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  • Writer's pictureMia Spencer

What does an interior designer do?

We work with you... but it’s not just paint and cushions.

We work with you to build you a space that doesn’t just look great but also works perfectly for the way you want to live in it.

We’re a one stop shop, that means we:

-      create exciting designs for your spaces

-      produce full space plans (including extensions)

-      design kitchens and bathrooms

-      source selections (materials, lighting, furniture, art)

-      design built in furniture

-      bring on trusted trades and negotiating build quotes

-      support with planning, building control and other permissions

-      execute your project, managing builders and supporting you throughout

We have an established process that starts with a discovery call. This call helps us connect as people, we have a chat about what you need and talk about how we can help (or if we can’t help what your best next step is). It’s a short 15 minute call but clients tell us it is often where they switch from confused/overwhelmed to making that first step on their journey, feeling excited and empowered. Best of all it’s a no obligation, free call, so if you’d like to start to get clarity on your project get in touch to book yours today.

Did you know that we don’t just do design, we also project manage your build...

We bring the beautiful, tailored design into reality for you to enjoy. Anyone will tell you building work is not fun, it’s expensive and messy and long, with hundreds of small decisions to make, design adjustments to work out when paper designs meet real world pipework, and seemingly endless purchases and deliveries to manage.

What if we told you that we can take care of all of that? Of course we come to you for material choices and to sign off alterations but we organise ALL of the rest of it.

Not only that but we also advise on what permissions you need (planning, building control, build overs, party wall) and help you manage these.

Our clients have said: “don’t try it yourself, you need House by Mia”

We plan kitchens...

Little green Olive green shaker kitchen
Broken plan kitchen - Victorian cottage, Wimbledon

It’s such a big time and financial commitment with so many pitfalls - did you know you have to make well over 100 decisions in a kitchen plan before you even get to colour and style? It’s no wonder that a large proportion of our clients come to us because they are drowning in a sea of kitchen options.

This particular kitchen was originally an awkward kitchen diner, with a terrible layout, no charm and a grim leaky old lean-to. It was making our clients sad and reluctant to socialise. Keeping a tight hold on a limited budget and also an eye on the cottage charm, we kept the back wall and replaced the lean-to with a proper extension. Et voila! A gorgeous space my clients adore enjoying together and inviting friends into.

When we work on a kitchen project we deep dive into how you live, what you love and what you hate in the in-person 2hr consultation to make sure that we solve all the problems that are bringing you down.

TOP TIP: a primary working triangle between hob, sink and fridge is essential, and the secondary triangle/line between sink bin and dishwasher is also super important.

We deliver bathroom goals…

Vertical panel bathroom
Serene bathroom - Stoike Newington, London

This was a favourite recent bathroom one of a not too matchy pair with an ensuite that echoes the main bathroom. The clients just didn’t know where to start on this formerly sad, non-functional space. They love to travel so we created a pared back but warm spa space with a nod to the tropical.

Bathrooms are another place where financial commitments and the potential for mistakes are high (60+ decisions in this room alone), which is why these clients came to us for help, they’d never done a bathroom before but we design one a month so can always make the most of the often quite limited space.

Using a designer for a bathroom also means we take you straight past standard chrome and white into something altogether more inspiring.

Top tip: Have a main light and a secondary, softer light in your bathroom, so you can keep lighting low last thing at night when you brush your teeth, it’ll help get you sleepy for bed.

We draw plans and revise architect plans...

Hicks Blue loft bedroom
Teen loft bedroom - Edwrardian family home, Sydeham

This is a loft we finished recently, a gorgeous space for two sibling teens to have a little autonomy still within the home.

The client had architectural drawings but they weren’t convinced they made the most of the space, so we were able to review the drawings and transform the (planned) awkward bathroom into a glorious, spacious walk in shower room and create bedrooms with tons of useful storage and a picture window to die for!

We were able to do this because we always put our clients at the heart of our work, ensuring that we spend the first part of our process really diving into what client needs are, and creating multiple touch points along the design path to ensure we have captured what they need.

Top tip: Consider a wide picture window for your loft instead of the ‘usual’ Juliet balcony door, more light, more sky, more usable wall, what’s not to love!

We bring colour into your life...

Woad blue stiing room - Olive velvet sofa
Elegant Edwardian sitting room - family home Wimbledon, London

Look at these gorgeous colours!

Yes of course an interior designer can provide colour schemes (and cushions!) and make colour selections to bring a dull room to life but that’s only the icing on what we do, first there is the cake to bake!

We love to start at a super early stage on a project, with a problematic space, or an underwhelming kitchen plan or extension drawing. The earlier you bring us in the better really so we can make sure that the cake ingredients are all exactly right, with just the sweetness and spice that you like, before it goes in the oven.

However, even if your cake is already baked – yes I’m going to push this metaphor to its bitter end - but just feels a bit plain, a bit vanilla we can inject in some jam, freshen up flavour and taste with gorgeous frosting and help you present it on a beautiful plate.

Phew, I think I’m done, and a bit hungry…

Top tip: paint samples on big bits of lining paper (at least A3 size) then stick up on different walls to see how the light in the room affects the paint.

We light your space perfectly...

Blue tiles, Mullan wall lights
Mid century kitchen - Stoke Newington, London

Lighting is another area that it pays to use a professional. We are skilled at creating layered lighting scheme so you can tailor your light to your mood - yes even in a kitchen!

These gorgeous Mullan lighting Raynor lights are fabulous to look at and create a lovely dimmable pools of light just where you need them on the worktop.

For example, we love a statement pendant in a sitting room, but it really needs to look beautiful when off too. Lamps at different heights will be the kind of lighting you want for relaxing in front of the tv or socialising with friends.

The reason we can make good lighting choices is because of experience and deep knowledge of quality brands, yes, but also because we put the client centre, your experience is our focus, from the first discovery call to the final photos we are ‘team client’.

Top tip: Light up dark shelf corners with a little glowing rechargeable light, Pooky and Abigail Aherne do some lovely ones.

We design and build tailored storage...

Walnut bespoke built in loft storage
Bespoke loft wardrobes - Brockley, London

Bespoke storage is often the best way to get the most out of your storage space.

We draw up bespoke storage all the time so our clients have exactly what they need where they need it, it needn’t cost much more than off the shelf but it really is lovely when you can have it designed to purpose and in a bespoke chic design made just for you in any material you like.

For example these angled loft cupboards use up all the awkward space, while looking stunning in the Walnut veneer, I love a bit of walnut, so warm and delicious. And this one carries on around the room to create bed, dressing table and window seat. Gorgeous!

We design, specify and have one of our fantastic carpenters execute our designs. Recently we’ve been doing lots of home bars – cocktails at home seems to be a la mode!

Top tip: If you have 2 wardrobes consider hanging two short rails in one of them as most people have more short hanging (shirts/trousers) than long (dresses/long coats) and avoid wasted space.

So if any of this sounds like something you need then drop us line to book in a discovery call today, we’re always happy to have a chat and help you with what you need.

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