Designer Susan heads for Africa

Interior designer Susan Fisher.'''Photo by Louise Adams C130135-1 Chi Interior Designer
Interior designer Susan Fisher.'''Photo by Louise Adams C130135-1 Chi Interior Designer

FROM West Sussex to West Africa, Chichester’s interior designer Susan Fisher has a lot to look forward to.

After designing several homes for a wealthy Nigerian in the Midlands, she has now been commissioned to work on seven homes overseas –and she is thrilled.

“I am just so overwhelmed that he asked me because it is such a privilege. The houses will keep me busy for a year,” Susan said.

She will have to visit the homes and then order all of the furniture and arrange all the fittings from the UK, a colossal job, but she is up for the challenge.

“If my client is happy, I am happy,” she said. “I would do it for free if I could.”

Susan was brought up in Portsmouth as one of seven living in an old Victorian pub. As she grew older she worked behind the bar with her mum and three sisters – one of which is her twin Sandra.

“This caused confusion with the customers. Many said they had double vision,” said Susan.

She decided to go back to college at the age of 25 after a few years of secretarial work, and study spatial design.

“I went back to college as a mature student and qualified at 27, with distinction grades.”

It wasn’t long before her career took off and she went to Singapore as a freelance designer, and ended up furnishing properties in London through her far Eastern contacts. She designed a home which was rented by Chelsea Football Club manager Jose Mourinho.

She has since moved to Chichester with her husband Tony and 11-year-old daughter Jodie, and has been working on a number of projects over the years, some local, and some further afield... But Nigeria will be her most challenging project to date.

“People have said I shouldn’t go, but then I met someone from Africa who said ‘Why wouldn’t you go?’ and I realised I had to do it,” she said.

She began working with her Nigerian client a year ago, and designed the fittings and interiors for four of his properties: two were for rental, one for him and one for his aunt.

He loved her work so much that he asked to fly her out to Nigeria to fit out seven homes there – each will be a seven-bedroom property, so it’s quite a challenge.

And Susan has been helping the local economy share in her success, by employing local tradesmen to work on jobs with her around the country, including for her project in the Midlands.

“All the traders were through Check-a-trade, and they have all been great,” she said.

Susan has also worked with Chichester shop Thru The Looking Glass as a freelance designer, designed show homes for various local developments, and is set to start up a new bespoke furniture website, Wow Factor.

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