Beyond Design


Susan's work ethic has won Houzz awards for exceptional customer service. A former Vice President of IIDA, International Interior Design Association, and Professional Member of BIDA. With several of her interior design projects featured in publications. Since 1986, Susan has worked for many high profile private clients on luxury high end interior projects, excelling in project management and managing client expectations.
Her works has included but is not limited to the following projects:

The Interiors Design for historic government buildings located in Venice, Florence and Rome for the British Foreign Office.
Commercial work has included the offices of Bank Of New York located in Canada Square, Canary Wharf.
The design and management of Golf Club Houses and Hotels for Japanese Developers, Asahi Juken.
The Phillimore Health Club in Kensington
The design of residential and commercial buildings with furniture supply for Capital and Provident, Augur property developers and Lavanda.
The design, fit-out work and management of residential property for the Church Commissioners at their Hyde Park Estate location in the West End.
The design, refurbishment and project management of homes for many Private clients in both the UK and USA.

Since relocating back to the UK from the United States, Susan continues to work in design and has been inspired to found SVM Interiors to meet a gap in the market for what she perceives is the proper level of client service – the kind of service that she would expect herself. Being able to go ‘Beyond Design’ is her purpose, delivering beautiful and pragmatic interior solutions without the drama. She is passionate about customer service; it is what drives her every day.

Susan now has a team of proven people who do deliver the work to a standard that she finds acceptable. Together, they ensure a service level that has become the hallmark of SVM Interiors.

We are an environmentally aware company and strive for sustainable building solutions wherever possible.

Houzz 2018 Award for Service: Rewarded for putting clients first, always.
About About

Our Services

We are an interior design, refurbishment and management company that provides creative solutions to save you valuable time, money and give you peace of mind.

Our mission is to simply help you with this complex process, provide you with outstanding customer service and control over your project and budget. As well as our management team keeping a tight rein on the works; taking care of any problems that inevitably arise on any type of refurbishment, you also receive weekly financial and progress updates. Our experienced SVM Interiors team offer a full interior design package. Using our extensive knowledge and a directory of trusted contractors, sub-contractors and trade suppliers, we will deliver your project from concept through to completion.

We pride ourselves in having created wonderful environments, whether it be a family home or commercial space, for over 30 years.

We also offer a personal, friendly and cost-effective interior styling service. Tailored to property developers, buy-to-let investors and homeowners, with a fast turnaround. Our expertise in professional home styling helps to ensure the maximum eventual return should you sell your property in the future.


We don’t hide costs and our pricing is transparent, based on an hourly, or project value percentage, much like an architect.

Please contact us for more information.

We are an environmentally aware company and strive for sustainable building solutions wherever possible.


6 * star luxury bathroom.

This particular client travelled extensively staying in some fabulous hotels around the globe, and they had always admired the bathrooms at the various hotels. They wanted to duplicate a similar look in their own home in London with their ensuite bathroom and guest toilet that was adjacent to it.  Below are photos of it as it was before and then stripped out. 

They wanted lots of marble with gold accents.  Now the problem with marble is that it can be expensive and fragile. They liked Calacatta Gold or a black marble. Calacatta is a very expensive marble due to its pure almost white background. Ideally they wanted to install large 20 or 30mm slabs on the walls. The rooms were fairly small and could not really take the slab thickness along with the bed and Hardie board on the walls, also getting them into the space would be difficult. As a compromise, we replaced the calacatta on the walls with a large format porcelain tile at 10mm thick from Minoli, with the floor, bath and vanity units in Nero Marquina marble 30mm thick. Changing to a porcelain tile on the walls saved us around £10k on the overall budget.

                    Above is the slab that was chosen in multiple batches, enough to do the two bathrooms.  

The hardware was by Dornbracht Supernova in a gold finish, truly luxurious.  Above are some progress shots with the bottom one being nearly finished. There was a marble shelf for towels under the vanity, both of which are hung off the walls by large steel brackets and then cemented into place to take the weight of the marble. 

Sketch showing the shadow gaps and details created around the bath; it's like putting the pieces of a complicated puzzle together. 

The gold accents were further emphasised by the gold leaf panel behind the toilet concealing a cupboard. The entrance door to the bathroom was also gold leafed with a matt black spray paint finish to the surround. 

                                         The door handle is by Turnstyle Designs with a leather plaited lever. 


                           The image above is of the finished vanity unit in the guest loo, same finishes throughout.

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Mid Century Modern Hollywood Glamour

This blog post is about Paul Rudolph, the architect and designer. I only got to know about him through moving to Florida from London, (yes, I know!). I've always loved modern architecture and we travelled to Sarasota a few times, signed up for mid-century modern tours and went to a couple of Paul Rudolph buildings. Hooked.

Rudolph was one of the leading architects in America in the 50s and 60s. He  moved to Sarasota, Florida and partnered with Ralph Twitchell for four years until he started his own practice in 1951. This part of Rudolph's life was known as Sarasota Modern.

(Some of the following pic's are taken by me on the tour, so aren't the best!) If you like details, you'll love these.


Cohen House, Interior, Sarasota. The sunken lounge area called a conversation pit-genius.Image





And now for the iconic glam stuff. Rudolph had an apartment in Beekman House, Manhattan. It's glam and a bit glitzy, but filled with detail. Checkout the ceiling: reverse conversation pits, the plates recessed into the walls, the glassy ceiling and wall surfaces, all very Hollywood glamour, with a modern twist, and, the colours...







There's a lot of inspiration to be found here if you're thinking about taking some of the details and interpreting them into a contemporary interior space. 

Photo credits: Susan Van Meter and Pinterest.

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Interior Design


I've been working as an interior designer for 30 years now.  In the past 20 odd years Interior Design or decorating became increasingly popular with TV shows such as Changing Rooms with featured decorators (not interior designers) such as Linda Barker and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who quickly gained celebrity status.  The public's perception of interior design has been skewed over the years because of this 'instant decorating' trend and the wrong use of the word 'design'.  Qualified interior designers sometimes become a little frustrated, shall we say, at being tarred with the same brush (forgive the pun) as decorators, (there's nothing wrong with that profession either.)

Interior Design is not the same as Interior Decorating and I think it's important to explain the differences.

"Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things.  In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.

Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants’ quality of life and culture. Designs respond to and coordinate with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project"   This is from a blog written by Lisa League (USA) in

I personally believe in regulating the practise of Interior Design; it can be a highly complex  profession, and "Unlike 'architect', 'interior designer' is not a protected term in the UK and therefore anyone is able to set up a practice and call themselves an interior designer regardless of qualifications or experience." BIID.

A good interior designer should have bucket loads of integrity, be able to problem solve as problems inevitably crop up. A good interior designer requires excellent communication and organisational skills. A good head for money and budgets. Being able to translate a clients verbal brief into specifications and drawings, which then are used to obtain tenders and pricing to instruct and manage builders and craftsmen.  Having knowledge of basic building is also helpful,  but if you have a competent team around you they will support and advise where it's necessary.  Interior Designers (should) add value by delivering the project on time, saving the client time and money and as a bonus increasing the value of the property they are working on creating worthwhile ROI -return on investment.  My own personal objective is to provide outstanding customer service, every time, and therefore create repeat business.

By the way, I'm not biased against decorators, just thought it useful to know the difference..............


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  • SVM Interiors, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AX
  • Company Registration No. 10854884