In just two years, Francesca Harris (Chess to her friends) has launched a new career and made it her mission to create unique, affordable and stylish designs for every home. Having landed herself in many national home magazines, LA is calling for one of her next interior design projects and she’s also looking forward to her role as feature expert in the Telegraph.

Francesca, who lives in Beckenham with her husband and two children, Joshua and Ruby, shares the story of her whirlwind journey into the industry.

'After a long career in international retail I was made redundant during the pandemic. Looking for my next role, while home-schooling two children, did not have a great effect on my mental health, so my husband encouraged me to do something just for me. I have always loved interior design and all things creative. After an A-Level in textiles I was encouraged to go down the business route rather than the creative route but have always supported friends and family with any of their interior design projects.

Great British Life: Oak framed floor to ceiling windows frame this stunning space created by Francesca HarrisOak framed floor to ceiling windows frame this stunning space created by Francesca Harris (Image: Francesca Harris)

'I decided the something ‘just for me’ should be an interior design diploma. After doing well with my diploma, word-of-mouth spread, and Francesca Harris Design was born in 2022. It’s been a whirlwind and if you’d told me three years ago this is where I would be today, I would never have believed you!''

Francesca’s frustration that many people feel interior design advice is exclusively for the rich and famous was the main drive for the business and wanted to prove it can be for everyone.

She said: 'Interior design is not just about expensive shopping and bespoke furniture; I primarily shop on the high street and I truly believe in sustainability.

Great British Life: Bedroom designed by Francesca HarrisBedroom designed by Francesca Harris (Image: Francesca Harris)

'Sustainability is of utmost importance to me when I’m designing a space. When I work with my clients, I ask that we ‘shop’ their home first. Sometimes, because we have always had a piece of furniture in the same place, we can’t imagine it being anywhere else and end up buying a new one when actually we could have used something we already have!

'So, if I believe you have furniture in your home that we can reuse then we will always recommend that first. I can support with project managing larger renovations, as well supporting on smaller projects. Whether it’s one room or a bigger project, for me it’s all about affordable interior design support for everyone… it's that simple!'

Great British Life: Sustainability is important to Francesca Harris and this sofa, of great sentimental value, can still be pride of place for the homeownerSustainability is important to Francesca Harris and this sofa, of great sentimental value, can still be pride of place for the homeowner (Image: Francesca Harris)

Finding inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere for Francesca. 'Whether it’s the newly refurbished pub toilets, or talking a walk in the country, there is inspiration everywhere. I follow all sorts of accounts for inspiration from people who use bright bold colours, to people that live and breathe the calm white aesthetic. I think it’s important to be around all of it, because in my opinion, it’s just as important to know what you don’t like, as it is to know what you do like!

'Having a home you love really does affect how you feel, the best part of my job is seeing my client's excitement when their space starts to come together. I can sometimes literally see their shoulders begin to relax as they see their vision come to life. When it comes to clients taking on bigger renovations or extensions, I love seeing them realise this can be an exciting and enjoyable experience and not just a stressful, dust-filled one!'

Great British Life: Beaming beautiful...neutrals and natural materials with a pop of green for natureBeaming beautiful...neutrals and natural materials with a pop of green for nature (Image: Francesca Harris)

And her favourite project?

'Oh, that’s a hard one, there are so many! But one of them has to be the renovation of a country home with an extension, where the brief was to bring the outdoors in. We went for a green kitchen, complimented with lots of natural materials, neutrals and antique brass.'

There’s still so much to look forward to for Francesca. 'I only started the business two years ago, so couldn’t be prouder that already I have been shortlisted for A Start Up Award and I am currently working on a $5m house in LA, a beautiful home in Mauritius and a townhouse in Lisbon.'

Francesca also runs a free Facebook group for anyone needing some help and support with renovating their home. She added: 'We currently have over 2,000 members in the community, and we all help each other as much as we can! The group is called – Home Renovation & Design – Your Support Network, so do come and join if you could do with a hand!'

Great British Life: Francesca Harris founded her interior design business in 2022 Francesca Harris founded her interior design business in 2022 (Image: AKP Branding Stories)

More about Francesca

She’d take a peek around…

I absolutely adore Shea McGee, she owns Studio McGee in the US and has several seasons of Dream Home Makeover on Netflix. I would love to have a proper snoop around her home and take it all in. Her sense of style is second to none, and the balance she creates in all the homes she designs is inspirational.

Her home…

My home is very much a calming space, lots of neutrals, along with natural materials and little pops of colour! I like my home to feel calm and ordered. I absolutely love our dining table – it is wearing over the years, and I love it more now than when we bought it five years ago!


We love to travel and take every opportunity to do so! My spare time is mostly spent driving the kids around to football/rugby matches and gymnastics competitions, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Great British Life: One of Francesca's top tips for spring is to add fresh flowers from the garden which can transform how your space feelsOne of Francesca's top tips for spring is to add fresh flowers from the garden which can transform how your space feels (Image: Francesca Harris)

Get your home ready for spring with Francesca Harris’ top ten tips!

Warmer months are coming, so now is the perfect time to give your home a little spring boost! These are my top tips on how to make your home feel bright, fresh and uplifted – let’s start the season in style!

1. Start outside

A beautiful spring wreath on the front door will make you smile every time you walk through it. Whether faux or real, my top tip with a wreath is to go bigger than you think you need. If going faux, you can always add in a few fresh pieces of foliage to give it a bit of extra depth!

2. Swap your cushions

A really quick, easy and inexpensive way to update your home for the seasons is through your cushions. Think pops of pink, or patterns that pull from nature - they will automatically give the room a lift.

3. Think layers

We all know that spring weather can be unpredictable, so when it comes to updating your bedding, I would suggest coming down to a summer tog level in your duvet (4.5 togs or below) but make sure you keep your blankets and bedspreads around for the time being so you can layer up if need be!

4. Spring clean

Take the opportunity to clear your space a little visually. Have a little de-clutter and try and make sure your surfaces are as clear as possible.

5. Create a spring moment

Creating little moments in our home can bring so much joy! So, find a little space, and find a few items that make you smile, a candle, a vase and a few books are perfect. Start with your larger item in situ and then build some smaller ones around it – it’s all about creating little groups of items rather than spreading them out – this will make sure your display doesn’t look cluttered.

6. Refresh your lighting

As the nights draw out, you may find you don’t need your “big” lights as much, so it’s a good time to make sure your lighting is layered – you will want some at varying levels and ideally be using warm white bulbs rather than cool white ones.

7. Refresh the paintwork

Now is the time to tackle those odd paint jobs – those scuffs on the wall or the paintwork that is chipped, just touch it up and you’ll feel so much better for it!

8. Open those windows

On those nice sunny days, get those windows open, even if only for an hour or so! It really will change the energy in your home, so let’s get that air moving!

9. Find your spring scent

Now is the perfect time to switch up your diffusers and candles to a lighter scent! Find a light floral one that you love and make sure that you have a diffuser by the front door so you can smell it as soon as you walk into the house!

10. Fresh flowers

Last, but definitely not least, bring some fresh flowers in! Not just formal bouquets, but a little vase full of spring flowers from the garden can transform how your space feels and brighten your day as well as your space.

For more inspiration, tips and tricks follow on Instagram