Pale and interesting: Farrow & Ball gives expert colour advice
John Cullen (020 7371 5400; johncullenlighting.co.uk)
Get advice from lighting design professionals, starting with a single room or for a whole home, at the King's Road showroom of leading British experts in the field. John Cullen staff will design a lighting scheme for a room for £150 plus VAT. Bring plans and any images of the room to an appointment with a designer. Site visits and revisions are charged at hourly rates. John Cullen has taster evenings where you can see themed lighting. Call for details.
Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (020 7352 1900; dcch.co.uk)
When you're decorating, the sheer range of quality products can be overwhelming. Design Centre Chelsea Harbour offers a personal shopper service — free of charge — to get you past that bewildered feeling and introduce you to leading brands, of which it has more than 500 in 95 showrooms. "The Harbour" is one of London's key design destinations, something of an insider's secret and well worth a visit. Caroline Hughes and her personal shopping team are based in the elegant surroundings of the members club, where they will discuss your requirements and then give you a personalised tour of the three domes that host the majority of companies. Caroline has 20 years of experience as a design professional. There's no time limit. Just call to make an appointment.
Farrow & Ball (01202 876141; farrow-ball.com)
Colour is one of the mysteries of design that can baffle even the smartest home owners. Farrow & Ball's colour expertise needs little introduction and its paints and papers have won huge popularity over the last decade. The company's specially designed Colour Consultancy service is offered to clients in their homes. Trained consultants call in for a relaxed, informal visit to come up with ideas for paint and paper, while assessing the space, light and architecture. Clients then receive a colour fan with details of the shades, finishes and quantities recommended during the visit. As well as the call from a consultant, clients can request a visit from Joa Studholme, the company's respected lead colourist. Joa's visit is charged at £225, colour consultant visits are charged at £175.
Blooming marvellous: McQueens teaches floristry and supplies the home
Marianne Cotterill (07917 788969; mariannecotterill.com)
Marianne Cotterill, a leading UK stylist, also creates iconic advertising campaigns for top design brands. Her private clients include many celebrities and she can source unusual, even unique, furniture, lighting and art. "It can be a complete redesign or just a makeover, where I change or add colour and find interesting pieces for a space," she says. She supplies a story board. Fees start at £850 for a home visit.
McQueens (mcqueens.co.uk; 020 7251 5505)
Based in Clerkenwell, McQueens is one of London's most creative florists, selling flowers to the public but also serving many corporate clients. There is a wide range of McQueens services available to private clients, with a programme of lessons and lectures for new and experienced floristry devotees. Private classes are available for small groups as well as one-to-one tuition for individuals, with a private oneday class costing from around £650. The company also offers flowers for the home with prices starting at £75 for a "focal vase". A service can be purchased covering the entire year, with McQueens florists coming to your home with a new arrangement every week.
Skandium (020 7823 8874 ; skandium.com/interior-design)
If Scandi-chic home styling is what you want, Skandium has the products and skills to create a transformation. Chrystina Schmidt, co-founder and creative director, leads the company's interior design service, which starts with her home visit to discuss your needs and assess the space. "For private clients, we would advise on how to maximise an interior with key pieces, how to treat awkwardly shaped rooms and then source the right furniture, lighting, wallpaper, paint and floor coverings," says Schmidt. "We find workmen, building materials and handle deliveries and installations." A home consultation with Schmidt lasts two to four hours, from £600 including VAT, followed up with a written and visual summary.
Scandi-cool: Skandium will tell you how to transform decor, lighting and furnishings
BUILD & DESIGN
LJS Property (020 7237 6575; ljsproperty.com)
LJS Property is run by Lucinda Sanford who will rebuild your home. A mother herself, she specialises in transforming family properties, doing it all from initial plans to the finishing touches and interior design. She charges in staged payments — for example, a recent project was a four bedroom home in SW10, bought with separate basement flat that needed integrating and some rebuilding. Planning cost £2,800, with project design and interior design at £9,500. A monthly fee was applied to cover on-site project management visits.