Cover British designer Louise Bradley is known for her transformative interiors that are crafted with her signature classic contemporary style

British designer Louise Bradley discusses tips on crafting relaxing sanctuaries, her new book as well as how she’s celebrating her 30th anniversary in the business

For British designer Louise Bradley, an admiration for good design runs in the family; her father was a furniture dealer, and Bradley’s time spent exploring his boutique sparked her interest in design. 

With a keen sense of combining modernity with timelessness, the “self-confessed perfectionist” founded her eponymous London-based practice in 1991. The studio has since grown rapidly, attracting clients that range from private residences to commercial sectors all around the world.

“I’m an intuitive designer, and so many things inspire me. I always feel most creative after returning from my travels or visiting an antique fair; this is when the ideas flow,” she confesses fondly. “My team also inspires my creative flow. I love a new concept meeting when the excitement of a new project can be felt and explored!

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To celebrate her namesake firm's 30th anniversary this year, Bradley has launched her first book, Interiors: Louise Bradley.  Written by London-based design journalist Helen Chislett, the book offers readers a deep dive into the creative concepts and processes behind some of the designer's most striking projects across the globe. 

“There are so many memorable moments and stories from my career, but I have to say that when I received the hard copy of my first book Interior: Louise Bradley, I felt an overwhelming sense of achievement which I hadn’t considered previously,” she says, commenting on her recent monogram. “I dedicated the book to my father, who was always a huge inspiration and the reason I fell in love with interior design.”

She adds: “It’s an incredible milestone, and I find it a moment to celebrate, and also to reflect. The world has changed tremendously in 30 years, and we appreciate the spaces we live in as a place of calm and serenity from our busy everyday lives and constant connection. 30 years of designing classic contemporary homes across the world come with many experiences, travels, and wonderful people, and I cherish the memories created.”

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Bradley’s passion for design is evident in the interiors that she crafts, which reflects an elegant aesthetic that conjures up a sense of calm. “My style is a balance of classic and contemporary, resulting in interiors which are timeless,” explains the design maven. “I like to create a palette that is refined and muted; and whilst from afar it might look neutral, it’s alive with vibrant tonal differences and beautiful textures.” 

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Here, the designer shares more insights on her creative process as well as highlights from her new book; she also offers us a glimpse of her mood board by highlighting five decor and art pieces.     

Where do you seek design inspiration from? 

Louise Bradley (LB): My inspiration comes from across the art and design disciplines. I collect art and love beautifully tailored fashion pieces, and from my travels. Our experiences truly open our eyes to the world. With a curious and open mind, you can easily soak up the new influences, traditions, and local craftsmanship, and when you’re back in the studio, infuse your designs with these new sources of inspiration.

With a curious and open mind, you can easily soak up the new influences, traditions and local craftsmanship.
British designer Louise Bradley

The studio also produces bespoke furniture and fabrics. What is the process like?  

LB: Of course, there have been moments of hesitation and uncertainty—they are a natural part of a creative journey. They can be a good thing too,  making you stop and consider your next move and your next decision, and the reasons that drive you to start a new collection. For me, the new collections often come as a natural extension of our interior design work. As we design our clients’ homes, we create bespoke pieces that begin to inspire a new collection, incorporating new finishes and new functionalities. I love reimaging the collections; it can be challenging but always rewarding. 

What are some highlights readers can expect from Interior: Louise Bradley?

LB: In the book, readers are invited to visit some of my interior projects from the past 30 years; we also dive into the world of four key elements: scale, texture, form and function, as well as reflection—these are my design fundamentals.

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What is the mark of a well-designed space to you?

LB: Luxury, comfort and functionality combined together, alongside a well-thought layering of textures, patterns and tones.

Pick one: bright colours or neutral hues?

LB: Always neutral hues, they’re calming and harmonious; yet I love an unexpected splash of bright colour!

What is one design trend you’re currently obsessed with?

LB: It might have started as a trend a few years back, but I’m so happy that it’s now mainstream—making our homes more sustainable by using natural materials, sourcing antiques and working with organic fabrics.

Complete the sentence: You’ll never see ____ in my home.

LB: A cat! My dachshund Ellie would not be pleased!

What are some of the collections you're obsessed with right now?

1. Valentina Stool, from Louise Bradley Collection

LB: The Valentina Stool is one of my favourite designs from the Louise Bradley Collection (the designer's eponymous furniture brand)! It’s incredibly versatile, decorative and fun for every space within the home. It also comes in a variety of fabrics to match any scheme. 

2. Vintage Italian Chandelier circa 1950, from Hilary Batstone

LB: I love antique lighting, be it chandeliers, floor lamps or wall lights, I always keep my eyes open for these unique pieces!

3. Mehraban Rugs antique Persian Kerman rug, from 1stDibs

LB: I love fashion and fabrics; I did in fact start my career in fashion and so have a real passion for textiles. A rug can define a space by adding warmth, softness and texture. 

4. Nibbled Edge Occasional table, from Louise Bradley Collection

LB: A bestseller from the Louise Bradley Collection, with a dark metal frame and natural stone top. In our new Signature Collection, we updated the Nibbled Edge collection to include a dining table, making the dining tabletop from sustainable recycled glass.

5. Cartmel by Deborah Tarr

LB: Artworks and accessories are key final layers to any interior. For my own home, I purchased a piece from one of my favourite art galleries and artists, building the scheme for my drawing room around it. Proportion can be played with when it comes to art, a small piece or collection of pieces hung together can add texture and bring an eclectic feel to a room.

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