Interior designer moves north to countryside near Lancaster to help homeowners and businesses create their perfect space

An interior designer who has made her name in London and the south of England has moved north and is looking to help homeowners and businesses in South Lakeland, north Lancashire and North Yorkshire create their perfect space.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Friday, 31st December 2021, 11:00 am
Interior designer Anna Bennett in her studio.
Interior designer Anna Bennett in her studio.

Anna Bennett, design director of Grove Design London, has moved to an eighteenth-century property in Far Westhouse, near Ingleton, where her thriving business is now based.

And now she is keen to talk to anyone who is renovating, refurbishing or extending their property - particularly interesting, character-filled period houses.

“I like to breathe life into old buildings,” said Anna, 45. “Many of the houses I have lived in and renovated over the years were in need of a lot of attention but I felt duty bound to put the heart back into them and create something special for those who might live there in future.

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A vintage inspired bathroom designed by Anna Bennett.

“Whether I was fixing structural issues or sympathetically putting back period features, I saw myself as the custodian of the property.”

Anna’s company has delivered luxury design services for numerous private residential clients in Hertfordshire and North London. Her commercial projects have included refurbishing the viewing rooms - used to showcase diamonds and jewellery in private meetings with clients - at the London Diamond Bourse, an historic institution in London’s Hatton Garden.

Whether it be single room designs or whole home refurbishments, Anna aims to put the client at the centre for the process.

“I have a trade mark The Home Alchemist,” said Anna. “It is all about understanding the personality archetype of each client - for example, what it is that drives their colour and style preferences. It is important to me to help them create a home where they can relax and feel at peace - a home that really resonates with them.”

A hallway in a Victorian home designed by Anna Bennett.

That ethos also applies to Anna’s commercial work. “I aim to bring out the values of the companies I work with, creating tangible spaces that reflect their brand and make their customers feel at home.”

She is particularly keen to work with owners of hotels and other buildings in the hospitality trade.

Anna grew up in the north east, did a degree in commerce and worked for large investment banks in London for 20 years.

But, as a self-confessed ‘serial renovator’, she realised her true passion lay in interior design and transforming spaces. She did a diploma in Interior Design, set up her own company and then bought Grove Design London in 2018.

Anna Bennett with her horse, Ollie.

This gave her access to more than 300 trade relationships the company had established with experts, including well-known fabric houses, upholsterers and cabinet makers.

The move from her last home in Bedfordshire to North Yorkshire came after watching a BBC Winter Walks programme in which the presenter took a walk through Dentdale.

She and her partner decided they wanted to live in that kind of countryside and moved north with Anna’s horse, three cats and three dogs to a stone-built old cottage at Far Westhouse, which has stunning views of Ingleborough.

“It was a bit of a leap of faith for me but everyone has been so welcoming,” said Anna. “There is such strong community spirit here. You can nip outside to do something and end up not coming back in for 30 minutes because you have been standing outside chatting to a neighbour!”

Anna loves colour and textures and is not afraid to use them in her designs. She is influenced by the warm colours and terracotta she has seen during visits to Morocco but is also finding inspiration in the landscape of hills, fells and lakes in Yorkshire and the nearby Lake District.

As well as design development and project coordination work, Anna offers consultancy services to help those undertaking a project themselves.

Through her contacts she can supply bespoke handmade soft furnishings and upholstery or source fabrics, antiques, artwork and decor not widely available to retail customers.

Anyone wanting to contact Anna and Grove Design London can ring 01524 259350 or email [email protected]