Category Archives: London

The Fabric Prints of the Present (and Past!)

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Liz

Heal’s has a long and prominent history of discovering and nurturing creative talent. Back in the 1950s, the company was responsible for championing fabric designs by emerging designers of the time including Lucienne Day, Zandra Rhodes and Barbara Brown. So it is extremely exciting to hear that they have just produced an exclusive own-brand fabric collection, the first since the 1970s. As expected, they have worked with both established designers, including Rhodes, and also those who are lesser known. Each designer has created a unique pattern for Heal’s, resulting in a striking collection that celebrates both colour and individuality, drawing inspiration from fabric archives, decorative arts, nature and even jewellery.

Paul Vogel, Milo’s Stripe

Pia Benham, Heal’s Head of Fabric & Design comments: “As part of the relaunch of Heal’s historic fabric department, we wanted to extend our current fabric offering. We hope the new collection will help further strengthen our fabric department’s position as the destination for unique and exciting designs, a place that can inspire our customers and enable them to make their homes a beautiful place to live in. We also wanted to inject fun and excitement into our Heal’s fabric design once again, by working with established as well as emerging designers – in the same way we did in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Heal’s Journal with Peacock Flower print, Malika Favre

Also coinciding with the fabric collection launch comes a coordinating home accessory line, Heal’s 1810 – named after the year in which they were first established. This series features selected patterns from the new fabric range giving the opportunity for them to be appreciated in multiple ways throughout their customers’ living spaces. The accessories include kitchen textiles such as aprons, oven gloves and tea towels, as well furnishings such as cushions. It also includes stationary, for example cute journals that can be flaunted with pride outside of the home!

Zandra Rhodes, Top Brass 2

Onto the prints, of which there are an extensive and fabulous amount. Zandra Rhodes’ Top Brass 2 makes a return, having originally been designed for Heal’s in 1963. A reminder of the Pop Art period of the time, it has the designer’s signature pink colour palette with a medal motif inspired by a David Hockney painting. Another return is the late Diana Bloomfield’s Tea Time, which truly reflects the 1950s period in which it was first designed. Introduced with the help of Bloomfield’s daughter Julia, Tea Time has a retro style but the playful print allows for a modern feel. It is thought to be inspired by the illustrated cakes and jellies of Isabella Beeton’s Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

Heal’s Tray with Tea Time Print, Diana Bloomfield

Cressida Bell’s Trees is heavily influenced by the 1930s and 1940s, taking inspiration from illustrators of the period such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. Including rich colours and detailed pattern, it can clearly be seen that her design motto is ‘more is more’! Another bold print, Malika Favre’s geometric style Peacock Flower uses the form of the bird as the basis for her abstract pattern, having seen one wandering around her hotel on a recent trip to the French Riviera!

Cressida Bell, Trees

A simpler, but still extremely effective pattern is Paul Vogel’s Stripe series. This was inspired by Heal’s own archives but adapted using this Spring’s colour trends and by playing with proportions. Emily Patrick’s Cloud is based on one of her paintings, breaking down the barrier between outside and inside. Ottilie Stevenson looked to Art Deco jewellery to create the crisp geometrics of Zig Zag while Petra Börner’s Lady Jane is designed to resemble a scattered bouquet of rough cuts from the garden. Finally, a distinctively Scandinavian design from Hvass & Hannibal. Herbarium uses the forest as its main theme, with an illustrative and folkloristic style depicting plants, flowers and trees.

Hvass & Hannibal, Herbarium

The collection offers a style to suit every taste and is an amazing reflection of Heal’s, of its inspiring past and also of the current brand that we have grown to know and love. It really offers something for everyone, especially with the 1810 line and after thirty years, we at WIN believe the collection is a long-awaited triumph!

Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Megan

Inaugural Award of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund announced at the World Interiors News Awards, Saatchi Gallery, London by John Roake, Chairman of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund. The Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund are pleased to announce that  award has been made to Alex Stewart, a second year Masters student from the School of Architecture at Parsons, The New School for Design, New York. Alex was selected from a strong field of candidates drawn from schools of architecture in the UK and US.  A detailed selection process ultimately determined that the combination of Alex’s architectural skills, his passion for light and the strong recommendation received from his university made him the worthy winner of the £10,000 scholarship. The funding will be used to support his ongoing education and investigation into the relationship between light and architecture.

Chairman of the JSSF John Roake spoke on behalf of the Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund: “I am delighted to have made this first award. Whilst the selection process was tough thanks to the very strong field of candidates, it was a unanimous decision to make Alex the first JSSF Scholar.  His love of architecture and light was transparent from the outset but it was his enthusiasm, professionalism and warmth that reminded us so much of the individual at whose behest this scholarship has been set up”.

Alex Stewart commented: ”It is an honour to be selected as the Jonathan Speirs scholarship winner, and to be the inaugural year makes it even more special. I see myself as a steward for the award and Jonathan’s memory moving forward.  He sounded like a truly wonderful man. I only wish I had had the opportunity to meet him. However, his legacy most certainly lives on. Thank you for this distinction”.

John Roake concluded with a plea for ongoing support: “This award was only made possible because of the incredible generosity of a number of companies and individuals who came forward with donations. It is our stated intention that we will make a minimum of one award each year until 2023.  To that end we still need further financial help. We would therefore like to use this opportunity to appeal to companies, professional practices and individuals who both knew Jonathan or benefitted from his incredible insight into light and architecture to give generously going into the future”.

Details of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund, including ways to donate, are available at www.jssf.org.uk.

Celebrating at Saatchi

Posted on December 10, 2013 by Megan

Ten days on from the inaugural World Interiors News Annual Awards ceremony and dinner the winning designers are still basking in the glory of their successes. London’s Saatchi Gallery played host to the most distinguished figures in architecture and interior design, treating the attendees to an opportunity to view the latest exhibition entitled “Body Language” which explores the physicalities of human beings through photography, sculpture and painting.

Escaping the cold November night outside, over 300 guests from across the globe retreated into the gallery’s warmth for a cocktail reception, a 3-course meal and some all-important networking opportunities. Amongst the many well-known faces was judge and interior design guru Sir Terence Conran, who has been a keen supporter of the awards programme.

As petit-fours and coffee were served, the awards ceremony began with a speech from Annalisa Hammond, Editor of World Interiors News, welcoming the guests and introducing Art historian and BBC Culture Show host Andrew Graham-Dixon who proceeded to present the awards for the winning designs.

Whilst the shortlisted entries from each category were announced and the winners collected their trophies on stage, guests from all areas of architecture and interior design were reminded of the designs which have helped shape the material and cultural landscape over the past year.

When the ceremony came to a close, the elated winners and shortlisted designers were photographed with their trophies and certificates, and the champagne flowed as celebrations began.

After overwhelmingly positive feedback about the event, Annalisa Hammond reflects that “the intimacy and originality of the venue appealed to our sponsors and guests, many of whom have already enquired about next year’s event!”

With the 2014 Awards due to open in early January, it promises to be another exciting year ahead for World Interiors News.

Introducing HAM

Posted on November 28, 2013 by Megan

London based designer Jo Robson (née Ham) has designed a range of 100% British-made wares which draw aesthetic inspiration from her childhood nostalgia of growing up on a farm. As a farmer’s daughter, Robson grew up in the Shires before training as a fine artist, and it was these years spent in rural England that have provided her with the creative fuel for this collection.

Through this range of prints, greeting cards, notebooks and mugs, HAM designs capture some unexpected moments in the quiet lives of a pig, a horse and a rabbit. The minimal aesthetic brings a serious edge to the playful subject matter.

Established in 2011 as a pop-up shop in London’s famous Carnaby Street, HAM has since been featured in a number of press titles and can be found on the shelves of many prestigious design-led stores and galleries around the world.

Minimalism and bold silhouettes against a crisp white background define HAM’s aesthetics, and only on closer inspection can the eye detect more specific details about the animals and their curious behaviour, which exhibit Robson’s subtle sense of humour.

Included in the range are a collection of screen prints (available in varying sizes) and A5 notebooks.  HAM has produced a line of British-made luxury greeting cards, litho printed on thick matt paper, accompanied by brown kraft envelopes.

In the spirit of the forthcoming Christmas season, HAM has also launched two new festive designs featuring the pig and rabbit.

More information available at http://www.hammade.com/

 

QE2 Hotel Design Proposal by Benoy

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Megan

Almost 50 years on from the launch of The QE2, design proposals are being put forward for the ship’s conversion into a floating 5-star hotel. Amongst the proposed plans is the scheme of award-winning designers Benoy, who propose a design preserving the original architecture and ambience of the world-famous vessel, uniting the character of the 60s with contemporary and cutting edge design trends. It is a scheme which propels the liner into the 21st century luxury market.

In the historically important spaces of the Midships Lobby and Queen’s Room, Benoy propose to conserve the forward-thinking intent of the original QE2 design by introducing modern variations on textiles, lighting, fittings and technology. 

Amongst the design challenges encountered during the early stages of planning was the issue of how to introduce light and physical space into the arteries of the ship, given the long, straight passenger corridors which run through the vessel. Benoy’s solution was to carve circular vestibules out along the passageways, providing opportunities to showcase art and feature lighting to open the space up.

Within the guest suites, the curved alterations of the corridors continue to flow through the spatial design, with subtle hints of a nautical theme. The luxurious ambience was crafted using highlights of marbled stone, stand-alone bath tubs and glass walls. The furnishings note the style of the QE2 history, with a vintage appeal that is accompanied by a natural and contemporary colour palette. 

The floating hotel will accommodate private residences, a conference centre, a performance theatre and ballroom, as well as retail and leisure locations. Benoy has accommodated space for a modern maritime museum, present the important and fascinating history and artefacts of the iconic vessel to both the public and hotel guests. Guests can experience an elevator ride to the top of the ship’s funnel, which has been re-designed as an observation platform. Above deck, the original swimming pool has been enlarged to accommodate 5-star standards.

John Denton, Director of Interior Design at Benoy, commented that the firm’s submission embraced the “history and philosophy” of the transatlantic ocean liner.

Benoy’s design concept film for the QE2 hotel can be found on the Benoy YouTube Channel.

The London Distillery Company confirmed as sponsor of the World Interiors News Awards

Posted on November 5, 2013 by Rosie

We are delighted to announce that The London Distillery Company will be serving its first London-crafted gin at the WIN Awards Dinner at the Saatchi Gallery on the 28th November.

Developed at the new distillery in Battersea, London, Dodd’s Gin pays tribute to Ralph Dodd, an 18th century born entrepreneur and engineer, who formed The Intended London Distillery Company in 1807. Dodd’s business prospectus detailed his commitment to produce Genuine British Spirits and whilst he never quite fulfilled his visionary project, his aspirations are finally being realised over 200 years later by The London Distillery Company.

The small batch gin, created by Head Distiller Andrew MacLeod Smith and Founder Darren Rook, uses organic botanicals, which include: juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf and London honey.

A significant proportion of the ingredients are first distilled in ‘Christina’, a traditional 140-litre copper alembic, with the more delicate botanicals being reserved for ‘Little Albion’, The London Distillery Company’s state-of-the-art cold vacuum still. The two spirits are then married for several weeks before being hand-bottled and labelled by the team at the distillery.

Darren Rook comments: “We came across Ralph Dodd and his story whilst investigating former distilleries in London, almost a year to the day after founding The London Distillery Company. Dodd’s ethos about creating Genuine British Spirits was akin to ours, so we felt it fitting that our first London produced brand was dedicated to him.”

Andrew MacLeod Smith adds: “Any distiller will tell you that it takes many months of research and development to create an innovative, premium organic spirit, and Dodd’s was no different. For example, we distilled several types of honey, from all areas of the UK, but found that the complex honey produced by urban bees in London gave the spirit a luxurious mouth-feel and added a delightful top note, which complements the rest of the aromatics perfectly.”

www.londondistillery.com

Conran on Cloud Nine

Posted on October 31, 2013 by Rosie

Visitors to the prestigious Independent Hotel Show in London over the past two days have been treated to an unusual experience by the creative team at Conran and Partners, whose thought-provoking installation welcomed visitors into a VIP area like no other: Cloud Nine.

The concept was to provide an area in which to experience a “feet on the ground, head in the clouds” sensation. Conran and Partners’ creative director of brand and product, Massimo Acanfora, explains that Conran on Cloud Nine symbolises “creative agility” which inspires “infinite thoughts and forms.”

Located in the VIP area at Olympia West Hall, it was intended as a space where people could meet during the show which would encourage creative thinking and discussion of approaches towards design.

To bring the concept to life, one million metres of string, cut into differing lengths, were suspended from the ceiling, giving curious visitors the sense of their heads being submerged in the clouds, an experience which Acanfora believes is key when it comes to creative exploration: “Everyone loves clouds. We always like to have our head in the cloud and feet on the ground when we are creative.”

In keeping with the show’s commitment to outstanding design, Conran on Cloud Nine served as a memorable talking point for the thousands of high profile guests passing through the event.

 

The New Face of Student Living?

Posted on October 23, 2013 by Rosie

Could iQ Shoreditch be the future of student accommodation? Showcasing a pioneering design, this unique residential project offers students a living space like no other academic housing in the capital. “We are setting a new baseline for quality student accommodation within central London,” said developer James Crow of Quintain.

Designed by author and television presenter Naomi Cleaver, the project exhibits details which are creative and forward-thinking, giving the halls of residence a distinct edge over its counterparts. “My strategy was to reflect the famously vibrant character of Shoreditch – already a mecca for young people – as well as creating a comforting sense of home for a diverse community of students from across the world,” said Cleaver. “Student accommodation is as much an expression of home as anywhere else but much of the student accommodation I had researched looked corporate to me. While security and efficiency are important, so is nurture and play.”

Drawing on the context of the surrounding urban environment was a key aspect of this creation; young artists and designers were commissioned to realise the design concept, which aimed to represent the “visual anarchy” found in the locality, to reflect Tonkin Liu’s local pavementscape and to appeal to a broad spectrum of students.

In addition to individual bedrooms, iQ Shoreditch features 24 quirky common rooms and public spaces, each demonstrating imaginative, innovative design.  From the stuffed deer in The Conservatory to the iconic film posters in the TV lounges, the varied designs reflect the youthful, artistic vibrancy synonymous with the area. In the reception area circular leather seating surrounds a large tree, which acts as an unusual feature and compliments the motifs in the adjacent courtyard, designed by architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.  In The Sky Lounge, an installation of copper rods spans the ceiling, mapping and identifying the stars, whilst string art forms a 24-hour time-lapse depiction of London’s flight path.

To encompass the varying practical needs of the students, Cleaver’s design extends beyond conventional study rooms to include a music practice room and an art room, where pinboards line the walls and large tables provide a crucial workspace for art, fashion and design students.

Placing high importance on local manufacture and resourcefulness, Cleaver used reclaimed chairs and desks adorned with ripe graffiti to furnish study rooms, and papered their walls with misprinted sheets of Shakespearean plays.

For students living their academic lives against the backdrop of this ambitious design project, their visual landscape is multifaceted. To wander through the rooms of iQ Shoreditch is to experience the many faces of the accommodation; in one room the colour tones, furnishings and features cultivate a homely, welcoming feel whilst the contemporary lighting, interior accessories and wall art in another exude as much edgy character as the borough of Shoreditch itself.

Moroccan Bazaar

Posted on October 14, 2013 by Megan

Moroccan Bazaar is a leading supplier and manufacturer of exquisite Moroccan interiors, a family business spanning three generations dating back to 1946. Today, the company, which initially started out as a wholesale supplier, has evolved into a well known and trusted name in the manufacture and distribution of home and contract furnishings. A range of over 3000 products can be viewed and are available to purchase at its West London showroom as well as Moroccan Bazaar’s stylish online website. 

Over the years Moroccan Bazaar’s products have been used throughout the world, catering to the retail and events industries as well as in luxury hotels and private residences. It has also supplied production companies for well known film and television shows and home improvement programmes. Moroccan Bazaar work tirelessly to provide high quality authentic furnishings, this ranges from intricate fine lighting through to beautiful furniture collections made from many different materials, all produced in its own workshops in Morocco.

Quality is the company’s key principle; its approach in conducting its business with honesty and integrity is adopted by its talented craftsmen who ultimately form the foundation of the partnership. A network of over 1000 craftsmen who work exclusively with the family ensures a constantly evolving product range which is high in quality and consistency.

The company prides itself on its comprehensive traditional range, as well as collections which are more suited to a contemporary living space, where a touch of something exciting and different is desired. For inspiration, the projects gallery offers an insight into a handful of completed Moroccan interior design projects the company have undertaken and browse through the online catalogue for their range of Moroccan Decor.

Some of Moroccan Bazaar’s beautiful products will be illuminating the Saatchi Gallery on 28 November as World Interiors News reveal the winners of this year’s interior design awards. To see who is coming or to get involved, visit www.worldinteriorsnews.com or contact Naomi for more information.