Life

By Lucy Notarantonio

 

A new mum decided to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming an interior designer whilst on maternity leave.

Claire Bromley, 38, says she charges ‘affordable fees’ and wants to change the perception that interior designers are only for wealthy people

She uses her creativity to transform homes from drab to fab and charges as little as £50 for clients who lack inspiration for their own homes.

The mum-of-one from Bromley, Kent, discovered she has an ‘eye’ for interior designer during her 12-year career in public relations.

She said: “I haven’t looked back since quitting my job as I love what I do, and it doesn’t even feel like work.

“My philosophy is interior design should be accessible for anyone – I have made a conscious effort to make my services and the costs affordable.

“I can charge anything from £50 to £200 for one room to be electronically designed and fully developed with a shopping list of items.

“I am constantly online shopping on my phone for clients, I can’t complain!

“I buy from high street stores such as IKEA and I tailor my prices to the client’s budget.

“My first project was to revamp five rooms of an outdated home – I brought it to life by adding colours, patterned wallpapers and geometric designs.

“I offer an accessible and affordable approach and work with high street and independent suppliers to create beautiful, luxurious spaces within all budgets.”

Claire Alexandra Designs launched eight months ago, and business is booming.

She transformed her first project in two months and it cost a total of £30,000 for the family with an additional £3,000 for her services.

According to Design for me, the average cost for a mood board, furniture placement plans and one to one phone consultation with an interior designer can be up to £500.

She modernised the home with blue, greys and copper tones along with geometric and botanical patterns.

 

She adds: “I want people to benefit from interior designers, it doesn’t have to be for the rich and famous.

“Most interior designers offer project management and a fully coordinated service for £2000 upwards for one room alone.

“I charged £3000 for five rooms, all of which required brand new furniture and decorating, plus a kitchen renovation where walls were knocked down, which is why it cost the family £30,000.

“I was the project manager on the job; in charge of the builders and decorators and purchased all the materials and furniture on my client’s behalf. I was able get them discounts by using my trade accounts with suppliers.

“It required minimal effort from the home owners which allowed them to get on with their day to day lives without the stress of decorating.

“My services are for everyone.

“My whole lifestyle has changed, I am flexible and able to work around my daughter Minnie, 20 months.

“It wasn’t until I was on maternity leave until I decided to do something about my passion for interiors and enrolled on a diploma course in interior design.

“Spending so much time at home with a new baby made me realise how important it is that your home makes you feel happy and at ease, so that’s what I want to help my clients to achieve.

“People send me photos of what they like and I create mood boards to bring to life my ideas. I like to reflect my clients’ personality and their own style in my designs.

“I love being the project manager and working on site so I can truly see the transformation from start to finish.”

 

To see more follow Claire on Instagram @clairealexdesigns