Topology Interiors – The Dynamic Duo Delivering Affordable Interior Design:
Topology Interiors first caught our eye with their strikingly-stylish Instagram account; and then our attention with their exceedingly dynamic approach to delivering affordable interior design.
We wanted to know more about the design entrepreneurs behind the concept, so read on for a Q&A with Amy & Athina…
Topology Interiors is on a mission to prove great interior design can be affordable, and they pursue this approach in particularly dynamic fashion. Amy is based in Berlin and Athina in London, but their projects take them across Europe and beyond.
We wanted to understand how what started as a “side-hustle” in 2016, and only really got going in late 2017, can now boast collaborations with some of the biggest names in design (Habitat, Made.com, Ikea) and a roster of awards.
Bear & Bear: Was the underlying concept of Topology something that happened organically, or did you spot a gap and go for it?
Athina: I was working in the luxury furniture industry and a daily part of my job was chatting to many different people looking for furniture, design ideas etc for their homes. People liked my ideas and I ended up swapping contact details with them and sending them more detailed information, like paints & furniture inspiration. I had a lightbulb moment one day and thought ‘hey I can make this into something’ and the concept of Topology was formed. There was nothing like it at the time but now competitors are rife!
B&B: How important has Instagram been for the business, and did your user growth happen early on, or was it part of a longer-term strategy?
Instagram has been amazing for our business – but it’s taken about 2 years for us to grow our following (currently just over 15k @topologyinteriors) and it does involve hard work. The best way to grow fast is to get shared by big accounts – you can go up hundreds of followers in a day so this has helped us.
Our workshop tickets usually sell out solely from instagram story swipe up links, we get a good amount of clients through it and also get offered fantastic opportunities as bloggers so we’re very thankful for the doors it’s opened.
Athina and Amy’s Bear & Bear picks:
B&B: Did you have a background or experience in interior design before starting the business?
Athina: Luckily after university I landed a job that delivered me right into residential & commercial projects. It was here I worked closely with fabrics, tradesman, manufactures and clients so it was all the experience I needed to go it alone. It even taught me how to use architectural software.
Amy: After finishing university, I’ve carried out an interior design diploma and then got a job at an architectural practice in Berlin where I headed their design department.
B&B: Amy, when did you join the business and who does what?
Amy: Pre-Topology, a mutual friend, Ali, put us in touch as she knew I wanted to work in interiors industry. Athina at the time, was looking for some help and it kind of organically grew from there. Athina sorts out all our enquiries and runs the blog mostly. If a job comes through, we decide whether it should be done together (usually the bigger projects) or taken as a solo-mission. We split Twitter & Instagram duties as social media is a 2 person job in this day & age!
B&B: What’s been your proudest “affordable” purchase to date?
Athina: I’m not sure if this counts but…but at my last job I asked politely if there were any spare ex-display mirrors lying around as the mirrors we used to sell were almost £700 and over 2m tall – such a statement. He gave me one for the cost of delivery and it’s my favourite thing I own to date and only cost me £25!
B&B: That definitely counts, what a bargain!
Amy: I would say a huge clear glass vase I go form a local homeware shop for £9.99. Makes any room look more sophisticated.
B&B: As you get even more successful and become outrageously wealthy, do you think affordable design will be less important to you?
Athina: Not at all – I’m a bargain hunter and penny saver through and through!
B&B: With a focus on affordability, does that leave room for sustainably made and sourced design?
Both: Definitely. More & more brands, even the affordable ones, are getting eco-conscious whether it’s about their carbon footprint or how sustainably sourced their materials are. Take IKEA as an example, by 2025 they want all of their products to be 100% recyclable and have just opened a sustainability influenced store in Greenwich – complete with specialist bicycle couriers to bring your products home!
B&B: Where do you see Topology going over the next 2-3 years?
In terms of clients with the way the markets going, probably working with more property developers & renters! As a business though, ideally with a small studio space and a select team of 3-4 people. We don’t want Topology to be some huge corporation but a small design studio working on both remote & in-person projects.
Thanks for taking the time out of your very busy schedules to chat with us, amazing to get some insight into your exhilirating journey and learn about the exciting times ahead.
Topology Interiors provide bespoke interior design services starting from an unbelievably affordable £125 per room and are offering Bear & Bear readers a further 10% off if you mention “BEAR”.
We commissioned Topology to shoot some of their favourite Bear & Bear products at home, and the results speak for themselves. So if you’d like a flat that looks like this, then get in contact.