Category Archives: London

Making your House a Home in 2015: Interview with Shaun Clarkson

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Liz

May Design Series have just released their Interiors Buying Census, uncovering UK consumers’ shifting habits, tastes and priorities for 2015. The Census provides vital information on people’s priority buys for next year, as well as what factors influence these purchases and how we can expect them to change in the future.

This year’s report revealed that a quarter of us are now looking for sustainable products and a further one in 10 takes into consideration whether the materials in our homes are made from recyclable products. Surprisingly, less than half of us shop online for products, compared to more than the two thirds of customers who still prefer to shop in-store. And while there is a growing popularity in buying local, when it comes to home interior products over 80% of consumers asked agreed that being British made makes no impact to their purchasing decision.

WIN had the pleasure of talking with Shaun Clarkson, Interior Designer and star of Channel 4’s Four Rooms, about the results of the Census, the products to look out for in households next year and his own personal tips on how to make a house a home (hint: he likes rugs).

Diamond by Novaluna. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

Thank you so much for joining us today Shaun. Now can I just start by asking you what trends predict for 2015?

Well my trends for 2015 are varied. I think the biggest thing is that I am fed up of down and dirty. I’m sick to death of distressed wood and bulbs in jam jars. I want to see a bit more glamour so I’m predicting we are going to go chequer board floors, hot pink and flower arrangements of gladiola.

Which interior products can you see appearing in people’s homes next year?

The May Design Series Interiors Buying Census show that the most popular thing that people are spending their money on is flooring, followed by curtains and window dressing. I think this is very interesting because I think that if you are going to do something, especially those people on limited budgets, and living in rented accommodation, typically they want to buy something to make their rented flat feel like their own. I think things like rugs and sofas are important as they are things that you can take with you. Pluck and playthings, a treat culture to make your own environment.

Swithy Stools by Two.Six. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

And where exactly should people look to source these sort of products from do you think?

Well I think they should all come to my store in London (ha-ha!).  It’s difficult. I think you need to be very open minded. I spend my life shopping but that’s partly what I do professionally and I’m slightly obsessed, I have a shopping problem. eBay has been a massive influence on how people live in the fact that things are very accessible now. You can find out exactly how much things should cost and I think once you get an idea yourself of what you want you should go for it.

Which are your favourite places to shop? Firstly for yourself and also for the projects you are working on?

What has happened now is that we have a global shop, the internet, where you can buy anything.  Personally I don’t like buying online. I think I’m a bit old. I think people can shop anywhere, I love to go to auctions but I would never do an online auction. I would always go and physically view the stuff. I like to buy at markets and I like to buy in unusual environments, we do a lot of sourcing, we do a lot of upcycling, we take items and we invent them so I like the idea of buying old furniture that’s sustainable as well and reinventing it by spraying another colour, an old lamp, rewiring it and putting a new shade on it. Reinvention is really what we do as a business.

So could you share any of your secret sourcing spots, within the UK?

I would have to kill you if I told you; I have to protect my sources. However, London is the hub of fantastic tradeshows. The one that I would keep an eye on is the May Design Series which is coming up next year. You can see what trends are happening and the way interior design and products are moving.

Cross Lap by Galvin Brothers. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

You mentioned pluck and playthings for renters, but which are the pieces they should look at buying that will stand the test of time?  

Well that’s an interesting question. I have a shop in Shoreditch and we have a young demographic that in the main rents, they buy things like vintage lights and things they can take with them. We don’t do a great trade in hanging lights as you would need an electrician involved but anything that’s not bolted down. I think the furnished flat doesn’t really exist so much these days so it’s up to you to furnish your home and ultimately the ambition is to own your own home so I think that you should start creating your bottom draw and taking it with you wherever you go.

And what tips can you give to home owners looking to revive their interiors without necessarily replacing their furniture?

I think the easiest thing is paint, paint a wall a colour and don’t be frightened of paint – it’s easily changeable and it’s a cheap alternative. Rugs are fantastic and vintage rugs are great, it’s something that you have for life but also you can take with you everywhere you go. I have a friend who’s a curtain maker in Liverpool and she has a great range of people who change their curtains yearly. It’s not an overly expensive thing to do and changes your life a little bit.

Ikea has been amazing really as you can reinvent yourself constantly. My parents’ generation had one 3 piece suite for the whole of their life’s whereas I think we are a generation (well certainly in the hundreds of sofas I’ve owned over the years) that replaces regularly. I think there’s an opportunity for you to cheaply change your life with accents and new items which are affordable, I also think dressing your things with a mixture of vintage and new. If you like something buy it.

Klash Chair by Standrin. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

Going back to the theme of sustainability we were talking about earlier, do you think this should just be a factor you consider when purchasing or should it really be a compulsory element in the work of the designers?

Only a quarter of us unbelievably are interested in sustainability, I think sustainability should be something we aware of definitely. I think upcycling is the new hip word, as was vintage, upcycling is a form of recycling and sustainability. I love the idea that if you put something on the street now it goes and it means somebody has taken it and they’ve got a use for it. In my business we’re notoriously bad at throwing things away and I think that eBay is a great opportunity to sell anything and upcycle things.  It’s a tragedy to see things just dumped.

YPSY by Two.Six. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

The MDS report expressed that top of people’s desires for the home are self-cleaning carpets and windows that shut automatically when it rains. Do you see design becoming more technologically focused, more about function and ease of use than aesthetics?

I think it’s a combination of the both really. We all love to live in beautiful environments but I think that the May Design Series Interiors Buying Census shows that people are relying on technology a lot more which is great as it is sustainable. It means that you can control your heating and shut your windows and close your curtains and turn the lights and heating on and off from your mobile phone which is complimentary to what we do professionally.

We live in a boutique generation so I think it’s really important that when you are at home you have the same boutique experience you would if you were in a beautiful hotel and I think people are getting used to that, but obviously the complimentary technology is great. I’m a great advocate of controlling our environments. There’s nothing worse than getting home and having to turn the heating on and waiting for the house to get warm. You want to be able to do if from your mobile phone.

Linger a Little Longer table by Jay Watson design. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

Whose house do you envy the most would you say?

Whose house do I envy? I don’t really envy anybody’s house. I’m trying to buy a house at the moment and I am very envious of it (ha-ha!) – it’s my ultimate aspirational home. It’s a big Tudor mansion in Norfolk and I suppose I’m aspiring to live there ultimately.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important products for any home interior to possess?

Lighting is everything, you need to have a creative lighting scheme. I would want to own the most beautiful lamp, I’m not a great advocate of great big light fittings on the ceiling. I think you need a really comfy sofa. That’s really important, something to sit and watch television on, and something to be romantic on. I believe that everyone should invest in a rug for life and I think that if you can design your own rug and create your own rug, that’s yours and there’s nothing nicer than standing on a lovely big thick rug in bare feet.

Fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us today Shaun.

You’re welcome.

Table by British Artist Jack. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

Sleep: The Hotel Design Event

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Liz

“Sleep is like a precious watch in which all the hand-crafted elements rotate around one another to create a unique piece that perfectly tells the time – in our case ensuring our exhibitors do great business and our visitors are inspired.” Kali Nicholson, Brand Director for Sleep.

Exhibitor Stands at Sleep 2014

Nicholson has encapsulated the experience of this year’s Sleep Event perfectly, in fact it was one of the most brilliantly executed shows our team had the pleasure of attending this year. We jam-packed everything into one day; attending inspiring conference sessions with some of the industry’s most respected designers and hoteliers; exploring over 150 exhibitor stands, finding out more about the companies whose products and services help to create award-winning hotels; and checking out the daring and innovative designs entered into the highly anticipated Sleep Set competition.

The Royale Agricultural Bar, Sleep 2014

The team also enjoyed drinks at The Royale Agricultural Bar, designed by Swedish firm Stylt Trampoli who created a lush, tropical oasis of flora and fauna from which to escape the busy crowds. We took another opportunity to relax during the day by trying out a mycoocoon pod. Here we were asked to pick our favourite scent from three options and answered a colour and mood based quiz to determine the programme we would experience. We then stretched out in the pod and were immersed in the glow of a specially programmed lighting display whilst listening to soothing music – bliss!

mycoocoon, Sleep 2014

Back to the spectacular conference sessions; we were entirely enchanted by restaurateur extraordinaire Jeremy King, currently distilling his magic into his first hotel, The Beaumont. King refuses to impose concepts on buildings. Instead he works with a space to reveal its potential and accentuates already-there qualities in his designs. He still insists on walking the tables, wishing to always be known as restaurateur and never simply a ‘restaurant owner’. For a restaurant to be a success he believes it must have heart and soul, presented through long-lasting interiors and by devoted staff. Design must never ‘shout for attention, but should withstand scrutiny’, and at the end of the day, it’s about the people. We have no doubt that The Beaumont will be as successful as all of his other ventures.

Conference with Jouin Manku, Sleep 2014

Jouin Manku told of the story behind their design partnership – a chance meeting in Paris, and one of those ‘meant-to-be’ situations that has produced a dynamic, collaborative and ever-changing creative office. The duo complement each other harmoniously, describing their working relationship as ‘like playing free jazz. You don’t know who made the melody, who made the bass, it’s just a response’. These ‘realistic dreamers’ respond to each other and to the spaces they work with and believe that ‘you can do anything, you just have to want to do it’. A very encouraging conviction indeed!

Room Four by NoChintz, Sleep 2014

Finally, we listened to the Sleep Set competitors explain their design ideas to the judges, with just five minutes each to present. We particularly enjoyed NoChintz’s model that utilised playful features such as temporary tattoos and takeaway coffee cups to promote the hotel, whilst also connecting it to local businesses and allowing visitors to explore the area. This year however, it was industry outsiders, SKM Design, who triumphed with a design inspired by a Pink Floyd album cover and featuring a double sided wardrobe and floating bed!

Room Three by SKM Design (winning design), Sleep 2014

Keep an eye out for our hotel-themed INSIDE newsletter this week, and to all the hotel designers out there, make sure to enter your projects into next year’s World Interiors News Awards, opening on 5th January! To Sleep, thank you – we are very much looking forward to next year’s event.

Two Days to Sleep!

Posted on November 24, 2014 by Liz

If you thought things had quietened down at the WIN office following our Awards night, you’d definitely be mistaken! We’ve been busy attending copious meetings in London as well as making sure certificates safely reached those entrants who could not be with us on the night, putting together a very special edition of INSIDE (out early December) and, of course, preparing for the WIN Awards 2015. There are some exciting things happening next year, so watch this space!

Curiousa & Curiousa, Exhibitors at Sleep 2014

We’re also excited as Sleep 2014 will be opening its doors this week at London’s Business Design Centre. For two days, an exceptional array of ground-breaking ideas and newly launched products will be on offer for architects, designers, specifiers, hotel operators, owners and developers with an eye on future trends.

FRONT London, Exhibitors at Sleep 2014

WIN will be heading up on Wednesday to join other press members in the morning, before having a nosy around the place and catching up with friends. We’re extremely excited about the Conference programme this year, packed with inspiring and informative talks from a plethora of industry professionals including Afroditi Krassa and Conrad Smith, who helped to judge the WIN Awards 2014. Conrad also happens to be judging the Sleep Set competition – we can’t wait to find out who the winning team is whilst having a drink or two in the ‘Royale Agricultural Bar’, designed by Award-winning studio Stylt Trampoli, with contractor Famos Scandinavia AB.

Ultrafabrics, Exhibitors at Sleep 2014

Every exhibition stand has been sold out this year. The latest we’ve heard on participating exhibitors is that FRONT London will be returning for a second year with a new bespoke collection of luxurious nature-inspired rug designs and Moroccan Bazaar will make their debut with a select range of finely handcrafted lighting and accessories. Additionally, UK lighting designer and manufacturer Curiousa & Curiousa will also debut with striking contemporary hand-blown glass lights and Ultrafabrics will present its high quality synthetic leather products.

Moroccan Bazaar, Exhibitors at Sleep 2014

We will of course report back on everything next week. If you’re attending please make sure to say hello!

World Interiors News Annual Awards Dinner 2014

Posted on November 5, 2014 by Liz

The WIN Team can’t quite believe it but this year’s World Interiors News Awards are officially over! We ended on a high, celebrating at our annual event held at the Saatchi Gallery on 30 October. Numerous cocktails were consumed, fantastic food devoured, new friends made and our extraordinarily talented winners were announced.

All that’s left to say is a huge thank you to everybody involved and to all who joined us for what was definitely a very memorable and incredibly exciting evening. We’d like to pay a special thanks to our sponsors; first of all our headline sponsor Poliform (see their beautiful installation from the night below!) and not forgetting Duravit, OVI and Fever-tree, your support this year has been utterly indispensable.

Please enjoy the photos and we’ll see you next year!

Cocktails by Fever-tree. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

Cocktails by Fever-tree. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“Abundant thanks to all those on the WIN team for such an amazing event… It seemed to be effortless, but that is certainly due to all your hard work and dedication to perfection! You should be very proud.” Alicia Sheber, ESP Business Development

Installation by Headline Sponsor Poliform. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

Kristale and Perparim Rama, 4M Group. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“Thank you for a lovely evening and for a fantastic, effortless awards.” Bronwen Harris, Poliform

Cocktail Reception. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

Our host for the evening, Tom Dyckhoff. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“Thank you to the whole WIN team for such a wonderful award ceremony. We had a ball and it was an honour to be nominated and part of this great event.” Koldo Gil, Koldo&Co.

Headline Sponsor Poliform‘s Table. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

George Khachfe, Poliform presenting the Furniture Award to Overgaard & Dyrman. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“The setting was magnificent, the food was outstanding and the crowd terribly interesting.  I had a wonderful evening.” Giovanni Corrado, Baroncelli

OHLAB, Winners of Retail Interiors Less than 200 sq. m. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

Martin Carroll, Duravit presenting the Hotel Award to Shurooq. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“Our team thoroughly enjoyed the event and we are all very excited to have won the hotel category. Hopefully many more participations to come!” Noora Lootah, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)

King George Creative Agency rushing to receive their Retail Interiors Greater than 200 sq. m award. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

Judge Clementine Rodgers with shortlisted certificates for Speirs + Major. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“I had a really enjoyable night and it was so lovely to be among so many creative people. I thoroughly enjoyed the judging this year too – really inspiring work and fellow judges. Here’s to a great 2015 for both WIN and WAN!” Sean Hatcher, MCM Architecture

One Plus Partnership Limited, Winners of Leisure or Entertainment Venues (plus two more projects shortlisted!) Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

Brigada, Shortlisted for Museum or Exhibition Spaces. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“A wonderful evening – full of some hugely inspirational projects!” Farrell Chandler, Bolon

ByBeau, Winners of Lighting Products. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

Amazing after-awards entertainment from singer Matthew vanKan. Photo Credit: Pete Jones Productions, www.pjproductions.co.uk

“An unforgettable evening.” Aleksandra Grzonka, Cechownia

‘Roma Phantasma’ at The House of Peroni

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Liz

If you’re looking for a new exhibition or show to visit this October, why not check out what’s going on over at The House of Peroni? Innovative lighting design studio Baroncelli have taken up residency at one of the House’s bi-annual month long pop-ups, celebrating contemporary Italian culture with an immersive room of art, design and lighting.

‘Roma Phantasma’ by Baroncelli at The House of Peroni

Giovanni Corrado, Creative Director of Baroncelli, was one of a number of talented individuals invited this year to design an immersive room within the House, reflecting and portraying its theme: Rome, the birth place of Peroni Nasstro Azzuro.

‘Roma Phantasma’ by Baroncelli at The House of Peroni

Baroncelli’s exclusive installation ‘Roma Phantasma’ is an unorthodox and atmospheric landscape. Utilising the component parts that make the modular Flexus lighting system, Baroncelli have created several limited edition sculptural mechanisms including a timepiece, catapult, pulley, airscrew, microscope and compass. Mounted on the walls and ceilings of the room, these mechanisms are layered and interweaved around etched scenic drawings to create a 3D installation which interprets the strength, volume and engineering prowess of neoclassical Rome and showcases the studio’s trademark for expert metal and glass work used within the structure of their pieces.

The Microscope I by Baroncelli

Timepiece I by Baroncelli

When approaching the brief for this creative project, Corrado looked to his passion for art history for inspiration and to 16th century artist Piranesi, famous for his etchings of the city and of his atmospheric imaginary interior ‘prisons’, Carceri d’Invenzione.

‘Roma Phantasma’ by Baroncelli at The House of Peroni

Taking Piranesi as a point of inspiration and drawing on the design studio’s extensive expertise in working with a variety of materials and processes, Corrado’s vision has led to the creation of ‘Roma Phantasma’. Handmade to the highest quality of craftsmanship and engineering; glass, satin gold metal, cristallo rods and LED light interplay with the etchings to create a striking, dramatic and alternative view of Rome, a fantastical Rome visitors can construct in their mind and travel to.

‘Roma Phantasma’ by Baroncelli at The House of Peroni

The House of Peroni is open to visit and free of charge to all 18+ until the end of the month. The limited edition sculptural mechanisms showcased within the House will be available to purchase POA from Baroncelli from October 31st 2014.

designjunction presents ‘A Child’s Dream’

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Liz

designjunction has launched an exciting exhibition for 2014 in order to raise funds for Teddy’s Wish, a charity that aids research into the causes behind SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), neonatal death and stillbirth and supports grieving families. This is in collaboration with distinguished family-run British brands Anglepoise® and ercol, who have kindly donated the products used in the project.

Tom Dixon, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

‘A Child’s Dream’ invited 19 of the UK’s leading designers from the field of architecture, design, fashion and graphics to customise the iconic Anglepoise® Type75™ Mini desk lamp and Stacking chair, from ercol’s Originals collection. These are to be displayed this week at designjunction2014 in an exhibition curated by British designer Anthony Dickens.

Emma Mawston, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

The line-up of designers behind the uniquely interpreted products is an all-star cast, including; Tom Dixon, Wilkinson Eyre, Benjamin Hubert, PearsonLloyd, Paul Cocksedge, Ab Rogers, Sir Terence Conran, Topshop, Tony Chambers, Samuel Wilkinson, Faye Toogood, Kristjana S. Williams, Michael Sodeau, Donna Wilson, Afroditi Krassa, Bethan Gray, Rachel Galbraith, Philippe Moulin and Emma Mawston. Some of the designers comment on their superb end-creations below.

Sir Terence Conran, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Michael Sodeau, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Afroditi Krassa, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Afroditi Krassa on ‘Drip Chair’: “We may dream and plan as much as we want but life is unpredictable and we wanted to capture this and translate it onto a chair. Using clinical apparatus and colored dyes we have left it to gravity, time and chance to embellish the chair.”

Kristjana S Williams, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Benjamin Hubert, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Samuel Wilkinson, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Samuel Wilkinson: “We wanted to create an intervention that highlighted the beauty of the ercol Stacking Chair, something fantastical and unexpected as if from a Child’s dream. The result is the representation of a magic fabled animal, a chair that gives you happy and playful thoughts when you see it.”

Rachel Galbraith, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Faye Toogood, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Paul Cocksedge, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Paul Cocksedge: “The lights only come on when the two heads touch each other, and whichever way you position them for that touch, it will stir a visual memory of a child nuzzling up to its mother. It can be seen not only with humans, but across the natural world… This reconfiguration of the classic Anglepoise taps into the imagination whereby everyday objects take on human attributes, in this case to embody a gesture of caring and affection that is universal.”

Bethan Gray, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

PearsonLloyd, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Wilkinson Eyre, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Wilkinson Eyre Architects: “When thinking about the title ‘a child’s dream’ the first thing that springs to mind is colour. How bright and vibrant a child’s dream might be, full of bold colours and shapes and a great innocence. We have focused on those bold colours and shapes in an irregular, sporadic fashion, bringing playfulness and purity to the lamp.”

Tony Chambers, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Donna Wilson, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Topshop, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Topshop: ‘There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen.’ (Where the Wild Things Are) “When we are young, the jungle is a mysterious place, a realm of adventure and the imagination.  For our chair, we wanted to reference the magical worlds that you can disappear to in dreams.”

Ab Rogers, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

All funds raised will go directly to Teddy’s Wish, including ticket entry for the show. The lamps and chairs will be available to buy online through silent auction at thedesignjunction.co.uk/charity from 12 September until midday on Sunday 28 September 2014.

 

Granting Wishes in the Design World

Posted on September 2, 2014 by Liz

Instigated by Sir Terence Conran and initiated by the American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture, ‘The Wish List – What I have always wanted is…’ has assembled several illustrious architects and designers together with emerging new talents to create a compelling installation, The Wish List, which will be exhibited at the V&A Museum during the London Design Festival this month.

The Wish List: Alex de Rijke ‘Table Turned’, Petr Krejci Photography

The project invited up-and-coming designers and studios to use only American hardwood in the creation of an object commissioned by an established figure in the architecture and design industry. The brief for each was a response from Conran’s friends within the industry to the significant question: “What have you always wanted in your home, but never been able to find?”

The Wish List: Norman Foster ‘tulipifera sharpeners’, Petr Krejci Photography

The Wish List: Allen Jones ‘The Hole Chair’, Petr Krejci Photography

Led by Conran himself, the incredible line-up includes celebrated architects Richard and Ab Rogers, Norman Foster, Amanda Levete, Alison Brooks, Zaha Hadid, Alex de Rijke and John Pawson, not forgetting artist Allen Jones and fashion designer Paul Smith. All have given their answers and the resulting objects have been created with their mentorship and under the watchful eye and guidance of Benchmark’s master craftsmen.

The Wish List: Terence Conran ‘Getting away from it all’, Petr Krejci photography

Sir Terence Conran has commissioned sustainable designer Sebastian Cox to create a workspace for his office. When asked about the brief given to him, Sebastian commented: “It’s going to be a space that Terence can work in without distractions. It’ll be a cocoon-like desk with cabinet space around. A space for undistracted creative thought.”

The Wish List: Zaha Hadid ‘Ves-el’, Petr Krejci Photography

The Wish List: Paul Smith ‘Paul’s Shed’, Petr Krejci Photography

Award winning architect, Zaha Hadid has always wanted tableware made from wood. Upon receiving this brief, Gareth Neal has chosen to play with the form of a carafe or water carrier and turn it into something more sculptural. Meanwhile, designer Sir Paul Smith has requested a shed from bespoke furniture designer, Nathalie de Leval. Not just any shed, ‘My Shed’ – a request befitting of any man. When asked about his brief Paul Smith said, “Really the inspiration behind the design was to create somewhere where you can go to switch off, somewhere to relax. In today’s world where everyone is so busy, I think this is really important and very needed.”

The Wish List: Alison Brooks ‘A stool for the kitchen’, Petr Krejci Photography

The Wish List: Amanda Levete ’6×500′, Petr Krejci Photography

The architect for the new extension at the V&A, Amanda Levete, has requested a reversible shallow fruit or cheese bowl from student, Win Assakul. Levete explains, “We often have dinners at home for 18 people. Our table is 4.8m long and I have always wanted a long, shallow bowl to run almost the length of the table. But for smaller dinners of say 6 –12 people, I don’t want such a long bowl. By making it extendable we resolve this.” The piece is inspired by African wooden bowls that reveal the beauty and depth of the wood grain as well as the hand of the maker.

The Wish List: John Pawson ‘Room’, Petr Krejci Photography

The open brief has clearly resulted in an extraordinary spread of design objects, also including kitchen stools, a trio of room fittings, a pencil sharpener, chaise longue, dining table and ladder. These can be seen during LDF (13-21 September) at the V&A – WIN will definitely be swinging by to take a closer look!

The Wish List: Richard & Ab Rogers ‘the ladder that likes the wall’, Petr Krejci Photography

Soho House Chicago

Posted on August 15, 2014 by Liz

Let’s just start off by saying that WIN simply adore Soho House. Our Editor has been a member of every House for many years and we hold the judging for our Awards each July at the original club on Greek Street – in fact this year Founder and CEO Nick Jones joined the panel judging the Hotel Interiors Category. Our team are eternally impressed by the superb service from delightful staff members, the inviting interiors with an enviable selection of eclectic furnishings and of course the perfectly crafted coffees that see us through our busy days. We’re also partial to their Eggs Benedict in the morning!

Soho House Chicago

Pizza East, Soho House Chicago

Unsurprisingly, the group has expanded rapidly over the years, with multiple Houses opening up across Europe and North America. Their portfolio also includes cinemas, hotels, Cowshed spa and salons and 15 public restaurants. This week marks the group’s fifth opening in North America, an exciting development which we are delighted to share with you. Presenting Soho House Chicago.

Screening Room, Soho House Chicago

Soho House Chicago

Housed in a six storey warehouse dating back to 1907, the club is inspired by and celebrates its bustling city setting, with many of the building’s original elements repurposed to capture distinct moments in Chicago’s history. Other features have been left untouched, such as the ornamented entrance and large, open floor plans with exposed concrete structures. Additionally, curators for Soho House, Jonny Yeo and Francesca Gavin, collaborated with Chicago based artists to seamlessly weave local artwork throughout the property in the group’s signature mismatched style.

Soho House Chicago

Soho House Chicago

There are 40 guestrooms in Soho House Chicago, all decked out with uniquely sourced furniture and art pieces. They contain an aura of luxury that pervades every storey of the club: from the second floor with fully outfitted fitness centre and boxing ring fashioned by Chicago’s famous Horween Leather Company to the fourth with its cosy 40 seat screening room and the Club Floor on level five with drawing room, bar, house kitchen and grill.

Fitness Centre, Soho House Chicago

The Allis, Soho House Chicago

To top everything off, at the building’s highest point there is a glass enclosed rooftop bar and kitchen and outdoor deck with 80 ft swimming pool. We’re already imagining ourselves sipping a cocktail poolside, gazing at the stunning architecture on the horizon.

Soho House Chicago

Soho House Chicago

Non-members are also able to indulge themselves at Soho House Chicago, enjoying delectable delights from the kitchens of public-facing restaurants Pizza East and Chicken Shop or a well-edited selection of wine and craft beers from Allis Bar. The Cowshed spa and salon is likewise open to the public, ready to pamper with a fine selection of thoughtful scents, botanical ingredients and herbal remedies.

Chicken Shop, Soho House Chicago

Cowshed spa and salon, Soho House Chicago

The photos speak for themselves, it seems all that’s left to do is book our flights and visit our Chicago based ‘home away from home’.

Soho House Chicago

Soho House Chicago

Soho House Chicago

Chicken Shop, Soho House Chicago

Screening Room, Soho House Chicago

Soho House Chicago

Talent in Textiles: Interview with Rose Sharp Jones

Posted on July 8, 2014 by Liz

Featured in a previous blog of top picks from Clerkenwell were some quaint crochet cushions, created by skilled designer Rose Sharp Jones. WIN were initially drawn to her stall upon spying a range of beautifully patterned notebooks and we bonded over a mutual love of stationary (it borders on obsessive for us!) We soon noticed the cute knitted details on her stools and chairs and the aforementioned cushions, and business cards just had to be exchanged! Here we find out a little more about the creator behind this charming collection…

Firstly, where did your love for textiles and handmade items initially stem from? Is your background fairly creative?

I always loved to draw and make things when I was a child, and learnt to knit when I was 8.  I studied art throughout school and after leaving I did a foundation course where I specialised in textiles, going on to do a BA and MA course in Textile Design.

And what inspired you to set up your own business?

After finishing my MA course I realised I wanted to be involved in the whole process – designing and making fabrics, and products from them.

Which are the most gratifying aspects of your work?

I really enjoy the making process, developing new ideas and pieces through experimentation with yarns, stitches and different techniques. I also enjoy working on commission pieces with clients and seeing them happy with the end product.

Do you work from home? And how do you balance running a business with day to day life?

I work from a studio space in east London that I share with other designers.  It can be hard to keep a good work/life balance, having a separate studio space away from home has definitely helped me to do so.  I also find that having defined tasks for the day/week ahead and lots of to-do lists help!

You also teach a range of knit and crochet classes – what does a typical lesson with you entail and where could we sign up?

At the moment I teach a beginners crochet class where we start with the complete basics and learn a range of stitches.  I also run another workshop where I teach further techniques to make crocheted squares that can be used to make a blanket or cushion.  I teach these lessons at the yarn shop Sharp Works in south London.  I also teach private knit and crochet lessons which tend to be quite varied as they depend on what the client wishes to learn.  These can be arranged by contacting me.

How do you approach new designs – what is your process and how do you see each piece through to completion?

I normally start with drawing, and then a research period to develop design ideas further.  After this I begin swatch experiments to try out different stitches, yarns and colours.  Once I’ve decided upon these I then write patterns for the pieces I need and begin making them, making adjustments to the pattern or design if required.

What are your favourite pieces to make and why?

I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite piece to make, although I do enjoy working with the furniture pieces, finding techniques and yarns that are suitable for the piece in question, taking inspiration from the furniture piece itself and developing fabrics that are appropriate for use.

Your work includes furniture, cushions, mittens, hats, bags and you’ve just launched a stationary collection too! Do you see your ranges expanding further? Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

At present I’m not planning on introducing any additional types of products, just some new designs for existing ones!  I will be introducing a range of knitted cushions later this year, as well as a couple of new furniture pieces.

I do enjoy designing across a range of products though, so I’m sure the range will expand at some point!

Have you ever collaborated with other designers, or is this something you would be interested in doing?

I have discussed collaborative projects with other designers in the past and would definitely like to work on such a project at some point.

Finally, where can we find you on a weekend off, what are your favourite ways to spend time?

Enjoying having a break, meeting up with friends and family, going to exhibitions and other events and travelling whenever possible!

Inspired by Nature, Created by Conran

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Liz

Design giants Conran and Partners have surprised and delighted the WIN team with their latest venture. Known by all for their outstanding design portfolio, which encompasses both architecture and interiors, branding and products, we’re sure many of you have fantasised about members of their talented team coming to work their magic on your homes, shops, local restaurants and businesses. Paint by Conran will bring you one stop closer to that dream.

Paint by Conran

Drawing on 50 years of experience in designing for the home, Conran and Partners have created a range of interior paints, launched with a tremendous 96 colours, all inspired by British plants and landscapes. Teaming up with them is esteemed British paint manufacturer Master Paintmakers, who have been handcrafting paint in the UK for over 150 years. This supreme partnership has utilised their technical know-how and Conran’s design expertise to create a paint range that is both practical and beautiful.

Paint by Conran

The branding too, is absolutely gorgeous – care has been put into absolutely every element of the paint and the overall buying experience. Delicate hand-painted swatch cards are available as well as elegant tester pots that remind one of artist’s paints, packaging is a simple white with charming and unique watercolour motif – a different image for each collection (Highland, Cottage Garden, Kitchen Garden, Orchard and Harvest.) Each purchase is even delivered with a thank you card that doubles as a colour matching card when shopping for complementary items, and with a Paint by Conran Partner card that gives the holder special offers and exclusive benefits!

Paint by Conran

This range does it all, providing colours for every room in the house, personalised service and care for each individual customer. With quintessential British countryside appeal, Conran can help you bring the beauty of nature indoors. We can’t wait to get our hands on these paints, and get them onto our walls this summer!