Outstanding Interiors in Weybridge - Surrey's best interior designers

PUBLISHED: 10:10 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:23 20 February 2013

There are many talented interior designers in Surrey, but few offer realistic digital images of their schemes. JANET DONIN meets an outstanding designer with the technology to let you try before you buy

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2009

There are many talented interior designers in Surrey, but few offer realistic digital images of their schemes. JANET DONIN meets an outstanding designer with the technology to let you try before you buy

Name: Sarah Shorrocks
Company: Outstanding Interiors
Location: 11 Portmore Park Road, Weybridge
Surrey KT13 8ER
Tel: 01932 857543

The last thing you would normally associate with the glamorous world of interiors is a designer who has a complete fascination with computers. But for 48-year-old Susan Shorrocks, producing computer generated images is an essential part of instilling confidence in her clients and encouraging them to be totally involved in the design process.

I desperately dont want to impose my ideas on a client, and with the help of the computer they stay firmly in the driving seat, says Sarah, whose company Outstanding Interiors is based in Weybridge. The 3D images are incredibly realistic showing structural features, new joinery suggestions, even specific fabrics for curtains so my clients can see exactly how their finished room will look.

Her love of design began when she was just a young child she held a paintbrush even before picking up a pen and she maintained her creativity during her previous career in education. But it wasnt until she and her husband bought a crumbling house in Weybridge that her imagination really took flight.

When we bought the house 16 years ago, it had four walls and a shaky roof, but it was worth rescuing! she says.

It was while she was working with architects, builders, carpenters and plumbers on the restoration that the design bug took hold, prompting her to take a Diploma in Interior Design at the University of the Arts in London.

However, learning about colour scheming and decorating wasnt enough Sarah also wanted to know how to work with space, so took a course in creating computer generated images, which gave her the tools to use the dynamics of space effectively.

A thriving business
All that was three years ago, and now Sarah has clients everywhere from St Georges Hill to Cornwall and all around the home counties. She also gives some of her time to local charities, in particular the Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge and to the Variety Club of Great Britain, where her interior design skills are offered at fundraising events.

When she meets a client for the first time, Sarah begins with a style diagnosis to identify their taste. Next, she will present her library of computer generated designs and a portfolio of colour schemes. She then creates a precise flatplan of the room on the computer, which is extruded into a 3D image complete with furniture and colour to give it authenticity.

Typically, it takes me about two days to do this, Sarah says. But its worth the effort as it takes the guess work out of designing. I also give clients a mood board of fabrics, paints and wallpapers, so they can actually feel the materials.

Crucially, the client is then provided with detailed costings, so there are no surprises. However, she firmly believes that good design should transcend budgets. Even with a relatively small budget, its possible to get the wow factor into a scheme, she says.

When it comes to her own tastes, Sarah admits she is quite eclectic. She loves the traditional designs of Mulberry and Jane Churchill, but the companies that really make her heart sing are Threads, J Robert Scott and Chase Erwin who produce luxurious weaves, cashmeres and silks all very glamorous and expensive.

Despite the economic climate, Sarah says glamour is high on everyones agenda and she is now being asked for elaborate curtain treatments with interesting details and rich velvet or paisley fabrics in gold or metallic.

Summing up her interior design philosophy, Sarah says: I dont ask my clients to imagine how their home will look, I show them and then I turn it into reality...

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