 they were included in the House & Garden Top 100 interior designers, where they have remained since.

Further accolades followed, such as the International Design & Architecture Award 2017 and the Country and Townhouse Finest 50 Interior Designers.

They have achieved all this chiefly because of an apparent superpower: listening.

This is always the first step in any consultation, and it is of paramount importance to Emma and Bunny as it helps them to fully understand what is required of them.

Every aspect is considered, from aesthetics to the client’s lifestyle. Floorplans are discussed and decided upon, then the whole brief is taken back to the Turner Pocock team where it is made into reality.

Aside from listening, Bunny and Emma pride themselves on keeping deadlines. To them, Turner Pocock is all about delivering dreams. Each client has a dream lifestyle that they aspire to, and Turner Pocock is the studio who can make it happen.

Nothing is left to chance, and the team, including the two founders, oversee the tiniest detail in order to ensure that the client has a completely stress-free experience from start to finish.

Emma and Bunny personally handle quality control, making sure that everything is finished to their exacting standards. 

To keep those standards high, Turner Pocock collaborates with some of the best names in British design, including Lorfords, famous for its superbly crafted furniture. Each company that Turner Pocock partners with shares its values and ethos when it comes to rigorous design, as well as having sustainability in mind

Reclaimed Wood Hallway Console Table

Behind the scenes is where all the hard word takes place, as the team translates the client’s wishes into a completed design with apparent ease. 

This is all part of the illusion, as the Turner Pocock Studio likes to keep things as simple as possible for the client. Its aim is to help the client live better in their home.

From the looks of its seriously impressive portfolio, with projects in prestigious London addresses to a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva, it looks as if they’re doing just that.

Veere Grenney

If you want a perfect example of the determination to succeed and of the phrase work your way to the top, then you couldn’t do much better than to look at the life of Veere Grenney.

Leaving his native New Zealand in the 1970s, he made his way to London, mostly on foot. After a short stay in Tangier, he returned to London and opened a stall on Portobello road, selling items he bought with his earnings as a waiter.

He soon upgraded to a small shop, selling any ‘charming or decorative’ items he could afford.

His big break came when he was offered a job by Mary Fox Linton, the Grande Dame of English interior design. He was tasked with combining contemporary furniture with antiques so that they could be incorporated into Mary’s designs that were considered quite shocking at the time. 

Veere regards this seven year apprenticeship as the foundation of his own considerable skills, and it was during this time that he gained an understanding of how to transfer a love of beauty and ‘things’, such as fabrics, furniture and other items, into a functioning living space for grown ups.

Bakersfield White Antique French Style Fabric Bed

In 1991, at age 40, Veere was offered the position of director at Colefax and Fowler, legends in British design, where he gained further valuable experience before setting out on his own.

Since that time, Veere Grenney Associates has gone from strength to strength, appearing in most ‘top designer’ lists. His style is unique, timeless, elegant, mixing classical and contemporary elements effortlessly. 

If Veere has a secret to the success of his designs, it’s that he always includes an element of surprise. He also believes that being in London helps, as it is one the great melting pots of the design world, if not the world design capital.

With completed projects in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Mustique, Oxfordshire, and even Wyoming, USA, Veere Grenney Associates has proven that it can deliver what it promises: luxury homes that are exciting, but above all comfortable and liveable.

Jeffreys

The world of luxury interior design can sometimes seem a serious and humourless place. It’s not that people are exactly miserable, but the focus and drive can be intense, with the stress on delivering the optimum experience to discerning clients, who, after all, have parted with a good deal of money for the privilege.

So when you encounter a studio like Jeffreys Interiors, it’s like a breath of fresh Highland air.

The fact that Jeffreys is Edinburgh based also adds another dimension, as most of our premium British interior designers have their studios in London. 

A quick glance at its portfolio highlights the broad range of styles it creates, from the sumptuous to the downright eccentric. It’s a catalogue of off the wall thinking that appeals to a broad range of tastes. In fact, it suggests that Jeffreys would be able to tackle any project that it’s clients came up with.

There’s a sense of lightness and fun in the wording on its website that suggests that the team are friendly and approachable. At the same time, there’s an air of confidence that reassures you that these designers really can deliver on their promises.

Highland Cow Silver Frame Wall Art

Founded in 2006, Jeffreys relies on the impressive skills of its youthful ten-strong team to translate the client’s ideas into a workable solution. 

Jefferys works on the principle of your taste, our talent, and it’s served them well so far. 

Interviews with the team throw out some interesting phrases that capture the essence of Jeffreys Interiors perfectly. For example, they like to include a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ element in their designs, indicating a sense of playfulness. They also boast about being ‘unashamedly pedantic’ in their attempts to get it just right. 

In the end, it’s all about pleasing the client and providing a comfortable living space to be proud of, without making any compromises. Jeffreys Interiors strives to match its designs to your lifestyle, personality and home. 

And the fact that the team does this with lightness and a sense of humour makes them all the more appealing.

Janine Stone

Some of the best British interior designers of recent times have built their success on a simple foundation. 

Janine Stone & Co. is founded on the principle that its designs shape a family’s quality of life, and this fact drives the company towards excellence in every detail.

Another aspect in the extraordinary success of Janine Stone & Co. is that it is managed and run by husband and wife team, Janine and Gideon Stone. 

With Gideon as Managing Director and Janine as Creative Director, they are an unstoppable force in complete interior design and architecture.

From the very conception of an idea, right through to the finished article, Janine Stone & Co. handles everything. Collaboration is key to delivering on time, with each different discipline (including architecture, construction, planning permission, and dealing with listed buildings) integrated into a system that takes its responsibilities seriously. 

Janine credits her Lebanese roots as part of the inspiration for her unique designs, all starting with a memory of the fabrics in her mother’s dress shop. The colour and culture of Lebanon is infused in many of her creations, and she fosters a love for her place of birth, although she sees England as her home these days.

Knowing that a career in creative arts was something she wanted, Janine spent time as a TV and film makeup artist. During this time, she undertook small interior design projects, and soon word spread about her obvious talents. With a mother who designed couture clothes and a father who was an interior designer, it seems that creativity was in her DNA. 

Janine has certainly used this to become one of the foremost British designers of the times, with an enviable list of projects worldwide since founding the company in 1987.

Despite the numerous accolades and plaudits for her work, Janine remains refreshingly humble and grateful, seeking always to give something back to the career that has given her so much. One way she has done so is through setting up the Young Interior Designers Award in 2011 to build bridges between the best interior design companies and emerging new talent. 

Kris Turnbull

As with all the best British designers, there’s no such thing as a ‘house style’ with Kris Turnbull. It’s tempting to see the company as having a split personality, as the catalogue of completed projects speaks of grace, elegance, and grandeur. From Georgian estates to Victorian townhouses, Belle Époque apartments to historic manor houses, Kris Turnbull Design Studio positions itself as a serious player in the world of luxury interior design. There’s an air of sophisticated maturity to the finished product, as if the company had been founded forty years ago rather than fourteen.

And then there’s the studio showroom itself, set within a converted church in Belfast, which is unlike anything else in the country. When it comes to what’s on offer, the words ‘And now for something completely different’ come to mind.

It’s a truly astonishing treat for the senses, a vast array of furniture, textures, fabrics, lighting and accessories in stunning contemporary design. It’s youthful but timeless, sophisticated but fun. 

Puro Stone Collection

It’s precisely what Kris Turnbull is all about. 

The list of supplier names reads like a who’s who of quality design; Dedar, Rubelli, Pierre Frey, and Julian Chichester, to name but a handful.

At the heart of it all is Kris Turnbull himself, driving the company forward with enthusiasm and style. Kris graduated from the University of Ulster in 2002 before completing a Business Education Initiative at Belhaven University in Mississippi. 

Kris has moulded the studio around his desire to create designs that reflect the client’s own personality. He is enthusiastic about each and every project and the diverse nature of the clients he works with. Even after more than a decade in the business, Kris still feels a sense of excitement at the prospect of a new design. 

This passion is surely a key to continued success, and the name Kris Turnbull is sure to be at the pinnacle of British interior design for a long time to come. 

The following post The Best of British Interior Designers in the UK was first published on https://homesdirect365.co.uk

Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

The Best of British Interior Designers in the UK

Do you know who are the most popular Interior Designers in the UK? We’ve hand-picked the 26 hottest names in the Interior Design industry, read on to discover their backgrounds and most importantly, celebrate their achievements! Get to know them and their work here and be inspired for your next project!

Antique French Style Bedroom

Kelly Hoppen

Kelly is currently considered Britain’s foremost interior designer, which isn’t bad for someone who started their career at sixteen years of age by designing a family friend’s kitchen!

Although she began life in South Africa, born 28th July 1959, her family relocated to London two years later. 

Britain has been Kelly’s home since then, aside from a brief time in South Africa, where she spent some time in a rock band and was arrested for mixing with black musicians, in direct contravention of the apartheid laws at the time. 

Her career has been the very epitome of success, with nine books published and numerous prestige design projects for some of the most famous people and opulent locations in the world. These include private jets, 5* luxury hotels, cruise ships, and private homes. 

She is no stranger to the world of television either, presenting her own Channel 5 show, Superior Interiors with Kelly Hoppen, as well as a two-year stint on the popular BBC show, Dragon’s Den, and appearing as a guest judge in the Great Interior Design Challenge.

It’s no cliche to say that Kelly’s work is her life, and that she pours her heart and soul into her work. She offers a unique insight into the world of interior design that few others can. 

Kelly is famed for her use of ideas and patterns from Eastern culture fused with a neutral palette (earning her the name ‘Queen of Taupe’) to create a balanced, harmonious atmosphere, which is central to her philosophical approach to interior design. 

Doucet Natural Linen Chair

Her numerous awards and accolades, including an MBE in 2009 and a CBE in 2020, as well as her extensive involvement in charity work are a testament to her admirable character. All of this has been achieved despite a personal struggle with dyslexia, which only reinforces her position as a role model and inspiration. 

Andrew Martin 

The name Andrew Martin has been at the heart of British interior design for more than forty years, since being founded in 1978. 

The secret behind its success has an unlikely origin: chicken pox!

As a child, founder Martin Waller was suffering from this illness, and to pass the time he began reading. One of the books he picked up was the Readers Digest book of travels. This sparked a love of global travel and a fascination for worldwide cultures and exotic places that continues unabated to this day. 

His pursuits have earned him the reputation of being a modern-day Indiana Jones, a label which he rather enjoys. Although he doesn’t actually raid tombs or carry a whip, he does spend a lot of time travelling the globe in search of inspiration for his design ideas.

Born in 1956, Martin was educated at Eton before launching into his career in design. In 1978, at age 22, he opened his first store in Richmond-Upon-Thames.

Nine years later, it was relocated to Walton Street, South Kensington. Since then, Andrew Martin has opened fifteen showrooms around the world, including Dubai, Beijing, Moscow, Los Angeles, and New York.

Martin has worked on countless design projects, from James Bond film sets to Miami Hotels. He even boasts Her Majesty the Queen as a customer!

The ethos that has kept Andrew Martin at the forefront of interior design for so long, aside from Martin Waller’s infectious enthusiasm, is that their designs are not restricted by era or cultural origin, or confined to a particular style. It’s a method of design best described as eclectic, leading to Waller’s trademark use of ‘Fusion Interiors’. These unique designs explore the exotic cultures of the world, combining multiple textures, time periods and other objects into one fascinating, uncompromising whole. Somehow, it all comes together beautifully, evoking the romance of travel and the rich traditions and crafts from around the world.

Andrew Martin, with Martin Waller at the helm, is nothing short of genius, celebrating world cultures through interior design

Eiffel Tower & Butterfly 3D Canvas Wall Art

Susie Watson

It started with a set of wedding china stored in a cupboard. It was well-made, a piece of art in which someone had invested their time, effort and skill. This got her thinking about what art was, and how we often keep out locked up instead of enjoying and celebrating it. Art doesn’t have to be a picture on a wall, it can be the everyday objects we know and love

Susie acquired a factory in Stoke, determined to create hand-crafted goods only. She spent many months researching craft methods in India and Sri Lanka. 

Her efforts were rewarded when the factory could not keep up with demand, so a second was opened, which also couldn’t match the phenomenal volume of sales.

The company evolved from attending fairs in the early 2000s to opening its first two shops in 2008.

Now, Susie Watson is a well-loved and respected name across the UK, with ten stores serving most regions of the country from Sherborne to Harrogate.

So, what keeps customers returning to Susie Watson stores? 

Susie herself puts it down to four things. First, she still views herself as being self-employed, almost as if she is running a small business.

This leads to the second factor: customer service. Susie employs staff who enjoy their jobs and who welcome the customers like old friends. The stores are inviting and stuffed with beautiful objects, and the staff get involved with the customers, helping them with their choices. 

Thirdly, it’s about the skills of the people who craft the items for sale. Each object, whether a cushion, a cup, or a chair, is lovingly and carefully handmade. It’s a unique work of art that can be enjoyed every day.

Finally, it’s about the designs themselves, which Susie describes as ‘relaxed, informal, but elegant’. Susie takes her inspiration from the classic English country garden look, but adds a contemporary dimension. She also infuses her designs with a twist of Indian flair, taking them to another level entirely.

It’s a recipe that is sure to remain successful for decades to come.

Mumbai Coffee Table

Anouska Hempel

This name might be familiar to fans of 70s movies, as Anouska (or Anoushka) Hempel appeared in several films, including On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, starring George Lazenby as James Bond. 

New Zealand born Anouska, now 79 years old, looks back at those times with light-hearted affection, admitting that acting was not her forte. It was a means to an end, allowing her an avenue into London society, where she still holds sway all these years later. 

Anouska Hempel arrived in England in 1962 with £10 in her pocket and not much else. She has the title of Lady Weinberg, following her marriage to Sir Mark Wienberg in 1980.

After her brief but eventful acting career, she became a hotelier, then turned her hand to her first-love – interior design.

By 2002, she was listed among the top 100 interior designers and architects in the world.  

Her success is built on a foundation of sheer determination and hard work, starting with the legendary Blakes hotel in South Kensington. 

Once a run-down and neglected building, she transformed it over a period of four years into a spectacular mix of east meets west opulence. It is regarded as the world’s first boutique hotel, attracting the rich and famous from around the world. It still attracts them today, with clients such as Lady Gaga, the Beckhams, and Quentin Tarantino.

Aside from hotels, she has created interiors for two yachts (one being her own), stores for Louis Vuitton and Van Cleef & Arpels, Henry Cottons, and Lokum. There have been many private commissions as well, including a memorial garden for Princess Margaret. 

This connection with the royals was a long-established one, as she would have met Princess Margaret at numerous events. Indeed, she designed couture clothes for her, as she did for Princess Diana.

Anouska Hempel’s grit and determination are awe inspiring, and at times intimidating. And it is the secret to her continued success. 

Rose Uniacke

Rose Uniacke is one of those extraordinary people who can work wonders but make it look so easy. 

Could it be that her background in philosophy, that she studied at UCL, instilled a sense of serenity that influenced her later? It’s possible. The Sunday Times has labelled her the Queen of Serene, because of her gift of melding materials and textures to create a simple, refined look that exudes quality and remains understated. 

Rose works this magic by focusing on how light affects the space, and how that space then affects us. She firmly believes that rooms are there to be used, not set aside as sterile showpieces. 

After finishing her studies in philosophy, Rose went on to train as a furniture restorer, learning how to gild and lacquer furniture professionally. Her interest in this field was probably sparked by her mother, who owned an antique shop. 

This training gave Rose a real insight into the craftsmanship involved in furniture making, and she developed an eye for quality antiques over the years, especially during her time in France where she sourced antique furniture for her mother’s store.

Antique French Style Sideboard

For Rose, interior design is all about the flow. The flow of light through the room, the flow of people as they come and go. She pays attention to how the light plays, then forms the design around this. 

Her designs mix old and new seamlessly, creating elegant spaces that people just want to use. And what’s even more impressive is that she manages to make each design different. She takes a personal interest in all of her clients and projects, discussing their likes and dislikes, and creating a unique plan based around this, but still using her trademark style and flair.

It’s precisely this ability that has led to Rose being described as the best interior designer in London, and arguably the UK, in recent years.

Celia Sawyer

Born in South London and raised near Bournemouth, Celia Sawyer left school at age fifteen with a handful of qualifications and started her working life as a dental nurse. She is now a multi-millionaire, with an interior design company based in Knightsbridge, London, called Celia Sawyer Luxury Interiors. She also owns an extensive property portfolio, both here in the UK and Barbados, as well as having investments in the film industry.

The journey from the dentist’s surgery to becoming a self-made millionaire wasn’t straightforward, as there were many twists and turns. 

She is now best known for her work in the world of interior design, appearing in 2012 as one of the dealers in the Channel 4 program called Rooms. This led to the BBC asking her in 2014 to host another design show, entitled Your Home In Their Hands.

As if her business responsibilities and television appearances weren’t enough, Celia also sources art and collectables for an exclusive list of rich and famous clients. And on top of this, she finds time to contribute to publications such as Hello! Magazine, the MailOnline, and the Huffington Post, amongst others. 

Silver Abstract Figures on Black Stand

All of this doesn’t stop her from having time for her Husband, Nick, and their two children.

Celia’s style is the last word in contemporary opulence. She has designed the interiors of luxury yachts, helicopters, beach villas, and royal residences. Each one carries her distinctive style: breathtakingly bold without being ostentatious, with flowing, clean lines and pleasing symmetry.

Celia has, deservedly, won awards over the years, including Inspirational Woman of the Year in 2013. She has also been named in the top 250 most powerful women leaders, and the top 100 most influential British entrepreneurs. 

For someone with such humble beginnings, this is a truly remarkable achievement.

Ben Pentreath

Ben’s background in art history, which he studied at Edinburgh University, gives a clue to his love of the past. It’s a central feature in many of his designs, illustrating his philosophy of ‘timelessness’. He is famous for thinking outside the box, for ignoring the restraints of current fashions and fads.

After Edinburgh, he moved on to the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture. Following a five-year stint in New York and some work for the Prince’s Trust, he opened his practice in 2004 which has gone from strength to strength. 

As well as his successful architecture and interior design business, he also runs a home furnishings shop in Bloomsbury, London, called Pentreath & Hall. 

The key to Ben’s success is that he trusts his team to work with him to create strong designs that will transcend time, regardless of budget or size.

For Ben, it’s all about the space and how the homeowners relate to it. He spends time teasing out details from the clients about themselves and their characters before creating a design that connects them with the space in unique ways. This often means filling spaces on walls or in corners with interesting objects, such as ottomans (Ben loves ottomans!) and sideboards, and lots of fascinating prints and photos, then adding colour and texture to enhance the whole thing. Ben doesn’t shy away from bold colours that you perhaps wouldn’t have thought go well together, but he makes it work!

Large Green Rectangular Storage Ottoman

Many clients are surprised at just how much the finished design reflects them and their lives.

This approach has won him acclaim from far and wide, with Country Life magazine naming him ‘one of the best country house architects in Britain’.

One indication of Ben’s worth as an architect and interior designer is the fact that he has been commissioned by royalty, working on the Duchy of Cornwall’s urban extension of Poundbury near Dorset, as well as other properties owned by the Prince of Wales. He was also responsible for the recent refurbishment of Anmer Hall for the Duchess of Cambridge, a project that raised his profile even further. With prestigious clients such as these, Ben and his team are sure to stay at the top for the foreseeable future.

Nina Campbell

The year 2021 was a significant milestone for Nina Campbell Ltd, as the company marked its 50th year in the world of interior design.

It’s a journey that started when Nina was 19 years old, joining the distinguished London-based furniture and wallpaper designer Colefax & Fowler – as a tea maker! Thankfully, she wasn’t very good at this job, and was given other tasks to do which eventually gave her the opportunity to prove her interior design skills.  

Following her three years with Colefax & Fowler, she found her independence, establishing her own decorating business. Her early projects included designs for a Scottish castle, and redecorating the legendary members-only Annabel’s nightclub in Berkeley Square.

Nightclub owner, Mark Birley, was so impressed with Nina’s work that they went into business together, opening Campbell & Birley in 1970. This shop, based in Pimlico, London, was uncompromisingly luxurious, selling superior-quality home furnishings and china imported from Europe. This chapter came to an end when Mark Birley decided to branch out into the wine business, and Nina went on to open her own place in Knightsbridge. This beautiful store is still as popular today as it was back then.

And so, Nina (born Henrietta Sylvia Campbell) began a phenomenally successful career in retail and interior design. 

Born the day after the end of World War Two, Nina shows no signs of slowing down. She takes an active role in designing fabrics, home accessories and wallpaper, as well as overseeing the Walton Street shop, which still stocks her ‘hearts’ design bone china.

The heart motif is one that Nina is famed for, with her iconic heart-shaped glasses. Could this be a subconscious revelation of her personality? Her clients would probably say that it was. Nina takes a personal interest in each and every client, paying attention to the slightest detail until everything is exactly as it should be. She specialises in making the client happy. She genuinely cares about getting things right, which is surely the mark of a great designer. 

Silver Heart Shaped Metal Frame Wall Clock

Sophie Robinson

In the time-honoured tradition of success stories, Sophie’s route to fame in the world of interior design was slow, steady, and with a few diversions along the way. 

Graduating from Brighton University in 1997 after studying 3D design, where she learned about plastics, metalwork, woodwork, ceramics and jewellery, she moved to London to join a business growth scheme called Cockpit Arts.

To boost her income, Sophie began helping out with interior design projects, which eventually led to work on the shopping pages of various magazines. 

This experience culminated in a position as a journalist at the BBC Good Homes magazine between 2000 and 2005, a role of which she is rightly proud, and which set her on the path to success as an interior stylist.

The training and experience she received at the BBC, including designing room sets and writing features, built a solid foundation for her eleven-year run as a freelance interior designer. 

Somewhat disconnected from the world of design, Sophie took time out at age 21 to enter the world of professional rally driving! 

However, this exciting interlude didn’t stop her from continuing her career in design, and she soon secured roles in several popular TV design shows. These include 60 minute makeover on ITV, and the BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge and DIY SOS.

Many designers have a chosen style or reflect the trends of the time. Sophie doesn’t allow herself to be limited as to what designs she uses. Her mission is to make designs accessible to everyone, regardless of who they are, to inspire and encourage ordinary people to design their own spaces how they feel they should be and which reflect them as a person. 

From her home in Brighton, which she shares with her husband, Tom, and their son, Sophie juggles her amazingly successful career with family life. She has embraced the future, using Instagram, her blog, and podcasts to share her wealth of knowledge, skill, and experience. If there was an award for Interior Designer for the People, then Sophie Robinson would need to make room for it on her mantlepiece.

Nicky Haslam

Interior design is no stranger to glamour; it comes with the territory. This line of work is bound to attract some larger-than-life characters. 

Nicky Haslam fits this description with ease. Reading his bio is like diving into another world, the type of details you find in glamorous novels. You find references to his skills as a cabaret singer, artist, editor, and book reviewer. He is famed for his sartorial elegance, appearing on GQ and Vanity Fair magazine’s best dressed list.

Born on 27th September 1939, Nicholas Ponsonby Haslam was no stranger to luxury, beauty, and fascinating people. At age 11 he contracted polio and was confined to bed for many months. To pass the time, his parents commissioned an enormous doll’s house to be made, which allowed him to arrange the rooms as he liked, sparking an early passion for design. He was an accomplished artist, even from a young age, and he expanded this talent at Eton. 

His experience of art college, however, totalled only three weeks, before he launched himself into the world. Moving to London, he took residence in a workman’s cottage in Waterloo and enjoyed 1960s life. He eventually joined Vogue magazine, then Vogue in New York, where he collaborated with Andy Warhol.

Then followed a six-year stint as a cowboy on an Arizona ranch, before two further years in Hollywood, before Haslam returned to the UK to decorate a house for Alex Hesketh (3rd Baron Hesketh). 

These are the bare bones, giving a brief glimpse of a life lived to the full. 

Maya 9 Pendant Light

Nicky Haslam built on his reputation, eventually establishing NH Design in the 1980s. Now called Nicky Haslam Studio, this architectural and interior design office combines timeless elegance with contemporary opulence. Each design is infused with the same wit and humour that Haslam exudes. It’s surely the secret of his youthful spirit and appearance, belying the fact that he is in his early eighties.

Haslam’s client list reflects his value as Britain’s ultimate interior designer, and it reads like a who’s who of royalty and rock music. It’s an accomplishment that few have matched before or will be able to match in the future. 

David Linley

Few people may realise that the face behind David Linley, the luxury gift, furniture and interior design company, is none other than the Queen’s nephew, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon. 

Being the son of Anthony Armstrong-Jones and Princess Margaret was always going to cause a stir, which is probably why the name David Linley was chosen, to deflect some of the glamour and restore a sense of calm professionalism.

Obviously, this lofty position afforded him close contact with some of the best quality fixtures, fittings and furniture that money can buy. This may be what inspired his passion for arts and crafts, which he developed while at the exclusive Bedales School in Hampshire. Following his time there he spent two years at Parnham House in Dorset, known as the School for Craftsmen in wood, which gave him a real insight into the traditional skills required for making high-end furniture.

La Rochelle Collection

This love for craftsmanship and bespoke pieces was given an outlet when Viscount Linley bought a workshop in Dorking, where worked for three years, designing and making furniture. Then, in 1985, he launched David Linley Furniture Limited making and selling interior design products, accessories, and bespoke furniture. 

The idea of a royal – the Queen’s nephew, no less – working for a living caused an immediate surge of interest, as one would expect.

However, it’s fair to say that David Linley could have survived on its own merits. The quality of the items is peerless, made by master craftsmen of the highest calibre using ideas created by some of the world’s most respected designers.

The interior design section of the company came about in 2007 due to popular demand from clients. The team works together with each individual client, whether for private or commercial projects, to create a truly unique finish, for chalets, studios, or hotels. Designs can range from metro-chic, to understated luxury, to a perfect balance of traditional and modern styles. No challenge is too great and attention to detail means everything. More recently, the company has shortened its name to Linley. And this name has become a byword for premium-quality design.

Robert Kime

You know immediately what calibre of designer you’re dealing with, when they are described as a ‘royal decorator’. And this is precisely the way Robert Kime is mentioned in most design magazines. 

On top of this enviable title, Robert has received praise from one of those royals: none other than HRH the Prince of Wales, who described his design skills as ‘genius’ following Robert’s redecoration of Clarence House. 

These legendary skills have been refined over the past 50 years, and Robert’s contribution to and influence of British interior design over this time can’t be overstated. It’s a name that’s synonymous with the classic English ‘lived in’ style, effortlessly merging textiles, antiques, curios, and subtle colours, as if they had been there forever, rather than being placed deliberately as part of a design. 

His skill lies in assembling a collection of items that you wouldn’t believe would work together and working his magic so they look as if they were made for each other.

Robert came to the world of interior design by way of the antiques trade. He made a name for himself selling antiques to dons and fellow students while reading Medieval History at Oxford. Prior to this, he left school at 16 to be an archaeologist in Greece, which sparked a fascination for the textiles of those regions that continues to this day.

His main interest was (and still remains) rugs and textiles, because of the stories they contain. He is inspired by history and travel, accumulating a collection of rugs and textiles that have featured heavily in many of his designs. 

Montezuma Rug

At the heart of it all, Robert’s secret is in the simplicity of his ideas. He doesn’t see himself as a designer, but more of an assembler of interesting items. He has the mind of a dealer, rather than a decorator. He and his team have a clear aim when creating designs. Robert wants his rooms to be lived in, not looked at!

This outlook has served him well, as his wonderful designs, as well as his prestigious showrooms in Pimlico and Marlborough, are held in high regard by a client base that spans the globe.

Birdie Fortescue

Like so many eminent British designers, Birdie Fortescue is inspired by global travel. This love for other cultures influences her designs, allowing her to meld classic English ideas with the rich flavours of India, Africa, Eastern Europe and beyond. 

Birdie launched her successful interior design career off the back of an equally successful time dealing in antiques, prior to which she gained a wealth of experience at Colefax & Fowler, the world-renowned interior design company.

In 2014, Birdie bought a warehouse in Burnham Market, Norfolk, from which to sell her antiques. As the space was larger than anticipated, she was inspired to fill the place with contemporary art and homeware. This proved to be a winner, rapidly gaining a faithful band of enthusiastic followers. 

Multicoloured Monkey Wall Art

Four years later, Birdie Fortescue’s eponymous showroom relocated to Fakenham, where it still draws customers. It’s a combination of design studio, shop, and warehouse, keeping the business on an intimate, approachable level, which is exactly how Birdie likes things. She regards this as a small business and feels that it is important for her to play a central role and to take a personal interest in the clients and their needs. 

It’s a one-stop-shop for exquisite homeware and design, mixing old and new, subtle and exotic, and it works beautifully.

Despite Birdie’s strong connection with North Norfolk, she invests heavily in quality craftsmanship from overseas. Her designs aren’t limited by place or time, and can be appreciated by customers of all ages and backgrounds. 

Her company has a strong sense of ethics, driven by Birdie’s own beliefs, including the introduction of measures to reduce its global footprint as well as sourcing textiles and handcrafted items from traditional artisans who are members of cooperatives or small businesses. 

With credentials like these, Birdie Fortescue’s future in design is assured. 

Fiona Barratt

Fiona grew up surrounded by rugged beauty and ancient history in the northwest of England. Both instilled a sense of timelessness and tangible history: nature seems infinite, and the past lives of our ancestors leave traces in the land that we can still experience today. 

Although Fiona’s interior design and architecture businesses are based in London, Northumberland is still deeply ingrained in her heart and soul, and it often emerges in her stunning designs.

Fiona and her multi-disciplinary team have an almost holistic approach to their work. They examine all aspects of the space to discover the best design that maximises the use, location, and all of the elements within it. No detail is too small to be missed, and they use terms like alchemy and vision, adding a real sense of mystique to the process.

The team is deliberately diverse, a truly global enterprise that draws on the best of all worlds to offer a better understanding of the client’s needs. 

And it works fantastically well. 

Fiona Barratt Interiors excels in providing leading-edge contemporary designs that merge bold accent colours with sophisticated neutral textures. Stark symmetrical shapes are offset by complex and detailed finishes. 

Orange Velvet Footstool

Quality is never compromised, and Fiona makes sure of this personally by employing only the best craftsmen from around the world. Her clients would expect nothing less, being used to premium-quality products: many of Fiona’s clients are connected with some of the best luxury hospitality companies in the world. 

Design and architecture are in Fiona’s DNA, as her grandfather was Sir Lawrie Barrat, founder of the property development company, Barratt Homes. He was her mentor and inspiration, influencing her decision to study design at the Chelsea College of art and the Parson School of design, New York. In 2006 she launched Fiona Barratt Interiors, and since then has earned recognition as one of the country’s foremost designers.  

This is a rare and commendable achievement for someone who has only 17 years experience in the interior design business.

Studio Ashby

Some of the best British interior designers of recent times have achieved success by combining the old with the new, and Studio Ashby definitely has a place among them, despite only being established in 2014.

Studio Ashby, under the guidance of creative director Sophie Ashby, avoids being pinned down by the fads and whims of passing fashions, carving its own style and sense of authenticity on each space it transforms. 

And, once again, like some of our best designers, Sophie has a background in antiques, as well as a BA in Art History (Hons) from Leeds University. 

Each design draws on Sophie’s love of antiques, contemporary art, photography, and a whole eclectic mix of fascinating objects. Not everyone can combine these things successfully, and it takes a practised and skillful eye to achieve a pleasing balance. This is definitely an area in which Sophie and Studio Ashby excel. 

Art takes a central role in each design, as Sophie strongly believes that it completes a space, and looking at Studio Ashby’s body of work, it’s hard to disagree with this sentiment.

Another idea that sits at the heart of Studio Ashby’s ethos is the strong connection and good working relationship with the artisans and craftsmen who supply the exquisitely crafted items that feature in the designs. At Studio Ashby, integrity is everything.

This ideal extends to the relationship with each client, with an in-depth consultation to discover what inspires and moves them. The space, whether in a home, restaurant, commercial setting, or a hotel, is for people to use and inhabit. Studio Ashby takes the client’s inspirations to create a design that fulfils their desires, using a combination of clever lighting, art, and furniture, set against a natural palette of textures and finishes.

Stellan Faux Fur Throw Ochre

This approach has earned Studio Ashby a host of accolades, including a listing among the House & Garden top 100 Interior Designers in 2018.

Fran Hickman

Interior designers use a variety of approaches and ideas to create their designs, but each one has a central theme: the relationship between people and the spaces they use. 

Fran Hickman and her team of highly qualified designers, based in London and New York, take this a step further. They firmly believe that a well-designed space can change the way people behave within them. It’s all about feeling.

The aim is to create a design that enhances the social aspect of any space, wherever it may be. Whether a luxury hotel, a private residence, a modern office, or an upmarket fashion boutique, good design can influence people’s behaviour for the better. Make the space special, and people will feel special within them. 

Ottinge 2 Drawer Desk

Fran’s vision and drive were inspired in part by her childhood. As one of six siblings in a Kensington townhouse, she sensed the need for a well-planned personal space keenly. There was noise, clutter, people all around, and this drove Fran to examine the relationship between people and the spaces they inhabit. She realised that spaces have a story to tell.

For Fran, good design isn’t really about things, but the materials. And these materials, with their varying textures and colours, are tailored to suit the locale, environment, and personal history of each client. 

There’s a touch of zen about these designs, as each and every aspect is deliberately placed as part of the overall design in perfect balance and harmony. It enhances the mood and lifts the spirit. 

It’s a brave approach to interior design, with the implicit suggestion that these spaces can improve the lives of those who use them, even to the point of making them happier and healthier.

Does it really work? The astonishing success of Fran Hickman Design & Interiors since its establishment in 2014 suggests that it surely does!

Laura Hammett

Born into a family of artists, Laura was acquainted with creativity, colour and beautiful designs from an early age. But it wasn’t until her teenage years that she was exposed to the concept of interior architecture while visiting a family friend in France. 

This place, the house of an architect, had a profound effect on her, firing a creative desire that is still evident today. 

After graduating in Interior Design at Brighton University, Laura immediately secured a role at the illustrious interior design agency, Godrich, where she was immersed in the world of high-end interior design, mostly involving the homes of celebrities and VIPs.

This formative experience was followed by an equally exciting period with Suzy Hoodless, after which Laura opened an online boutique called Echo Interiors in 2007, selling luxury homewares and speciality handcrafted items. 

A year later, Laura teamed up with husband, Aaron, to launch Laura Hammett interior design studio, to create some of the finest bespoke designs available. 

When pushed to describe her individual style, Laura would probably say that it is classic contemporary. But what concerns Laura most is the ability to adapt and evolve as a designer. This is essential, as it not only keeps ideas fresh and exciting, but it also helps to gain the advantage over less adventurous competitors. As Laura has admitted, it’s a saturated market – if you don’t stand out from the crowd, you’ll be overlooked.

Daxton Wingback Chair

Laura Hammett interior design shows no danger of this happening, so it seems that this philosophy is working. With a seriously impressive portfolio of successful designs in such diverse places as Belgravia, Bangalore, The Isle of Man, New York, the Bahamas, and the South of France, Laura’s position as one of the UK’s best interior designers is secure.

One example of Laura’s visionary outlook is that she has embraced the current challenges of the day, seeing the need to rethink how we use our living spaces due to the pandemic, as well as becoming involved in a charity called United in Design, which tackles the lack of diversity in the design industry. Such thinking, for someone so deeply involved in the world of luxury interiors, is a testament to her character and humanity.

Finchatton

It takes a special company to stay at the top for ten years in the world of interior design. Finchatton has achieved this twice over, with 2021 marking two decades of truly exceptional designs. 

Founders Alex Michelin and Andrew Dunn are famed for their revolutionary outlook, always striving to push beyond the boundaries of convention. They have evolved a distinctive style that is both sophisticated and timeless, and at the same time elegant and modern. 

When you study Finchatton’s superbly impressive portfolio of the last twenty years, including 75 private projects and more than 60 development projects around the globe, one fact becomes abundantly clear: there is never any compromise on the quality of the materials or craftsmanship.

Responsibility for these projects is divided between the two wings of the company, Finchatton Residences and Finchatton Private. Both rely not only on Alex and Andrew’s guidance and leadership, but each has a highly-qualified and experienced team of designers and architects that liaises with discerning clients worldwide to consistently provide astonishingly excellent designs. 

Unlike some luxury brands, this is not opulence for its own sake. These designs celebrate excellence of craftsmanship using only the very best materials, but they retain a sense of functionality: these are spaces to be enjoyed and lived in. 

In Finchatton’s own words, it has a signature trademark of ‘effortless elegance and timeless modernity’. And when you see Andrew and Alex’s most recent London developments, at The Whitely, and Twenty Grosvenor Square, you have to agree.

Venetian Mirrored Console Table

Taylor Howes

When a company fosters a culture among its staff based around the mantra, be passionate, be kind, be honest, you instinctively know that you’re dealing with something very special. 

This is precisely how Taylor Howes is run, from its base in Knightsbridge. The staff are encouraged to be passionate in all they do, to be honest in what they deliver to the client, and to be kind in their dealings with colleagues and clients alike.

And when you see the studios themselves, you immediately realise that this is no idle boast. It may well be that the premises hold some leftover ambience and spirit of the previous occupiers, as this was the old Aston Martin showroom. Whether this is true or not, the Taylor Howes HQ exudes class and quality. 

In its own philosophy, the company uses the term quiet glamour to describe its designs. This is evident in the decor and interior architecture of the Taylor Howes studios. There’s a distinct air of elegance and symmetry, alongside understated luxury with no hint of pretentiousness.

Founder and CEO Karen Howes is very much the driving force at the heart of the company, and has guided it towards its place as one of Britain’s most highly respected interior design studios of modern times. Karen’s talent lies in combining her business acumen with her design skills. This has enabled her to raise Taylor Howes to its enviable position, as well as establishing the award-winning th2 Designs based in Chelsea Harbour.

Karen’s warm nature and generosity of spirit match her passion and drive for entrepreneurship and interior design, as proven by her brainchild called Business of Design. She established this forum specifically for design-led businesses to meet in order to collaborate with a view to exchanging ideas, all with the aim of advancing each other’s knowledge. 

Taylor Howes has won multiple awards since being established in 1993, and continues to thrive. Each design re-imagines the space with the aim of breaking down barriers to a better life. To sum it up in its own words, Taylor Howes aims to create ‘true design for living’.

Helen Green

Founded in 2002, Helen Green Design is one of the most highly regarded interior design studios in the UK, showcasing the best of British luxury design and craftsmanship right around the globe.

The aim is to produce designs that are luxurious but livable, and the company’s extensive portfolio certainly proves this beyond doubt. With a focus primarily on the best of British, Helen Green Design proudly sources all of its materials from the UK, using the highest calibre artisans and specialists.

After a decade of well-deserved success, and having put the studio firmly at the heart of British interior design, Helen tragically passed away in 2012. 

Rather than signalling the end of the studio, Helen’s legacy drove her passionate and dedicated team to continue to produce exceptional designs. 

Although the focus is firmly on interior design and interior architecture, this studio has extended its work to offer comprehensive turnkey solutions, providing a complete service from the basic concept right through to the finished article. 

Helen Green British Interior Design

It’s no cliché to say that Helen’s spirit lives on through the sophisticated and elegant designs created by her team. 

Helen’s family also set up a foundation in her name, knowing how passionate she was about inspiring young people on the subject of design. This foundation offers bursaries and training to help aspiring young designers to fulfill their dreams. 

Although Helen Green Design was acquired by the Rigby group in 2017, and is now a founding member of Allect, now one of the foremost names in luxury design worldwide, Helen remains a strong influence on the team, having imparted her considerable talents, wisdom, and integrity. It’s a name that will be respected for many decades to come.

Oliver Burns

There’s a fair amount of competition in the world of luxury interior design. Each studio has its own qualities, seeking to give them the edge over the others.

Oliver Burns, founded in 2004 by Joe Burns and Sharon Lilywhite, has found that edge in the concept of thoughtful luxury.

Where other studios offer beautiful, stunning designs, Oliver Burns offers nothing less than perfection.

Luxury underpins every aspect of its processes, with each element perfectly balanced. Aesthetics and functionality are expertly blended to provide the ultimate in modern, luxury, super-prime living spaces.

Adagio 9 Pendant Light

What’s even more impressive is that the Oliver Burns Studio doesn’t just focus on the modern day. Many of its commissions deal with listed or heritage buildings, and the designs preserve and restore the integrity of these properties sensitively, with a precision that is second to none.

Each building is dealt with as a whole, within its location and with respect to its heritage. And each client has a single point of contact, from start to finish. Treating the client as a creative partner has great appeal, proving to be extremely popular among Oliver Burns’ discerning customer base. 

As testament to this, many of these clients have developed long-term relationships with the studio, involving projects in some of the most exclusive London postcodes, as well as high-end commercial enterprises. 

Oliver Burns Studio doesn’t strive for perfection, it delivers it without apparent effort. You just know that there’s a tremendous amount of hard work going on behind the scenes, but as a client all you see is the exquisite result – thoughtfully designed, thoughtfully built, and thoughtfully finished. 

Turner Pocock

Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock established the Turner Pocock studio in 2007, and within a few years it was clear that they were destined for great things. By 2012 they were included in the House & Garden Top 100 interior designers, where they have remained since.

Further accolades followed, such as the International Design & Architecture Award 2017 and the Country and Townhouse Finest 50 Interior Designers.

They have achieved all this chiefly because of an apparent superpower: listening.

This is always the first step in any consultation, and it is of paramount importance to Emma and Bunny as it helps them to fully understand what is required of them.

Every aspect is considered, from aesthetics to the client’s lifestyle. Floorplans are discussed and decided upon, then the whole brief is taken back to the Turner Pocock team where it is made into reality.

Aside from listening, Bunny and Emma pride themselves on keeping deadlines. To them, Turner Pocock is all about delivering dreams. Each client has a dream lifestyle that they aspire to, and Turner Pocock is the studio who can make it happen.

Nothing is left to chance, and the team, including the two founders, oversee the tiniest detail in order to ensure that the client has a completely stress-free experience from start to finish.

Emma and Bunny personally handle quality control, making sure that everything is finished to their exacting standards. 

To keep those standards high, Turner Pocock collaborates with some of the best names in British design, including Lorfords, famous for its superbly crafted furniture. Each company that Turner Pocock partners with shares its values and ethos when it comes to rigorous design, as well as having sustainability in mind

Reclaimed Wood Hallway Console Table

Behind the scenes is where all the hard word takes place, as the team translates the client’s wishes into a completed design with apparent ease. 

This is all part of the illusion, as the Turner Pocock Studio likes to keep things as simple as possible for the client. Its aim is to help the client live better in their home.

From the looks of its seriously impressive portfolio, with projects in prestigious London addresses to a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva, it looks as if they’re doing just that.

Veere Grenney

If you want a perfect example of the determination to succeed and of the phrase work your way to the top, then you couldn’t do much better than to look at the life of Veere Grenney.

Leaving his native New Zealand in the 1970s, he made his way to London, mostly on foot. After a short stay in Tangier, he returned to London and opened a stall on Portobello road, selling items he bought with his earnings as a waiter.

He soon upgraded to a small shop, selling any ‘charming or decorative’ items he could afford.

His big break came when he was offered a job by Mary Fox Linton, the Grande Dame of English interior design. He was tasked with combining contemporary furniture with antiques so that they could be incorporated into Mary’s designs that were considered quite shocking at the time. 

Veere regards this seven year apprenticeship as the foundation of his own considerable skills, and it was during this time that he gained an understanding of how to transfer a love of beauty and ‘things’, such as fabrics, furniture and other items, into a functioning living space for grown ups.

Bakersfield White Antique French Style Fabric Bed

In 1991, at age 40, Veere was offered the position of director at Colefax and Fowler, legends in British design, where he gained further valuable experience before setting out on his own.

Since that time, Veere Grenney Associates has gone from strength to strength, appearing in most ‘top designer’ lists. His style is unique, timeless, elegant, mixing classical and contemporary elements effortlessly. 

If Veere has a secret to the success of his designs, it’s that he always includes an element of surprise. He also believes that being in London helps, as it is one the great melting pots of the design world, if not the world design capital.

With completed projects in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Mustique, Oxfordshire, and even Wyoming, USA, Veere Grenney Associates has proven that it can deliver what it promises: luxury homes that are exciting, but above all comfortable and liveable.

Jeffreys

The world of luxury interior design can sometimes seem a serious and humourless place. It’s not that people are exactly miserable, but the focus and drive can be intense, with the stress on delivering the optimum experience to discerning clients, who, after all, have parted with a good deal of money for the privilege.

So when you encounter a studio like Jeffreys Interiors, it’s like a breath of fresh Highland air.

The fact that Jeffreys is Edinburgh based also adds another dimension, as most of our premium British interior designers have their studios in London. 

A quick glance at its portfolio highlights the broad range of styles it creates, from the sumptuous to the downright eccentric. It’s a catalogue of off the wall thinking that appeals to a broad range of tastes. In fact, it suggests that Jeffreys would be able to tackle any project that it’s clients came up with.

There’s a sense of lightness and fun in the wording on its website that suggests that the team are friendly and approachable. At the same time, there’s an air of confidence that reassures you that these designers really can deliver on their promises.

Highland Cow Silver Frame Wall Art

Founded in 2006, Jeffreys relies on the impressive skills of its youthful ten-strong team to translate the client’s ideas into a workable solution. 

Jefferys works on the principle of your taste, our talent, and it’s served them well so far. 

Interviews with the team throw out some interesting phrases that capture the essence of Jeffreys Interiors perfectly. For example, they like to include a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ element in their designs, indicating a sense of playfulness. They also boast about being ‘unashamedly pedantic’ in their attempts to get it just right. 

In the end, it’s all about pleasing the client and providing a comfortable living space to be proud of, without making any compromises. Jeffreys Interiors strives to match its designs to your lifestyle, personality and home. 

And the fact that the team does this with lightness and a sense of humour makes them all the more appealing.

Janine Stone

Some of the best British interior designers of recent times have built their success on a simple foundation. 

Janine Stone & Co. is founded on the principle that its designs shape a family’s quality of life, and this fact drives the company towards excellence in every detail.

Another aspect in the extraordinary success of Janine Stone & Co. is that it is managed and run by husband and wife team, Janine and Gideon Stone. 

With Gideon as Managing Director and Janine as Creative Director, they are an unstoppable force in complete interior design and architecture.

From the very conception of an idea, right through to the finished article, Janine Stone & Co. handles everything. Collaboration is key to delivering on time, with each different discipline (including architecture, construction, planning permission, and dealing with listed buildings) integrated into a system that takes its responsibilities seriously. 

Janine credits her Lebanese roots as part of the inspiration for her unique designs, all starting with a memory of the fabrics in her mother’s dress shop. The colour and culture of Lebanon is infused in many of her creations, and she fosters a love for her place of birth, although she sees England as her home these days.

Knowing that a career in creative arts was something she wanted, Janine spent time as a TV and film makeup artist. During this time, she undertook small interior design projects, and soon word spread about her obvious talents. With a mother who designed couture clothes and a father who was an interior designer, it seems that creativity was in her DNA. 

Janine has certainly used this to become one of the foremost British designers of the times, with an enviable list of projects worldwide since founding the company in 1987.

Despite the numerous accolades and plaudits for her work, Janine remains refreshingly humble and grateful, seeking always to give something back to the career that has given her so much. One way she has done so is through setting up the Young Interior Designers Award in 2011 to build bridges between the best interior design companies and emerging new talent. 

Kris Turnbull

As with all the best British designers, there’s no such thing as a ‘house style’ with Kris Turnbull. It’s tempting to see the company as having a split personality, as the catalogue of completed projects speaks of grace, elegance, and grandeur. From Georgian estates to Victorian townhouses, Belle Époque apartments to historic manor houses, Kris Turnbull Design Studio positions itself as a serious player in the world of luxury interior design. There’s an air of sophisticated maturity to the finished product, as if the company had been founded forty years ago rather than fourteen.

And then there’s the studio showroom itself, set within a converted church in Belfast, which is unlike anything else in the country. When it comes to what’s on offer, the words ‘And now for something completely different’ come to mind.

It’s a truly astonishing treat for the senses, a vast array of furniture, textures, fabrics, lighting and accessories in stunning contemporary design. It’s youthful but timeless, sophisticated but fun. 

Puro Stone Collection

It’s precisely what Kris Turnbull is all about. 

The list of supplier names reads like a who’s who of quality design; Dedar, Rubelli, Pierre Frey, and Julian Chichester, to name but a handful.

At the heart of it all is Kris Turnbull himself, driving the company forward with enthusiasm and style. Kris graduated from the University of Ulster in 2002 before completing a Business Education Initiative at Belhaven University in Mississippi. 

Kris has moulded the studio around his desire to create designs that reflect the client’s own personality. He is enthusiastic about each and every project and the diverse nature of the clients he works with. Even after more than a decade in the business, Kris still feels a sense of excitement at the prospect of a new design. 

This passion is surely a key to continued success, and the name Kris Turnbull is sure to be at the pinnacle of British interior design for a long time to come. 

The following post The Best of British Interior Designers in the UK was first published on https://homesdirect365.co.uk



Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

20 romantic bedroom ideas for her

Your bedroom is your sanctuary. It is the place where you can relax and unwind after a long day and it is the place where you get ready and really want to feel at your best. Romantic can mean different things to different people but whatever your style there is a romantic bedroom theme out there for you. Whether the romantic mood is for you to relax in with a partner or whether you want it to be romantic just for you, then check out our 20 romantic bedroom ideas for her.

1) Use dark colours with pink detailing

If sickly sweet florals aren’t your bag, you can still give your bedroom a romantic feel. By painting the walls a dark colour but adding pink elements throughout the room, such as cushions or throws, your bedroom can be romantic but still chic.

Bedroom with Pink Detail

2) Bring the garden inside

There are very few things more romantic than flowers. But you don’t have to limit yourself to floral patterns. By adding these gorgeous twig and flower pieces, you can give your bedroom the dreamy romantic feel of a beautiful painting.

White Wedding Tree

3) Layer soft furnishings

Playing with different textures and layering them can make your bedroom inviting and romantic. Don’t limit yourself to just a duvet and a set of pillows, layer over a gorgeous knitted throw, add some velvety cushions, dot soft furnishings and feathers around the rest of the room.

Knitted Pom Pom Chenille Throw Cream

4) Put up some fairy lights

There is nothing that is quite as much of a mood killer as harsh lighting. Not only does it make it difficult to relax, but it can also make you feel self-conscious. Fairy lights are the perfect solution. They provide lovely, soft, warm lighting but they also themselves add a magical and whimsical feel to the room.

Fairy Lights in Cosy Bedroom

5) Give yourself a dreamy four-poster look

If you already have a four-poster bed, you already know how much of a romantic element it adds to your room. They create a room-within-a-room, which feels private, cosy, and romantic. If you don’t have a four-poster bed, you can still create the same feel by using draping. The bonus of doing it this way is it means that you don’t have quite as much heavy furniture in the room, making it lighter overall.

Lincoln Four Poster Antique French Style Bed

6) Lie down under the stars

We’ve all seen those scenes in romantic films where the couple lies down on the grass and gaze at the stars. It would be a bit cold to do that every night, but you can bring that feel to your bedroom by creating a starry night on your ceiling. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to look childlike! As you can see in this bedroom, it really can be made classy, especially if you pair it with some sophisticated styling elsewhere.

Romantic Bedroom with Starry Ceiling

7) Add a chandelier

Add an extra element of classy romance to your bedroom by hanging a chandelier. Chandeliers make us think of luxury and decadence and bringing that feeling into your bedroom can make you feel luxurious and decadent yourself. There is a huge range of styles to choose from, so finding one to fit the rest of your scheme isn’t too difficult at all.

Vienna Chandelier

8) Make your bedroom soft and fluffy

No one wants real fur, of course, but bringing in fake fur and fluffy pieces into your bedroom can make it soft, cosy, and romantic. Go as over the top as you like! You can have a fluffy rug, and a fluffy throw, and fluffy pillows, and a fluffy headboard, and even a fluffy chandelier. You will just want to sink into your bedroom and be in a world of comfort.

White and Gold Metal Stool

9) Make your lighting interesting

When you dim the lights, you still want your bedroom to look as romantic and beautiful as it does in the day time. Using some clever light shades that cast beautiful light patterns around your room can be a really good option to bring the romantic elements into the night-time. It can almost feel like sitting in candlelight, which we all know is about as romantic as you can get.

Endon Stellar Touch Table Lamp

10) Add a fireplace

Curling up in front of a roaring fire is such a romantic thing to do, and bringing that element to your bedroom means that you can have that romantic setting every night of the week. You don’t need to have a real fire in your bedroom to achieve the same feel, though. There are lots of electric fireplaces that feel exactly the same as a real fire but without all the maintenance and soot!

Mirrored Fire Surround With Electric Fire Insert

11) Treat yourself to satin sheets

If you have ever slept on satin sheets, you will know that their silky softness just screams romance. Cotton sheets can be lovely and comfortable but nothing makes you feel more luxurious and gorgeous than slipping into some satin sheets. And they just look so chic. If you want your romantic bedroom to be chic rather than fluffy, opting for satin sheets is definitely the way to go.

Double Bed with Satin Sheets

12) Make your bedroom moody floral

Moody floral is a thing, and it really is a stunning look for your bedroom. By pairing florals with a dark colour scheme you can make your bedroom doubly romantic. The dark colours mean that your bedroom feels less harsh and bright and the florals make it feminine and pretty. Really the best of both worlds!

Dark Walled Bedroom with Floral Ceiling

13) Add some metallic elements

Just like with satin sheets, adding some metallic elements to your bedroom can really give it that luxurious and chic feel, while still keeping the overall look romantic. Every time you go into your bedroom, you will feel just like a movie star!

Sunburst Round Wall Mirror

14) Use dark pinks and reds

If you want your bedroom to really feel like a boudoir, you could add some dark pinks and reds. They are, after all, the colours of romance and, even better, they will make you feel like some gorgeous unattainable woman. And we all need to feel like that sometimes!

Red Antique French Style Throne Chair

15) Flowers, flowers, flowers

The cottage bedroom is all romance. The sort of romance that you would read about in a Jane Austen novel. Layer flowers, upon flowers, upon flowers, paired with light colours and creams. Your bedroom will feel pretty, light, and romantic.

Bedroom Full of Flowers

16) Bring the beach to your bedroom

There is something so special about spending a romantic day at the beach, or even better a romantic beach holiday. Unfortunately, real-life gets in the way with most of us and going to the beach has to be an occasional treat. If you want to add that romantic beach feel to your bedroom, you can bring in elements of rattan, driftwood, and bright whites and tan colours. That way you can be on a beach holiday every time you lie down in bed.

Driftwood Wall Art Extra Large Heart

17) Add some French chic

As we all know, French is the language of love. And the effortless chic of French style decor in your bedroom will make it super romantic. Lots of white, cottage elements, and some gorgeous flowers will transform your bedroom into the French countryside.

Shabby Chic Decor

18) Choose a beautiful mirror

Mirrors are such an important part of your bedroom style. They add extra light, make the room look bigger, and give you a lovely space to get yourself ready. Choosing the right mirror to fit into your romantic bedroom style is so important because it really can be the focal point of the room.

Full Length Mirror In Cream The Elizabeth Floor Standing Mirror

19) Pick out some romantic artwork

There are some absolutely gorgeous art pieces out there that can really bring your romantic bedroom to life. You can use your artwork to set the scene, bring together your colour palette, or even include some inspirational quotes to get you in a romantic frame of mind.

Framed Paris Wall Art

20) Find your perfect bed

It’s no good getting the rest of your bedroom absolutely perfect if you neglect the single most important feature in the room – your bed. The bed is where you’ll be spending most of your time while you’re in your bedroom and it will be the largest piece of furniture, so it is so important that you find the perfect one for you. Of course, you will need to think of practical things like how comfortable it is, but there are so many options out there for bed styles that you will definitely be able to find one that fits in beautifully with the rest of your bedroom scheme.

Estelle Antique French Style Bed

The bottom line

Choosing a romantic theme for your bedroom is such a good idea. It’s the room in your house where you will want to feel at your best, relaxed, and beautiful. So making the space convey all of those elements will absolutely help you to feel that way yourself. And the best part of it that there are so many different types of romantic styles for you to choose from that can fit in with any taste and preferences. Whether you’re obsessed with flowers or super chic, you can find a romantic bedroom that is perfect for you.

The post 20 romantic bedroom ideas for her Find more on: Homes Direct365 Furniture

Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

20 romantic bedroom ideas for her

Your bedroom is your sanctuary. It is the place where you can relax and unwind after a long day and it is the place where you get ready and really want to feel at your best. Romantic can mean different things to different people but whatever your style there is a romantic bedroom theme out there for you. Whether the romantic mood is for you to relax in with a partner or whether you want it to be romantic just for you, then check out our 20 romantic bedroom ideas for her.

1) Use dark colours with pink detailing

If sickly sweet florals aren’t your bag, you can still give your bedroom a romantic feel. By painting the walls a dark colour but adding pink elements throughout the room, such as cushions or throws, your bedroom can be romantic but still chic.

Bedroom with Pink Detail

2) Bring the garden inside

There are very few things more romantic than flowers. But you don’t have to limit yourself to floral patterns. By adding these gorgeous twig and flower pieces, you can give your bedroom the dreamy romantic feel of a beautiful painting.

White Wedding Tree

3) Layer soft furnishings

Playing with different textures and layering them can make your bedroom inviting and romantic. Don’t limit yourself to just a duvet and a set of pillows, layer over a gorgeous knitted throw, add some velvety cushions, dot soft furnishings and feathers around the rest of the room.

Knitted Pom Pom Chenille Throw Cream

4) Put up some fairy lights

There is nothing that is quite as much of a mood killer as harsh lighting. Not only does it make it difficult to relax, but it can also make you feel self-conscious. Fairy lights are the perfect solution. They provide lovely, soft, warm lighting but they also themselves add a magical and whimsical feel to the room.

Fairy Lights in Cosy Bedroom

5) Give yourself a dreamy four-poster look

If you already have a four-poster bed, you already know how much of a romantic element it adds to your room. They create a room-within-a-room, which feels private, cosy, and romantic. If you don’t have a four-poster bed, you can still create the same feel by using draping. The bonus of doing it this way is it means that you don’t have quite as much heavy furniture in the room, making it lighter overall.

Lincoln Four Poster Antique French Style Bed

6) Lie down under the stars

We’ve all seen those scenes in romantic films where the couple lies down on the grass and gaze at the stars. It would be a bit cold to do that every night, but you can bring that feel to your bedroom by creating a starry night on your ceiling. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to look childlike! As you can see in this bedroom, it really can be made classy, especially if you pair it with some sophisticated styling elsewhere.

Romantic Bedroom with Starry Ceiling

7) Add a chandelier

Add an extra element of classy romance to your bedroom by hanging a chandelier. Chandeliers make us think of luxury and decadence and bringing that feeling into your bedroom can make you feel luxurious and decadent yourself. There is a huge range of styles to choose from, so finding one to fit the rest of your scheme isn’t too difficult at all.

Vienna Chandelier

8) Make your bedroom soft and fluffy

No one wants real fur, of course, but bringing in fake fur and fluffy pieces into your bedroom can make it soft, cosy, and romantic. Go as over the top as you like! You can have a fluffy rug, and a fluffy throw, and fluffy pillows, and a fluffy headboard, and even a fluffy chandelier. You will just want to sink into your bedroom and be in a world of comfort.

White and Gold Metal Stool

9) Make your lighting interesting

When you dim the lights, you still want your bedroom to look as romantic and beautiful as it does in the day time. Using some clever light shades that cast beautiful light patterns around your room can be a really good option to bring the romantic elements into the night-time. It can almost feel like sitting in candlelight, which we all know is about as romantic as you can get.

Endon Stellar Touch Table Lamp

10) Add a fireplace

Curling up in front of a roaring fire is such a romantic thing to do, and bringing that element to your bedroom means that you can have that romantic setting every night of the week. You don’t need to have a real fire in your bedroom to achieve the same feel, though. There are lots of electric fireplaces that feel exactly the same as a real fire but without all the maintenance and soot!

Mirrored Fire Surround With Electric Fire Insert

11) Treat yourself to satin sheets

If you have ever slept on satin sheets, you will know that their silky softness just screams romance. Cotton sheets can be lovely and comfortable but nothing makes you feel more luxurious and gorgeous than slipping into some satin sheets. And they just look so chic. If you want your romantic bedroom to be chic rather than fluffy, opting for satin sheets is definitely the way to go.

Double Bed with Satin Sheets

12) Make your bedroom moody floral

Moody floral is a thing, and it really is a stunning look for your bedroom. By pairing florals with a dark colour scheme you can make your bedroom doubly romantic. The dark colours mean that your bedroom feels less harsh and bright and the florals make it feminine and pretty. Really the best of both worlds!

Dark Walled Bedroom with Floral Ceiling

13) Add some metallic elements

Just like with satin sheets, adding some metallic elements to your bedroom can really give it that luxurious and chic feel, while still keeping the overall look romantic. Every time you go into your bedroom, you will feel just like a movie star!

Sunburst Round Wall Mirror

14) Use dark pinks and reds

If you want your bedroom to really feel like a boudoir, you could add some dark pinks and reds. They are, after all, the colours of romance and, even better, they will make you feel like some gorgeous unattainable woman. And we all need to feel like that sometimes!

Red Antique French Style Throne Chair

15) Flowers, flowers, flowers

The cottage bedroom is all romance. The sort of romance that you would read about in a Jane Austen novel. Layer flowers, upon flowers, upon flowers, paired with light colours and creams. Your bedroom will feel pretty, light, and romantic.

Bedroom Full of Flowers

16) Bring the beach to your bedroom

There is something so special about spending a romantic day at the beach, or even better a romantic beach holiday. Unfortunately, real-life gets in the way with most of us and going to the beach has to be an occasional treat. If you want to add that romantic beach feel to your bedroom, you can bring in elements of rattan, driftwood, and bright whites and tan colours. That way you can be on a beach holiday every time you lie down in bed.

Driftwood Wall Art Extra Large Heart

17) Add some French chic

As we all know, French is the language of love. And the effortless chic of French style decor in your bedroom will make it super romantic. Lots of white, cottage elements, and some gorgeous flowers will transform your bedroom into the French countryside.

Shabby Chic Decor

18) Choose a beautiful mirror

Mirrors are such an important part of your bedroom style. They add extra light, make the room look bigger, and give you a lovely space to get yourself ready. Choosing the right mirror to fit into your romantic bedroom style is so important because it really can be the focal point of the room.

Full Length Mirror In Cream The Elizabeth Floor Standing Mirror

19) Pick out some romantic artwork

There are some absolutely gorgeous art pieces out there that can really bring your romantic bedroom to life. You can use your artwork to set the scene, bring together your colour palette, or even include some inspirational quotes to get you in a romantic frame of mind.

Framed Paris Wall Art

20) Find your perfect bed

It’s no good getting the rest of your bedroom absolutely perfect if you neglect the single most important feature in the room – your bed. The bed is where you’ll be spending most of your time while you’re in your bedroom and it will be the largest piece of furniture, so it is so important that you find the perfect one for you. Of course, you will need to think of practical things like how comfortable it is, but there are so many options out there for bed styles that you will definitely be able to find one that fits in beautifully with the rest of your bedroom scheme.

Estelle Antique French Style Bed

The bottom line

Choosing a romantic theme for your bedroom is such a good idea. It’s the room in your house where you will want to feel at your best, relaxed, and beautiful. So making the space convey all of those elements will absolutely help you to feel that way yourself. And the best part of it that there are so many different types of romantic styles for you to choose from that can fit in with any taste and preferences. Whether you’re obsessed with flowers or super chic, you can find a romantic bedroom that is perfect for you.

20 romantic bedroom ideas for her Read more on: http://www.homesdirect365.co.uk



Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

Ottoman, Hassock, Footstool, or Pouf?

When it comes to getting your home looking great, there’s nothing like accessories to add flair and style. But finding the right piece to fit your design and budget can be a challenge. Take your living room, for example. Everything is in place; you’re happy with the main furniture, the drapes, curtains, or blinds. The paintwork or wallpaper looks stunning. The flooring is perfect, whether rug, carpet, wood, or tile. But it feels like there’s something lacking. An open space in the central area that could do with something to fill it. So, what should you buy that will complete the look?

Something that won’t detract from the design you’ve cultivated. Something practical, yet stylish. Perhaps you have a coffee table already, but there’s a sense that the space around it doesn’t flow as well as it should. It may be that you are looking for more comfort, perhaps a footrest of some kind. And here’s where you might need some assistance. Do you go for a footstool, an ottoman, a pouf, or a hassock? Are all these one and the same? Maybe to some people. So let’s try to bring some clarity to the issue.

highgrove storage ottoman

Highgrove Storage Ottoman

round deep buttoned fabric pouffe

Round Deep Buttoned Fabric Pouffe

grey buffalo hassock pouffe

Grey Buffalo hassock Pouffe

A rose by any other name…

‘What’s in a name?’ as they say. Wouldn’t
it be great if we all called things by the same name? Well, it might be
simpler, but maybe a little dull. But that doesn’t help when it comes to making
choices when buying things – like furniture. Consider your couch. Or your sofa.
Or your chaise longe. Maybe you call it a settee, or even a settle?
These are basically the same thing, but sometimes with subtle differences. It
all comes down to things like locality, upbringing, and even culture.

When choosing an accessory on which to
place your feet whilst sitting in your favorite seat, the name can be
important. You might look for a footstool, but is that what you really wanted?
What about an ottoman? How many people would consider a hassock or a pouf? And
do you know the difference?

To some, this might not be an issue. But to
the sensible, discerning buyer who really cares, and wants their home to look
the best it can, this does matter.

If you’re one of those people, then this
guide is for you.

ottoman storage boxes

The Liberty Collection Set Of Two Blanket Boxes / Ottomans

The Ottoman

A rather grand-sounding name for what is
essentially a storage box. Taking its name from the mighty empire that ruled
vast areas of Europe, Asia, and North Africa for about 600 years, this was
originally a wooden platform covered with large, soft cushions. They had no
arms or back and formed the main seating area within the home – very different
from the idea of seating in the west. Its exotic appearance appealed to the
‘civilized’ westerners who came across it, taking the idea back home with them.
As the trend spread westward, the design evolved to suit more European tastes.

This type of seating was often found in
clubs, museums, and other public spaces, often set around poles or pillars.
Some examples had a central arm that divided the seat in half or a recess in
which plants could be set. Over the course of the 19th-century people began to
experiment with the shape, introducing circular or octagonal ottomans. As with
most fashions and trends, they became a ‘must-have’ for anyone who was anyone.
This is nicely illustrated by the fact that the very first mention of an
ottoman in the English language was written by none other than the 3rd American
president, Thomas Jefferson.

This furniture accessory was often set in
the bedroom, where it served as a handy place to store linen as well as
creating a ‘lounge’ space. Unhelpfully, because these tended to be larger items
of furniture used for storage, the name then came to describe plain wooden
chests – especially in the British Isles.

These days, however, an ottoman is
generally regarded as a small, rectangular, fully-upholstered stool with a
hinged lid. They are hollow, allowing for storage, but usually strong enough to
be sat on. Most are covered completely and are over-stuffed, and they can come
with or without legs.

large square velvet ottoman

Large Square Velvet Ottoman

Should I buy an ottoman?

If you want something rigid, practical, and
that is completely upholstered, then this could be what you are looking for.
The range is immense, and quality (as with most things) differs greatly. But
there are many hundreds of beautiful examples to choose from. They can be on
the heavy side but are basically portable – but take care when it is full! Some
furniture suites include a matching ottoman. but sometimes a deliberate
difference in fabric adds a touch of sophistication.

While it can be used as a footstool, it is
better used as extra seating. Some people place a tray on top so that it
doubles as a coffee table. While this is handy, you’d need to be certain that
it is secure enough not to cause a hazard.

Obviously, the more it is used, the more
likely it will wear out over time. Re-upholstery can be on the expensive side –
even more so if you need it to match your other fabrics.

If you select one that has feet or legs,
take care when positioning it within your home. If set within a ‘high-traffic’
area, there is a good chance that someone will stub a toe on that solid wood.
And if it has already been filled it will be heavier, adding to the pain of the
encounter.

blue buffalo hassock pouffe

Blue Buffalo Hassock Pouffe

The Hassock

To the more religious-minded, the word hassock
may invoke memories of kneeling to pray in church. Those little rectangular
cushions, often decorated with biblical emblems and scriptures have saved many
a pious knee from pain.

But the term, like so many other words in
the English language, has suffered changes in its meaning over the centuries.
Originally, in the 10th century, it referred to a clump of grass, usually in
marshy ground. How it then evolved to refer to a stool or kneeling-cushion is
anyone’s guess, but that is precisely what happened.

An alternative word – tuffet – was
also used, and very occasionally still is, mostly in the United Kingdom. This
is the word that appears in the nursery rhyme ‘Little Miss Muffet’, describing
the seating arrangements of the unfortunate arachnophobe. The fact that she was
seated gives a clue to the original meaning of both terms. Illustrations for
the nursery rhyme depict her either sat on a low, grassy hump, or on a small
stool.

So, is a hassock (or tuffet) the same as an
ottoman? And in today’s world are they seats or footstools?

In general, a hassock (as a piece of
furniture) tends to be smaller than an ottoman. Though both tend to be
upholstered, the main difference between the two is that a hassock does not
have storage. They are always upholstered and can come with or without legs.

light brown hassock pouffe

Light Brown Hassock Pouffe

Do I want a hassock?

If you don’t need the extra storage, then
perhaps a hassock is the way to go. It will be easier to move around, as it
will be smaller and not stuffed with magazines, books, and suchlike. Depending
on how firm the surface of the cushion is (not too firm, as it won’t be very
comfortable!) you may even use it as a handy side-table for remotes, glasses,
and all the paraphernalia that makes your life easier.

Aside from the lack of storage, another
potential downside may be the smaller size, as well as the fact that hassocks
rarely come as part of a suite. You will need to select your hassock very
carefully to find one that will complement your furniture and not clash with
the existing patterns.

Also, some models tend to be less sturdy
and not quite as comfortable as an ottoman.

round diamonte silver pouffe

Round Diamonte Silver Pouffe

The Pouf

To add to the fun, this can also be
spelled, pouffe. Both words come from the French bouffer, which
means ‘to puff’. This described anything from hairstyles to clothes, to a
large, cushion-like footstool. You can easily see how it came by its name, as
these cushions tend to be

Once again, the word pouf is sometimes used
to describe an ottoman. But the two are completely different, in spite of the
best efforts of furniture to confuse the issue by mixing the names. There are
even listings for ottoman poufs. But this is surely a ruse to capture
more online custom rather than a helpful description.

A pouf (or pouffe, occasionally pronounced pooh-fay
to add flair) is not for storage. Although it can have a solid base or
feet, it is generally a square or cylindrical cushion, used as a footstool or a
seat. In more recent years these were replaced by bean-bags, which tend to be
on the larger and softer side, whereas the pouf mostly served as a footrest.

round pink fabric pouffe

Round Pink Fabric Pouffe

round navy fabric pouffe

Round Navy Fabric Pouffe

Is a pouf right for my home?

These are probably the most portable of the
three, as well as the cheaper option. They can be as simple or as stylish as
you wish but bear in mind that they have a more casual look than either an
ottoman or a hassock. Also, you are unlikely to find one that will match your
furniture exactly. Being lightweight, they can be moved around without any
trouble, but they are not really suitable as a side table.

A good, solid ottoman or hassock can
conceivably provide extra seating when you are entertaining. A pouf, however,
will probably not be firm or comfortable enough for sitting on for any length
of time.

Conclusion

We have seen that an ottoman, a hassock,
and a pouf can all be described as footstools. However, each of them is
distinctly different from the other.

While the ottoman offers a classy look
that’s practical and comfortable, it will probably be the more expensive of the
three. Its heaviness (especially when full) may go against it in terms of
portability, but it does offer a sturdy alternative if an extra seat is
required. There is a chance you could get one to match your existing suite of
furniture, or you can use your clever interior design skills to find one that
compliments it.

The hassock doesn’t have the storage
capabilities but is generally lighter and therefore easier to move. You would
be lucky to find one upholstered in the same pattern as your suite, but this
doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to source one that will blend in. In fact,
some talented interior designers use a mix of patterns as a theme in itself. It
can be used for sitting on, although, being generally smaller than an ottoman,
it might be better suited for kids.

Finally, the pouf – the cheapest and most
portable of the three. You’d be more likely to find these in a home that offers
a more casual atmosphere, though this doesn’t mean they can’t look good. They
make a comfortable footstool but they may tend to sag over time. This makes
them unsuitable for extra seating as they don’t offer the support that an
ottoman or hassock does, even though they don’t have a back or arms.

We have the world of the Internet to thank
for much of the confusion regarding the names, not helped by the fact that
names and meanings often change over the years. Search online for an ottoman,
and you’ll most likely find results that read ‘ottoman pouf floor cushion
bean bag’,
and so on.

This is designed purely to ensure that you
find that page, using a range of terms that might offer a match.

But now you know the difference between an
ottoman, hassock, and pouf. And armed with this knowledge you can make an
informed decision, to add the finishing touches to the look and feel of your
home. So, whether it’s just for casual comfort, a handy place to store things,
or classic style with a practical side, you can choose with confidence.

If you would like to check out our full range of Pouffes, Footstools, Stools & Ottomans etc then check out the links below…

French Stools
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/french-furniture-c487/bedroom-c562/stools-c1847

French Footstools & Pouffes
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/french-furniture-c487/seating-c1211/footstools-pouffe-c2041

Mirrored Stools
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/stools-c3049

Modern Stools
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/contemporary-modern-furniture-c2050/bedroom-furniture-c2051/stools-c2071

Teak & Driftwood Stools
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/contemporary-modern-furniture-c2050/driftwood-teak-furniture-c2804/stools-c2810

Industrial Chairs & Stools
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/contemporary-modern-furniture-c2050/industrial-c2117/chairs-stools-c3074

Modern Blanket Boxes & Ottomans
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/contemporary-modern-furniture-c2050/bedroom-furniture-c2051/blanket-boxes-ottomans-c2067

Ottoman, Hassock, Footstool, or Pouf? is courtesy of Homes Direct 365 French Furniture

Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

How & Where to Get Rid of Old or Broken Furniture

Is it time to give your room a makeover

Do you plan to buy the furniture you always dreamed of

But you have a pile of unwanted, broken, or outdated fittings and don’t know how to dispose of them? 

Don’t let your furniture decay in the landfill. Help low-income families receive much-needed household items. Check the guide from Homes Direct 365 and learn the popular ways to get rid of old or broken furniture. 

  • Be a responsible community member. 
  • Protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Aid people in need. 
  • Reuse, don’t dump.

Go to a Recycling Centre

Visit the local recycling centre to discard your rubbish. Also known as the tip, this centre focuses on sustainable waste management.  

Drop off household rubbish and bulky items like futons, cupboards, carpets and mattresses. Bring electronic devices: cookers, fridges, televisions, computers, etc.    

According to rubbish & dumpster expert Luke Hancock, you should beware and use the designated bins for household waste and electrical items. Place your rubbish in the proper bin, he adds. 

  • Check the recycling capacity of your local centre and adhere to the limits. Don’t dump more of your house than you’re allowed.  
  • Bring proof of address when you visit the council recycling centre. 
  • Check for vehicle and trailer restrictions. 
  • Read the access regulations. 
  • Carry a permit for commercial vehicles, as local authorities might demand it.

Book A Waste Collection Service

Do you stockpile waste but can’t transport it to the tip? Here is some nifty advice. 

There is a service called waste collection that helps with bulk rubbish. The council dispatches vehicles and staff to collect waste from your home. Book in advance as the typical waiting period is about 8 weeks. Check the service fees, they range between £20 – £25.

The collection service is very convenient if you have large furniture. Check the specifics and prepare your items. Remove all glass panels from the furniture. Secure with heavy-duty tape if you can’t take it off. 

Recycling centres don’t take mirrors, detach them from wardrobes and dressing tables. Disassemble furniture with loose parts, flatten the surface and remove all nails. 

The council accepts household furniture and electronic gadgets, but there are restrictions. Don’t bring your boilers, greenhouses, bathroom and kitchen modules. Throw your daily waste in the backyard bin.

Find Recycling Projects

Research about independent recycling projects. These campaigns serve for the community wellbeing or support charitable causes. Consider this as a convenient, social-responsible way to dispose of your old furniture. 

Donate your reusable furniture and electronic devices to the British Heart Foundation. The nationwide organization sells your items and distributes profit for charities. They offer a free and flexible collection service. The funds from the sales support medical research. Give away your old goods and help save a life. 

According to Gwinnett real estate experts Watkins Homes, you can browse through house listings in your area to not only admire beauty and looks, but learn more of how timber recycling helps saving the environment.

Trade, Advertise, Donate or Give Away

  • Call your friends, relatives, colleagues, and people next door. Check what they need and offer your items. 
  • Ask the local schools, hospitals, orphanages or social centres. They often need desks, chairs, tables and other furnishings.   
  • Post the unwanted furniture on social media. Spread awareness and ask your friends to share the post. Join online groups and chat forums dedicated to furniture recycling.
  • Contact the local newspaper and enquire about a printed advertisement. The ad gets good exposure, and it’s usually free if the content is short.
  • Visit the nearest charity shop. Ask if they accept bulk furniture and offer collection service. Due to safety regulations, some charity shops don’t accept electronic devices. Get familiar with the rules before you donate. 
  • Join a recycling community. Advertise your items in the community post board. If members like something, they come and collect it from your home. Likewise, if you find an interesting item, fetch it from the owner. 

Check Your Donation Options

We’ve prepared a list of social enterprises to make an informed choice. Donations go to underprivileged families and homeless people throughout the UK. 

  • Visit the Reuse Network website first. This association supports charities throughout the UK which accept furniture donations. They organise recycling events and collaborate with partners to spread their philosophy. Volunteers are welcome. Reuse and help people in need. 
  • Emmaus helps homeless people. Their mission is to transform household junk into a poor man’s fortune. Furniture gets a total makeover in their workshops. Afterwards, they sell second-hand items in community stores. Funds go for housing programs. 
  • Go to Recycle Your Furniture workshop in Byker to donate furniture. Explore their store, too. They offer vintage furniture, antiques and funky art pieces which can upgrade your home interior. 
  • If you own wooden items, donate them to East Belfast Mission. They repair and refurbish the wood and sell it in their shops.
  • Stroud District Furniture Bank offers a free collection service within certain areas. Their collection team works in pairs and does a heavy-duty lifting. They restore, repair and sell furniture at affordable rates to support low-income families. 

Repair Before You Dump

Try to repair your furniture. If you have heirloom items, visit The British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association. Choose a reliable handyman specialised in antique restoration.

Repair by yourself or engage friends and family. It’s fun, practical and a great way to bond with loved ones. Watch online DIY videos or check craft blogs for inspiration and helpful ideas. Learn innovative methods to turn shabby furniture into a modern, useful item. Be brave and take your chances. 

Final Words on Getting Rid of Old Furniture

Furniture recycling is a responsible and sustainable method to give a second life to your  unwanted household items. It aids the community welfare and supports the local economy. 

Reduce waste and recycle. Together, we make a difference!

If you like the look of old vintage furniture then check out our industrial range below….

Industrial Furniture
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Industrial Cabinets
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Industrial Coffee Tables
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Industrial Bedside Tables
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Industrial Dining Tables
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Industrial Shelving
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Industrial Chairs & Stools
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Industrial Console Tables
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Industrial Chest Of Drawers
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Industrial Side Tables
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Miscellaneous Industrial Furniture
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How & Where to Get Rid of Old or Broken Furniture is republished from Homes Direct365 Furniture

Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

A Guide To Wood Types

The human race has always had a close
relationship with trees. They have been vital for our very survival, allowing
us to make tools and shelter, as well as fuel for fires and even providing us
with food in some cases. And that’s before we even mention their role in
providing clean air for us to breathe. Without trees, we would not be here.

These days most of us are more aware of the importance of trees. Their role in our continued well being is accepted and appreciated, though we still rely on them for the wood that they supply. Wood is an ideal material, with many uses and applications in our lives especially wooden furniture. Through sustainable management, we can continue to use wood without risking the environment further. We can help by learning more about different wood types and their qualities. The following guide gives some details about a selection of wood types, their characteristics, and uses.

Various wood types
Various Wood Types

Hard Wood Types vs Soft Wood Types

This sounds simple enough; hardwood is hard, softwood is soft, right? Well, no, actually! The terms ‘hard’ and soft’ are more of a botanical description rather than being an accurate idea of their density and feel of the wood. While it is generally true that most hardwoods are in fact hard, and softwoods tend to be softer, there are several exceptions that we will see further along in the guide.

The basic differences between the two are as follows:

Hardwood –

  • Slow-growing
  • broad-leaved flowering species
  • Deciduous varieties
  • Seeds are produced inside a shell (like a fruit or nut)
  • Dense grain
  • Generally more expensive
  • Mostly darker in colour
  • Low in sap content
  • Close grain
  • Heavy in weight and density
  • Good resistance to fire

Softwood –

  • Fast-growing
  • Evergreen – usually from the conifer, fir, and spruce family
  • Needles instead of leaves
  • Seeds are either uncovered or in a cone
  • Less expensive
  • Usually lighter in colour
  • High in sap content
  • Loose grain
  • Light in weight and density
  • Very poor resistance to fire

These distinctions are general, however,
and to find out more we have to take a closer look at each of the wood types in
turn.

oak wood
Oakwood

Oak (hardwood)

Oak has been a favourite for many hundreds
of years, with around 200 species to be found. It is relatively abundant and
has an attractive, open grain that looks great when used for furniture. Because
of its grain, which can resemble the contours found in fingerprints, it is used
extensively for veneers (thin slices that are glued to the surface of the furniture
to provide a beautiful finish). It is available in two types; red oak and white
oak. The white variety is, in fact, more of a greyish-brown shade, while red
oak is similar but with a reddish tinge. Although both are relatively
expensive, red oak is usually the cheaper of the two. Both are dense, heavy,
and hard-wearing, making them ideal for furniture, especially noted for its
resistance to stains and scratches.

Search our Oak Furniture

walnut wood
Walnut

Walnut (hardwood)

Due to its scarcity these days, walnut can
be very expensive. The rich, chocolate-coloured grain makes it perfect for
veneers and it is highly-prized in the high-end furniture industry. It is
renowned for its strength and for the variety of colours that can appear in its
straight grain. Although mostly dark brown, lighter shades can be found and the
grain can contain purplish streaks. It is easy to work and is often carved or
turned by hand.

One oddity of walnut is that exposure to
iron can cause staining.

Search our Walnut Furniture

pine wood
Pine

Pine (softwood)

One of the most abundant species, pine is
always cheaper than most others. It is very versatile but not as hard-wearing
as hardwoods. Varying in colour from a yellowish-brown to a creamy tone, it is
a close-grained variety and the growth rings can be seen clearly. The grain and
colour make it ideal for staining. Pine often contains ‘knots’, which can look
beautiful in a finished piece but can present problems when working with the
wood.

It is widely used in the construction
industry (and has been for centuries), for structural integrity as it is
strong, lightweight, and flexible.

Search our Pine Furniture

ash wood
Ash

Ash (hardwood)

This moderately expensive wood is ideal for
bending, which makes it good for curved furniture. The colours range from a
greyish light brown through to an almost reddish hue. The grain is straight and
the wood is known for its strength and is valued for its suitability in the
making of tool handles, baseball bats, and furniture (especially in the
restaurant industry where it sees a lot of heavy use). Though similar in
appearance to oak, the grain is less prone to splitting.

redwood
Redwood

Redwood (softwood)

Similar to pine, but not as durable or
sustainable. Pine regenerates quicker and is about 60% stronger. Redwood is
ideally suited for outdoor furniture or decking due to its resistance to decay
and natural insect-repelling qualities. It is easy to work by hand and though
it is readily available the actual cost of the wood can vary from region to
region.

beech wood
Beech

Beech (hardwood)

Like ash, beech bends well but is
considered the less attractive of the two. Nevertheless, it is still popular
today as it is extremely strong and very resistant to shock. Its tight grain
and light colour give a warm feeling to a room, and it stains well to mimic
more expensive woods, such as mahogany and cherry. One drawback is that it is
notoriously difficult to work by hand. Another potential problem is that it
absorbs moisture fairly easily, so it is not ideal for humid conditions. This
makes it unsuitable for use in coastal regions, especially for door and window
frames, as they will begin to stick. In its favour, however, beech is an odourless
wood, so a finished piece will not overpower a room with its scent.

Search our Beech Wood Furniture

mahogany wood
Mahogany

Mahogany (hardwood)

More so than most of the wood types here, the use of this one has become a subject of controversy in recent times. While there are a number of sub-species within the mahogany family, the name usually refers to the Honduran Mahogany. Illegal logging of this tree has led to it being listed on CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). It is still much sought after due to its excellent qualities and is very expensive, which has increased its use as a veneer wood. The rich, reddish-brown darkens over time to give an alluring sheen in the distinctive grain. It is frequently used in the manufacture of musical instruments because of the warm tone it provides.

Search our Mahogany Furniture

maple wood
Maple

Maple (hardwood)

The dense heaviness of this wood, along
with its moisture-resistant qualities, makes this a wood ideal for items such
as butcher’s blocks and furniture that endures a high level of use. The grain
varies between being straight or bearing swirling ‘bird’s-eye’ patterns. The
light-brown or reddish colour accepts wood stain easily to resemble a more
expensive wood. It is often used to make dining tables and dressers due to its
hard-wearing qualities.

As with most others in this list of wood
types, there are a number of varieties, but the most commonly used is hard
maple, also known as sugar maple or rock maple.

mango wood
Mango

Mango (hardwood)

At the opposite end of the scale to
mahogany, mango presents a sustainable hardwood that is extremely durable,
versatile, and affordable. Mango heartwood is usually golden-brown in
appearance but darkens over time. It possesses excellent water-resistant
qualities, especially when polished or waxed. The grain is densely packed, and
though it is strong and durable (as strong as cherry or ash) it can be easily
worked by hand. Of all the wood types listed here, mango offers a way forward
for a more sustainable source of timber, allowing stocks of rarer species time
to recover. A mango tree can reach 100ft in 15 years, making it too hazardous
to harvest the fruit. In the past, the trees would be felled and burned. Now,
the timber is sold to be made into furniture, ornaments, musical instruments
and so on. This means that the farmers increase their income as well as
reducing air pollution.

Mango is prone to attack by fungus and insects while growing, which adds to the appearance of the finished product. But once it is treated the wood is safe from either of these problems.

Search our Mango Wood Furniture

yew wood
Yew

Yew (softwood)

A classic example of how the classification
‘softwood’ can be misleading, yew is actually harder and more durable than many
hardwoods! Due to the way it twists and turns as it grows, the uses of yew can
be limited. This has led to it often being used for smaller projects, such as
jewellery boxes, or being cut to make veneers for high-end furniture. It does
bend well, though, and is still used today in the manufacture of Windsor
Chairs.

Yew is notorious for its poisonous
properties, which have proved useful in recent times to make potent drugs that
are effective in the treatment of certain types of cancers.

acacia wood
Acacia

Acacia (hardwood)

Also known around the world as mimosa,
wattle, whistling thorn, and a host of other names! It is extremely hard and
durable, with the reputation of having helped the English Royal Navy to
establish their place as a world power in the 1800s. The water-resistant
qualities of acacia made it suitable for shipbuilding, so the Royal Navy
invested in this type of wood to manufacture its legendary ‘ships-of-the-line’
which ensured naval superiority at the time.

These same qualities make it ideal for use
today in conditions where it may come into contact with liquids. Untreated, it
is said to last between 20 to 40 years. It is one of the few wood types that
looks great whether polished, left natural, or varnished. Acacia does not
scratch easily and adds warmth to any home with its rich, deep brown colours.
The high resin content that makes it water-resistant also helps it to fight
against rot, odours, and stains. It also has antibacterial properties and is
easy to clean.

Search our Acacia Wood Furniture

mindi wood
Mindy

Mindi (hardwood)

Sometimes called chinaberry or white cedar,
mindi wood is similar in density to red oak. It has natural anti-fungal
properties and is resistant to decay.

Although similar in texture to oak, the
grain is packed closer. It is loved by woodworkers as it is easy to work with,
mostly for smaller projects although it is sometimes used to make furniture
such as chests and cabinets. The sapwood of the mindi tree has a yellowish hue
similar to poplar, whereas the heartwood is darker. As the wood is exposed to
natural light it darkens, resembling teak or cherry.

Search our Mindi Wood Furniture

teak wood
Teak

Teak (hardwood)

Teak is regarded by many people as the
‘king of wood’ due to its versatility and durability. The naturally high oil
content makes it extremely water-resistant and immune to decay and fungus. It
can even withstand high levels of heat and does not easily catch on fire. The
finished timber looks stunning, with golden brown heartwood and yellow/grey
sapwood. These properties make it suitable for a wide range of applications,
including; ship decking, indoor and outdoor furniture, veneers, turning,
carving, high-end joinery.

Search our Teak Wood Furniture

balsa wood
Balsa

Balsa (hardwood)

To end this list of wood types, balsa is
another example of how the ‘hardwood/softwood’ description is not as simple as
it looks. Balsa is classified as a hardwood, and yet anyone who has worked with
it knows just how soft and flimsy it actually is. The wood has an extremely low
density and is usually a white or off-white ‘oatmeal’ colour. It is unusually
buoyant, which accounts for its name (Spanish for ‘raft’) and is often used in
the manufacture of surfboards, aircraft, floats for fishing nets and so on.
Although easy to work with, the tools must be very sharp to avoid crumbling or
splitting.

There are so many other wood types, but these represent just a few of the wonderful species available. Each has its uses, some with better properties than others. By learning more about them we can perhaps manage our consumption better, to ensure they stay around to be enjoyed for many thousands of years to come.

The following post A Guide To Wood Types is republished from www.homesdirect365.co.uk

Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

What Goes With Mirrored Furniture?

There are some interior designers who
suggest that mirrored furniture has fallen out of style, having been popular
since the early 2000s. There are two possible responses to this, the first
being; who cares? Interior design comes down to personal choice, and if
something makes you happy then what’s to stop you putting it in your home? The
second response is that when you look around, mirrored furniture seems to be as
popular as ever. It goes to show – industry ‘experts’ don’t always get it
right. You create the look and feel of your home, so go for it.

One thing you may struggle with when
considering mirrored furniture is knowing what goes with it. So here’s a short
guide to steer you in the right direction in adding drama, glamor, and a touch
of elegance to your home.

Mirrored Console Table

Art Deco Mirrored Console Table

Contemporary Interiors

If you favor a more modern style of home,
then the sleeker items of furniture will fit in better. The designs vary
greatly, so be sure to choose furniture with a modern feel that compliments
what is already there. This style of furniture has its roots in the Art Deco
era, with a huge range of different styles added over the years. Examples that
have a ‘retro’ feel may clash with your clean lines and contemporary look, so
try to select one with a modern look. For example, a multi-faceted sideboard,
or large mirror with geometric designs – anything that is asymmetrical will
work.

Alghero Grey Mirrored Geo Wall Art

A match made in heaven

A single piece of mirrored furniture
standing alone can look great. But it also can look out of place or a bit
lonely. Consider pairing different items to get the maximum effect.

  • Place a large, mirrored coffee table against the back of your sofa. The contrast between the materials and the angles enhances both.
  • Set a small, mirrored cabinet between two beds, or between a bed and the wall on each side. This works well whatever the color scheme but is especially effective when natural and neutral tones are used.
  • Use a mirrored side table or coffee table to show off a beautiful antique lamp, or a prized artwork. The light from the lamp will be doubled, showing off both items, and the artwork will be reflected to show it from different angles. Either option will make the best use of the furniture.
  • Don’t be tempted to overdo it! Too many mirrored surfaces can be overwhelming and seem over the top. However, matching something like a mirrored dining table with a mirrored screen can add a real touch of elegance to your dining room.

Biarritz Mirrored Coffee Table

Grey Marble Mirrored Coffee Table

Helios Mirror & Black Coffee Table

On reflection…

Some people find the clean, bright mirror
surfaces a little too much – sterile, even. If that’s you, then there are other
options that may interest you, such as ‘antiqued’ or tinted mirror surfaces.
These fit in excellently with homes that have a more classic feel, or even with
shabby chic. Furniture with patterned mirrors also softens the reflection,
which can bring a warmer, more sophisticated feel. For best effect, these
should be used in rooms with neutral color schemes as they may look out of
place when set against black and white backgrounds.

Milano Smoked Mirrored Diamond Lamp

Decorative Patterned Grey Wall Mirror

And finally

Whatever you choose, the secret to making
your mirrored furniture a success is to use contrast in your design. Try
to bring in a range of textures and textiles to offset the reflective surfaces,
like wood, leather, fabric, and so on. A mirrored coffee table can become a
centerpiece of your living room, so set some furniture and other treasured
items around it that you want to show off. Place a mirrored buffet table beside
a favorite rug to get double the effect. Use a mirror screen to split a room
without making it feel smaller – the reflection tricks the eye into believing
it is actually twice the size. Where you have sharp angles in your new
furniture, tie it into the room using reflective, organically-shaped metallic
ornaments placed strategically.

Mirrored furniture, when used correctly, is
a part of classic interior design and will never be truly unfashionable. As to
whether it’s for you, or which furniture to buy, well, that’s something for you
to reflect on.

Crystal Mirrored TV Unit

Argente Mirrored Furniture Collection

Mirrored Furniture
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022

Mirrored Furniture Collections
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/mirrored-collections-c3023

Mirrored Beds
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/beds-c3039

Mirrored Wardrobes
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/wardrobes-c3040

Mirrored Bedside Tables
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/bedside-tables-c3041

Mirrored Chest of Drawers
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/chest-of-drawers-c3042

Mirrored Dressing Tables
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/dressing-tables-c3044

Mirrored Stools
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/stools-c3049

Mirrored Jewellery Boxes
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/jewellery-boxes-c3051

Mirrored Table Lamps
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/table-lamps-c3052

Mirrored Console Tables
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Mirrored Side Tables
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Mirrored Sideboards
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Mirrored Coffee Tables
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Mirrored TV Units
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Mirrored Pedestals
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Mirrored Fireplaces
https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/mirrored-furniture-c3022/fireplaces-c3053

The following post What Goes With Mirrored Furniture? Read more on: https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/

Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

Enhance your home with these display cabinet ideas

Since 1823, when Henry Bishop’s opera Clari
(or The Maid of Milan) first proclaimed the famous words
“There’s no place like home”, this phrase has been taken to heart. In
general, we love our homes, spending an average of £83 billion each year on
home improvements in the UK alone.

The styles of each home are as different as
the people who live in them. We shape our homes around us, making them
comfortable in styles that suit us, adding to them over the years as tastes and
fashions change.

One way in which we make our homes unique
is through acquiring antiques and collectibles; items that appeal to us because
of their nostalgic or sentimental value. They don’t have to be expensive –
though they can be – and they aren’t always to other people’s tastes. But they
are ours, and we love them. Even so, it is often the way of things that these
prized pieces and collections are kept in boxes under the bed, or in attics and
sheds. Sometimes, space is limited, and our beloved heirlooms and treasures are
stashed safely wherever we can find the room.

However, there are ways of enhancing our
homes, by selecting a stylish piece of furniture that will allow us to display
our collections with pride. This way, we get to enjoy them each day, as well as
adding flair to our homes with a beautiful new cabinet.

Here’s a selection of display cabinet ideas as an example:

Antique French Style Display Cabinet

With its ‘Queen Anne’ style cabriole
legs and elegant scrollwork, this cabinet is an excellent way of displaying
prized objects. The clear glass doors will ensure that the contents are displayed
to their best effect and kept safely, reducing the need for frequent dusting.
Antique-effect brass fittings add to the overall feeling of class, while the
lower drawer offers extra storage.

Telephone Box Display Cabinet

If a more classical style is not for you,
then perhaps something a little quirky might pique your interest? This
display cabinet is modelled on the traditional red British telephone box,
making it a conservation piece in itself. Any collection displayed within it is
sure to be protected while being shown off to its best. A truly unique way to
enhance any home whilst saving space, this expertly-crafted cabinet also brings
an element of fun and nostalgia.

Antique French Style Kitchen Cabinet

The keywords when it comes to this style of furniture are “Simple Elegance”. If you prefer a look that speaks of good quality that is more reserved or understated, then you could not choose a better cabinet. Even though it is extremely practical, with four double-height, glass-fronted compartments, complemented with the four lower compartments with solid wood doors, the style is not compromised. The ‘antique white’ finish, as well as the professional craftsmanship, will add to the ambience of your home, making this cabinet an heirloom in its own right.

Antique French Style Large Liberty
Bookcase

Once again, simplicity is the key to this
cabinet’s appeal, but don’t be fooled; when you look closely you become aware
of the attention to detail that has been invested in this stunning piece of
furniture. Classical elegance is combined with practicality, with fifteen
shelves and three extra storage drawers beneath, each with an ornate
gold-effect handle. Also with an ‘antique white’ finish, this time with the top
panel left unpainted to provide a contrast, this cabinet is sure to impress.

Fleur Shabby Chic Display Cabinet

This cabinet is ideal for those homes where
space is more limited. As well as the two glazed cupboards, this
well-proportioned piece of furniture also has two enclosed cupboards and two
centrally-placed drawers. The eye-catching handles are of faceted glass,
complementing the grey ‘shabby chic’ finish to great effect.

Black Antique Style French Cabinet

The black finish with silver detail sets
this cabinet apart. It has four shelves in a tiered design that boasts elegance
and style. The open-back design will ensure that any collections displayed will
be seen clearly. It will add character to your home, while at the same time not
detracting from your decor.

This selection of display cabinet ideas is
a fraction of what is on offer, but the only limit is your imagination. When
displaying antiques in your home, it seems a shame to place them in or on
something that doesn’t do them justice; they deserve better. You deserve
better. Displaying your collection in a beautiful cabinet will help, but there
are other ways of enhancing this by giving some thought to how you
display them with these display case decorating ideas:

  • if you collect glass or items that are in distinct colours, consider separating them by their colour. This gives a pleasing effect that adds to their appeal.
  • as much as you love your collection, a cabinet filled with white ceramic may not be the most exciting. By adding good-quality dried (or fake) flower arrangements you will instantly add a dash of colour and brightness that won’t take anything away from your collection.
  • perhaps your collection is a little ‘eclectic’? No problem! Buy a cabinet with multiple compartments and fill each one with an interesting and quirky item.
  • where possible, place items to give a symmetrical look. This will greatly increase the aesthetic appeal and bring harmony and connection between the items.
  • a display cabinet works so much better when a connection is established to other furniture in the room. By purchasing another item of furniture in the same type, you will instantly bring balance, establishing the sense of style you desire.
  • when tastefully (and safely) done, a rustic lamp or even some types of ‘fairy lights’ can add an extra dimension to any display cabinet and its contents.

Whatever your tastes and whatever your
collection of treasures, there is a cabinet out there to suit your needs. By
selecting the right one you will be able to display your treasures as they
deserve, and enhance the place where you live. After all, there’s no place
like home
.

Here is our full range of display cabinets

Classic French Style Display Cabinets

https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/french-furniture-c487/dining-c6/display-cabinets-c2107

Modern & Contemporary Display Cabinets

https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/contemporary-modern-furniture-c2050/dining-c2055/display-cabinets-c2065

The following post Enhance your home with these display cabinet ideas is republished from homesdirect365

Posted in Shabby Chic Furniture

11 Types of Storage Trunks

Keeping organised

As well as adding style, and keeping things stored away in your home, Homes Direct 365 storage trunks are also the perfect solution for keeping organised, and travel. You can put away certain items that aren’t needed for a period of time whilst keeping them organised and in order. Today Homes Direct 365 will run through and explain the history, appearance and use of a handful of storage trunks.

Coming in many styles with varied practical properties, storage trunks have a vast variation of looks, such as:

  • Jenny Lind Trunks
  • Saratoga Trunks
  • Monitor  Trunks
  • Steamer / Cabin  Trunks
  • Barrel Staves Trunks
  • Octagon / Bevel Top Trunks
  • Wardrobe Trunks
  • Dome-top Trunks
  • Barrel-top Trunks
  • Wall Trunks
  • Full dresser Trunks

Saratoga Trunks

Travel Trunk Cabinet

Among the many types of antique trunks, there is the saratoga trunk. Named after the popular holiday destination on NY, this place was often visited by the wealthy in the 1800’s. This trunk was made strong, sturdy, and secure. Specifically for travelling. Some of the locking systems were high-end technology at the time, and Saratoga Trunks were the best storage trunks of their day, making it a favourite of a growing breed of wealthy upper-class generation of Americans.

Saratogas had round top which are often referred to dome-top trunks in catalogues. Made from leather, metal or canvas, these pieces were commonly styled with decorative hardware and were definitely classed as one of the fancier varieties. With saratogas being the premium of trunk design; they can often emulate other styles, and retain the signature strength and durability that only a Saratoga Trunk has. 

The myriad is also the most recognisable feature on the trunk, featuring compartments and trays, which can be very complex. 

Cabin Trunks & Steamer Trunks

Bogart Storage Trunks

Known as travelling trunks, steamer trunks or cabin trunks, this style was often used as luggage for extended trips on steamships, trains, stagecoach or boarding school as student trunks.  They were founded in the late 1870’s although they really became popular in the 1880-1920 period and would be seen quite often.

Although many people thought cabin, steamer and travelling trunks to be the exact same thing, a majority of people claimed cabin trunks to be the ‘true’ steamer trunks, being the equivalent of modern day hand luggage and used for more valuable items that were too expensive to go with the main luggage. 

This particular style of trunk was identified by being covered in canvas, leather or patterned paper with a flat or slightly curved top. All these pieces were around 14 inches, in order to comply with the steamship luggage regulations which was why they were named ‘Steamer Trunks’, which since became a hallmark or this style. 

Faux Leather Trunks

Jenny Lind Trunks

Identified through its distinctive keyhole or hourglass shape, the Jenny Lind trunk was named after the singer who shares the same while also being known as ‘The Swedish Nightingale’. This happened when she toured through America in 1850-1852 under the arrangement of PT Barnum. Jenny Lind trunks were also known as stagecoach trunks as they were used for stagecoach travel and also continued to be popular until 1870, being made in a large variety of shapes and sizes. 

These traditional trunks were usually covered in leather or sole leather, with multiple iron bands around the curved body that were fastened with brass studs. They were often compared to the shape of a loaf of bread or figure of eight and were most likely decorated with fancy tooled leather, brass locks and extravagant interiors with paper lining and timings. 

Take a look at the images above of this popular style of trunk and see if you like it for yourself!

Wardrobe Trunks

Zebra Print 6 Drawer Luggage Wardrobe Trunk

Wardrobe trunks are basically a mobile wardrobe and would contain almost anything imagine. They would usually stand on their end to be opened, having hangers for clothes on one side and drawers on the other. Although many high-end wardrobe trunks would feature make-up boxes, mirrors, privacy curtains, removable suitcases/briefcases and even buckles and tie-downs for shoes. Take a look at the pictures bellow of the inside and outside of these complex pieces. 

Being very large pieces, wardrobe trunks were often really heavy and were almost always used for extended travel by ship or train. You can still find storage trunks online due to a few companies still manufacturing these products and offering wardrobe trunk restoration.

Dome-top Trunks

Natural Shesham Set Of 3 Storage Chests

One of the most popular styles of trunks is the vintage dome top trunk, also known as a Victorian travel trunk. This style has a high, curved top that can reach up to 30 inches and can be constructed in a variety of methods such as barrel construction, moulded ply and cuffing.

Dome-top trunks can come in two styles, one being a camel-back style which is distinguished by having a vertically running top slat in the centre that is a lot higher than the other trunks. The other is known as either a hump-back or hunch-back which is similar but has no slat in the centre of the top. 

Dating from the 1870’s-1900’s, there is a lot of dome top trunk history, and are seen as the most talked about of antiques, this had lead to them still being manufactured today. 

Wall Trunk

Large Storage Trunk

Wall trunks are a specific type of trunk that can be opened to a 180 degree angle, making both hinges flat up against a wall. These pieces were and are a sought after piece if they are in good condition due to their speciality, even though they are a middle ranged price. Perfect for maximising storage. 

Dating from the 1870’s to the 1900’s, the two main manufacturers of these products were Clinton and Miller and they’re brand names will most likely be engraved onto the hinges. 

Wicker Merchant Set Of 3 Trunks

Conclusion

Overall there are a lot of styles of these products that were used years ago and still used today, even designer storage trunks! Whether you want to use these pieces to travel, style, organise, to keep as an antique or even if you want some modern storage trunks, we can assure you they’re impressive and very interesting. 

You can view our full range of storage trunks on the links below

Industrial Style Storage & Furniture

https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/contemporary-modern-furniture-c2050/industrial-c2117

Storage Trunks

https://www.homesdirect365.co.uk/french-furniture-c487/home-accessories-c1754/storage-trunks-c1809

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