I’m an interior designer living in Herne Hill in south London. After being a partner in city law firm for many years, I re-trained as an interior designer at the Chelsea College of Art. I’m an associate member of the British Institute of Interior Designers and run my own small design practice and take on work all over London.
I definitely have my own style (you can see my house here
But I’m just not the sort of designer (or person, frankly) to impose their own look on clients. I’d much rather design a scheme in collaboration with clients and and other professionals. It’s not my home – it’s yours. But what I can bring is my experience and expertise to make the best of your space. If you want to find out more about me, please read an interview with me here: Vinterior.
My client-centric approach doesn’t mean I don’t take inspiration from the design community or follow trends. We don’t tend to wear the same clothes or listen to the same music our parents do (or even we did ourselves 10 years ago) so there is no reason our homes should be stuck in the same time warp! Small tweaks can make a big difference both to your home and to your mindset. Please click here to read my interiors predictions for 2018.
If you want to follow my work, please look for me on social media as @stealthdesignuk (I love instagram most). I write a Designer’s Diary on there – it’s a micro blog, demystifying the design process and giving lots of tips and tricks along the way. I’m also on Facebook and twitter
I take on both residential and commercial projects.
I love doing full house refurbishments as I can really get stuck in, get to know you and help you avoid the decision fatigue. Creating a home can be a very rewarding process and I’d love to be on that journey with you. But I’m also happy to take on smaller projects – a kitchen extension, bathroom refurbishments, colour schemes. Please just ask to see if I have time to take on smaller projects – and I totally understand that smaller projects can lead to bigger ones when trust is established.
I often have a commercial project on the go too. But these tend to work to quite a different rhythm to residential work – they are fast and furious! I’m not a big commercial design firm but I use that to my advantage – I’m not the person to come to when you want an identikit office but I can definitely help if you want something unique. As a result, I’ve tended to focus on the creative industries – for example, please check out my work for Sam Branson’s Sundog Pictures here
If you employ me you’ll get an extra pair of hands. I can also act as a bridge between you and other professionals, translating building-speak and ensuring that stock is on site on time (which is what tends to delay projects). What I don’t do is supply builders or tradesmen (although I have good contacts and can prepare specifications and manage the tender process for you) or work as a project manager.
I’m currently working on a two full house refurbishments in Herne Hill, revising a layout of a townhouse in West Dulwich to create an office and a playroom and for two seperate houses in East Dulwich – a kitchen refurbishment and setting a colour scheme.
Good service is very important to me. So I’ve very proud to have been recognised for my service by Houzz, the interiors website, with the award of a Best in Houzz for service in both 2017 and 2018.
My charging structure is very transparent. I aim to provide accessible, affordable interior design services to everyone. I firmly believe that we can all benefit from good design – it shouldn’t just be available for the 1%.
I normally charge a design fee and, if I am able to negotiate trade discounts (these are mostly 20-40%, depending on the brand or range) on tiles / furniture / fabrics etc, I split the discounts with my clients.
I currently charge £60 per hour for the design fee. As I’m a very small business, I don’t charge VAT so there’s no VAT to add on to those rates. I record my time on an app (I used to be a lawyer so I’m used to time recording) and charge in 6 minute units. I bill all my clients at the end of each month. And I’m a working mum so efficiency is my middle name.
You will also have access to my trade discounts – these are typically 20-40% and cover everything from furniture to fabrics, tiles to lighting. For a list of the trade accounts I currently hold, please click here. If you don’t see the retailer you are interested on the list – please do contact me anyway as many of the retailers are connected and / or offer discounts without a formal account being set up. Or, ahem, the list may not be up to date.
For new clients I often recommend a one hour initial consultation. I can come round, talk to you about what you want to achieve and in that time I can often give you quite a bit of help and make suggestions on how to take things forward. This is a free service.
“In case anyone is looking for interior designer, I’d wholly recommend Zoe Murphy of Stealth Design. When I didn’t know what to do she had brilliant ideas and was happy to guide me through it. She taught us tips and tricks to get the best out of the space and in addition to helping with the layout she was great at suggesting ideas that I’d would have never thought of. She just made everything work and sent me the most fantastic links, guided me when I wasn’t sure what would work and was always careful that we get what we wanted.”
IRIS MAOR, HERNE HILL
“When we decided to redecorate, we asked Zoe to help ensure that we didn’t end up with another cream hallway. Zoe helped us choose a wallpaper and suggested a soft lilac to work in with the paper we picked. We wouldn’t have thought of this combination ourselves. But it works really well to add interest to our hall and co-ordinates well with our existing decor. Rather gratifyingly, lots of visitors have in fact commented on how nice it looks.”
Christine and Ian, Herne Hill