The best interior designers in Britain

Of all the decorating trends that have been in vogue over the last 50 years – be it Scandi, Minimalism or Industrial – none has been as powerful or as enduring as that of the English Country House. These are the best in the business at making it work.

More from the Country Life Top 100:

Eadie & Crole — NEW ENTRY

Sophie Eadie and Fi Crole joined forces in 2019 to create their Hampshire-based studio. They are known for quietly elegant interiors, often teaming subtle hues and natural textures with antiques and contemporary art to create distinctive designs that may be tranquil, but never dull. Working across the UK, their projects range from renovations and extensions of period properties, many of them listed, to new-build houses.

‘We understand the need to make a historic home warm and functional, individual and stylish,’ explains Mrs Crole, ‘just as we do the importance of adding character to a new build, so that it sits comfortably in its surroundings.’

Their commitment to timeless design is also evident in a recently launched collection of furniture, including sofa, armchair and side tables, and fabrics and wallpapers, featuring small prints in tempting colourways. ‘We wanted to create a versatile collection of designs that would sit comfortably in modern and traditional settings, adding verve without shouting,’ says Mrs Eadie.

01264 738768;

A bedroom created by Eadie & Crole.

Lucy Cunningham Interiors — NEW ENTRY

Lucy Cunningham’s skilful approach to classic English interiors exudes a relaxed charm derived from a distinctive eye for pattern and colour. Layers of interesting textiles, wallpapers, playful hues and antiques mixed with contemporary pieces produce inviting rooms that are far from stuffy. ‘I like to create beautifully considered homes rich with character and warmth,’ she says from her Hampshire base. Mrs Cunningham set up her studio in 2014 and, today, projects include country and townhouses, from a listed manor house in Gloucestershire to an Edwardian family home on the banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire to a Georgian house in Hampshire. ‘Not one white wall’ was the nub of the brief for the Thamesside house — her skill is blending tone and texture to create welcoming, yet peaceful, spaces that are sympathetic to their surroundings and celebrate their original features.

07740 463306;


Smart, classic style is the forte of this well-established firm, which is headed by its founder Philippa Thorp and has a showroom on Sloane Street, London SW1. Geared towards an international clientele, the firm offers full architecture, interior-design, art-curation and landscaping services.

020–7235 7808;

The dining room of this project by Thorp is flooded with light from above and the side.

Todhunter Earle Interiors

Expert at balancing the demands of contemporary living with the challenges presented by historic houses, Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle are highly regarded for their imaginative designs. The practice is currently engaged in country homes in Hampshire, Wiltshire and a townhouse in Edinburgh.

020–7349 9999;

Todhunter Earle Interiors. Photo by Ray Main.

Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler

Founded in the 1930s, Britain’s most long-established interior-decorating firm has always been known for quintessentially English style. Today, it undertakes a diverse range of projects worldwide, from traditional to cutting edge. This year, associate director Lucy Hammond Giles will create one of the rooms at the WOW!house, the annual interior-design showcase at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, London SW3.

020–7493 2231;

A Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler room, designed by Emma Burns.

Sims Hilditch

Recent projects include large family houses in the Costwolds, as well as in London, including an apartment at Chelsea Barracks in London. The designer is the subject of The Evolution of Home (Rizzoli) by Giles Kime.

01249 783087;

A Cotswold manor house interior by Sims Hilditch.


Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill runs her interior-design company Woodstock Designs, specialising in classic English country-house style, close to her ancestral home at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Autumn 2024 sees the publication of her book on Blenheim by Rizzoli.

01993 811887;

Credit: Spencer-Churchill Designs / Christopher Drake

John Evans Interior Architecture + Design

A highly creative practice that specialises in adding a luxurious, contemporary touch to country homes from its Birmingham offices, this firm has 40 years of experience, manifested in John Evans’s quietly confident style. A recent commission includes a large new-build property with a basement swimming pool and ancillary rooms, plus gymnasium, games room, bar and cinema.

0121–233 9041;

building a swimming pool

Credit: John Evans

Isabella Worsley

After completing a degree in Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh, Isabella Worsley worked with both Guy Goodfellow and Kit Kemp, the creative brains behind the Firmdale group that owns design-led hotels in London and New York, US, including the Ham Yard and the Whitby. The experience, she says, gave her the courage and confidence to create distinctively original interiors that celebrate joyous colour and pattern. Recent projects include the conversion of a longhouse in the Brecon Beacons, the interiors of the Walmer Castle in Notting Hill, London W11, and a new collection of fabrics and wallpapers.

020–8075 5232;

Dining room by Isabella Worsley.

VSP Interiors

Known for designing large country properties — from a Georgian manor in Oxfordshire to an Arts-and-Crafts house in Yorkshire — Dorset-based Henriette von Stockhausen has a classic, colourfully eclectic style that successfully combines antiques and fine art with a sense of comfort and personality.

01305 265892;

Credit: VSP Interiors

Pippa Paton

This esteemed Cotswold-based practice specialises in the renovation and interior design of listed and historic homes, wherever possible exposing and enhancing the historic fabric. Its current projects include work on a manor house near Burford, a farmhouse near Wantage, a rectory near Stow-on-the Wold and the design of a private bar for a granary — all of which are listed. Founder Pippa Paton is the author of two books, Twenty First Century Cotswolds, Volumes I and II.

01865 595470;

Credit: Pippa Paton

Oliver Laws

With the highly experienced Guy Goodfellow at its helm, this Mayfair-based boutique studio specialises in elegantly luxurious interiors that celebrate the beauty of bespoke craftsmanship. Oliver Laws continues to work in partnership with the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, notably creating a new Afghan suite for London’s Connaught Hotel (‘Is this London’s most exquisite hotel room?’, February 21). Projects nearing completion include a London townhouse, a 1939 motor yacht and ongoing renovations at The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Ireland.

020–7437 8487;

Credit: Oliver Laws

Osborn Interiors — NEW ENTRY

This award-winning interior architectural-design practice is headed by the dynamic Bee Osborn, who has renovated nine homes herself, as well as running her well-established studio, based in London and the Cotswolds. With an aesthetic described as ‘organic luxury’, the studio specialises in using natural materials, including stone, reclaimed wood, rattan and linen, and teaming them with soft hues to create restful interiors with a sense of calm. Osborn Interiors takes on a small number of hotel and residential projects each year, offering services from planning through to conceptual design to project management and installation. Recent projects include Le Toiny hotel in St Barts and houses in Devon, Staffordshire and Northumberland. There is also an online store selling a developing range of unique and bespoke items, as well as collaborations with paint company Fenwick & Tilbrook, Zoe & Bee fabrics with Zoe Glen-cross, timber flooring and cladding with The Main Company and bed linen with Amurelle.

020–8673 6483;

Eyre Interiors — NEW ENTRY

Known for combining unique vintage textiles with art and antique furniture, Nels Crosthwaite Eyre’s designs sing out with joyful detail and sumptuous colour — bringing a light, clean touch to a style she describes as ‘English country house for the millennial generation’. Four years working with the late, great Robert Kime imbued her with a deep understanding of creating layered interiors, which she designs with the practicalities of family life in mind. ‘Many of my clients have young families and I have two boys myself, so I understand that a house needs to work,’ she says. ‘I also believe that each home should be individual and a celebration of the personality of its owners, not a cookie-cutter design that looks as if it were plucked from a catalogue.’ Current projects include a new brick-and-flint farmhouse in Hampshire, a country house in Henley, Oxfordshire, and a pied-à-terre in central London.

07725 818077;

Nels Crosthwaite Eyre hall

The hall of a Grade II-listed manor house in Hampshire, transformed by Nels Crosthwaite Eyre of Eyre Interiors, a company which is among the new entries in the 2024 Country Life Top 100. Credit: Simon Brown/Country Life Magazine


Patrick Williams and his wife, Neri, specialise in period buildings and restorations, in both residential and commercial sectors. The studio, founded in 2009, is highly sensitive to a property’s history, evident in its projects, such as a canal house in Amsterdam, Holland, dating back to 1616. Interiors have a time-honoured and gracious appeal, celebrating the old, yet sympathetically introducing the comfort of the new.

Colin Orchard & Company

Since training under Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s Imogen Taylor, Colin Orchard has developed an outstanding reputation for combining traditional country-house style with a restrained sense of grandeur. His current projects include large private residences in Oxfordshire and in New York and Palm Beach in the US.

020–7351 5501;

Guy Goodfellow

After training as an architect, Guy Goodfellow cut his teeth at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler before setting up his own practice. Recent projects include Garsington Manor, Buckinghamshire, as well as a townhouse in Edinburgh, a private estate in Hong Kong and a new house in Warwickshire. His shop in Chelsea, London SW10, offers in-house-designed weaves, prints and wallpapers, based on historic textiles reinterpreted in imaginative colours.

020–7349 0728;

HÁM Interiors

Founded in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Nick and Pamela Cox, their son, Tom, and daughter, Kate, this innovative Oxfordshire-based practice offers a range of complementary skills. The company has a reputation for distinctive interiors with a relaxed feel, combining the elegant and eccentric with an imaginative use of colour and antiques, and is equally at home blending tradition and modernity in a new-build country house as it is converting a former net loft in Cornwall into a quirky two-bedroom home (‘Character building’, February 28).

01491 579371;

Janine Stone & Co

Over the past 35 years, this company has established an enviable reputation for luxurious interiors with a classic, contemporary feel. It has an unusually wide-ranging offering, covering both renovations and complete new-build projects, using its in-house architectural construction. It has now launched Clarity, a new service that appraises the suitability and viability of modifications clients might be considering. The scope of Clarity goes beyond planning advice, to address concerns about a property and its capacity to meet desired lifestyle aspirations. Clarity’s pre-purchase professional advice is delivered in the form of alternate floor plans, design concepts, timeline and budget forecasts that engender full confidence in its decision-making during an acquisition process.

020–3893 2866;

Credit: Janine Stone

Lucy Elworthy

Lucy Elworthy combines her experience as a former decoration editor of House & Garden with an imaginative eye for colour and texture. Recent work includes a project for Country Life’s Editor Mark Hedges and his wife, Rachel, as well as the redecoration of a house on the Helford Estuary in Corn-wall and two properties in London.

07957 693246;

Max Rollitt

Max Rollitt is an interior designer, furniture maker and antiques dealer whose sought-after style is developed from an impressive knowledge of historical architecture and design, combined with comfort and a light touch of humour. His projects — largely based in the UK and on the East Coast of the US — are furnished with a distinctive combination of antique originals and bespoke designs.

01962 791124;

Nicola Harding & Co

Nicola Harding set up her own studio in 2008, gradually embracing commercial and residential interiors in addition to gardens. Her work combines a sensitivity to the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces with a playful blend of old and new, carefully chosen antiques and a joyful use of colour to add personality to all kinds of projects, including country houses, historic buildings, hotels and private members’ clubs, including the exuberant Beaverbrook Town House in Chelsea, London SW1.

020–8743 6690;

Nina Campbell

The veteran designer’s most recent project in the US was the subject of a new book, A House in Maine (Rizzoli), by COUNTRY LIFE’s Giles Kime. After an absence of almost 50 years, she recently returned to London’s Pimlico Road, now home to her flagship store.

020–7225 1011;

Penny Morrison

This designer has an innate ability to create beautiful, harmonious and sophisticated spaces. Her most recent projects have been a large house in Barbados and, closer to home, a country house in Northumberland and a country cottage in Wales.

020–7384 2975;

Rita Konig

Rita Konig has earned many plaudits for work that is distinctly her own, creating relaxing and joyously comfortable interiors for transatlantic clients in residential and commercial settings, including the chic Hotel 850 SVB in West Hollywood, California, US. Her online interior-design course is available from Create Academy (

020–3735 7280;

Robert Kime

Founded by the late Robert Kime, the legendary antiques dealer and interior decorator whose clients included the then Prince of Wales, the practice creates traditional — but not stuffy — interiors, full of judiciously chosen antiques and colourful textiles. Its shop is one of the jewels of the Pimlico Road in London, displaying antiques and the company’s own collection of fabrics, wallpaper, lamps and furniture.

020–7831 6066;

Studio Atkinson

Specialising in private houses and boutique hotels, Susie Atkinson creates contemporary interiors that radiate a sense of personal character and understated luxury. She has taken on projects in Norfolk and Hampshire, as well as Greece, Barbados and Holland. She also creates collections of distinctive table lamps, fabric, furniture and accessories.

020–7384 0700;

Turner Pocock

Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock lead an interior-design studio, founded in 2007, that is admired for its outstanding creativity and confident use of colour and pattern. With offices in London and Geneva, projects include elegant — yet relaxed — family homes in the capital, the UK and beyond. Among recent projects are a Grade I-listed manor house near Witney in Oxfordshire, a new house in Trebetherick, Cornwall, and a townhouse in Belsize Park, London NW3. The founders also run TP Caring Spaces, a charity that creates relaxation spaces for patients, key workers and the displaced.

020–3463 2390;

Veere Grenney Associates

Veere Grenney interiors are rooted in the classical tradition. His practice is currently working on several townhouses and an apartment in London. This year, Mr Grenney will create a room at WOW!house, the interior design showcase at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, London SW3, in association with Schumacher. His new book, Seeking Beauty, will be published by Vendome in May.

020–7351 7170;

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