Designer outlet: Fotheringham Interiors provides elegance every step of the way

Fotheringham Interiors is an award winning design company based in the West End of Glasgow.

Fotheringham Interiors

In the last decade, founder and principal designer Emily Fotheringham has built the firm up from small one-room projects to specialise in working on entire houses, with a design brief starting at the initial planning stage, and finishing off with the tiniest details of furnishing.

Emily says: “We cover the whole of the UK, half of the projects we have at the moment are in England. We specialise in full home design –primarily one-off architectural properties – and we tend to be intimately involved at every stage.

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“One of our latest projects to complete, for example, is in Bridge of Weir, and we have been involved in it for three and a half years.”

Ann Fotheringham

Being taken on at such an early stage of a client building their own home is an interior designer’s dream, as well as the best thing for a client. Emily explains: “Appointing an interior professional right at the beginning of the process will definitely get the best outcome.

“Me being able to liaise with architects and structural engineers before any of the internal work is finalised is so beneficial to the final result.

“We can advise on things like the position of walls and room layouts, and from there we see the project right through to the tiny finishing details.”

By the furnishing stage, Emily and her team will have commissioned bespoke pieces from craftspeople to add the finishing touches. The firm has a huge range of tried-and-tested artisans and suppliers and Emily says that getting into the intricacies of fabric and furniture design and unique cabinetry is a really exciting part of the job.

Fotheringham Interiors

She has perhaps had an unusual route to running her own interior design studio. Emily originally studied architecture, before switching to a BA in interior design. However, after graduation, instead of trying to secure a junior position in a design house, Emily decided to strike out on her own immediately. She recalls: “I just felt that if I had to start working for another company I wouldn’t be developing myself, so I took the chance.”

Without a portfolio of commisioned work to show prospective clients, Emily decided that the best route into the business, and the eventual dream of having her own studio, would be to open a retail outlet.

She says: “We opened in Milngavie in 2013, selling small furniture accessories, but really trying to create some brand awareness and get the name out by offering a design service too.

“My mum joined my business and was a vital help. She manned the shop while I worked on the design service.”

Fotheringham Interiors

It was a successful strategy and Emily opened a second shop in Pollokshields two years later to cover the Southside of Glasgow.

As the commissions for the design part of the operation took off, and with a growing number of clients, Emily realised her dream and opened her studio in the Park area of the city in 2017 and pivoted away from the retail side of the business.

Its projects in Scotland tend to come from word of mouth, but elsewhere clients come from the firm’s lively Instagram account.

This year is busier than ever, with nine active projects, which Emily says is the four-strong team working at full capacity. She adds: “I’m the only designer, so having projects at the moment in central London, Glasgow and Brighton can involve a lot of being here, there and everywhere.”