Arik Levy Light

Arik Levy Light
Arik Levy Light
Arik Levy Light

This blue Arik Levy Light glass light is quite striking. We love the design, colours, contours, the lot.

We don’t sell lights! So enjoy the image. But if you are adding high end blue fabrics to your scheme then please ask KOTHEA for some samples, we would love to get involved.

Interior Designers: Star Ratings in Google

How to get a 5-star rating on Google searches for YOUR Interior Design business.

Interior Designers and, indeed, smaller companies in general face a significant disadvantage in showing up and standing out in Google search results. You have a lot of bases to cover and, let’s face it, bigger companies like eBay may sell a similar (but inferior) product / service to you but it is VERY difficult for you to get ahead of them.

There are a few tricks that can help you. This post/article looks in a bit of detail at getting pretty STARS against stuff that  you write. As shown in the image below.

Have a look at this screen shot of something I’ve worked on recently related to fabric searches for certain kinds of Mohair Velvet in one of the markets we are targeting.

Interior-Designers-Getting-On-GoogleYou’ll notice a few things that make either KOTHEA or me stand out.

1. Being on the first page! Yes that helps!! If you write a blog then Google give you bonus points for new content and that content ranks highly for a small period of time, say a couple of weeks.

2. Having a pretty mug shot of yourself. This is linked to ‘authorship’ of your page and is quite involved but can be achieved if you have time to spare. I can cover that in another article if anyone is interested. It’s quite important.

3. Images/Image Search Results at the top. That first product image at the top is one I took. I can’t remember whether it is on a blog page or a website page but I appropriately ‘tagged’ it with the ‘right’ keywords and voila! there it is.

4. Adverts. On the bottom right hand side one of my adverts is showing up. Cool!! but I have to pay for it 🙁

5. Brand/Company Results. These are not shown on the image above but if you properly set up a company or brand page in Google+ (or get a Wikipedia entry) then additional information about your company will appear on the right hand side where the shopping results and adverts currently are.

6. If you sell products OVER THE INTERNET then you can use Google Merchant and results will appear on the right hand side. I don’t really know how to do that as we do not sell products over the internet (that is a pre-requisite).

7. Ranking stars. You will see that on one of our website’s pages we have a ranking. 9.4/10 … how cool is that! This article/post is going to talk about how you can get those.


OK. Here is where your problems start. (Don’t worry though if you keep reading I will tell you how to circumnavigate those problems).

Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
More Interior Designer BUSINESS Articles

To get a star ranking to show up then you have to have, from memory, at least 10 ‘proper rankings’ in ‘proper places’. The figure used to be higher but it has been lowered recently.

Now, if you are eBay or amazon then of course you could get hundreds of rankings every week from the myriad of customers you have and you can build trusted ranking systems into your online e-commerce package. Fair enough. Except, as an interior designer, you might only have 3 projects/customers a year and sometimes client’s don’t want to write a review even if they are super-happy with what you have done for them. So, if you can get one review per year, then you might have to wait 10 years for your reviews to filter through to Google’s rankings. You probably also do not have the same resources that Ebay or Amazon have to dedicate to their online e-commerce solution.

That is clearly not fair and clearly does not create a level playing field for small- to medium-sized organisations. Indeed it positively UNlevels the playing field in favour of larger firms. So, despite the internet giving smaller companies a chance, the nature of the search-engine-beast mitigates that chance considerably downwards.

And it’s worse than that. Because larger companies FOR SURE employ agencies to boost and create spurious/fake rankings. Cheating, basically. Google try and stop this and some of the companies that produce the rankings try and stop this but in reality the ranking companies are not going to stop their customers paying to use their ranking service.

Here’s what you can do:

1. This is one of the ranking companies. They all charge for their services as far as I know. Trustpilot are no different BUT do provide an initially free service where you can mail all your past customers asking for a review. Once the free service expires then your future customers can still leave a review but they have to create an account to log in and then leave the review. In reality that discourages customers from leaving a review. If you want to leave a review for KOTHEA then you can do it here: I wouldn’t want you to leave a review about our products if you have not bought them, however it is ethical that you could leave a review about our blog and any value that adds to your efforts. The paid-for Trustpilot service might be appropriate for you if you have 50 sales transactions a month as there are other benefits to reviews rather than just getting pretty stars to appear on Google.

2. Google+: If you haven’t already got a personal Google+ page AND ALSO a Google+ page for your business then you should do. There are many google-related search benefits for having one. Once you have a Google+ page for your business then there is automatically a section created by Google+ for reviews. So you can invite your customers to leave a review. After you have finished a job or sold a product you should ALWAYS ask for a review to be left here. These reviews WILL count towards Google’s star ranking of you. The less honest amongst you will ask all your friends to leave reviews. Naughty.

3. Aggregate ranking code. You can look at all the rankings you have all over the internet and aggregate them together manually. You can then display the result on your website with a small piece of HTML. The less honest amongst you will just invent an aggregate ranking.

You might want to display this on each relevant page:


“Customer Survey

UK Interior Designer: April 2014

Rated 9.9/10 (1063 reviews)”   : Ends
To do that you need to insert the following HTML code which will even work on a WordPress blog:
You can change the text if you think about it a bit. Basically you can change the bits in black.

There you go, you star!! Go give yourself a gold star for reading this far. Oh yes and please thank me by clicking ‘like’ or leave a comment. I hope you found it useful….there’s lots more business tips for designers on this website and there will be lots more in the future.

How safe is your furniture

Article From HSTSS

On 13th January 2014 the BBC broadcast an episode of Fake Britain which focused on the sale of sofas and mattresses in the UK which were claimed to be non-compliant with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988.


Woolworths Fire, Manchester 1979

The programme showed 10 sofas being purchased by Leicestershire Trading Standards from a number of well-known retailers and a number of memory-foam mattresses purchased by the programme makers themselves.

When these were tested by independent testing laboratories all of them failed to meet the current UK Regulations. The testing was shown alongside video footage of the fire at Woolworth’s in Manchester in 1979 in which 10 people lost their lives and which ultimately led to the development of the regulatory regime for upholstered furniture.

HSTTS are aware that most if not all retailers already demand that all such items falling under the Furniture Regulations are independently tested and evidence of compliance (usually in the form of test reports) submitted to the retailer to keep on file for reference. In some instances the retailer is also commissioning their own testing on goods actually delivered to the retailer as part of a due diligence program.

The BBC programme inferred that, based on their testing, there may be a significant proportion of non-compliant upholstered furniture and mattresses on the UK market. HSTTS does not know how true this inference is but how confident are you that the products you place on the market are compliant with the strict UK Regulations?

HSTTS is able to offer a range of fully UKAS-accredited flammability testing for upholstery fabrics and filling materials for furniture and mattresses including:

Crib test

Furniture & Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations:

  • Schedule 1 (foam fillings test)
  • Schedule 2 (Non-foam filling tests)
  • Schedule 3 (interliner test)
  • Schedule 4 (‘cigarette’ test)
  • Schedule 5 (‘match’ test)

The above tests are based on

BS 5852:Part 1:1979, BS 5852:Part 2:1982 and BS 6807:1986.

Other tests available include:

  • BS 7176 Ignitability of upholstered furniture
  • BS 7177 Ignitability of mattresses, divans and bed-bases
  • BS 5852:2006
  • EN 1021-1 and EN 1012-2
  • EN 597-1 and EN 597-2

and many more …

The UK’s current fire safety regulations for furniture have been estimated to save approximately 250 lives every year since their introduction in 1988. Changes in the supply chain market such as the admission of new countries to the EU and the movement of manufacturing offshore affects the potential for non-compliant product to be placed on the UK market and the retailer or importer must become ever more vigilent.

How well do you know your supply chain?

Do you have adequate records to show the traceability between test reports for the individual materials used in upholstered furniture and mattresses and the furniture/mattresses that you sell?

Not only can HSTTS provide testing services but our team of experts can provide consultancy and guidance on how to ensure that you have a robust system of traceability.

Don’t let yourselves get caught out – lives are at risk!

For more information and advice:

For more information and advice about flammability testing or compliance with the UK Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, contact:

          Paul Neesam, Head of Fire Testing   

Masters Degree Interior Design

Interior design
Interior design (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Only few days are left for the start of the eleventh edition of the Master in Interior Design,   which has trained more than 300 designers from all over the world since 2003,   showing that the MID is now the   most qualified location of post-graduate training for Interior Design.

MID is a collaboration between the School   of Design of Politecnico di Milan, Scuola Politecnica di Design-SPD   and –   Consortium of Politecnico di Milano. The program involves   always the best Italian studios from each area of intervention.

The Master has a professional orientation and offers a system of design   activities, such as: workshops, visits and seminars by testimonials together   with theoretical contributions on specific topics that include: lighting,   materials and technologies for interior and the history of interior design.

Watch the video of some   of the best projects developed by students during the first 10 year of the   Master:

The theme chosen for the event addresses the highly professional level of the   training that provides an   internship for all students at the end of the course for a period of 3 months.

In fact, each year many partner studios host students of MID in order to   provide them a professional approach in their career. Among these studios   there are CRM Project   Studio, Studio Lissoni Associati, Studio Simone Micheli, Studio Marco Piva,   Studio Denis Santachiara and many others.

The course is open to graduates or undergraduates in interior design,   architecture, design and equivalent area or candidates, who have a university   education and have completed previous professional experience in the field.

For further information   contact the Ufficio Coordinamento Prodotti Formativi: phone +39 02 2399 7275 or write to