Bespoke & Customised Interior Design

Creating your perfect, personalised home

Interior design encompasses purpose, function, usability and also art, textures, mood… I love seeing how homeowners personalise their homes so they’re just right for them. The options are endless and the finished result is usually spectacular.

Claire at Studio 12 Designs is known for balancing design with practicality and having a great eye for colours, fabrics and furnishings – I challenge you to visit her studio and leave empty handed!

Claire and her network of suppliers each have decades of experience in designing, curating and implementing high spec design projects, tailored to their clients’ individual needs. Here Claire discusses the possibilities for bespoke and customisable interior design.

With the wealth and choice of products, making your home your own is easier now than it has ever been, but how do you make your home as individual as you are and tell your story?

Thankfully, it is possible to cater for specific project requirements using furnishings customised, made to measure, bespoke, or in combination; allowing you to be creative and spark trends rather than follow them.

Customisation provides the client with variations upon request, while bespoke means that everything begins and ends with an idea specific to your individual wishes, providing that unique opportunity for self-expression resulting in something that is personal, special, luxurious in every sense, and unique to you.

Selecting the right materials, methods and craftsmanship is integral to the success of any customised, made to order, or bespoke piece. Vein patterns in marble will be specific to a quarry, colour and grain patterns in wood will be unique to the tree, and batch numbers on rolls of wallpaper and fabric must always match when used in the same room.  Some processes cannot be controlled 100% however, resulting in ‘inclusions’, bubbles, shape and colour variations. These are not flaws but unique and intrinsic to the piece put there by the kiln gods!

As you would expect, bespoke isassociated with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship and involves time to translate ideas into concept designs.  At the highest level, fully bespoke interiors consider every tiny detail from the size and finish of a screw head to the perfection of thousands of crystals for the grandest chandelier. Every element is analysed, considered meticulously then made specifically to the client’s wishes.

When you want something that little bit different or to fit a specific space, custom made is a good place to start as it provides the client with choice backed by quality.  Notably, high quality manufacturers and suppliers all offer this service including upholstered furniture, lighting, fabrics, wallcoverings and rugs. Upholstered furniture can be customised by using your own choice of fabric, modifying the seat depth or arm height. While the firmness of seat and back cushion fillings can be tailored to suit your comfort requirements.

We work with a variety of British companies and industry leading brands such as Porta Romana, Sanderson Design Group, Lewis & Wood, Cole & Son, GP & J Baker, Todd Knights and many individual craft specialists. Some of these companies have design archives going back centuries. They are the epitome of design excellence with stories that cannot be summarised but are entrenched in tradition and history. Yet while this may sound like an overwhelming amount of options, interior design experts are here to help curate the right approach for you.

Whatever you choose must be right for you and architecturally right for your home – be it modern, Georgian, Victorian… If your home is a blend of eras these features can be joined together by the right finishes.

When commissioning a piece, it helps to maintain close communication throughout the process. This can include visits to the workshop to see progress, which can be a real thrill.

Porta Romana, famed for their exquisite furniture and lighting throughout the world is based in Surrey. They nurture established and emerging British artisans and are consequently able to keep the majority of their production local and pieces fully customisable.

So, whether you want to amend the depth of your Stanley console, or increase the height of your Laurel mirror, it can be done. Likewise, if you have an idea or concept for a brand new piece, collaboration on something totally bespoke is possible. 


Lighting provides a wonderful opportunity to express your taste and style. Not only a source of light but also a piece of art and sculpture. Made in the Surrey Hills every Ottie table lamp for Porta Romana will be slightly different. The lamp’s spotted surface is both playful and decorative, whilst the encapsulation lends a sense of weight and sophistication. The lampshade must not be forgotten as its shape, colour and opacity all affect the success of the piece within the interior design scheme.

Fabrics & Wallpapers

When using fabrics and wallpapers it is important to ensure that the scale of the pattern is correct in relation to the architectural features of the room, to create the right ambience and impact. Being able to change the scale is a very useful design tool providing the ability to make a dramatic difference without sacrificing the scheme. Lewis and Wood specialise in this service for their fabrics and wallpapers, printing wide width wallpapers as individual drops to the height proportions of your wall.

Curtains & Blinds

Made to measure is generally associated with soft furnishings and as we know, moving from one house to another the curtains and blinds will rarely fit. Handmade to measure curtains and blinds can be taken to the next level and made extra special and personalised with contrast fabric for the lining, trim added to the leading edge, contrast fabric hems, tops and headings. So

many decisions to make without even considering the choice of how to hang and dress them!

Choosing a beautiful pole of the correct diameter to hang them from to complete the ensemble requires technical skill and know-how. Todd Knights are specialists in this field to ensure that the pole, track or pelmet frames the window treatment correctly, working with the architecture rather than against it. The finish and shape of the brackets and finials are used in harmony with the fabrics and interior, creating a bespoke look that’s tailored just for you.

Todd Knights –

About Studio 12 Designs

Our homes are our greatest investment not just financially but emotionally, as a unique expression of our individual and family life story.  To tell that story, there are many questions to be answered and decisions to be made. This is when working with an interior designer is of great advantage. Using their professional training and experience enables a client to bring all the elements, dreams and aspirations together. If you have recently moved and want to make your new house your home, or have an idea of what you want to do but don’t know how to make it a reality please do get in touch.

Visitors are welcome to the studio Wednesdays and Fridays 10am – 4pm. All other times are by appointment.

Claire Tull
The Design Room
9 High Street
Theale RG7 5AH

0777 92279 633

Kai Carter Estates Newsletter