Q&A: Ruth Milne

Credit: Carmel King

If you’ve read any of these articles before, then you’re probably used to introductions about how we stumbled across a designer’s work as a result of some extensive Instagram research.

This one’s a bit different. This one is inspired by a space we went into, namely the East of Eden yoga studio in Walthamstow, and not a digital reproduction of one.

We enjoyed our time there so much that we decided to track down the designer and see if he or she would be happy to talk to us.

That designer is the amazing Ruth Milne, interior architect at Studio Milne, and this is what she had to say when we caught up.

Ruth Milne interior designer London

Credit: Carmel King

EBTD: Looking through your projects, we get the sense that each theme is not just unique (and brilliant), but often very different from the other designs in your portfolio. This begs the question: what lies at the heart of your approach?

RM: I want to design homes that are warm, beautiful, inviting, exciting and calming. I help guide my clients through the design process by listening to how they want to live their lives, and how to bring their personality into their home. This is why every project I work on is different, it’s really the client’s personality coming through.

Studio Milne London interior designer

Credit: Carmel King

EBTD: As an extension of that question, how do you get rooms with very different design language to feel like they are a part of a unified whole as you did at London’s Half Moon Hotel?

RM: Most of the interiors I design are eclectic. They have a mixture of new and vintage pieces, and I think that when a room is so mixed to reflect various tastes, each separate room can sit comfortably alongside another.

Studio Mile interior design

Credit: Carmel King

EBTD: Your projects are often characterised by the bold use of colours and prints. What is the secret to getting this right?

RM: I never intentionally set out to use bold colours. However, as my projects develop, I often see the value that colour can add to a home. The right colour combination can transform a room and create a completely different space.

Another thing people ask me is ‘won’t this colour date?’ or ‘is this colour on trend?’ I design interiors with the client in mind, not trends. I’m currently designing a bedroom for a client that overlooks a park, lucky them! They want to make a visual link, to blend the outdoors indoors. Colour can help achieve this, and we’re looking at muted greens and soft blues, choosing pretty botanical prints to highlight further the park feel. If you love a colour, it shouldn’t matter if it’s on trend, you shouldn’t worry if it will date, choose colours that you love and don’t be afraid of them.

Ruth Milne London-based interior architect

Credit: Carmel King

EBTD: What is going through your mind when you are sourcing furniture for a project?

RM: I think about the client’s needs, what will work best for the client and then how can we get the best look for the space.

Studio Milne interior architect

Credit: Ben Carpenter Photography

EBTD: How does an interior architect see a space and what are the first steps you take to maximise its potential? 

RM: I don’t just look at the space or room from a decoration point of view. I look at how a room can work functionally and how practical the space is. I ask the questions: 'what will the ‘flow’ be?', i.e. how do people move around within the room? Where is the storage? As an interior architect it’s all about getting the right balance, and that doesn’t always mean achieving a symmetrical space!

London interior designer Ruth Milne

Credit: Ben Carpenter Photography

EBTD: What do you consider to be the value a trained interior designer can bring to a project and what can our readers do to get closer to a professional look and feel in their own themes?

RM: Having an interior designer/ architect on board when doing up your own home can save money by avoiding costly mistakes!  A designer has many contacts with suppliers and people within the building trade, enabling better communication throughout a project. A designer is a professional with a trained eye that can automatically tell you if there is something wrong or right with a space. Having that immediate consult is a major advantage when making aesthetic decisions. It is the result of years of experience.

If you'd like to find out more about Ruth's work or to see what she can do for your project then head to Studio Milne.

If you'd like to see Ruth's ideas in action, then head to her social profiles for more (Insta, Pinterest, LinkedIn).

Should this talk have inspired you to search for the perfect item of furniture for your theme, head to our mid century furniture collection and start your journey there.

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