Considering the calibre of projects that find their way to us at ELLE Decoration, picking Britain's very best interior designers can feel a near-impossible feat. Rather than an inexhaustible A-Z, we've chosen ten to have on your radar now.
Here we celebrate the most in-demand names in interior design, many of whom are blurring the lines between commercial, residential and furniture design with their inspiring and stylishly curated spaces. We can't wait to see what they do next...
A former director of Ilse Crawford’s StudioIlse, architect Ben Thompson initially worked at a small firm specialising in the restoration of historic country properties. ‘I became fascinated by the value of sensitive design on top of the architectural layer,’ he explains.
This appreciation of period properties is evident in his biggest project to date, Heckfield Place in Hampshire. ‘The gut reaction was to go five star,’ says Thompson of the country house hotel. ‘We wanted to deliver that level of quality, being brave enough to offer less and give the experience a special, yet more domestic feel. And to engage with the landscape.’
The greatest reward, he says, was uniting like-minded individuals and craftspeople to bring the vision to life. bwtlondon.com
Duncan Campbell met Charlotte Rey in 2007 when the pair were teenagers, both working as editors on Acne Studio’s biannual magazine Acne Paper. Although Campbell studied law and Rey fashion history and theory, their creative partnership grew organically over time until they officially launched Campbell Rey in 2014. ‘We slowly built a design practice that now incorporates residential and commercial interior design, creative direction, and furniture and product design.’
Today, their projects span from branding and styling a hotel to designing a range of marble occasional tables and Murano glassware, reimagining Kartell’s ‘Componibili’ storage units, producing furniture for Punch Room Bar at The London Edition hotel, and even creating the trophy for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 2017. Not to mention their art direction of books, plus styling and rebranding of a hotel.
Increasingly, the core of the practice is interior design, with current projects including two restaurants, a penthouse in Mayfair and a house in Kent. Campbell’s north London home is pictured here. The duo work closely together but regularly collaborate with small teams depending on the creative endeavour – which, judging by their past record, could be just about anything. campbell-rey.com
After studying architecture, Mellersh began his design career as a stylist and journalist, before setting up his studio in 2006. He describes his approach as ‘modern and warm’, often extensively quizzing clients to make sure they wholly understand how they intend to use their space.
To inject personality, he searches the world for unique, often collectable pieces – such as in this west London property – including one-of-a-kind commissions from rising designers like Marcin Rusak. He is currently working on a restaurant and retail space in Notting Hill and a large New York apartment with Central Park views. charlesmellersh.com
Formed by husband-and-wife team interior designer Anna Burles and graphic artist Christopher Trotman in 2011, Run for the Hills is a multidisciplinary powerhouse, whose projects encompass homes, restaurants, bars, hotels and a cinema (the Tivoli in Bath; above).
Their playful designs mix contemporary elements with a vintage industrial edge, think daring prints with raw surfaces. At this year’s Decorex, the duo has created a bedroom in the Design Encounter pop-up house. Next on the agenda is the transformation of an apartment in the south of France and a listed barn in the Cotswolds. runforthehills.com
Transatlantic practice Nune is run by interior design duo Sheena Murphy and Tor Sauder, British and Canadian, respectively. The pair met in New York where they have an office, although Murphy is now chiefly based in the UK.
Together they have applied their clean and contemporary yet eclectic style to New Yorkers’ homes (above) as well as hospitality projects, including 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge – think pale woods, textured greys and cosy whites with fine black accents.
With a philosophy that thoughtful design can enhance wellbeing, Nune incorporates locally sourced natural materials, the work of independent makers, and flea market finds in its schemes. The pair credit the work of Louis Khan, Carlo Scarpa and Axel Vervoordt as inspiration. nunenune.com
The opening of restaurant Hide on London’s Piccadilly last year caused a stir not just for the food (the head chef is Ollie Dabbous) but for the interiors.
Designer Rose Murray, founder of These White Walls, had worked closely with plaster artist Rachel Dein – who produced the hand-cast botanical wall panels (above) – organic-matter artist Jeanette Ramirez and paper artist Su Blackwell. Murray knew the restaurant would provide ‘an amazing 3D canvas to showcase their work’.
Hide has proved to be quite the international calling card – other projects in progress include private residences in Dubai and Hong Kong, as well as a boutique hotel and spa in northern Italy. thesewhitewalls.com
Sarah Delaney’s practice has been running for over 20 years, but her background is in TV and film production. Her designs have a quiet poise with a restrained colour palette, and carefully considered furniture pieces, many of them antique.
Her work is ‘based on creating interiors which reflect our clients’ individual style and interests’, so it’s no wonder she has a lot of repeat commissions for their homes across the world, as well as this west London house. Working closely with top architects gives her an acute awareness of the building process, as well as ‘a rigorous attention to detail’. sarahdelaneydesign.co.uk
As well as designing furniture, Fred Rigby has created several shop interiors and the Villa Lena hotel-cum-art foundation in Italy, pictured here.
He also recently collaborated with Rosa Park, editor-in-chief of Cereal magazine, on the interior of her latest project, the Francis Gallery in Bath, and conceived the newly launched ‘Pebble’ sofa for design agency House of Grey.
Next up? A bar and restaurant in Shoreditch, a jewellery showroom and his own range of furniture based on the theme of contemporary classicism, which is how he would describe his style: ‘modern with a leaning towards the past, drawing inspiration from nature and our surroundings’. fredrigby.com
Having worked together for years as commercial and residential interior designers on projects in London and New York City, Adele Lonergan and Maria Lindgren set up their joint venture, Covet & Noir, last year.
They've already completed several London-based residences, including a Notting Hill villa (above) and a mews house in the redevelopment of an iconic recording studio near Portobello Road. A Flemish Renaissance-style townhouse in London’s Marylebone and a villa in Ibiza are next on the cards.
Lonergan and Lindgren describe their style as ‘timeless and considered’, want their ‘designs to last rather than be slaves to trends’ and ‘love mixing modern pieces with antiques and pairing more refined details with organic touches'. covetnoir.com
Director of her eponymous studio, Tiffany Duggan says that her first flavour of interior design came when she interned at ELLE Decoration some ten years ago.
Her theatrical flair is evident – she studied Scenic Art at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama – and she likes to inject a ‘touch of the unexpected’ with clever colour layering, furniture upholstered in strong hues and prints juxtaposed against walls in sophisticated shades, as in this north London house.
Her practice designs residential projects across Europe, and recently launched the ‘Trove’ line of bedroom products. studioduggan.com