an interior designer shares her little black book

an interior designer shares her little black book

Imagine growing up with an interior designer mother. The memories, the mood boards, the meticulous eye for detail.  Enter Laetitia, whose mother, Philippa, founded Thorp in 1985. Fast-forward to today, and the mother-daughter design duo are making waves globally. Comprising a team of highly creative architects and interior designers, Thorp has built a reputation for longevity and quality. Throughout four decades, it has established itself as an authority in superb craft and personable design (their motto is ‘living in the details’) that is tailored to the lifestyle and requirements of its discerning clients. “Growing up, my mother and I would spend our weekends going over floor plans for fun. We loved to go on Rightmove and look at houses for sale, and then we’d change the floor plans to improve the space. She was and continues to be my role model. I think it’s important for girls to see strong, successful women and how they carry themselves – because when girls can readily see women rising, on their terms, it spurs their ambitions.”  



Keep scrolling for Laetitia’s little black book… 

Laetitia Thorp, interior designer at Thorp. Image courtesy of Thorp

Please describe the typical Thorp aesthetic.

“At Thorp, all our projects are designed bespoke to our clients’ requirements and tastes, which means we don’t have a signature aesthetic as such. Our clients are involved at every stage of the project – they see not only precise room plans, but also detailed drawings of fully furnished interiors which immediately bring the spaces to life. Our motto is ‘living in the details’, and it reflects not just our attention to detail, but our obsession with it. Each design project is a process, involving architects and interior designers, all working to achieve one vision.”

Please talk us through working in a family-run design business and your childhood which was clearly full of lots of lovely interiors.

“I’ve been living in Thorp projects my whole life. I very much grew up on a building site, surrounded by architectural sketches. I used to love coming home from school and visiting building sites with my mum to see what had changed since I’d last been there – that was always the most exciting part for me. During the school holidays, I was sent to Thorp’s office to tidy up the fabric room and assist the interiors team with anything they needed, from research jobs to making coffee. I very much started from the bottom and worked my way up, and it’s been such an invaluable experience. I joined Thorp full time after graduating from university with a Fine Art degree and a brief stint working at a window display company.”

A Thorp project in Miami. Image courtesy of Thorp
Favourite project to date?

“My favourite project to date has to be a private mountain house in the USA’s exclusive Yellowstone Club. I worked on the project completely remotely from the UK, sharing presentations with our clients across the pond over Zoom calls. Considering the challenges that the long distance and Covid lockdowns posed, the management of the project went very smoothly, and the design and installation were completed in just over 18 months. We bought most of our fabrics from US-based suppliers and, whilst we make our furniture bespoke, the joinery was all made in the US. I didn’t see any products in person until the installation, which is very unusual for us, as we normally visit workshops all over the world, no matter where our project is. Instead, we had to base our plans on photographs and video calls, which meant we had to be very creative with it.”

If you had to wallpaper a whole house, whAT is your go-to brand for variety?

Lewis & Wood has a wide selection of designs, which is fantastic for variety, but my all-time favourite wallcovering brand has to be de Gournay. Every wallpaper by de Gournay is beautifully intricate and made entirely by hand. Both plain and patterned wallpaper designs are important within the home to create balance. While plain wallpaper provides a sense of tranquillity and versatility, pattern adds depth and intrigue to the space.”

Are you a fan of chinoiserie?

“I love Chinoiserie – it completely transforms the space adding timeless charm and elegance.”

If you could only buy homeware/tableware from one place, where would it be?

Bonadea has the most exquisite tableware and accessories – from hand-painted china platters to the finest linens, it is one of my go-to brands for setting the perfect scene for a special dinner or party.”

The iconic Yellowstone project. Image courtesy of Thorp

Vanderhurd offers a unique selection of textiles, all made from beautiful, high-quality materials.”


“I am always browsing 1st Dibs and Pamono for vintage and pre-loved items. However, nothing compares to experiencing these pieces first-hand and inspecting them for any imperfections. That’s why visiting local antique and vintage shops and fairs is essential. There’s a unique charm and authenticity to seeing these treasures in person that cannot be replicated online.” 

When it comes to fabric, who are your favourite go-to bands?

“I keep my favourite designs in separate drawers in our studio, and amongst my favourite brands are Holland & Sherry and de Le Cuona. For a more affordable alternative, I love using GP & J Baker, both for projects and myself – I think their designs are beautiful and fun.”

This sitting room has swimming pool views - bliss. Image courtesy of Thorp
When it comes to the interiors, where is your favourite restaurant and hotel (UK and beyond) and why?

“I always love visiting the Firmdale Hotels. The first one I visited was The Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo, New York, and I immediately fell in love with it. All the Firmdale Hotels are so bold, expressive, and creative, and I love the mix of traditional values with contemporary colours, art and lighting. If you’re interested in design, you can’t not like them. As for restaurants, I love Sketch in London. Each room has a distinctive look and character created by a different designer, it’s like artistry.”

Do you have a favourite piece in your home?

“I do. It is the first thing I ever bought with my husband, Christian – a window frame with beautiful carving details that’s been converted into a mirror. We bought it at an antiques fair in Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire, near where we live, and it’s now hanging in our kitchen.”

Do you have a favourite artist? Can you recommend where to go for affordable art?

“When I was at art school, my favourite artist was Salvador Dalí, although I won’t be buying his paintings any time soon! I like visiting local antique shops to find old artworks. I then have them reframed, which helps to lift the pieces, make them feel more special and make them fit in my home better.”

A Thorp projet in Thailand. Image courtesy of Thorp

“Craftsmanship is at the core of our ethos. We are firm believers in the ‘buy once, buy well’ principle, and for us, good design should last a lifetime. In all our projects, we prioritise quality and longevity, achieved through close collaboration with skilled artisans who craft exquisite items tailored to our exact requirements. With such pieces, there’s no need for frequent alterations to keep pace with fashion, ensuring enduring beauty and functionality.”


“Timeless, details, investment.”


“Comfortable beds! There’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable bed. A good night’s sleep should always be a priority.”


For more information, visit Thorp

A bedoom in Thorp's Miami project. Image courtesy of Pure Public Relations
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