Working on interior design projects worldwide, Laura Kennaird, founder of Kent-based Laura Jayne Design, creates functional and beautiful spaces which are centred around her clients.

Offering a complete interior design service; residential homes, new build developments and hotels all receive Laura’s hands-on approach… ensuring every project feels unique.

Awarded Best of HOUZZ Design and Best of HOUZZ Service for 2022, 2023 and 2024, we catch up with Laura, who lives in Rochester.

Tell us about yourself?

'I was born and raised in Kent, so I have a special love for the beautiful Garden of England. I spend my little spare time running after my two-year-old, he certainly keeps me young and active. I love being out in the countryside walking my two dogs, you can’t beat some fresh air and space to refresh your mind and give constant inspiration.'

How it all began, was interior design something you were always interested in?

'I have always loved design. I was the arty child at school that always chose the creative route and classes. I finalised on interior design when I was choosing my university and point of study as I felt like this encompassed all the design traits that came naturally to me. I studied interior design at the University of Kent in Canterbury for three years in 2007 and graduated with a first-class honour’s degree.”'

Embrace colour in your home Embrace colour in your home (Image: Nick Smith Photography)

When you established the business and any advice for others?

'In the 11 years after graduation, I gained invaluable experience in some amazing studios in London. I would strongly advise anybody who wants to become an interior designer that you need to gain experience in a few well-established studios. The experiences and knowledge are priceless and helps you beyond words when taking the leap to starting your own studio.

'You gain strong working relationships with suppliers and reps, some of which I still use and value today in my business.

'I took the leap to start my own practise after being a lead designer for a practise in Kensington in January 2020 and I haven’t looked back. It has been a lot of hard work, but it is the most rewarding and exciting journey I have been on, for myself and for my growing family.'

What's been a particular favourite project?

'Every new project I start becomes my favourite! I believe in a hands-on approach to all my projects, creating individuality in every new project, applying extensive research and understanding of the client brief, as well as a deep understanding of the nature of the building and its surroundings, ensuring that every project feels unique.

'My current project is a large new build for a wonderful couple in Kent. I have been onboard since the very beginning, before any new bricks were laid. Which is why the early stages have run so smoothly and the client is beyond happy and excited for what we have created.

'We strongly advise everyone planning a big refurbishment or new build, to always appoint an interior designer at the same time you appoint your architect. I have lost count how many clients get in touch too late, after planning permission has been approved and build works have started. By then it’s sometimes too late to make any drastic changes to your internal layout, you can no longer move that window slightly to allow for a spacious ensuite, or for their dream fireplace etc.

'The interior space, planning and furniture consideration needs to be finalised before any planning is submitted or builders are on site. Otherwise, it always leads to disappointment when I show a client what could have been possible had they only found me earlier.'

Kitchen created by Laura Jayne Design Kitchen created by Laura Jayne Design (Image: Nick Smith Photography)

Your thoughts on being sustainable in home interiors…do you think this is important for the future?

'Sustainability is extremely important in our current climate.

'Sustainability to me is clients investing in quality products that will last the test of time in their family, in function and style. It doesn’t mean you have to compromise on what you want; it’s about knowing the right suppliers and materials that will last in your family for generations.

'Much like the realisation that has happened recently in fast fashion, this same concept needs to implemented in your home. Look at what you can give new life, what you could upcycle and what you could pass to a friend that has the perfect spot for it. Then, what you buy new, needs to be an investment, something you will keep in every new home you move to and cherish because you really thought about the piece and you love it.'

Who and where you gather inspiration from.

'The clients and the building are always my initial spark of inspiration. From my first face-to-face consultation with a client, I can instantly start to build a picture in my head of the way they want to live and the life they are trying to create for themselves and their loved ones. From this I then build that concept up to discuss with the client. The more I get to know the client the more inspiration flows. They may have an air loom they adore or an artwork that has to be pride of place. All these small details can be the start of the bigger picture, building full schemes around a rug they collected on a holiday in Morocco that they haven’t been able to use yet.

'Inspiration can come from anywhere and in the smallest piece of information. It’s what makes my job so exciting and every project unique. Someone who does this beautifully in their own work is Ryan Saghian, his projects are a constant stream of inspiration for me.'

The basin is the star of the show in this design created by Laura Jayne Design The basin is the star of the show in this design created by Laura Jayne Design (Image: Nick Smith Photography)

Favourite part of your job?

'I love almost every aspect of my job. Only in the last six months have I come to realise that I adore the initial space planning of a project the most. I love giving people the home of their dreams. I always ask my clients for their top four ideals and dreams for the space. How they want to live, what their dream outcome would be. Usually they don’t think it’s possible, they think they are stuck with what they have. I love to prove them wrong; nothing beats seeing them so excited to see a whole new layout for the interior space, one they didn’t think was possible. Whether that’s to include an ensuite, to have a separate pantry or laundry room, or simply to fit a large sofa. I love using my knowledge and tricks to achieve my client’s dreams. It’s honestly the best feeling and often re-ignites the client’s excitement and love for a project.'

Your home?

'My home is a bit up in the air at the moment. We are in the midst of decorating so I don’t love many rooms. I often say an interior designer’s home is never finished, we see so many styles and new designs daily, I always want to change everything, much to my husband’s dismay. The only room that has been a constant is my son’s bedroom. It was a labour of love when I was pregnant and is a constant source or calm and tranquillity for me, Just the smell when I walk in makes me smile. As for the rest, I’m just hoping it will be complete by Christmas!'

Clever designs such as this sliding barn door maximises space Clever designs such as this sliding barn door maximises space (Image: Nick Smith Photography)

One famous home you’d love to take a peek around?

'Architectural Digest has luckily allowed me to peek inside many of the celebrity homes I have often been intrigued about. One of my recent favourites was Gwyneth Paltrow’s home, designed by Brigette Romanek. It was classic elegance meets modern family life with limitless style. A true masterpiece of a project.'


Laura Kennaird founder of Laura Jayne DesignLaura Kennaird founder of Laura Jayne Design (Image: Courtesy of Laura Kennaird,)

Laura Kennaird’s top ten interior tips

1. Always start with your wishes, what your goal is. This you can look back on when you’ve started to lose your way or your passion for a task or job.

2. Include images with your wishes, your main source of inspiration! What gets you excited to get the task complete and what your end goal is.

3. Take your time. You don’t have to jump straight into a refurbishment. It can take time to really understand a space and how you want to live in it. Maybe it’s best to move the kitchen to a different room or move your master suite because the back gets much nicer day light. Really give yourself the time and grace to decide what is best before rushing in.

4. Don’t cut corners. You may want to save some money on electrics and sockets, but you will regret it in the long run, and it will cost you more when you realise they were essential and you need to chase out that wall again.

5. Always remember the practicalities. It can be very tempting to be dragged down a rabbit hole or choosing the perfect colour or the right size vase for that shelf, but these are not essential problems. You want to always start with the ‘boring’ tasks. Think about your heating source for the room as this will affect your furniture layout, or your flooring material if you decide to go for underfloor heating. Your furniture layout then also affects your electrics, where do you want the TV, do you want to invest in a good AV system, ceiling speakers, what type of lighting? Once you have all these essential, practical details sorted, then you can get carried away with the fun aesthetic items which get you excited.

6. Always tape out your furniture in the room before buying.

7. Measure all access doors into the room you have large furniture going to, it will avoid disappointment of missed deliveries on the day.

8. Have fun in your own style, when it comes to colours and the aesthetic of the room, there is no right or wrong as long as you love it!

9. Don’t ask everyone’s opinion! You and anyone else living in the space can have an opinion but once you start asking every friend, co-worker or post worker, you’re never going to make a final decision. Everyone’s tastes are different. Have confidence in your style and the final home and lifestyle you are trying to achieve.

10. Don’t forget the accessories and styling. Sometimes you can focus so much on the hard finishes and practical build works that the final finishing touches get lost. The final styling and layering can make or break a room. This is where you can bring real personality into your home. Don’t be afraid to layer and be bold. You won’t regret it.