Meet the interior designer: Anna Haines

We chat to the brilliant Anna Haines about interior design, lighting and ‘getting under the skin of clients’...

Based in west London, Anna Haines is an interior designer working with both residential and commercial clients. Her ethos is to get to know clients and translate their taste into a comfortable, elegant interior that is sympathetic to the building and its period… with truly stunning results. Here’s our Q&A…


Tell us about your background … How did you get started in interior design?

My route was a little circuitous. Before becoming an Interior Designer I worked in PR and as a yoga teacher.  It was an odd coupling but the two roles gave me an excellent understanding of people.

Following a diploma course at The Interior Design School I worked for a number of years with Hackett Holland, then Caroline Riddell Interiors before establishing my studio 12 years ago.

Anna Haines Design began in a compact and perfectly serving home office, and has since evolved to a studio space in West London with a small and trusted team of four.

Photo: Andrew Steel

How would you describe your interior design ethos?

I would say my style has a classic sensibility that is comfortable, elegant and layered.

I am passionate about colour, textiles, antiques, and art and use them to create authentic spaces which I hope reflect the personalities of my clients and the way they live.

What inspires you when it comes to interiors?

So much of what we do is about running a business and the admin that each project entails. Projects can take two up to years from inception to completion so the joy of seeing a finished project, and happy clients in homes that will continue to evolve with them is very heartening.

I love curating a scheme and sourcing the perfect antique textile to re-purpose on an ottoman or as a leading edge to curtains for example. The excitement of layering a room with fabrics, textures and textiles and seeing these come together is wonderful!

Photos: Andrew Steel


What do you most enjoy about your work?

So much of what we do is about getting under the skin of clients in order to translate their taste and see how far I can comfortably stretch them.  I particularly enjoy this journey; watching their confidence grow as they feel more emboldened by the choices we are making.


Which recent project are you particularly proud of? 

We have worked on a beautiful Grade II listed large family home in Somerset since the beginning of lockdown and will complete it this Spring.  It has been a real collaboration between the clients, ourselves, the architects and contractors.  All the teams have been a delight to work with as have the longstanding craftsmen we have involved in the project.

The house has such a strong identity that we have all been rather in awe of it!


How did all  lockdowns affect you and your work?

We were incredibly fortunate to run several full scale renovations throughout the lockdowns.  We became more adept like everyone with meetings over Zoom and on Teams!

Building supplies were less readily available so lead times had to become more flexible both with contractors and our suppliers.

Like any project there were challenges to overcome, just of a rather different nature!

Photos: (top) James McDonald; (middle and bottom) Andrew Steel

How does lighting play a part in your interiors? 

It plays an invaluable part and when considered in conjunction with the furniture plan, is pivotal to how a project will feel rather than just look.

Much like pulling a scheme together the lighting wants to feel layered to evoke a mood and a sense of intimacy.  


Any top lighting tips you’d like to share?

A mix of lamps, wall lights and pendants is often the best plan.  I tend to avoid any recessed ceiling spotlights even in a kitchen, in favour of surface mounted spotlights where more specific task lighting is required.  Pooky’s Mumford spotlight is perfect for this.

Photos: (top) James McDonald; (bottom) Andrew Steel. Bathroom featuring Pooky's Stanley wall light

Finally, do you have a favourite Pooky light (and if so, why that one?)

I love the large ceramic Hania pendant lights (pared with a classic pendant kit in antiqued brass). I specified them for a couple of bedrooms in a charming Norfolk cottage [below]. They are all handmade so no one is the same and each has their own small imperfections, which is part of their beauty.

The rich glazes bring a joyful pop of colour to each space.

Photo: Andrew Steel
See more of Anna’s work on the Anna Haines Design website, and follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.