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Mhairi (‘Vari’) begins every commission by considering the layout and architectural bones of a building. Once this is done – the ‘doctoring’ stage of the process – Mhairi presents mood boards to clients to illustrate the look of the proposed building, with samples for texture and colour so the scheme starts to take form. 


Mhairi works with historical consultants, architects and planning consultants for planning permissions and building extensions. It simplifies the process to have one person overseeing the design from start to finish, and Mhairi is often asked to project manage builds. This gives a level of attention to detail, which can otherwise be lost when there are multiple parties given different sections of a project. 


A member of the British Institute of Interior Design (the UK’s only professional institute for the industry), Mhairi began her working life at Universal Records and EMI, before returning to her first love: art. She studied Interior Architecture at Chelsea School of Design whilst moonlighting as a set designer in her spare time. 


Working initially as Junior, then Midweight Designer at William Nickerson Design in West London, then as Head of Design at Living In Space in Hampstead, Mhairi gained a great deal of experience working across London and the countryside on private estates and residential houses. In 2013, Mhairi established her own company. Recent projects include a country house in Petworth, where Mhairi did a complete design in 2022 completing in 2023, and a classic house in Highgate. She has an upcoming project in Belsize Park. The majority of Mhairi’s previous clients have come from the entertainment and media industries. 


“It’s very important to me to have a really good understanding of who my client is, how they live their lives and what they want from their home. Peace and tranquility, a place to escape or perhaps a good entertaining space - even better, all three"


She employs a list of skilled suppliers depending on the job: from curtain makers, upholsters and art consultants to bespoke carpet makers, lighting designers and specialist painters. 


One of the most enjoyable parts of a commission is creating bespoke items for a project. Mhairi designs and makes furniture and lighting, has designed wallpaper and commissioned mural artists, as well as designing rugs and carpets. Bespoke linen can be designed and embroidered for any bedding and towels. Trims for cushions, curtains and blinds can be made to any design, colour and finish. This ensures that each project is given its own unique look and feel, and the result is as close as it can be to a client’s vision. 


Antique sourcing is also a love of Mhairi’s. As well as bringing together the client’s existing possessions, Mhairi is always delighted to source one-off textiles, pieces of furniture and lighting for a project, giving personality and warmth to a home that can’t be bought online. 


“The houses I work on must work well and have great functionality: there must be a reason to be in every room, every day. But they are also warm, inviting and eclectic – if a client has lived a well-travelled life, that must be reflected in their home.”


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