Hello new renovator!
We’re Fi + Neil, we’re so happy you found us. We’re all about giving first time renovators a leg up to prevent mistakes and get wow results with their homes.
I’m an interior designer who does things differently. I’m passionate about helping people improve their life through well-considered interior design planning. I love sharing my experience, getting you to think differently about your home, empowering you to learn the ropes. Day to day, I look after our Interior Design clients, produce our digital courses and share blog posts and newsletters to improve your project.
My personal mission is to make it as easy as possible for you to achieve the home you dream about. I wear loads of hats at Fifi McGee HQ, some of them include; video producer, photographer, project manager, chief-painter / general DIY guy, financial controller, storyteller, marketer, analyst, writer & spreadsheet geek.
It all began on our walks in the countryside, back in 2012…
Neil and I would dream about our escape to do impactful work we both love. We worked in full time jobs that rose our blood pressure (to say the least!) and began Fifi McGee, as a hobby. A place to share our passion for interior design and how we’re making life better, and an outlet for Neil’s photography (he was a pro wedding photographer back then alongside his full time job).
How Fifi McGee came to be…
A couple of years after Neil took up photography seriously, I started making noises about starting up a blog. A friend of Neil’s for some reason always used to call me “Fifi McGee” e.g. “how’s Fifi McGee doing?”. At the time I thought it was cute and so this became the name of the blog (cheers Gerad).
Sorry to tell everybody the bad news – Fifi McGee isn’t actually my name. I’m called Fiona Duffy – I know, I’ve shattered the illusion for millions! 😂 We cringe when we look back at the old website…
I got super lucky to work with interior brands I adore like Farrow & Ball, HomeSense and Anthropologie, to name a few. And my blog was nominated for a Cosmopolitan Best of Home Award in 2015 (which I didn’t win, still waiting for my oscar!) but we poured a lot of love into this space and saw a lot of people listening (I wonder if any OG readers are still with us??)
Then we found ourselves right where you are now…
In 2016 we reluctantly sold our tiny 1 bed flat and took a risk which really did change the course of our lives forever. This was the start for us. It accelerated us into our career in interior design and we didn’t even know it was coming…
After a lot of hideous, (urine-smelling 😷) property viewings, we landed a 3 bedroom 1930s semi-detached and packed up our lives into half a van to begin one of the most stressful but exhilarating projects of our lives.
They said the house was haunted, we didn’t care! We turned it from a freezing cold, dated mess into a home we absolutely love.
We documented the dust, sweat and tears it took to turn this place into our forever home (OK, we still want to retire to the countryside, and I keep pestering Neil for another renovation, but for now, this is home).
Back when we began, it amazed us how little support there was out there for first time renovators. Since we started Fifi McGee, we’ve been changing this. Day by day, us and our team create the best content to help you navigate your build a little easier.
What I didn’t know back then, but I do now, is that the experiences of our own project were preparing me for my training to become an interior designer – we learned everything from budget management, lighting, electrics, planning and building regulation submission on the job at first, then I formalised my training and became an interior designer to offer support to clients 1-on-1.
In 2019, we launched our first home renovation course. In 2020, Fifi McGee became an interior design + renovation company and I completed my training as an Interior Designer.
A lot of late nights, some AMAZING client projects and even more sweat and tears later…
…Neil and I were able to say goodbye to jobs that weren’t giving us hope, and hello to our dream company. We now work with people with large and small renovation projects, and we adore consulting and designing alongside our clients and our community of renovators all striving for the home of their dreams.
It’s an honour to be a part of people’s home journey, and work with people we truly love, who share our belief that your home and your life matters.
Thank you for being here.
Fi + Neil
Marie is a French architect living in London focusing on residential projects.
Sean is an architect living in the South East and working across the UK. Sean's projects focus on energy efficient construction and renovations.