Designer in Profile : David Linley of LINLEY Interior Design

David Linley photo

LINLEY Interior Design, founded by David Linley in 2007, has developed an international reputation for creating interiors that represent British design at its best.  Their style is elegant and eclectic creating unique schemes renowned for their craftsmanship and detailing. The LINLEY ethos is liveable luxury, providing interior design with longevity.

“Working with the individual taste of each client is what makes every project different and interesting. What is important is how we interpret their style, creating an intelligent design which will ultimately better their lifestyle,” said Linley.

LINLEY Interior Design work within every aspect of a project, from optimising layouts and completely re imagining a space, down to the finest details of soft furnishing.

Tell us a little about your background in design

My interest in woodworking began when I was about 14 years old and studying at Bedales school. I then went on to hone my skills at Parnham House school for craftsmen in wood and was taught by the great John Makepeace. It was he, as well as my family, who encouraged me to pursue a career in cabinet-making and after I left I set up LINLEY in 1985. At first we made one off bespoke pieces of furniture for clients, we then introduced retail collections of furniture and upholstery which was followed by a gifts and accessories collection. Over the years it became apparent that we were no longer just providing individual pieces of furniture for clients’ houses but actually creating the LINLEY “lifestyle” in their homes by suggesting combinations of furniture and accessories that worked well together and recommending other pieces or art that would complement LINLEY furniture. The launch of the interior design service in 2007 was therefore a very natural progression in the development of the business and has gone from strength to strength over the years.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?

My wife and I both enjoy collecting things from our travels so our house is quite an eclectic mix of wonderful pieces from all over the world. I am as equally drawn to contemporary furniture as I am to antiques so we have a mixture of both, I have learnt not to be afraid of mixing old and new; the two can sit side by side in perfect harmony. Over the years, I have enjoyed filling our home with beautiful fabrics and interesting textures. I like the use of big bold colours but as accents to an interior scheme rather than as a dominant feature. When designing our home it was important for me that it was not only visually appealing but that it also worked as a functional family home where our children could play and learn and grow.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Architecture, art, travel and the city of London all inspire me. At LINLEY we source things from all over the world to include in our design schemes so when I travel I do so with an inquisitive mind, always looking for something new to spark an idea which I can translate into a design.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

I feel design is moving away from specific trends towards timeless design; statement interiors as a whole are seen less frequently and statement pieces of furniture have taken their place to add intrigue to an interior. Clients need to be able to open the front door on their return and walk into a space which immediately feels like home. Design needs to be ready to move with the times and for this reason technology has become integral to a household and must be considered when designing interiors – TVs, sound systems, ipad docking systems are central to the modern family’s life.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design.

Specific themes and timescales are counter to the LINLEY interior design approach, our core ethos is to design through the eyes of our client so predetermined trends or fashions do not necessarily apply.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?

Forward planning. The sooner a designer can get involved in a project the better; investment at the beginning of projects pays dividends at the end in terms of design integrity, budget and time.

How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

Recognition of talent is the validation and motivating one needs to keep doing what we do, feedback whether in the form of awards or generally from clients is key to refining our approach.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

To keep all our current projects on track and clients happy as well as winning new business on interesting projects. We have many fascinating things in the pipeline the team are looking forward to working on.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

Your most treasured possession?

Not necessarily my most treasured possession but I do love my bicycle. I cycle everywhere in London so I would be lost without it.

Your favourite holiday destination?


Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?

Hotel: Claridge’s, Restaurant: Riva in Barnes

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?

Spending time with my family at our cottage in Gloucestershire.