Beautiful on the inside

The BIDA is comprised of interior designers and suppliers to the trade. Designer members have worked and trained for a minimum of six years, and consistently prove themselves to be some of the most talented and professional designers in the…

The BIDA is comprised of interior designers and suppliers to the trade. Designer members have worked and trained for a minimum of six years, and consistently prove themselves to be some of the most talented and professional designers in the field. The organisation strives to promote high standards of practice throughout the interior design and decorating professions, encouraging and fostering proven design ability.

Lori Pinkerton-Rolet, Chairman of the BIDA comments: “BIDA interior designers have long been recognised by clients as well as by other design professionals internationally for their professionalism, innovation, and attention to detail. “The organisation represents the top professionals in this field with extensive international experience.

As such, the BIDA is a natural starting point for those choosing an interior designer for their property abroad.”

Two BIDA designer members, Sarah Ward of Sarah Ward Design and Susan Van de Meter, have both recently completed very successful overseas projects and are excellent examples of what an interior designer can achieve.

Top 10
The BIDA has compiled some vital tips for choosing an interior designer abroad:

01 Research your designer – check out ‘flexibility’ in terms of style. Try to see something they have done or talk to a previous client. Make sure they have the appropriate experience for your project
02 Rely on your gut instinct about how you will get on with the designer. To do their best for you, a designer needs to get to know you well, so a harmonious relationship is of huge advantage
03 If you have strong ideas about what you want, make sure your designer is hearing you. It is important that the designer understands your aspirations and feelings about your space
04 Know your budget and make sure the designer understands your budget
05 Ask if the designer will give you a breakdown of costs to show where the budget is going, so you can make practical decisions on what your priorities are
06 Consider the builders – who will source and how will the procurement stage be managed
07 To avoid confusion between the designer and builder/decorator, always contact your designer rather than communicating an issue with the builder/decorator
08 Remember that there is lengthy lead in times to receive goods and withholding payments can cause further delay
09 Avoid making changes to the design once you have agreed the scheme with your designer
10 A good designer will bring value to a project by interacting with all areas of installation and all trades throughout. It is important that the designer is located locally and willing to attend throughout the project

Florida, USA
Sarah Van der Meter
The home is 5,300 sq ft, with six bedrooms, five bathrooms, and pool. It was bought three years ago and took two years to build.

The interior of the home was designed for a British couple who did not want a typical look but wanted something more European and international in its feel.

The first task was to increase the footprint of the home from 3,600 to 5,300 sq ft and upgrade as many finishes and details with the builder as possible. I asked for finishes and details that were different from those normally executed. Architectural detailing was kept simple; architraves, skirting, and cornices were increased in height and all builders’ details and finishes were upgraded where possible.

The living room features limestone floors with a custom medallion. The furniture and lighting was either existing or purchased in Europe. The colour scheme was based on a Lelievre fabric found in the living area; a very rich silk damask, the red in the fabric was used in upholstery and for the handmade Tibetan rugs in the Family room.

I worked with Landscape Architect Scott Redmon from Redmon Designs, to create a tropical garden with jacuzzi and pool. The garden was a grassed over area, so extensive work was done to create the curved 40 ft pool and travertine deck. Three full sized Medjool palm trees along with many other specimens were installed to create a lush landsape that’s relaxing and peaceful.

Kalkan, Turkey
Sarah Ward Design
Sarah spent three months working closely with her client in the planning stages of the project, ensuring that every detail was attended to, and a further two months directing the project from the UK and on site in Turkey.

“This project is one of my personal favourites”, commented Sarah, “Situated a short walk from Kalkan town centre, right on the beautiful coast, it is largely contemporary in style, but with some local flavour thrown in!

“I sourced the builders and craftsmen for the project from the BIDA website, which I find to be an invaluable tool for finding quality trustworthy workforces for projects both overseas and in the UK,” stated Sarah. “I usually find that word of mouth of referral from a trusted source is the surefire way to get the best possible experts, and thus the best possible results.”

The interior is a mixture of modern styles and Turkish influences.

The sitting and landing area features charcoal grey as a backdrop to the locally sourced pewter plates and jewellery, contrasting perfectly with the turquoise accessories – shades of which are picked up in the sea.

The property also sports a roof terrace which is a perfect evening chill-out zone – with all-weather beanbags to lounge in whilst the sun goes down.

The British Interior Design Association
The association is committed to the advancement of the professional practice of interior design and, in particular, aspires to increase public awareness of the importance of good design in all aspects of daily life, emphasise the environmental and aesthetic implications of design and encourage excellence in design through education, training and continuing professional development of individual practitioners.

There are over 1,000 BIDA members, including full designer members who have worked or trained for a minimum of six years as interior designers, associates who have worked for up to six years as interior designers, corporate members and students.

The association offers support and advice to its members on many issues including legal and insurance, and publishes a quarterly Review magazine – the ‘must read’ of news, updates, member and BIDA activities, services and products. The BIDA website,, is the main search tool used by interior designers looking for products and for clients looking for an interior designer, and offers inspiration through an extensive photo gallery.

Corporate membership offers suppliers and manufacturers access to hundreds of top interior designers working in the UK and abroad. The BIDA online directory of corporate products and services enables visibility of the latest design developments to thousands of people accessing the BIDA site every day.

The BIDA was formed through the amalgamation of the highly respected Interior Decorators & Designers Association (originally set up in 1966) and the globally recognised International Interior Design Association (UK Chapter).

For further details on the BIDA and to find an interior designer or supplier please visit; email; or telephone 020 7349 0800

Tagged Live, Interiors


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