May 25, 2022
Natasha Meechan Spotlight
Originally hailing from Ireland, Natasha Meechan now runs her successful interior design business from Surrey. She has accomplished a varied portfolio, from commercial design in Melbourne to designing luxury interiors of private homes in the Cotswolds, London, Berkshire, Portugal and Los Angeles. We caught up with her to talk all things interiors.
How did you get started in interior design?
My love for art and design started at a young age. I was very creative at school but started out working in finance. I knew where my real passion was though and so I studied part -time for a degree in Interior Design in Dublin. After graduating, I went to Australia for a year and got some experience working for MYER, the well-known department store. Then, I came back to London and have never left England since.
I worked in the retail and hospitality sector at first, but then moved to the Cotswolds and through working with architects, I figured out I loved the residential side of interior design. Architects are such technicians and that’s where I got most of my knowledge and insight from. I don’t just ‘choose fabrics’, I do a lot of design as well as understanding project management and interior architecture.
Tell us a bit about your business now. Who are your clients and what sort of projects do you work on?
I’d call myself a Luxury Interior Designer and I work on a wide range of projects alongside a whole team of builders, architects and suppliers. For instance, it could be a huge, whole house fit-out or it could be a small refurb. Interior Design is a very personal thing and for me, it’s all about creating a connection with your client. When you understand their tastes and style, they’ll always need you.
My style is modern but timeless. I’ve worked on everything from very contemporary to much more classical but what I bring to it all is a very high-end, quality finish.
What have been some of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on?
One of my first was also one of the best. I managed a project in Portugal for a summer. Being trusted to run the entire thing on my own when I was just starting out and offering the full service, which created such value, was very satisfying.
Equally, I worked on Marylebone mews house recently, which was one of my favourites. The space was small, so you have to really think about how to maximise it by getting light in and considering all the details such as furniture and joinery.
What do you think the biggest shift in interiors has been in the last 10 years?
I’d say people value their space more now than ever. As well as looking for bigger houses, offices and garden rooms are also on the wish list. Work and home have become so interlinked that everyone wants the option to have a room they can use as an office.
What are the key tricks to mastering a successful interior?
Bespoke design always brings a personal touch and you have to invest in the quality of the finish. Trying to save or cut corners when it comes to design never pays off. I tell my clients, "Buy cheap, buy twice" and also, "You really do get what you pay for".
And what would you say are the biggest decorating mistakes people make?
Over-use of colour is probably the biggest one for me. Painting an entire room bright red may be brave, but trust me, you’ll get bored with it. Bold colour can work in a Gentleman’s Club or restaurant, but in your own home, you need to tread carefully and mainly use colour as an accent.
What companies do you work with or can you tell us about any local places you source your items from?
My go-to is the The Design Centre in London. It has everything you could wish for – all the fabrics, all the trimmings. I’m still getting to know Surrey, but one place I’ve come across and love is Wattle & Daub in Godalming. It has such amazing accessories and finishing touches. As an Interior Designer, that part of the process is a real art form and finding the right items to add that level of detail can make all the difference.