Leading Interior Designers is a meticulously compiled directory of those that House and Garden consider being the best interior designers in the UK. Best Interior Designers presents the second part of a great list! Check them out!
Fox Linton Associates (Dennis Irvine)
This internationally recognised interior-design practice has equally international clients. The studio works across a broad spectrum of commissions, from high-end private homes to established hotel brands such as the Dorchester Collection and Raffles. Its trademark is originality, faultless detailing and intelligent design.
Crossing various creative fields with equal vigour, Francis Sultana is an interior designer, furniture designer and design adviser. He’s also an enthusiastic speaker on design trends and curation. For his many discerning art-world clients, he creates high-octane interiors laced with colour and luxury, and dispenses expert advice on showcasing or commissioning contemporary art. ‘I take clients on a creative journey, conceiving a sophisticated interior of today,’ he says.
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His designs are sumptuous with a capital ‘S’, frequently suffused with exuberant colour and over-scaled patterns. Gabhan O’Keeffe takes his top-end international clients – among them Bryan Ferry, Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis and the Archduke and Archduchess von Habsburg – on an innovative design journey, with a strong emphasis on ‘colour, texture, fantasy and craftsmanship’.
Energetic and stylish, Grant White continues to decorate both private houses and commercial projects – particularly restaurants – across the UK and internationally. He works closely with developers, too, for resale and rental. Grant is remarkably versatile, turning his hand to elegant luxe, slick modern or relaxed country looks, and asserts that his projects are always ‘a reflection and extension of the client’.
Presiding over a highly experienced team of architects and draughtsmen, Guy Goodfellow breathes new life into large country houses and grand apartments. His style is comfortable and classic English, but always with an element of the unexpected. Clients benefit from his knowledge of space and proportions, and from his mantra that he is ‘never, ever predictable’.
Harriet Anstruther Studio
This is a dynamic, multidisciplinary studio, headed by design director and consultant Harriet Anstruther, but very much a ‘team effort’. Interiors exude glamour, playful contradictions and extraordinary attention to detail. Harriet delivers brilliant advice on the selection and commission of art, and her new book, Reveal(Clearview, £30), explores how interior design ‘allows us to examine our environment and ourselves’.
Helen Green Design (Natalia Miyar)
et up by the designer Helen Green, who died in 2012, this practice is now headed by design director Natalia Miyar. She has continued the original ethos of ‘liveable luxury’, while evolving the studio’s approach. ‘The root of my style is clean architectural lines, striking proportion and a layering of materials,’ she says.
A chic designer with her finger on the pulse, Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay is a favourite for families wanting smart, vibrant living spaces. She’s expert with colour and pattern, and goes the extra mile to find the perfect artwork or vintage piece. ‘My design style is fluid,’ she says. ‘I balance form with function, old with new, charged with peaceful.’
Unfazed by the grandest of country homes, Henrietta Spencer-Churchill has a scholarly knowledge of English decorating. She says, ‘I like to retain the style, interior architecture and character of each house, bringing services into the twenty-first century.’ She’s also a lecturer and author: her latest book is The Life of the House (Rizzoli, £35).
An irrepressible creative energy suffuses Hubert Zandberg’s designs. With a desire to create ‘culturally informed, textured interiors’, he sets high standards. Rooms are beautifully tailored, luxurious and serene. ‘We often draw on eighteenth-century references, the Forties and modernism for inspiration,’ he says.
Consistently busy with high-end residential projects, Hugh Leslie is an interior architect with a gimlet eye. He wears his 30 years’ experience lightly: no two interiors look the same. Sometimes featuring a flash of brilliant colour, or perhaps a piece of expertly chosen modern art, his interiors look sharp, with an intelligent vibe.
Designer, academic and creative director Ilse Crawford is queen of the design scene, and in 2014 was awarded an MBE for outstanding ￼￼services to interior design. Ilse’s interiors are graceful and tactile: thoughtful design at its best.
Indigo Design Associates
Iona and Colin Duckworth are a husband-and-wife team with a winning combination of interior and architectural design skills. ‘We create homes for people to enjoy and cherish,’ Iona says. This energetic practice is much in demand, creating designs for modern living: clean lines, colour and judicious use of pattern.
J R Design
Experienced designer Jane Ormsby Gore has been enlivening family homes and commercial properties, including private members’ clubs, for over 15 years. Correctly observing that tastes are returning to a colourful, eclectic style, she’s delighted that ‘the young and influential have looked to us to create this mood’. With one eye on classical architecture and the other firmly on pushing boundaries, her designs are cheerful, comfortable and chic.
As the leader of an internationally recognised, super-efficient interior-design firm, Jane Churchill’s work has its roots in English country style, but features crisp modern detailing, immaculate tailoring and superb comfort.
She has a reputation for working on super-league homes and top-end developments, but in person Janine Stone is thoughtful and creative. She puts the client at the heart of every design, believing that each home ‘should be a perfect fit’. For her team of 50, that is the cue for expertly crafted bespoke furniture, unique decorative finishes and globally sourced antiques.
With an international reputation, Joanna Wood remains at the top of her game, enjoying a steady mix of private and commercial commissions. To celebrate, she has just published a book, Interiors for Living (Prestel, £50). Joanna can turn her hand to major developments, grand country houses or city flats, with professionalism and elegance guaranteed.
Award-winning John Minshaw needs little introduction. At his architectural and interior-design practice, he has been devising intelligent, pared-down private homes for over 30 years, from newbuilds to exquisite renovations of period properties. ‘I like to get the architecture and space planning right from the outset,’ he says. ‘The more ephemeral elements can be dealt with later.’ His rooms are spare, elegant and deeply serene.
Summing up his philosophy, John Stefanidis asserts it is ‘comfort for the eye and the body – genius loci, innovation and exploration’. It’s no surprise. Widely regarded as one of interior design’s greatest creative talents, and with a world-class reputation, John has always focused on careful thought processes, culminating in a sizzling vision for each and every job.
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His architectural-design practice has won numerous awards; in 2014 it was shortlisted for the RICS Building Conservation Award. Jonathan Tuckey’s look may be cool and pared down, but there’s also a sensitive focus on natural materials, and a confident eye for maximising space. In autumn 2014, ‘Urban Shed’, the practice’s concept for an industrial-style family home, was featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.
Her award-winning Chelsea practice goes from strength to strength, focusing on high-end homes for private clients and property developers. Juliette Byrne prides herself on creating individual designs, thoughtfully mixing clients’ existing pieces with bespoke items. Her own-brand candles are a nice touch for clients moving in.
A true internationalist, Kamini Ezralow is fluent in French and German and has clients across Europe and the Middle East. She is also a perfectionist: furnishings are exquisitely detailed, unusual textures are carefully interwoven into schemes, and patterns are echoed, not matched. ‘My design philosophy creates a sense of harmony and flow in a space,’ she says.
A highly organised designer who fervently believes in ‘design without compromise’ for her top-end clients. Whether private or commercial, Katharine Pooley’s work is faultlessly chic and ultra luxurious, teamed with state-of-the-art technology. She is committed to British craftsmanship: beautifully made and innovative furniture or finishes, designed with a contemporary eye, often feature.
Michael Keech and Graham Green work principally for private clients on both sides of the Atlantic, and are perfectionists par excellence: bespoke furniture is a speciality. They make it their mission to source extraordinary or unusual finishes, too. Keech Green’s architectural interiors are glamorous, restrained and tailored, and – as their many repeat clients know – include beautifully crafted cabinetry and a subtly colourful palette.
Working on international design commissions in parallel with her recent role as an investor on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den, Kelly Hoppen wears many hats, and was awarded an MBE in 2009 for her services to interior design. She remains true to her design ethos and her trademark soft neutrals. ‘My philosophy has always been to create timeless and under- stated elegance, and my palette will never change,’ she says.
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