Optic Interiors in Richmond - Surrey's best interior designers

PUBLISHED: 09:15 02 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:49 20 February 2013

These days, rather than moving house, many Surrey homeowners are choosing to update their existing property with the help of an interior designer. Here, Surrey Life's JANET DONIN meets a Richmond-based designer who is busier than ever

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2010

These days, rather than moving house, many Surrey homeowners are choosing to update their existing property with the help of an interior designer. Here, Surrey Lifes JANET DONIN meets a Richmond-based designer who is busier than ever

Name: Lindsey Miller
Company: Optic Interiors
Location: Richmond
Tel: 0208 288 9308

Given the choice, would you rather move or improve your home? In these days of economic uncertainty, updating your property, rather than upping sticks, is an appealing option. And, to ensure you dont have any costly mistakes, it makes sense to call in an interior designer.

Today, people are pretty savvy when it comes to redesigning their homes because there are so many TV programmes and magazines around to inform their choice, says 41-year-old Richmond-based designer Lindsey Miller. The problem can be visualising the overall look and choosing the suppliers that offer the best quality and value for money.

Thats where an interior designer like Lindsey is invaluable. She knows just the right place to buy fabulous silks for a few pounds a metre, unusual furniture that will stand the test of time and lighting to give a room a whole new dimension.

The right credentials
Having gained a fine art degree in sculpture, Lindsey began channelling her creative energy into interiors, working for Osborne & Little in Chelsea. There, she learned all about soft furnishings and overseeing projects. Later, she returned to her Surrey roots and ten years ago started Optic Interiors in Esher, designing both residential and commercial premises.

However, when she got married three years ago, she relocated to Richmond, where she now has her showroom, and has been working with numerous clients as well as on various projects with Maison Home Interiors.

Because of the recession, the commercial design business slowed down dramatically, says Lindsey. But, thankfully, the residential side has gone through the roof and now Im having my best year ever. Clients often start by updating a couple of rooms then happily theres a kick-on effect and they want the rest of the house redesigned as well.

Today, it seems we are playing it safe when it comes to big buys like flooring and sofas, opting for neutral shades, which can be uplifted simply with colourful cushions and rugs.

"Layering texture is key to the cosy, comfortable look everyone wants right now, says Lindsey. Paints are more chalky, as colours have had all the heat taken out, giving us soft plum and moleskin, milky blue or moss green and mustard rather than gold. This retro look is so user-friendly, causing bling and minimalism to take a back seat.

With so many beautiful older homes in Surrey, many of my clients also love to furnish them with antiques, she adds. The problem is, some of the pieces are too big for the houses, but luckily I also have a team of craftsmen who can create bespoke antique style furniture to fit the proportions of their homes more comfortably.

Improving kitchens and bathrooms is also high on everyones agenda, which is where an interior designer really has the edge. Working closely with her clients, Lindsey always suggests quality materials like Corian work surfaces and beautiful yet very practical porcelain floor tiles. The arrangement of kitchen units is vital to its success so computer generated images or 3D walk-through profiles are often provided. Then all the joinery, installation work and decoration are carried out by a team of professionals, to give stress-free results.

Client confidence
The great thing about my job is that one day I can be designing for a six-bedroom mansion, the next organising a simple Roman blind, says Lindsey. The key is to give my clients the confidence to realise their dreams and manage their budget.

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