Home furnishings with personality

Living In Space’s Sarah Southern talks bespoke interior design

FURNISHING your home should be the best part about moving. It’s a chance to impress your personality onto your home; so why is it often so stressful?

Interior designer Living In Space thinks it’s because we’re all too busy to search for what we need to personalise our homes. And it hopes its tailored approach will put the fun back into furnishing.

The one-stop-shop based in Primrose Hill offers a bespoke service that starts in its showroom which has one of the largest fabric and wallpaper collections in London.

Living In Space’s team of designers spot patterns in what you pick out to help you devise design schemes. It can then refer you to one of its in-house furnishing, architecture, construction, property development, procurement, and home dressing services to bring them to life in your home.

“People don’t think about how they want to sit on a sofa,” says Sarah Southern, operations director at Living In Space. “They’ll see a sofa in a shop they respond to and they don’t think about why. If they just buy a sofa that doesn’t suit the way they sit, they’ll adapt to it, when the sofa should be customised to suit them. Every sofa is a different experience.”

Sarah joined mother and son Anita and Ryan Kohn to run Living In Space four years ago. She was a qualified interior designer for 16 years before she retrained as a project manager, bringing her creative property nous to Candy & Candy’s prime luxury developments. But she yearned to go back to a more personal approach. “One of the reasons I left Candy & Candy was because I wanted to work with people,” says Sarah. “While I was able to be very creative, top professionals don’t really have the time to spend with clients to work on a design for their property. They just hand you the keys and return again in three months.”

The firm sets itself apart from competitors by offering a number of eco-friendly design alternatives, from sustainably sourced furniture to renewable energy installations.

Out in rural Radlett, Hertfordshire, Living In Space has built its first luxury eco-home named Brickfields – a 7,500sqft, six bed house with a home cinema, gym, and indoor pool.

“We are very passionate about it but we don’t let it take over our design,” says Sarah. “We’re finding that more people are looking for energy efficiency nowadays.

“It used to be that eco-friendly things were very low range and you didn’t have much choice but now the quality is there in the products.

“I was just talking to a company who have made tiles out of TV screens so every one square metre of tile is one TV screen.

“These things are unique but they come with a great story, too.”

But the projects Sarah enjoys the most often have something to do with the people she’s working with,

“There was one house we did for the most amazing single mother in Belsize Park,” Sarah says, “and we turned her one-bed flat into a three-bed maisonette which was much better suited to her needs.

“She was a mother with this important job and she made time to be really involved with this project as well. It was just really nice to do that for someone I thought was such an inspiration.”