Up & Coming Interior Designers To Watch In 2023

There’s no shortage of rising stars in the interiors world. From designers with timeless aesthetics to those doing something more eclectic, we asked these up-and-coming names to introduce themselves…
By Georgina Blaskey /
TARAN WILKU

Maria Lindgren & Adele Lonergan

Covet Noir

We became interior designers because we spent our childhoods always rearranging our bedrooms. In retrospect it was always on the cards. For us, interior design offers the perfect balance between creativity and organisation. Plus, it helps that no two days are ever the same – so we’re always on our toes. 

Our style is best described as understated luxury. You won’t catch us using lots of colour and pattern. We take a timeless approach, carefully mixing new and antique pieces to elevate our designs and create confidently neutral interiors with an emphasis on layering elegant materials. We tend to avoid trends to ensure our schemes stand the test of time. 

We’re most inspired by our clients. Every project presents a new and exciting challenge. We love diving into something new, developing a relationship and really understanding how our clients live to create a home they will love for years to come.

Our favourite project to date is a full refurbishment of a Grade II-listed Georgian house in Surrey. Sadly, most of the period features and architectural details had been removed by the previous owners, so we wanted to reinstate as much architectural character as possible to accentuate the heritage of the property. We commissioned a cantilevered Lens limestone staircase and sourced multiple antique fireplace surrounds to inject the character back into this family home. The refurbishment also included a new bespoke kitchen, a master suite with a fully marble clad shower and a full suite of furniture and accessories.

Visit CovetNoir.com

TARAN WILKU

Lauren Neave

Lauren Neave Interiors

I became an interior designer because I’ve always been fascinated by houses. I grew up in South Africa and moved to London as a teenager. We lived in many different family homes, each of which my mother renovated – I guess I got the bug early on. Later, I redesigned my own London flat and subsequently moved into a house and did the same, which only confirmed my desire to switch careers from banking to interiors. 

In terms of my style, I lean towards the classic, blending a traditional baseline with the functional demands of modern families to create timeless yet comfortable living spaces. I love to inject colour in the right context, layering it into my designs and schemes where suitable. As a designer, it’s important to tell prospective clients that isn’t about my taste; instead, it’s my role to elevate their own tastes and style, while incorporating my own flair and experience.

I’m most inspired by magazines, museums, art shows, boutiques and galleries. Getting out of the studio and seeing what’s happening in the world is where you’ll find fresh ideas. I’m just back from Cape Town and was blown away by the architecture and style. 

My favourite project to date was a large property just off Wandsworth Common. It was a busy family home that needed to be functional as well as comfortable. Having three young children myself, I could identify well the client who wanted it to grow with her family – we needed to make it timeless. Although the client had traditional taste, we wanted the house to feel young, not stuffy. The property had good bones, large-proportioned rooms with great ceiling heights and lots of natural light. 

Visit LaurenNeave.com

ALEXANDER JAMES

Antonia Winkler von Stiernhielm

Studio Anton

I became an interior designer because I love all things design. I originally studied graphic design and truly believe good design can transform the way we feel, including our moods and our wellbeing. Also, when I was growing up, my mother worked in property renovations for the rental market. This gave me a sound understanding of spatial layouts and building works, as well as how to inject personality into a home. 

In terms of my style, I love the kind of natural materials (wools, linens, stone, wood, metals) that get better  over time. At Studio Anton, our signature style is best described as relaxed elegance, striking an artful balance between period and traditional styles with modern or one-of-a-kind pieces. 

I’m inspired by any National Trust house. I’m in awe of the attention to detail, the craftsmanship and what was achieved without any of the tools and technology of today. Whenever possible, I love learning about the trades and craftsmen behind our interiors – they’re the ones who provide me with so much insight to be able to come up new ideas. 

My favourite projects are the ones where the clients put their trust in me and are really enthusiastic. I love ultimately becoming friends with my client. 

Visit Studio-Anton.com

@ANNASTATHAKIPHOTO
ALEXANDER JAMES

Amy Dalrymple

Findda

I became an interior designer because I’ve always had a deep-rooted desire to create beautiful spaces. It's so gratifying to see an idea become a reality. I love working with clients to create a home that’s the perfect backdrop to their life. 

My style is best described as relaxed English country, with a mix of Gustavian and Scandinavian hints. It’s all about the hidden quirks. 

A lot of my inspiration comes from nature. I grew up in the countryside in a home filled with a mix of traditional furniture and beautiful soft linens – nothing needed to match but together they looked perfect. A home should be lived in – a space that collects beautiful pieces over time and isn’t changed too frequently. 

My favourite project was a full chalet renovation in Val D’Isère. It was a complete refurbishment, which almost doubled the size of the space and transformed the chalet. Through every detail of the construction through to the final touches, we spent two years creating and bringing it back to life. 

Visit Findda.co.uk

KENSINGTON LEVERNE

Sophie Rowell

Cote De Folk

I became an interior designer because after 24 years in the fashion industry, I followed my heart and changed career in my 40s. I’m glad to say I haven’t looked back.

There’s a definite handwriting to my work. It's authentic, imperfect, thoughtful... I use a lot of fabrics, texture and colour and I always try to add something unexpected or fun.

My inspiration can come from anywhere. My new kitchen cabinetry colour was inspired by my neighbour’s car! Nature is a big inspiration, as are old films. I always have my camera with me when I’m watching a movie.

My favourite project so far has been a neglected 1970s bungalow by the sea. It hasn’t been photographed yet, but the client was so fun and trusting – the dream combination.

Visit CoteDeFolk.com

CHRIS SNOOK

India & Scarlett Hessian

Studio Hessian

We became interior designers because Scarlett has a background in architecture and was inspired by her seven years living in Copenhagen studying for her master’s. Both her academic studies and being in a city with such a strong design culture encouraged her to work more with interiors. Meanwhile, India has a background in applied arts and has always enjoyed combining different materials and textures. Our mother is also an interior designer, and we spent our childhoods trawling antique stores. This early experience definitely cultivated our love of the old and new. 

In terms of style, we both come from different design disciplines that inform our unique aesthetic. Scarlett loves simple design with strong architectural accents and India enjoys working with colour, pattern and objects. Our look is always about balancing the new with the old, so we probably use more antique furniture in our designs.

We’re inspired a lot by the past. Antique or vintage pieces are often the starting point of any project. We specifically dedicate time to travel and visit different markets every year for inspiration. Growing up around London meant we were exposed to a lot of different cultures and ways of thinking – something we think always culminates in good design. 

Our favourite project to date is ongoing residential project in Los Angeles – it’s led us to work with a new group of artisans and craftsmen to create a private residence in a very different context to the UK. Having to find new suppliers and tradesmen has been difficult but very fulfilling. Out of our UK projects, our Notting Hill penthouse has been one of our most enjoyable projects; we had the opportunity to find pieces from all sorts of eras and balance them within a modern space.

Visit StudioHessian.com

BILLY BOLTON

Geraldine Apponyi

Apponyi

I became an interior designer because my mother was an interior designer – so you could say it was in my blood. Before university I worked in set design for theatre and film, which I also loved. I then went to art school in America for four years before working for a brilliant architect in Washington DC. After moving back to London, my mother convinced me to help her with her heavy load of projects, and not long after that I ended up taking over her company to turn it into Apponyi Design. 

Someone recently described my style as “inspired, collaborative, passionate, human and fun” – a huge compliment! I always want my spaces to be personal and liveable – cosiness and warmth are so important, as is an understated elegance with a few elements of fun. Ultimately, each project is unique, so my style varies.

I am most inspired by my clients and the property I am working on. I never have specific designs or schemes banked in my mind, waiting for the next project to use them in. My designs evolve from getting to know the client and the house, and sometimes even I’m surprised by what comes out of it. Interior design is a collaboration with the people that live in the space, and those are the projects that tend to be the most creative, successful and fun. 

The project I’m currently working on has to be my favourite – Langdon Court in Devon. My client, Donna Ida, is a dream to work with for many different reasons. It’s been one of the most fun, challenging, creative, exhausting, inspiring and rewarding projects I’ve worked on yet. For me, it’s a good sign when I can’t stop thinking about a project.

Visit Apponyi.co.uk

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