The realisation is starting to hit home, we are building our own barn conversion, interior design is an important part of this project. Whilst quite a way off it is something we need to think of at this stage! Danny and I would describe our current Interior Design style as… safe. We are pretty useless at taking risks with anything, and especially so with items and interiors that we see every day. So, while we are full of ideas and confidence with coming up with a suitable layout for the barn, we know that we are going to need someone to give us a strong nudge to take risks in order to allow the barn to reach its potential. The area we are especially seeking guidance on is the large open plan living space which will include the kitchen, dining area and lounge, as well as a feature staircase.

We are particularly keen on the Industrial Vintage and Scandinavian styles and have been researching different methods and materials which could be used. I love concrete, filament lights and open-shelving but as this is a relatively upcoming theme in the UK it is proving difficult to find an interior designer with experience in this as well as a designer with experience of barn conversion interior design!

Our first port of call was to contact the British Institute of Interior Designers (BIID) who have a free referral scheme where you can either search for a specific designer or describe the services you are looking for and this is submitted to all the designers on their books, who then can choose to respond to your brief. We had about 12 responses, some with very specific and personalised responses and others gave more of a blanket response. I contacted three of these (choosing the ones who had specifically commented on their experience in the themes we are going for) and was impressed with the enthusiasm and thought they had given to our project already. It is clear that the Designers on this list are the best of the best: I believe it is a relatively new accreditation and so most are award-winning and big organisations.

A big issue with finding an Interior Designer for our project in particular is that we are not London based! So many are based in the South-East and, even though they seem pretty keen to work on the project despite the distance, quotes of £800 upwards for each fortnightly site visit for the duration of the build certainly takes the shine off their enthusiasm!

We have been looking closer to home for these expertise, but a Designer’s portfolio is only as good as the jobs they have been granted. We are in talks with three companies currently, and I look forward to hearing what they propose to bring to the project!