Wednesday, 27 March 2013

By George She's Good!

When we started doing up a house five hundred miles away from where we were living, sorting out the interiors was always going to be something of a challenge. It's difficult enough when you know the area where you are living and have experience of local curtain makers, kitchen designers, flooring experts and decorators but when you are a stranger there's a huge risk of getting things wrong. In addition, whilst we like to think that we're pretty good at interior design ideas, we are not professionals and a good interior designer keeps abreast of all the latest developments and has experience of what will and won't work in a wide array of situations. Coordinating everything by ourselves from five hundred miles away would have been a nightmare.

So where to start looking? Our architect and builder are both great blokes but don't tend to work with interiors and I get the impression that they think interior design unnecessary so we had to turn to the old fallback of Google. "Interior Design Framlingham" was not going to turn up a wide choice so we searched "Interior Design Woodbridge". Woodbridge is an upmarket little town and a number of designers came up in the results. We checked them all but one stood out head and shoulders above all the rest - "By George Interiors And Lighting Design". The website ( click here) was easy to navigate, the photos of design projects were stunning and we got a good feel for the business.

So we made an appointment to meet the proprietor Jemima Withey. When we turned up at her studio in our filthy Prius piled high to the roof with all our worldly goods and looking like a couple of tramps we felt like turning around and driving away; her property looked to have come straight from a Sunday Supplement  (and indeed featured in a two page spread in one a few weeks later) and our little house was going to be too small a project. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jemima was charming and passed no comment on our heap of a car sullying her driveway. She ran through her services and we told her what we were planning. She sent us a quote and I made a feeble attempt at negotiating a discount which was declined in a very professional and confident manner that cemented our decision to use her business.

The project snowballed. From an initial agreement to design the interior colour scheme downstairs, we added our bedroom and dressing room, the kitchen and dining area and both bathrooms plus the lighting for most of those areas. And what a great choice it turned out to be. 

Jemima is a highly professional interior designer who listens carefully to what you like and steers you in the direction of what will work. She comes up with enough alternatives to make you feel that you have been involved in the design without overburdening you with too many to make a decision. She thinks about costs and works to your budget. She knows all the people you might need to carry out the work and liaises with them to do it. She keeps you in the picture all the time and does things when she says she will and her contractors turn up on time and work to the highest standard and clean up after themselves. And what's more, she has a great sense of humour and a very upbeat personality (the perfect foil for Marion's pessimism). Her ideas for us were simple but classic styles and we think that the results speak for themselves. We could not be more pleased with the job that she did for us and can't recommend her highly enough. 

Here are the mood boards that Jemima came up with as we developed the project.

And here are some of the finished results. The photos were only taken on my phone and don't really do justice to Jemima's work.

Fabulous curtain ideas.

A Kitchen That Both Looks Great And Is Perfectly Lit

Neutral Colours And Perfect Lighting For The Dining Area 
A Lounge That Is Stylish But Homely

More Curtain Ideas 

A Perfect En Suite Shower Room

Making The Very Most Of A Small Master Bedroom
Luxurious Handmade Cushions

If you are planning interior design or lighting design in London or East Anglia you really don't need to look anywhere else.