Interior designer Sophia Wigram spoke with Becky Hunter-Kelm about her passion for creating beautiful spaces in which people can thrive

Born and raised in Scotland, Sophia had a challenging childhood, losing her dad when she was six and her mum being unwell throughout her childhood. Her mother was a Christian, and some of her friends explained the gospel to Sophia. When she was nine, she made a commitment to Christ.

Then, at age 13, she headed off to boarding school. School life was all about doing whatever you could to fit in. Sophia felt so ‘different’ in a lot of ways due to being a twin, and dealing with her mum’s illness. Being a Christian was one piece of her identity she just couldn’t face sharing at that point, so Sophia went into survival mode and ‘parked’ her faith for a season throughout her teenage and young professional years.

‘It’s truly a gift from God to help people love their home’

Sophia’s mum passed away when she was 23. After a year living with friends in Edinburgh and feeling lost after completing a social science degree she wasn’t using, Sophia’s mother’s friends noticed a spark of creativity in Sophia. They encouraged her to study interior design, so she moved to London and did an interior design diploma. 

Finding her feet

After graduating, Sophia threw herself into work experience with some of London’s top interior designers. The next few years were a whirlwind of London parties, stressful projects, unrealistic client expectations and more admin work than creative opportunities.

Just when Sophia began to wonder if she had made a career path mistake, a friend passed her on some work experience with a design company in Knightsbridge, and it was a perfect fit. Sophia’s new boss released creative control, and she ended up thriving there for five years, reworking the interiors of top London restaurants and even a rock star’s home. 

Sophia was hooked. She loved interior design and knew she was doing what she was made for. At this point, Sophia was working just around the corner from Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) church, London. In 2003, a friend of her mother took her and another friend to the HTB carol concert. They were so impacted by Nicky Gumbel’s preaching that they decided to take the Alpha Course. 

Sophia knew she needed to fully re-surrender her life to God during the Alpha Course. Recommitting her life to Jesus felt like coming home; she was touched by the kindness of Jesus, for the first time knowing she was fully loved for who she was. 

After returning to her faith, Sophia continued her lively social life in London. Work was going well, but it came to a point where she felt she couldn’t lead a ‘double life’ anymore, partying on Saturday night and going to church on Sunday. 


Big life decisions 

Sophia decided to take a sabbatical and did a three-month discipleship course with World Horizons in Wales ( It was quite the contrast from her life in London with her kitten heels and sports car! 

“It was a fantastic time – even though I was 31 and everyone else was 18 and on their gap year. I went so much deeper in my faith, experienced a lot of healing from my past and met some incredible families. I then served in Cambodia for six months, doing design work and helping restaurants and shops remodel.”

After such a profound experience, Sophia felt unsure about re-entering the interior design world again, concerned that it felt superficial and unimportant. Little did she know what God had in store. 

It was a God thing because I never actually wanted to start my own business. I didn’t want the responsibility of getting my own work

A client encouraged Sophia to go all in and start her own business. Word spread to friends of friends who began to hire her and, in 2008, Sophia Wigram Designs was born.

“It was a God thing because I never actually wanted to start my own business. I didn’t want the responsibility of getting my own work. But God has always provided me with work when I needed it, like big projects which allowed me to take time off to have my children, for example.”

Creating the right environment

Sophia believes creatively designing the space in which we live impacts who we are and our quality of life. She helps her clients design their homes so they work for them, creating an environment that reflects their unique needs and personal style and that will stand the test of time.

Sophia is passionate about supporting sustainability and is noticing a positive turn toward upcycling and longevity in the interior design industry despite market-driven interior design trends pressuring us to constantly update our homes to fit the latest fashions. 

“People can’t afford to redo their homes every year! Good design creates an environment that reflects your needs and personal style that will still look great ten years later. When people ask me what my style is, I answer ‘my clients’’. I’m making their homes for them to enjoy.” 

“When clients invite you into their homes, you get to know them deeply. Projects can last months or years, and supporting clients through the ups and downs of the long-term process of a home renovation is an intimate process. It’s truly a gift from God to help people love their home and reflect kingdom principles in my work through integrity and commitment.”

People can’t afford to redo their homes every year! Good design creates an environment that reflects your needs and personal style that will still look great ten years later 

In a world where we are constantly told we can have anything we want, Sophia believes that living within our limitations is a godly principle: “I try to be realistic with clients’ expectations. We often have to compromise on what’s possible. There’s the client, the designer and then there’s the house itself; we work within these limitations. I’ve also learned to handle stress and setbacks in this work; I’m always praying about projects and asking God to help me solve problems. But sometimes a certain deadline just isn’t possible and that’s OK. No one is going to die if they have to wait another month for a certain set of curtains.”

Being hospitable

Sophia believes interior design is connected to the gift of hospitality. 

She likens good design to having good manners, and says that when people come to visit and sit in our space, we should consider:

Is there a table on which they can put their drinks, and is it the right height?

Is there good lighting for reading? 

Is the chair comfortable, and do they need a back cushion?

Are there beautiful things to look at, such as flowers?

Hospitality is about being considerate of what people need. Noting these kinds of details can make a real difference to people.

When it comes to brightening up a living space on a budget, Sophia also has some great suggestions:

“Tweak the colours in your room with decorative accessories. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or fully renovate a space to make it feel new. Using fabric you love for cushion covers, upcycling older pieces of furniture or moving pictures around is a great way to change how a room feels. Adding different levels of lighting can also make a big difference.”

“I would also say, don’t be afraid to make bold choices. Not many of my clients regret their bold choices. Have fun! Life can be hard work, so make your home enjoyable. If you want to paint your walls a new colour – go for it. Nothing is irreversible.”


Sophia Wigram is an interior designer based in Kent. Her business, Sophia Wigram Designs is on The House & Garden List and she is also an associate member of the British Institute of Interior Designers. You can check out her work at and follow her @sophia_wigram_designs