Gransnet forums

House and home

Has anyone used an interior design service like those offered by John Lewis or Next?

(29 Posts)
Kate54 Fri 12-Feb-21 08:45:38

I suddenly got completely fed up with our living room last night. It’s never really been thought out properly - the furniture from our previous house was just arranged by the removal men (seven years ago!) and has stayed like that. I did change lighting and curtains but that was it.
The furniture is too big (apart from the sofa which is now well past it’s best due to being somewhat overused during lockdown!)
On an impulse, I’ve booked a John Lewis free home design service (on-line so that should be interesting).
Has anyone else done this and was it worth it?

GarryB Wed 27-Oct-21 17:39:35

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

KathyTR Wed 27-Oct-21 14:29:35

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk guidelines.

Amberone Fri 05-Mar-21 15:53:55

I love watching interior decor programs and checking out websites, and I would love to hear ideas from a good interior designer - sometimes it's just that one little idea that makes you see things differently.

Sadly I've not been impressed with the designers we used to do our kitchen and bathrooms - they had some basic skills (like measuring) and ideas from other people's houses but I've yet to meet one with any really original ideas.

Good luck with yours though - I'd like to know how you get on and what they are like.

handbaghoarder Fri 05-Mar-21 15:34:33

I used Laura Ashley ( if I remember correctly) many many years ago as we too have an odd shaped room and I was desperate for new ways to arrange things and happy to buy new bits and bobs as needed. Sadly we didnt use any of her ideas. Colour schemes, fabrics picked were OK but all stuff I would have likely chosen anyway. Otherwise not especially useful. Furniture etc chosen not our style sadly,and looked pretty much as if literally just lifted from the catalogue page and plonked in our room regardless. Ironically though I have often chosen LA curtain fabrics, wallpapers etc as I love their muted tones/ greys etc

keepitsimple Fri 12-Feb-21 14:05:02

I discovered the 60 30 10 rule when deciding colours for a room decor. Look it up on the internet and it gives lots of examples. Also I noticed that many of the photos in magazines seem to follow this advice.

Kate54 Fri 12-Feb-21 13:52:15

Great advice from GN as ever - lots of online research to look forward to now.

BlueBelle Fri 12-Feb-21 13:48:15

It’s not that I m confident in my own skills but having watched lots of interior design programmes I would never want anyone else’s ideas as I usually don’t like them but also it wouldn’t be my home with my print on it it would be theirs anyway

janeainsworth Fri 12-Feb-21 13:46:39

Apparently you can take a photo of your room and pop in various sofas to see what they look like before buying. She was very pleased with the results

Kate I recently bought a chair online from M &S and you can do that on their website too. I was very careful to check the measurements to make sure it would fit in the space I needed it for.
Good luck - if you’re buying new furniture can I recommend Arighi Bianchi in Macclesfield - it’s a lovely shop & they have a good website.

Kate54 Fri 12-Feb-21 13:38:49

I won’t! And agree that it’s so much easier when two decision-makers aren’t involved (which is why we always end up with white walls and neutral furnishings!) I, too, would love my furniture to ‘float’. I also have to have a coffee table but not sure why really. Old habits die hard!
A friend mentioned that she’d just bought two sofas from DFS. Apparently you can take a photo of your room and pop in various sofas to see what they look like before buying. She was very pleased with the results.

Eloethan Fri 12-Feb-21 12:06:27

Kate54 Take no notice of those who are completely confident in their interior design skills. Like you, I would be tempted touse an interior design service but I'm sure the first thing I would be told is that we have too much furniture. I agree, but my husband wouldn't so it would be a waste of time I suspect.

Interior designers can be very helpful in advising as to colour schemes and materials - and can still create a cosy and comfortable environment if that is what the customer wants.

Riverwalk Fri 12-Feb-21 11:59:33


We hope to be moving soon and the lounge is an awkward shape. All the advice I've read is that your furniture should "float", ie. not be against walls, and there should be an easy walkway through.

I'm interested in how you get on OP as I love moving things around but DH would just leave things where they are first put.

All very well for furniture to 'float' if you have the space!

Framilode Fri 12-Feb-21 11:42:06

My daughter used it for curtains when she moved, with a fee that was deductible from the final bill.

They came up with some fabulous materials that she would never have looked at on her own. One window, in particular, was floor to ceiling, very large and oddly shaped and the curtains they made were fantastic.

Riverwalk Fri 12-Feb-21 11:35:43

Kate54 I used John Lewis around 16 years ago when I moved in this flat, post-divorce. Think I paid £200 and a very nice chap visited and spent a long time showing me swatches, taking measurements, and so on.

My main requirement was for suitable curtains as my flat is ground floor. His suggestion for the bedrooms was stiffened voile roller blinds against the window in the recess, which would enable me to see out during the day, but no one can see in; plus roman blinds outside the recess as the radiator is under the windows. This has worked very well, giving me privacy without net curtains! I would never have thought of voile roller blinds and would never contemplate net curtains.

My sitting room leads out to a small private garden via sliding patio doors which of course are quite wide. The garden is not overlooked so I have conventional curtains which are heavy and needed a wooden 'batten' I think it's called to hang them from, rather than the flimsy rail that was already there. The batten is covered in the curtain material.

All the work, making the blinds, curtains, installing, and the batten was carried out by two JL men.

The interior designer also showed me some really lovely bedroom furniture which I'm still pleased with. I moved from a large house and my flat is quite dinky so I needed some ideas.

I can't remember but I think the £200 was deducted from the final bill. I spent a lot of money overall, but well worth it, particularly the initial visit from the designer smile

Parsley3 Fri 12-Feb-21 10:34:35

What a good idea. I am planning on redecorating as I am sick of looking at these shabby walls. I hadn’t thought of John Lewis free home design but I will now. I am open to different ways of doing things. Thanks, Kate54.

Kate54 Fri 12-Feb-21 10:22:57

It’s done by video - a sort of Zoom on the move, I guess - and rhey do ask for as much helpful information beforehand as possible.
Thanks for the feedback so far. It’s the awkward room shape that’s the issue and it’s not that big. The TV has to be in the same corner it is now (unless we went to the expense of moving all the relevant sockets etc which I don’t want to do).

Sarah48 Fri 12-Feb-21 09:57:25

How does it work online? Do you upload pics of your room? I imagine it might be helpful, just to get a fresh viewpoint. My daughter lived in a house for about 4 years which had an awkward sitting room (very much a corridor room). They decided to move and I went over to help them clear out stuff for the estate agent photos. We moved their settee and took down the curtains (left a blind at the window) and suddenly the room looked much better! (They still moved!)

TrendyNannie6 Fri 12-Feb-21 09:54:55

No, I’ve never done it myself as I absolutely love to buy and plan how things will look in my house, and no you don’t come across as someone who can’t furnish on their own, everyone is different, you go for it, hope it goes well for you

honeyrose Fri 12-Feb-21 09:50:26

Kate54, I have used the John Lewis home design service, but not the online one. For mine, I went into the store with photos of my living room (from all different angles) on my iPad. Obviously, not possible to go into the store at the moment. It mainly seemed to be focused on what colours I liked for curtains, cushions and carpet etc rather than new furniture or placement of furniture as I was limited as to what could go where and I wanted to keep certain pieces of furniture from my previous house (2 bookcases, tv and tv stand and bureau) from my previous house. We did look at sofas and chairs as I wanted to replace those. Having said that, I’m sure furniture placement could have been spoken about, but mine is a small room with 2 doors into it and not that many options. It was a very enjoyable experience, no obligation and it did help me when I finally decided on colours for the room rather than what goes where. If it’s still no obligation to use this service, I’d go for it. The designer also sent me fabric and curtain samples in the post. In the end, I didn’t buy anything of any significance from John Lewis, but I could easily have done as I like their products. I love watching interior design type programmes on tv and housey magazines and these too are great for ideas.

Galaxy Fri 12-Feb-21 09:47:10

We are thinking of using their service just for ideas. Hope it goes well. It's free and you can just say no if you dont like it.

Pittcity Fri 12-Feb-21 09:38:27

We hope to be moving soon and the lounge is an awkward shape. All the advice I've read is that your furniture should "float", ie. not be against walls, and there should be an easy walkway through.

I'm interested in how you get on OP as I love moving things around but DH would just leave things where they are first put.

Kate54 Fri 12-Feb-21 09:31:26

Never fear, it won’t be a show home! And people tell me it is already welcoming and comfortable. I think this arose from thinking about buying a new sofa/suite and wondering which would be the best shape, size etc. I don’t want to make expensive mistakes as I have a habit of rushing into purchases, often online.

Kate54 Fri 12-Feb-21 09:28:19

Oh dear, I’ve obviously come across as someone who can’t manage furnishing a room on her own! Absolutely not the case; it’s just that this particular room is very difficult as it has a bay window with radiator beneath at one end and sliding doors into another room at the other so there are very few expanses of wall to put things against.
I just thought that a fresh, experienced eye may have some ingenious solutions. When I said ‘worth it’, I didn’t mean financially!

Shropshirelass Fri 12-Feb-21 09:26:48

Your home just needs to be warm and welcoming. Comfortable so that people (when they can visit again) feel they can sit anywhere. Don’t make is a show home. Did you see the picture of Princess Anne’s room? Comfortable and welcoming, cluttered a little but homely. Old furniture is fine and has more character. Just move things round a bit to give it a new look, it makes a big difference.

keepingquiet Fri 12-Feb-21 09:23:16

They just want to fill your house with their stuff. You can use free web-sites that offer the same service-can't remember the name but we used one years ago so I'm sure they are still around and probably better. (No hard sell) Magazines are also good for giving you ideas. Sounds fun though-happy designing!

Sara1954 Fri 12-Feb-21 09:21:28

Well it’s definitely not for me, I love doing it myself, but if it’s a chore for you, go ahead and give it a go.