An amazing selection of the most talented London interior designers who are constantly
at the forefront of the interior design industry.
‘We love to design to a narrative; every space has a story and its own sense of place,’ says Marie Soliman, who co-founded Bergman Interiors four years ago with Albin Berglund. Both have a background in hotel design and decided to team up on what turned out to be a big break: the Anthony Joshua-backed BXR London boxing gym in Marylebone where they channelled industrial-chic (they have since finished a second site in Canary Wharf and Battersea Power Station is slated for 2021).
Playing with light and shadow by using interesting dividing screens is a recurring detail: ‘once we used braided straps to act as a partition which cast thousands of shadows on the floor,’ says Marie. Past clients include Eagle Lodge Belmond Botswana, the Ritz Carlton in Oman and Four Seasons London at Ten Trinity Square; residences are ongoing in India, the Middle East and the UK.
Owned and operated by Aaron and Laura Hammett, Laura Hammett designs is bringing hip and elegant interior designs to London. From Notting Hill Penthouses to Chelsea Townhomes, in addition to a wide variety of interior national properties, Laura Hammett is one of London’s top interior design firms.
Laura and Hammet has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Lux Pad, Prime Resi, Luxdeco, Sua Casa, the London Evening Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The Resident, The Telegraph, Country & Town House, Art of Design, Bricks and Mortar, International Property, Embark Home & Decor, Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and In Design Magazine.
Shayne Brady and Emily Williams first met while working for RPW Design before going their separate ways (he went onto David Collins Studio; she did a stint at Louise Bradley). Then in 2013, they decided to set up a studio together and Brady Williams was born. ‘Across the board there is a common language of timeless, classic design but our residential style focuses on refined elegance whereas the hospitality side is more dramatic,’ says Shayne, of which the latter include big name restaurants such as Fischer’s, Café Wolseley in Bicester Village and Brigadiers in the City.
Although the studio is roughly split – Shayne oversees the commercial side, Emily is more involved with residential – they both give input to all projects. ‘Within residential, we love mixing textures with neutral tones and caramels. Maximising any beautiful features is key while at the same time ensuring that the layout works for the functionality of the space,’ concludes Emily.
CELINE INTERIOR DESIGN
‘A Celine Interior Design home is synonymous with opulence and luxury whilst simultaneously feeling cosy too,’ explains director Noor Charchafchi, a former aviation finance lawyer who switched careers eight years ago. She is renowned for her flawlessly finished spaces which often feature hand- painted chinoiserie wallpapers (‘there’s a subtle extravagance in using such unique wallcoverings and it’s a real privilege to be able to do so’) and light, neutral tones.
‘We want to make sure that the shapes and forms of the interior speak for themselves so rather than allowing too many bold colours to overshadow the balance of the room we use soft accent colours like blues and greens.’ Projects in the pipeline span the globe from London to Pakistan, the Middle East to Monaco.
DAVID COLLINS STUDIO
Having completing Thomas Keller’s TAK restaurant within the Hudson Yards development in New York, designed new lodges on the Delaire Graff Estate in South Africa and unveiled the Dining Room at Harrods within the Grade I-listed tiled hall, it’s understandable that David Collins creative director Simon Rawlings names 2019 as one of his favourite yet. ‘It really illustrated the depth of design quality we are producing at the moment and emphasised the global reach of the studio,’ he says.
Whether working on commercial spaces such as these or residential commissions, he likes to use materials and techniques, such as tapestry in unexpected ways. ‘For instance, each of the stools within Harrods Dining Hall has an embroidered detail, which I love, as it adds a whimsical touch and there is always embossed leather, marble and timber somewhere.’
FIONA BARRATT INTERIORS
Sophisticated neutrals interlaced with interesting and unusual materials are characteristic of Fiona Barratt-Campbell’s highly textured spaces. For instance, for an in-progress ski chalet in Chamonix she has chosen micro-cement over more traditional marble in the bathrooms, paired with contrasting dark gunmetal and bronze sanitaryware finishes. Of her design style, she says, ‘Provenance, a sense of locality and a love of objects with a narrative meld together to bring the client’s vision alive.’
Alongside the interiors studio, she is also behind FBC London (the collection includes furniture, lighting and kitchens): a New York showroom is opening in imminently and she is working on the first FBI/FBC London branded residence, just off Cadogan Square. Her mood boards for spring include marquetry (she has just commissioned a headboard in an Aztec-style pattern) and boucle fabrics.
A trained architecht who was a director at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler before setting up on his own 18 years ago, Guy Goodfellow is an expert in restoring grand listed houses (noteworthy properties include West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire, Hopetoun House in Scotland and Garsington Manor in Oxfordshire), as well as more modern homes and new builds. He describes his design style as ‘rich and clubby’, often incorporating furniture from all eras, red for warmth and antique textiles.
He has also developed his own range of wallpapers and fabrics (his most famous is ‘Fez Weave’ which has been adopted by the Soho House Group). ‘We are working on a new print inspired by a Persian tile and striving to get the tones as close to the hand painted original as possible whilst playing with a new palette for the additional colourways,’ says Guy.
HELEN GREEN DESIGN
Since being founded almost 20 years ago, Helen Green Design has become known for its considered, understated style. ‘The brand is synonymous with a very British aesthetic which we fashion around the skilful use of layering and pared-back detailing, ever faithful to Helen Green’s legacy,’ says new studio director Ivana Allain, who joined the company last summer from Martin Kemp Design and is working on a family penthouse in St Petersburg and a London townhouse, among other projects.
‘I believe simplicity is the key, and steer towards a look that is unfussy and clean-lined but thoughtfully curated. Working with specialist artists and artisans, I like to create a piece specific to the client, location or property which always makes an interior feel personal.’ Expect warm, earthy neutrals as a backdrop, interspersed with engaging pops of colour.
HENRY PRIDEAUX INTERIOR DESIGN
Having cut his teeth at Nicky Haslam’s NH Design and The Studio Harrods, Henry Prideaux set up on his own in 2014. ‘My main goal is always to design a house that feels complete by using as many different layers of textures, artwork and decorative lighting as possible to create interesting vignettes and unexpected features,’ says Henry, who likes to think outside the box when it comes to floor plans too.
He has just completed a trio of London tonwhouses, one of which was a Regency family home in Kensington. For this, the finishes included custom de Gournay wallpapers, specialist polished plaster and a ‘secret door’ to the study made using cherry-picked vintage books. ‘A design trick I am particularly fond of is creating a border out of ribbon on the walls to frame a room and define architectural elements. I also love a tassel: as embellishment on cushions or to dress the handles on the fitted joinery.’
A self-labelled visual magpie who takes much of her inspiration from travel, Katharine Pooley officially launched her business in 2004 with a home accessories boutique in Knightsbridge. She is renowned for her ultra- luxury look, whether it’s a minimalist villa in Hong Kong or an English country retreat. She does lots of work in the Middle East and Asia – but always has several London projects ticking along too. ‘It is wonderfully freeing not to have a specific house style; I design with the client, their life and happiness in mind,’ she says.
For Katharine, one of the most enjoyable aspects is commissioning bespoke pieces such as couture- level embroidery that elevates an item from the ordinary to the extraordinary. ‘There is artistry to interior design – albeit on a rather large scale – and to my mind it is the seemingly effortless balance of light and colour that creates a beautiful room.’
One of the most high profile – and prolific – interior designers today, Kelly Hoppen’s affinity for taupe, texture and a subtle East meets West aesthetic is legendary. Neutral palettes are often contrasted with matte black accents (‘matte finishes are much more forgiving and durability in the home is key,’ she says) and materials such as wood, metal and marble. ‘Lately we are using more ceramic as it’s practical and you can create anything you want, as well as cork, which I’m loving.’
One of Kelly’s most anticipated recent launches was her design for the Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Apex and she cites designing the interiors of a train as a dream commission. The studio has more than 45 global projects on the go, including hotels in Mauritius and the Caribbean and private residences throughout Europe.
MARTIN HULBERT DESIGN
Free-thinking design duo Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson are best known for putting a fresh twist on traditional country house hotel style at properties such as Coworth Park, the Treehouse Suites at Chewton Glen and The Grove in Hertfordshire which they have recently decorated for a second time (case in point: the marble sculptures in the garden are tattooed by an artist in Camden).
Recent residential projects include a classic Greek villa in Corfu where the chalky colour palette was inspired by the sea views and a house in Regents Park which combines antique furniture with specially designed pieces. ‘We have also just created a new textile range which will launch next year and right now, find ourselves attracted to using handmade and hand-printed fabrics in warm citrus shades.’
MARTIN KEMP DESIGN
The super prime market’s go-to designer, Martin Kemp is known for being incredibly discreet and detail-driven. His impressive rollcall of past achievements includes yachts, private jets and residences such as the landmark development Clarges Mayfair overlooking Green Park; a private bolt-hole apartment in New York’s Time Warner Building; and a showcase sub-penthouse in China for an international property company.
What links them all is his client-first agenda: ‘we endeavour always to reflect the philosophy of our clients, bringing their aspirations to life through our creative approach,’ he says, recalling a surprising picnic on the exact spot where a dining room would eventually be as one instance of helping someone envision a scheme. He prides himself on working with the finest materials and using craftsmanship in an inventive, original way.
PAOLO MOSCHINO FOR NICHOLAS HASLAM
Whether tasked with creating ‘the most beautiful garden property on the Mediterranean’ or a ‘sophisticated interior around an art collection’, for design duo Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen, capturing the personality of their client is always the main objective. The pair began working together in 2008 after Paolo took over Nicholas Haslam.
In-progress projects include a hotel in Palermo, houses in the Dominican Republic, chalets in Gstaad and a hunting lodge in Berkshire – a testament to the breadth of the studio’s output. ‘We are working increasingly with wallpapers, especially the hand-painted collection we developed with San Patrignano,’ says Philip, who also attributes the secret to a welcoming space as ‘good lighting and a fully stocked drinks trolley.’
Former fashion designer Peter Mikic made the fateful leap to interiors after his designs for uniforms for a yacht crew led to him being asked to create the soft furnishings too. That was nearly 15 years ago and since then he has become known for his playful yet considered spaces. ‘My design style is eclectic and luxurious, mixing contemporary with antiques. I like rooms that look a little loose, but well thought through. It’s OK to go off piste a bit to avoid symmetry,’ says Peter.
Inspiration can come from anywhere but he has been ‘studying the design principles of the greats, such as Jean Royere and Carlo Scarpa. Their mastery of scale and refined detail are elements we’re continuing to integrate into our design work’. Right now, he is splitting his time between properties in West London, St Tropez and Sussex.
Multi-talented Rose Uniacke is a trained furniture restorer, gilder and a specialist in paint and lacquer – all of which come in handy when creating uncluttered, harmonious homes for her A-list client list (which includes the Beckhams, Peter Morgan and Jo Malone). A room should be ‘welcoming, contemplative and effortlessly comfortable,’ she says.
‘Generally, I want to make the best use of somewhere by enhancing the way it flows and functions, focusing on the architecture first. I love breathing space and sometimes leave rooms fairly spare to balance with something else, or to create energy of some sort.’ The business continues to grow with a new in-house architectural arm and additional ranges for RU Editions, her collection of furniture, lighting and accessories, and RU Fabric. ‘In interiors we use antique and collectible furniture, as well as our own collections and always try to be sensitive to sustainability.’
SOPHIE PATERSON INTERIORS
Over the last 12 years Sophie Paterson has made a name for herself working on listed properties across the capital but the Surrey-based interior designer’s portfolio also runs the gamut from a holiday home in Portugal to a new build in Oman. Clients typically lean towards either opulent luxury or the rustic chic look. ‘I have a personal affinity with rustic chic so when appropriate, I love to combine classic contemporary interiors with finishes such as limed weathered oak, jute rugs and heavily textured linens,’ she says.
Her ongoing hand painted chinoiserie wallpaper collaboration with Fromental has led to a new-found love of burgundy: ‘I used one of the wallpapers in my own bedroom and now I’m increasingly drawn to this colour; we also love using tan and rust accents.’ With every home, the goal is to ‘ensure it still feels relevant in ten years’ time and feels as good to live in as it looks’.
For Italian-Greek designer Brigitta Spinocchia Freund, a specially commissioned piece of artwork is integral to any interior whether she’s working on a villa in the Balearics or a European ski chalet. ‘We recently created two suspended lighting sculptures featuring fine ceramic with gold detail, steel and canvas. Both pieces were conceived at the earliest stage of the design concept and give each location a unique sense of arrival,’ says Brigitta who also designs furniture, lighting, dinner services and linens in-house.
‘We curate a home in a similar way to an exhibition by creating conversation pieces for every corner and view. And bespoke pieces are a big part of providing surprise.’ More commercial ventures are being added to the studio’s portfolio too – watch this space.
Industrial chic paired with soft tones and warm textures are the hallmark of Tara Bernerd’s inimitable design style. ‘Drawing on the local culture, history and atmosphere, we seek to create a design DNA that embraces the character and identity of the location in which a space is set,’ says Tara. ‘That being said, I do find myself drawn to more industrial elements such as exposed brickwork or structural ironmongery.’
The majority of the studio’s time is taken up with hotels (currently this includes a new brand in Japan, the Four Seasons in New York and working alongside Frank Gehry on the Equinox Hotel in LA) but Tara does take on select private residences and yachts too, whether it’s a villa in Ibiza, an apartment in Central Park or a penthouse in Hong Kong.