Tag Archives | interior design

Project story – Colourful family home in New Malden

Sitting room in New Malden

Sitting room in New Malden

This beautiful period house in New Malden required complete refurbishment when it was bought by my clients, a young family.  They also elected to extend into the garden, which allowed for a large kitchen / diner / family room at the back of the house.

The brief was to create a colourful family home, which had to be practical as well as stylish.

The client has a keen eye for style and sourced some great finds, many from eBay.  In addition, much of the furniture was coming from their previous home.  My job was to provide guidance on colours, walls, floors, layout and window treatments, and pulling it all together.

Thank you to Anna Stathaki for the great photography.

The entrance hall is calm, but the patterned tiles on the floor add interest, with the colours echoed in the stair runner with its dark border.

Calm entrance hall with patterned tiles and stair runner with border

The formal sitting room at the front of the house (also see main picture in this post) is also calm and collected, with splashes of blue and green to bring out the colours in the vintage rug, passed down from parents.


Moving through to the back of the house, the bright extension offers plenty of space for family life.


The family room retains the original fireplace, adding in contemporary furniture in clean lines to contrast.


Upstairs now, the master bedroom is a restful space, despite the pops of colour.


The guest bedroom on the top floor.


Check out my portfolio and my Houzz profile for additional images, including the children’s bedrooms.

All in all, this home is a great example of how to create a colourful family home, against a backdrop of pale neutrals.  If the family ever get bored of the colour, they could just change or recover the furniture to something more neutral and it would look completely different.  No need to redecorate.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into the story behind a project in my portfolio.  Do get in touch if you’d like me to help you too.

Photography credits throughout: Anna Stathaki

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Free interior design from an independent designer?

how to get free interior designFree interior design… from an independent?  How can that be possible?  I’m sure you all know that you can walk into places like Heals, John Lewis, West Elm etc and have your home designed for free, or nearly free.  But you’ll pay full retail price for everything they recommend, are usually limited to items they stock and you’ll still need to manage the buying, deliveries, tradesmen etc.  What if there was a way to get free interior design, including project co-ordination, from an independent professional?  Step this way…

Did you know that because of the generous trade discounts that I’m entitled to as a professional, you could get your home the way you want it, with me doing all the legwork for you, without paying a penny more?  In projects I have done to date, the total price for the whole project, including my fee, has come to about the same as if the customer had paid full retail price for everything and done it all themselves.  So my clients have essentially got free interior design, sourcing and project co-ordination, and saved a ton of time and stress.

Interested?  Let me tell you about it.

I tend to offer two different types of service.

Design consultations, where I provide generous advice and expertise, and you manage the project yourself.

And the traditional interior design service, which can include designs, sourcing and/or installation oversight.

However we work together, if you purchase anything through me at trade discount, you will save money, and if you purchase everything we work on together through me, it is very likely that you will end up getting the design for free.  Note that I pass on 100% of all discounts and my fees are entirely transparent and stated up front.

Design Consultations

If you’re fairly confident in what needs to be done but you’re just a bit stuck or short on time, I can help you plan, give you inspiration and ideas, make suggestions, cast a critical eye over your plans, all for a small fee.  Then you’d continue on your own, with renewed enthusiasm, focus and ideas.  We can look at layout, furniture, curtains, blinds, lighting, flooring, walls, whatever you like.

If you are not near North London / Herts, we can do a Skype consultation for a reduced cost.

This is how it all works

Welcome pack

You get a welcome pack to send back to me with lots of information about you and your home, your likes and dislikes, photos of the space(s), plans of the space if you have them, images you like (and dislike), that kind of thing.  This is so that I can prepare well before we meet, and we can make the most of the time we have.


Then I’ll come to your home for a few hours (or we’ll Skype/Facetime) and I’ll answer all your questions, suggest solutions, brands that you may like, specific items perhaps, if that’s what you want.  If you’re worried you won’t remember everything, you can have a summary of what we’ve discussed afterwards.


As I’m sure more questions will occur to you after our meeting, you can also have a Skype or telephone follow-up a week or so later.  You will be full of enthusiasm and ideas and ready to get your home the way you want it.

Trade price purchases

You can purchase items through me at trade price after the consultation.  There will be no fee for the first £500 of purchases, and my standard sourcing fee after this.

Hit reply to this email to enquire about my availability and start getting your home the way you want it.

In addition to the consultations, I also offer a full interior design service, if you need more help.  In fact, if you have a consultation and then decide that you want more help, I will offset the cost of the consultation against the cost of the extra work. For example, you might decide that you want someone to manage the work after all, or you want help with extra rooms.  Either way, I’ll make sure you don’t pay twice!

Traditional interior design services

If you’re quite daunted, too busy, or only interested in the end result, you’re going to want more help.  I can do any or all of the following:
– prepare designs
– write specifications for you to get quotes from tradesmen
– source items and materials for you at trade price (place orders, chase, pay on your behalf, receive delivery, deal with damaged or wrong supplies etc)
– manage builders, tradesmen, decorators etc on your behalf.

At one extreme, once we’ve agreed the design, you could hand me your keys and come back a week / a month / 6 months later to a finished home (yes I have done this for someone – they just wanted it DONE!).

Or I could just order you a sofa for trade price plus a sourcing fee.

As mentioned above, these options tend to work out the same as if you’d chosen and organised everything yourself and paid full price.

More details here.

Other things you may not know about Space Interior Design

I am particularly interested in more ecofriendly design (but not if it looks too rustic/crafty), so if you are too, that’s even better!

Based just north of London, I tend to favour work in north London and Hertfordshire, but I’m open to projects further afield too.  And obviously if you want an online consultation you can be anywhere in the world.

Finally, in case you’re wondering, Space Interior Design is a Limited Company, registered for VAT, with Public Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.  It also has segregated client bank accounts so that the money you give me to buy items on your behalf remains yours until it’s passed over to the supplier – you’re not going to lose your money if anything happens to my company (let’s hope not!).

Book a consultation online here, or call 020 8133 9132 to discuss how I can help you get your home the way you want it.

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What I learnt from Kit Kemp and how it can help you get your home the way you want it

I was lucky enough to hear Kit Kemp speak a few days ago at London Design Week 2016, held each Spring and centred around the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour. I’m told she doesn’t do many talks; this one sold out in two days but I leapt at the chance to hear her speak and managed to get a ticket.

Kit Kemp speaking to Giles Kime at London Design Week 2016. Image from @DesignCentreCH on twitter

Kit Kemp has a wonderful way of putting together colourful, fascinating rooms, and I have long admired her work. She designs the interiors for Firmdale Hotels, the hotel group she co-owns with her husband.  The group includes several hotels in London (Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte St Hotel, Ham Yard Hotel to name but three), and one in New York (Crosby Street Hotel) with another on the way. Read more about her here. Here’s some tips I learnt from Kit that I thought I’d share with you to help you get your home the way you want it.

Start with what you love

If you start here, you can’t go too far wrong. Let what you love and your core values be the foundation of everything in your home. If you’re not sure what your values are, or what you love, keep a scrapbook, put everything in it that you come across that you like. Images, sketch things, words, photos. Any subject, not just interiors. Look back over it from time to time and the themes will appear, these themes show you what you love/value/are attracted to.  Whenever you’re looking for new things for your home, bear these values and themes in mind.

Showcase fabric on headboards

A headboard provides an ideal opportunity to show off a beautiful fabric to full effect. All too often a fabric is gathered to make curtains, or wrapped around furniture in the form of upholstery. A headboard allows you to use the fabric flat, and as you need far less of it than for curtains, it can be an economical way to use it.

Frame unusual items

Why not frame plates, shoe collections, balls, anything that you like or means something to you… Kit is a big fan of collections of items. Framing collected items pulls a collection together and adds more weight to it. Framing 3D items with a black felt background really makes the item pop.

One room at a time

Even if your whole home needs an overhaul, work on one room at a time. Spend however long you’ve got, in a short space of time, trawling for inspiration for that room only. Include at least one trip out, if you can, wandering around design districts such as Chelsea Harbour, the Kings Road, Fulham Road, Tottenham Court Road etc (or if you’re not in London, try the Home and Fabric departments in your local department store, fabric shops, furniture shops, local restaurants and hotels, textile museums…). Flick through magazines (home, fashion, gardening, anything!), Pinterest, Houzz etc. Anything you like, get a sample, snap a quick picture, take a screenshot, rip it out… Don’t analyse too much while you’re collecting, just keep going. Then sit down at home and look for the themes. Your room will start to appear. You can then build on this foundation to search for the remaining things you need, and create a unique look that you’ll love.

Don’t be afraid of failure

This piece of advice applies to so much more than just interior design! Rarely is failure so catastrophic that recovery is impossible. If you don’t try daring things, you are unlikely to end up with a remarkable room or home… (Or a remarkable experience… holiday… life…). Try it, if it doesn’t work, learn from it and move on.

Some excellent tips here. Thank you, Kit, for an inspirational, entertaining and colourful talk, and for your generous advice from which we can all benefit.

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