Interior Design: Getting into the industry with your eyes wide open.

Featured Image -- 5771What does it take to become a great interior designer?

Inspiration? Passion? An eye for detail? Perhaps all these things and more. At KOTHEA we don’t profess to be interior designers however we do deal with many of the top desingers in the UK.

They all share many characteristics.

They are great organisers. Even relatively small interiors projects are complex and involve dealing with many suppliers and tracking the purchasing and installation of products and services from them. So as well as your creative flair you have to be a good project manager, or at least employ someone who is.

They are great salespeople. Starting your own interior desing business is still starting a business. The same rules apply to designers as to successful business people elsewhere. You have to be passionate about what you do and people will want to buy from someone who is both knowledgeable and enjoying what they do.

They have Empathy and Understanding. It’s great innovating amazing new concepts that you love but your client has to like them. Understanding what your client wants and delivering to the brief is vital. The best and cheapest marketing you will ever get will be from word of mouth advertising from delighted cients. When you have grown your international interior design business you won’t need a salesforce if you have 100 delighted cleints on your books.

They excel and focus. Be great at something. Even better, be indespensible. If you are starting at ‘the bottom’ of a large design practice always do a great job but excel at some aspect of it, get noticed, and if that bit you are really good at helps the business grow then make it your area by the knowledge and passion you put into it. If you are going out on your own then try to focus; it can be a big leap in the technical aspects of going from say spas to aircraft to ski chalets. If you’ve just done an underground restaurant-bar focus your efforts on securing another one; the sale will be easier and that next job will be easier to deliver on when you win it. You will make less mistakes and so make more money, even the very best designers still have bills to pay.

They have contacts. Getting started is difficult in any business. If you know the right potential clients and the right people in the industry it will be easier for you. At the very least you will need experience and perhaps that is where the basic training is important. So if you are looking to get a formal training go for it. Get excited about creating wonderful schemes for your expectant clients but don’t forget the business side of what you do.

A comprehensive list of courses is available through the BIDA web site and the 2 better known ones are also listed immediately below. Happy studying and good luck with your future career:

2. KLC
3. Inchbald


Katie Malik Interiors

From time-to-time, KOTHEA are happy to host profiles of interior designers and architects to boost their awareness and provide a link to their work/website.


Hello, my name is Katie Malik and I’m an interior designer based in Cambridge. Here is my story: during my secondary school years, I developed a love for interior design but put my passion on hold to instead earn a degree in Linguistics. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, making me a much better communicator and an excellent listener. I completed Interior Design training at Chelsea College of Art in London and finally turned my passion into a full-time job.

Now, I design for and on behalf of Katie Malik Interiors, which I founded in 2012. In accordance with the belief “A home should reflect the people living there”, Katie Malik Interiors is about taking a holistic view of the way individuals use and enjoy their space and delivers bespoke interior design solutions to homeowners and developers both in the UK and internationally.

Our trademark is efficient, yet sophisticated and timeless design, demonstrated across a range of large and small-scale projects, featured, among the others, in the Homify magazine. We are also very excited for the kitchen we designed to appear in the Ideal Home magazine very soon.

Visit our inspirational website: or search for interior design advice on our blog:

Interior Designer | Brand Boost + Author Boost

Off-White Textured Upholstery on Contemporary Seating

Modern-day interior designers should know that there are a few neat tricks you can do on your website AND blog to make YOU stand out more in Google when your clients search for you or the things you create.

I’m going to take you through two DIFFERENT but related changes to your blog/website.

Company Brand

When you search for a brand or a rock star or something famous(ish) then you sometimes will see some interesting bits of information appear on the right hand side of the Google search results…the place where the ads normally can be found. Try this search for Barack Obama to see what I mean. This interesting information might come from a Wikipedia entry about a rock stars career or it might tell you that company’s local contact information and maybe some images of their work or some customer reviews of their services.

If you can get a Wikipedia entry about your ‘notable’ business then you will have this problem solved. Tell me how you did it as it is notoriously difficult. (Hint: Don’t try).

You only sometimes see that information because the brand owner has only sometimes told Google what to put there. You can assume that Coca Cola have done this and this search for Coca Cola shows you. You’ll notice it is slightly different to the Obama-Wikipedia one, perhaps your version shows a local stockist?

Well; you are a brand owner of your interior design business. Have you told Google?

Here’s How

You need to potentially do quite a few things here. You (or your techie person) are going to be getting involved in HTML code using rel=’publisher’ and you are going to need to create a Google+ page for your business. If that hasn’t put you off let’s continue.

Firstly you need to create a Google+ account for YOU.

1. If your business has the website then you need to have a personal email such as ( will not work). With that email address go and create a Google+ account for you ie Nathalie Arrigone. It is possible to create a login based on if you look closely.

  • Do not use the wrong name eg Nat Arrigone or Nathalie A. It will not work.
  • Do not try and put a funny picture there. It will not work
  • You need a passport standard photo. Otherwise it will not work.
  • Do not put a picture of your company or product. It will not work
  • Got the message?
  • You could of course create a totally fictitious persona based on a photo of your dearly departed aunty. Which would be a bit creepy 🙂

Almost there! Well the first part, at least.

2. While you are on your new Google+ page the only thing you NEED to do is to check that you are listed as a contributor to your website AND to your blog. Go to “About/Links” and add that information.

3. Now use this link to verify your email address.

4. Now choose your profile and then PAGES. Create a the appropriate page for your business. Ideally Local Business or Organisation

  • Add your real-world website AND verify it eg AND
  • Add all the appropriate email addresses eg and verify them ALL including yours if you have not already done so..

5. Finally ! You have to now put a link on your website to your new Google+ PAGE – replace 1111111111111 with the number of your Google+ page. Do it on your home page and also for the home page of your blog.

<a href=”″ rel=”publisher”>

Please do not try to link this to your personal page. It will sort of work. For a while. You have been warned!

6. You can now test your new Google+ Company Page is working with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. Just look for the section further down the page concerning the PUBLISHER information. It’s just that bit that should be nice and green coloured.

So that should be “all” you need to do for the company branding. You can play around some more with the Google+ Business Page and you can add map, product, address and other information which will also get shown by Google in various places.

2. Personal Branding – You as a creator of content. AUTHOR Boost

If you create truly meaningful content then you should go forwards with this option. This particular post that I am writing now would count as meaningful, original content. If you put up a blog post with the line “Here is a picture of a chair I like” – then that is not meaningful content. The content needs lots of original stuff (pictures and/or words and/or video).

Personal branding will mean that sometimes Google will very kindly put your Google+ image (from earlier) next to your content when it appears in their search results. Not always. Sometimes. When they choose. You can’t control it (and from 2015 onwards Google have decided to display it much less as it attracted people away from clicking on their ads !!)

You add this line to EVERY post your write and/or every page of your web site. You change the 4444444444 with your personal Google+ Account (not your company page. The company page will not work. Don’t do it. Honest).

<a href= rel=”author”>

Do not try and confused Google between the real you and your company…it will NOT work.

Textile Pinking Machines

For the emergency fabric samples that we sometimes have to make when we are out of stock of samples we use the GOLDSTAR pinking machine. Here’s a quick youtube video from the manufacturer

And here is another one that looks a bit more industrial strength.

11 Top London Upholsterers – London Upholstery At Its Very Best

Here are a great selection of London based upholstery companies. Some of them are relatively small and other are very considerable and long-established companies. They are not necessarily at the upper end of the market, nor the bottom. I guess I could more easily say here is a range of upholstery and re-upholstery companies in London ! Enjoy, in no particular order.

Barnes Upholstery – 020 8255 9797
Sofa And Chair Co – 020 8752 8938

Business-Related Interior Design Articles

Whilst we have dealt with some of these companies as clients this post is not intended as a specific recommendation, or otherwise, of any of them.



SJ Upholstery 078 7652 8213
Moore’s Upholstery – 020 8421 5448
Chelsea Upholstery 020 7384 1666
Brown Antiques  020 7736 4141
Fine Line Upholstery –  020 7407 7438
Upholstery Village – 020 7731 6586
HJ Cooper – 020 8788 8673
Barnett Upholstery 020 7622 9347
7 Upholstery – 020 7613 4925


Beige Velvet Upholstery

Beige Velvet Upholstery

Image re-blogged from mysweetsavannah; we love the Beige Velvet Upholstery, nicely complementing the faux rustic decor and grass-cloth rugs. KOTHEA mohair velvets complement many of their other velvets with fine cashmere & silk velvet being the most luxurious for interiors such as this.