The Design Net | key tips for working with British Contemporary Design

Chatting with Gay Mill of The Design Net


Last week Metier Members were lucky enough to have the very lovely Gay Mill of The Design Net, join us for brunch at the beautiful Aubaine restaurant in Mayfair.  Gay shared with us her key tips for Interior Designers working with British Contemporary Design.

Metier Founder, Siobhan Casey, has known Gay for several years and collaborated on several interesting projects.  Gay’s knowledge of contemporary brands both British and global is insurmountable.  When you have a project which requires that very rather distinct contemporary look and feel – Gay is the person to turn to!


Interior Designer Professional Development

Gay Mill – The Design Net

Read on to find out more about Gay’s experience, advice and top tips for Interior Designers Professional Development!


Being a successful entrepreneur in the Design Industry is a wonderful achievement. Looking back over the years, what particular element stands out as your / The Design Net’s proudest moment?

Trading for 21 years against a background of continual change and challenges.


Where and how do you work at your best?

I work best when I am in the Studio with the Design Net team and with the sun streaming through the windows focusing on a new exciting project.


What office tools do you find indispensable for accomplishing your day-to-day typical tasks?

Our Apple MAC computers with the company Group shared folder is an indispensable tool.


Interior Designer Professional Development

Residential Property –
Neo Bankside. Courtesy of The Design Net Portfolio


Would you have done anything differently if you knew 20 years ago, what you know now?

Suh a big question, however, I would have sought a sound, proactive and honest accountant.


What’s the best advice you ever received?

Watch your bottom line!


Looking around today at the many talented designers both here in the UK and abroad, who are and remain your biggest influences?

Karen Howes of Taylor Howes Designs and Gail Taylor of TH2 Designs remain top of their game.


What do you find to still your biggest challenge within your own business?

I have to say that finding great staff and keeping them after they have been trained is always challenging, however saying that, I feel I have been lucky compared with other companies.


Interior Designer Professional Development

Residential Property –
Neo Bankside. Courtesy of The Design Net Portfolio


What’s your best advice for handling a tricky situation or client?

I believe that its really important to take the time to reflect on the situation and to find a solution, whilst staying calm and professional.


What do you find are your client’s (being primarily Interior Designers) biggest stumbling blocks and what are the best ways you’ve found to help them overcome these? 

Something we come across time and again is Interior Designers not understanding the product materials and dimensions they are working with. It’s critical that the cmmunications are clear whether a dimension is in inches or mm. Likewise, the fire regulations regarding bespoke furniture is something that we find that some Designers are well aware of, others perhaps not so much. Our 20+ years in the industry means that we are able to help them which key and important elements that they might not be as knowledgable about.


Interior Designer Professional Development

Residential Home –
London and Devon. Courtesy of The Design Net Portfolio

What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?

There is nothing I cannot do if I put my mind to it!


What is your trick to unwinding?

Depending on the time of day either a long walk with my dog or cooking or watching a film.


How do you balance work and family demands?

Family and friends are so important to me that I always make time for them.  I have also learnt not to answer my phone or email after 6pm, or at all over the weekend or on holiday, unless I know in advance of it’s importance.


What’s next for you and The Design Net?

I would like to think that within 5 years I would be working part time within the business, having appointed a new Managing Director to steer the company to new heights.


Metier Rendezvous is a friendly and informal peer support group.  At Metier, Interior Designers of all levels of experience can get together and share business ideas, tips and even collaborate on projects together.  Day-to-day instant support for Metier Rendezvous network members is provided via our private messaging forum via ‘Slack‘.  This peer support is then reinforced at regular Member’s brunch events.  At the brunches we share our experiences face-to-face and hear short talks from relevant Industry expert speakers.


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