Leading Interior Designers is a meticulously compiled directory of those that House and Garden consider to be the best interior designers in the UK. Best Interior Designers presents the third part of a great list! Check them out!
Her pared-down interiors call to mind the most elegant of hotels, but have all the comforts of home. Louise Bradley’s core style includes subtle neutrals, but she likes to evolve the palette ‘by adding tonal layers through texture, lighting and accessories’. She’s great for statement lights, accent colours and state-of-the-art kitchens.
Ultra professional, yet offering a highly personal service, Louise Jones is perpetually sensitive to her clients’ needs. ‘I always try to be original,’ she says. ‘If I feel I am heading somewhere I’ve been before, I stop and rethink.’ Her interiors are grown-up and inviting, with soft tones, neat detailing and quality finishes.
This exciting multidisciplinary practice is making a splash with glamorous interiors and a dedication to perfection. Jo leGleud and Scott Maddux’s designs are highly textural, with bespoke furniture, carefully sourced twentieth-century pieces and ‘a healthy dose of art-school irreverence’. Scott and Jo make the design journey fun.
As a designer, Marion Lichtig takes the long view, taking time to choose furnishings and antiques to ensure ‘a sense of organic growth’ and an evolved look. She shops exhaustively for the right statement piece, often an antique. Fond of vintage linens and natural stone and timber, Marion likes to create a balance between contemporary and classic. ‘Spaces should look effortlessly put together,’ she says.
Having been in the business for more than 20 years, Mark Gillette’s enduring popularity is a result of his ability to design for large-scale country houses and his reputation for professionalism. He has worked with some of the oldest aristocratic families in Europe, who crave his sumptuous interiors featuring carefully chosen art and furniture. More recently, he has branched out with contemporary projects.
Always with a visual surprise or two up his sleeve, Mark Smith attracts design-conscious, often international clients. He is eclectic in his tastes, and ‘passionate about many periods of architecture, from the sixteenth century to the Sixties’. His are current interiors, with exuberant colour schemes and decorative furniture.
Swedish-born designer Martin Brudnizki made his name designing some of the starriest bars and restaurants worldwide, from Soho Beach House in Miami to Le Caprice in New York and Scott’s in Mayfair. He also undertakes sophisticated private homes for super-league clients. ‘I listen to the client, understand their needs and tailor the design to how they live,’ he says. Look out for sharp tailoring, a confident colour palette and a heightened sense of scale.
He describes his designs as ‘highly considered and insightful’, which is one reason why many of Martin Hulbert’s projects are repeat business. With its early roots in hotel design and private houses, his practice is now broadening its horizons with garden designs and a furniture range. ‘Our goal is to retain our personal approach and continue to deliver unique projects,’ he says.
With antiques dealing in his blood and a cracking knowledge of period furniture, textiles and design, Max Rollitt is a firm favourite with his discerning repeat clients. He tackles whole-house refurbishment with verve, sensitively renovating classical detailing yet imparting a modern twist. ‘I love texture, colour, good design and history,’ he says. ‘I want to bring joy and wit to every project.’
James McWhirter and Sarah Morris’s combined knowledge fuses traditional English country-house design with an expert understanding of antiques. Cheerfully admitting to an ‘anti-fashion’ philosophy, they turn out fresh, pretty rooms that are sympathetic to a property’s historical roots. ‘We listen to our client and the house, and then create a comfortable, classical yet quirky interior to suit both,’ they say.
Her interiors are elegant, classical and light, yet Melissa Wyndham’s designs are also shaped by her practicality and a desire to create timeless spaces. ‘I am driven by comfort and good lighting,’ she says. Melissa has forged her reputation decorating countless grand English country houses, but she also enjoys the modern. Clients may be surprised by something unexpected, such as a piece of contemporary art or a swish of uplifting colour.
An accomplished and meticulous designer, Michael Nicholas instills his clients with confidence, pairing an authoritative understanding of architecture with a talent for sharp design. ‘We like to provide an elegant fusion of classical elements within a contemporary canvas,’ he says. There is a masculine palette at work here, featuring splashes of bold colour. He has a great eye for abstracts, too.
Mlinaric, Henry and Zervudachi
Despite its world-class reputation, MHZ constantly works to raise the bar, creating beautifully executed private homes, retail spaces, galleries and hotels internationally. The MHZ philosophy is simple, yet focused: ‘To seek the essence of the client’s character and combine that with the location and style of the property.’ These are sparkling interiors designed for the global jet set.
The designer of choice for luxury alpine properties, Nicky Dobree specialises in chic chalets across Europe. She works for a host of discerning international clients and aims to ‘create timeless, elegant and comfortable homes that complement the personality and lifestyle of each client’. The look is smart, mixing modern detailing with traditional vernacular and combining expertly chosen natural materials with a dash of luxe.
A-list designer Nicky Haslam is firing on all cylinders. He’s published a fifth book, A Designer’s Life (Jacqui Small, £50), and has new fabric designs and a further collaboration with The Rug Company ongoing for 2015. A new furniture range for Oka is also planned. His philosophy never fails: ‘Listen to what rooms tell you. Design is a dialogue between one’s mind’s eye and the space.’
Despite designing grand houses and hotels, Nina Campbell still has the personal touch – making her one of the world’s most respected interior designers. Clients appreciate her humour and eye for the zeitgeist. Her interiors exude confident colour and pattern choices, underpinned with comfort. ‘You’ve got to be practical, with a place for everything,’ she says.
Northwick Design (Cathy Connolly)
Effortlessly stylish and sensitive to her clients’ needs, Cathy Connolly has been transforming private houses for three decades. She decorates with a light touch, mixing natural materials and a soft, considered palette. ‘Colour and texture are important,’ she says. ‘A house should flow, with a link connecting the rooms.’
Award-winning designer Paolo Moschino (left), together with Philip Vergeylen, the head of the Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam design studio, turns out sophisticated interiors that are recognised globally. The look is elegant, with the occasional whimsy of hot colour, a dash of leopard print or scaled-up accessories. There is a vast range of elegant own-brand furniture, lighting, accessories and fabrics, along with carefully sourced antiques.
With more than three decades’ experience, Penny Morrison’s highly personal interiors remain pretty and relaxed though artfully conceived. She layers antique and new furniture, fabrics and paintings to compose an ‘undecorated’ look. ‘It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it,’ she says. She’s also growing an accessories business,Irving & Morrison, with Carolina Irving.
Australian-born Peter Mikic is a dynamic designer, delivering ultra-stylish, subtly colored interiors featuring sharp tailoring and beautifully chosen art. He also designs his own range of furniture, as well as wool and silk rugs, and will launch a lighting collection in late 2015. His are luxe interiors with a fashion-conscious edge.
For clients wanting a subtle take on classical English style, featuring a muted palette and carefully curated art and antiques, Philippa Devas is the designer to call. Understated and with a sure hand, she likes to weave in clients’ own treasured possessions with commissioned one-off pieces, and she genuinely relishes working with craftsmen and artists.
Piers von Westenholz
An antiques dealer par excellence, Piers von Westenholz has been in the trade for over 40 years and specialises in antiques for large English country houses. He is also a masterful interior designer and a favorite with clients who value his discretion and bold choices. Despite the grandeur of the interiors, he says ‘simplicity and comfort’ remain his watchwords.
An architect, interior designer and creative visionary, Rabih Hage takes a sensitive yet confident approach to interiors. ‘I respect the heritage, stripping back and extending the life of a building,’ he says. Expect clean lines, flashes of color and expertly curated art or bespoke furniture.
Architect Maria Speake heads up the design team at this brilliantly innovative and deservedly popular interiors and architectural practice based in Kensal Green. She and her team interact with everything from Sixties architecture to listed buildings and ‘try to be as fun and unpretentious as possible’. Their intelligent interiors are by turns elegant, robust and achingly cool, and they are masters of reusing salvage in enterprising new ways.
Spearheading a new breed of young designers, Rita Konig likes her interiors to look ‘as undecorated as possible’. Her designs are easygoing, quirky and fun, underpinned with a rigorous understanding of clients’ needs. She’s the perfect choice for those in search of colour, a casual vibe and expertly pitched vintage pieces.