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Content Review -- “What the Magazines Say”
Top 20 UK interior Designers  

Is your home dowdy or old-fashioned? Unfashionable in layout and decor? If so, then the time is right to bring in an interior decorator.

If you have considered such skills too expensive or unnecessary then remember - good design gives you the home you want, impresses others and, ultimately, may pay for itself handsomely by boosting the value and appeal of your property when you come to sell.

We have found 20 of Britain’s top interior designers, all accredited with the British Institute of Interior Design

jessicabrookdesign West London based, including architectural, furniture and product design

mcw-associates work for home owners, developers, hotels and restaurants, based in Cirencester

msmonro Chelsea-based, this is Britain’s longest-established interior design consultancy, will design gardens as well as homes.

ashtonhousedesign Seven-person design consultancy with large showroom in Ashburton, Devon.

fisherid Kent-based with 30 years of experience in high-end residential interior design.


Has handled very high-end London and south east residential design.

simshilditch Has a mission “to make everyday living comfortable, engaging and inspirational”. Based near Bath.

siobhanmooney Edinburgh design team handling room layouts, electrical plans, soft furnishing, fabrics, sourcing of antiques.

carolynparker Mother-and-daughter team, Yorkshire based but operating across UK and in Portugal.

kellyhoppen Kelly is a celebrity interior designer (she is a Dragon’s Den dragon) with her own range of fabrics, paints and furniture.

pascoe interiors This Chichester firm specialises in blending vintage furniture into contemporary surroundings.

infinitedesigndevon Interior designers operating mostly in the South Hams.

suedanninteriors Buckinghamshire-based firm offering full design service but specialising in bespoke kitchens.

marybarberfray The website offers design tips and the firm offers services from designing one window to refurbishing a whole house. Birmingham-based.

cloudstudios This Oxford firm has worked on country house interiors as well as modern urban homes.

wilkinsonbevandesign A Birmingham-based firm that has worked on ski chalets, Caribbean villas and British homes.

juliettebyrne High-end London interior firm which also offers property management services.

woodsinteriordesign Based in Harrogate the firm specialises in country houses across the UK.

liza evans A central London firm which also offers to source antiques for clients.

mc call design. This London team has worked on high-end clubs, sporting premises, offices and homes. 
How to choose an interior designer;

  • Decide exactly what rooms and ideas you have before commissioning a designer.
  • Collect fabric samples, photographs and colour charts to focus your ideas.
  • Ask friends and colleagues for experiences and recommendations of designers.
  • The British Institute of Interior Design posts a list of members on
  • Most designer offer a free first consultation, so try several to assess attitude and competency.
  • Check rates (many charge circa £75 an hour, others up to 15 per cent of project cost).
  • Ask whether VAT, labour, materials and project management are included in fee.
  • Encourage your designer to source and buy materials (they will get trade rates).
  • If you directly pay interior design labourers, budget for £500 to £1,000 per room.
  • Secure a firm schedule from your designer, especially if (s)he is project managing.

Source: The Telegraph
Top 20 UK interior Designers
Appeared in issues 14 --- September 2014 Content and images © Mirrorworld 2022
With a little help from Moodboards  

Moodboards from HouseToHome

In our never ending search for interesting articles for our reader we often come across something with things worth passing on and we feel "Moodboards" from HouseToHome is worth a look.

Using Moodboards allows you to save and store images from your favourite articles, images and ideas from the HouseToHome web site. You can save as many as you like and start to get creative with your favourite ones.

Rotate, resize and mix together the images you've selected in your own private workspace, creating a unique and professionally styled room design.

With the ability to print, email and share, be proud to show off your finished Moodboards to friends and family or even share then via Facebook and Twitter.

We think you find this a creative and useful tool, we certainly liked it...

Take a peek at their easy to follow video tutorial too..

Source: HouseToHome
With a little help from Moodboards
Appeared in issues 10 --- July 2014 Content and images © Mirrorworld 2022
Designs on a small footprint in the big city  

Having worked on five Princess Margaret Home Lottery abodes, Trish Johnston knows how to handle over-sized interiors.

But these days Johnston, currently the on-air design expert for CBC’s Steven and Chris show, is having her way with small, cost-effective spaces.

There was, for example, the stunning transformation of an eight-by-24 foot galley kitchen into a handsome, highly functional space featuring lots of accessible, affordable options from Ikea.

Not that Johnston had to be sold on the charms of small spaces — her own home is a 1,300-square-foot penthouse in the Annex that she shares with husband Greg and sons Jack, 12, and Finley, 10.

Looking out from her fifth- and sixth-floor condominium home, Johnston says she feels like she’s in a European city.

With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the space would be a squeeze for many families. But Johnston says it’s an ideal size for an urban family.

“We embrace big-city living, in part because you can have a smaller footprint,” says Johnston. “We are really neighbourhood-centric. We enjoy not having to drive, and living in a neighbourhood that is walkable. We have a park a block away for the kids, and our cheese guys and butcher and liquor store are all close by.”

The trade-off is giving up a yard. Not such a big deal, says Johnston.

“So what? Why do we need a little patch of grass when there’s a park nearby? Instead we have a beautiful big terrace.”

Ten-foot ceilings found favour with Johnston, as did an abundance of natural light. “That always enhances quality of life,” she says.

Successful small spaces incorporate ways for people to get away from each other when they need to, says Johnston. “You have to use the space smartly, almost have zones.”

Hence, the boys’ 10-by-10 foot bedroom also serves as a playroom.

The walls are a deep, rich blue, accented with a zesty green and crisp white. “I’ve used that colour combo in multiple spaces throughout the years — it can work anywhere.”

Others may have limited such a confident blue to a single wall, but not Johnston.

“I’m not really into feature walls,” she says. “It can feel a bit DIY-ish. If I’m going to commit to a bold colour, I’ll wrap it around room and then temper it. For example, the drapes have a huge pop of white.”

Johnston eschews the notion that dark colours shrink a room. “In fact, darker colours make the walls recede,” she explains.

There’s another dominant splash of colour in the small office from which Johnston runs her design business — a cheery red carpet.

Still, the master bedroom is washed in calm whites and serene neutrals, only lightly leavened with hits of sunny orange. Johnston is perfectly content with its economical eight-by-10 foot surface.

“For me, the bedroom is just for sleeping and, uhm, cuddling. I don’t need it to have other functions,” she says.

Mirrors are one of Johnston’s tricks for making light bounce to create a sense of space. For example, two mirrors — one with a decorative frame, the other a plain rectangular slab — sit at right angles on a chest tucked into a corner.

The same treatment is used in a lounging space, one of those spots Johnston describes as a “getaway” area.

“I decided if we mirrored the back wall, it would seem like the room went on forever.”

Another wall is papered in a large, classically inspired print featuring watery blues and shimmery metallic tones. The immediate effect is a big bolt of colour. Viewed at any distance, however, it becomes apparent that the paper, like the drapes in the boys’ room, has large bands of white to temper the hue.

After more than five years with the decor, Johnston has not tired of it. “During the day, it’s a fresh Tiffany blue, but at night the gold comes out and it just glimmers. It’s different again in the winter light. It’s constantly changing.”

Johnson says “the design pickle” that husband Greg solved revolved around an awkward door on the wall that was to be papered. He suggested papering it, too. To finish, casing was colour matched and a pretty knob from Anthropologie added.

The seamless look pleased Johnston, who’s drawn to symmetry.

“I have this tiny bit of Bohemian in me, that’s completely tempered by a love of symmetry.”

Quirky touches include pieces like the coffee table that Johnston and her husband found on the way home from a party.

“I think we were a bit tipsy, but we got it home,” she says. “It didn’t take long. That’s one of the beauties of living downtown.”

Source: Homes
Designs on a small footprint in the big city
Appeared in issues 5 --- April 2014 Content and images © Mirrorworld 2022
Small Spaces  

Making the best of what you’ve got. This sums up the situation for most homeowners – y’know, those of us who don’t own rambling mansions, country castles or uber-cool new-builds.  

Here on 25BH we feature homes of all shapes and sizes (so keep sending ‘em in folks!) and this includes small, sorry, bijou properties. There are many ideas for making compact spaces look bigger and none more so than the use of mirrors, white walls and pale furnishings. This one has all of those, so well done that homeowner. Now it’s easy to miss, but don’t you love the reflection in the mirror, which reveals the multifunctional nature of this room.

See this frame design here...Design LC697

Source: Room Envy - Sean O'Connell
Small Spaces
Appeared in issues 3 --- March 2014 Content and images © Mirrorworld 2022
Room Envy  

I’m really not looking forward to winter. I just want to hibernate until spring – and I think I’ve found the perfect bedroom in which to do this.

My bedroom curtains are lined with blackout fabric, because there’s a street light right outside and it illuminates the whole room. Whereas here, in this sophisticated bedroom, the navy blue, floor-length curtains look like they won’t let in a chink of light. The striking navy wallpaper behind the bed co-ordinates perfectly with the curtains, pillows

and throw, while the dark wood furniture completes the elegant look. The matching tall mirrors, behind the bedside tables are an eye-catching detail and make a refreshing change to framed prints. I love the dark, snug, cocoon-like feel they’ve created.

Source: - Sally Dominic
Room Envy
Appeared in issues 1 --- February 2014 Content and images © Mirrorworld 2022