Category Archives: UK

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


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.”

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 or contact Naomi for more information.

Handmade in Britain: New Graduate Showcase

Posted on September 17, 2013 by Megan

Handmade in Britain returns to Chelsea Old Town Hall this November for the seventh edition of The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair.

Experience a rich variety of contemporary craft and design in fashion and interiors from
disciplines including ceramics, jewellery, glass, textiles, wood, metalwork and furniture, all under
one roof on the King’s Road, London.

This year, Handmade in Britain highlights the exceptional talent of 5 emerging makers in their New Graduate Showcase – a dedicated gallery celebrating the next generation of innovative design and dedicated craftsmanship, featuring makers in glass, textiles, jewellery, ceramics and interior accessories. Each selected maker graduated in his or her discipline in 2012 or 2013.

The New Graduate Showcase 2013 features:

Glass + Lighting

Peter’s collection of glass lighting features sculptural pieces which respond to both nature and digital technology – inspired by the crystalline geometry in nature and modern architectural design.

Peter Kucerik – Ghost


Anna Byers’ bold, geometric jewellery is inspired by the architecture of temples, mosques and cathedrals. Anna’s ‘Interactive’ collection features multi-layered pieces that can be rotated and rearranged, inviting the wearer to create their own unique compositions.

Anna Byers – Interactive necklace


Thrown Porcelain and terracotta in soft, inviting forms contrasting with dark and semi-enclosed interiors. Elaine’s work suggests secluded spaces, and emphasizes contrasts in interior and exterior, dark and light.

Elaine Bolt – Vessels group

Interior Accessories

Felix has created a series of hyper-functional and partially dysfunctional objects which stretch the
conventions of materials – the series includes ceramic speakers, concrete cups and plywood salad tongs.

Felix Proctor – Concrete Bowl


Free machine embroidered textiles combining flowing forms and intricate cutwork, hand dyed and painted. Amelia’s current work is a collection of delicate, handmade silk scarves, each one completely unique.

Amelia Gibbs – Embroidered Scarf

The New Graduate Showcase will be located on the stage of the main hall for the duration of the show. 8-10 November | Private View: 7 November | Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, SW3 5EE.


Design Exquis: Roca Edition…

Posted on September 13, 2013 by Megan

Retelling a story of design and creation that began over 2,000 years ago, the third edition of Design Exquis is now open at the Roca London Gallery, offering an intriguing twist on the original idea.

Design Exquis is a series of exhibitions inspired by the collective method of creation, developed by the Surrealists. Roca London gallery have announced the last designer of this creative chain as music composer Nick Phillips brings the story to an end.

Taking the debate about design to a whole new level for 2013, and exploring sound as design, the exhibition’s curators, Florian Dussopt and Géraldine Vessière, asked Nick to be the final designer in the process, which involves five designers responding in turn to an object created by their predecessor.

Through his creation, Metamorphosis, Nick transforms marble into sound. For this, he used a technical method to convert the grain and colour of the material into sound patterns, which became a sonic template to build his sound from. He then continued to draw visual inspiration from the marble to take the composition further. Played through headphones and also out loud in the gallery, the music accompanies visitors on their Design Exquis journey.

Object 6 – Sound Image

The first time that sound has been presented as one of the objects in the process, Metamorphosis is Nick’s response to object number five, Reflections by Lex Pott. Inspired by the book matching technique used in the wood and stone industry by which a solid block of stone is cut in two to open like a book to create a mirrored pattern, Lex created a marble room divider and a series of six shelves. The various organic patterns of the marble combined with very strong geometric shapes provide a contrast between the natural organic material and the geometrical industrial forms. For the shelves, Lex replaced the second part of the stone with a mirror to create an artificially accurate reflection. Thanks to the imaginary space created by the mirror, the object becomes complete.

Object 5 – Reflections

Lex’s book matching technique was inspired by the angular shape of Mountain Light, the fourth object in the chain, which reminded him of an open book. Mountain Light, by Studio Swine, is a desk light embedded in rock and elevated on brass legs to give an architectural feel. Warm LED lights are used to bring a summer ambience to the interior all year round.  Exploring the integration of modernist architecture with nature through luxury interiors and glass facades, the designers used a new faux marble technique, with concrete as the principal material.

Object 4 – Mountain Light

This idea of utopia and the synthesis of the natural and the constructed was inspired by object three in the Design Exquis process, Summer Bowls. For Studio Swine this raised questions about the construction of paradise, the feeling of holidays and playful modernist architecture in the land of the endless summer – particularly Palm Springs and Los Angeles.

Object 3 – Summer Bowls

Summer Bowls is a group of containers inspired by the colours and tastes of ice cream. Created by design studio 45 Kilo, the bowls are handmade using a traditional metal spinner, which leaves traces of the wooden mould on the metal. Colour-anodized aluminium surfaces, more commonly associated with digital devices, and Corian tops give the bowls a contemporary feel.

What better use for the Summer Bowls but for the serving of ice cream? How useful then that the preceding object in the process, design number two, is an ice cream maker. Italian food designer Jacopo Sarzi was inspired by the ancient technique of ice cream making, after spotting similarities between this and the traditional method of soap making.

Object 2 – Ice Cream Maker

Making soap requires a combination of greasy and alkaline ingredients at a temperature of 45°C and involves intense blending, known as saponification. Producing ice cream also entails a blending process, a greasy ingredient and requires constant stirring but in this case, the temperature must be -21°C. Jacopo’s ice cream maker is made out of cork, a natural and food safe material. The connection? A bar of soap, the object which begins Design Exquis: the Roca edition.

Object 1 – Soap

See Design Exquis at Roca London Gallery, Station Court, SW6 2PY until 16 November.

Photo credits: © Emma TS Robinson

Assemblyroom launch The Hatton Range at designjunction

Posted on September 10, 2013 by Megan

Assemblyroom have designed The Hatton Range launching at designjunction 2013. The range comprises of a fully upholstered arm chair and a 2-seater sofa in either solid colour or a bold two tone colour variation.

With its clean lines and its comfortable seat, the Hatton chair has a welcoming form and plenty of personality. Constructed using an FSC timber frame and covered with graded CMHR foam the Hatton Range is suited to reception areas, informal meeting spaces, hotels and bars.

Hatton Sofa

Hatton Sofa & Hyde Stool

The Hyde Bench

Following on from the successful Hyde series of Stacking Stools, The Hyde bench is a fully upholstered stacking bench seat suitable for breakout spaces, reception areas, educational environments and informal meeting areas.

Hyde Bench & Hyde Stools

Using modern technology and manufacturing techniques the Hyde Bench is a frameless piece that has been moulded using PU CMHR foam, making it comfortable, lightweight and easy to handle. With its ability to stack away, the Hyde Bench is an innovative and practical design that responds to the flexible nature of today’s environments. Use it for work, use it for play, use it to meet, in fact use it just about anywhere!

Hyde Bench Stack

Available in two lengths and a wide range of colours, the Hyde Bench can be upholstered in either a solid or a two tone colour combination providing a playful looking bench for any environment.

The Hyde Stool Upholstered in Bailey Hills Fabric

Assemblyroom are also delighted to launch the Special Edition Hyde Stacking Stool, upholstered in a fabulous new digitally printed wool fabric from Bailey Hills. The playful looking stool adds interest and vibrancy to any interior, both when in use and when stacked away as a totem.

Hyde Stool in Bailey Hills fabric

The Hyde stool is ideal for informal meeting spaces, break out areas, hotels, bars, museums and schools… in fact anywhere where an informal and fun looking seat is required! The Hyde Stool has been moulded using a PU CMHR foam making it a comfortable, light weight stool that is easy to handle. This coupled with its ability to stack 4 high, makes The Hyde Stool a versatile seat for flexible spaces.

Hyde Hatton & Burgess

Both the Hatton & Hyde ranges will be available to view at this year’s designjunction at The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street from 18th – 22nd September.  Assemblyroom will be located next to the Camden Town Brewery bar on the second floor.

Assemblyroom Furniture was established in 2010 by Peter and Cathy Wall to complement their award winning Commercial Interior Design practice that launched in 2003. Informed and inspired by their commercial interior design experience, the studio create quality pieces which are comfortable, refined and built to last. All of Assemblyroom’s furniture is manufactured employing the best of British craftsmanship and using the highest quality materials that have been carefully selected for their function, aesthetics and durability.

A little more detail on the pieces…

The Hatton Range dimensions: Arm Chair: 880mm (w) x 770mm (d) x 660 mm (h); 2-seater Sofa: 1590mm (w) x 770mm (d) x 660mm (h)

The Hyde Bench dimensions: Midi Bench 1220mm (w)x 525mm (d) 420mm (h); Maxi Bench: 1920mm (w)x 525mm (d) 420mm (h)

SieMatic opens flagship showroom in Mayfair, London with Nicholas Anthony

Posted on September 9, 2013 by Megan

Last week World Interiors News attended the opening of the new luxury Mayfair showroom by German kitchen manufacturer SieMatic. The Nicholas Anthony showroom has been chosen to become the flagship showroom for the SieMatic network based on Wigmore Street, and will celebrate its dedicated new SieMatic displays and role.

SieMatic S2 – lotus white

As the originator of the handle-less kitchen, SieMatic has been at the forefront of kitchen innovation since 1960, creating timeless, original interiors. Its luxury kitchens are available through a network of specialist showrooms throughout the UK which are handpicked to offer outstanding customer service and unique kitchen living spaces which are a joy to use and experience.

Bernard Otulakowski, SieMatic’s UK Managing Director, commented:

“We are very pleased to welcome such an established retailer as Nicholas Anthony into the SieMatic team. It has a wealth of experience delivering exceptional kitchens and interiors for over 50 years in the South East. SieMatic has been established for over 80 years and so now is the perfect opportunity for the two companies to work together and further strengthen the position of each as we move forwards. The Mayfair showroom is part of SieMatic’s expansion into the key design cities around the world and this location will attract both those in the UK and internationally.”

SieMAtic BeauxArts.02

This new showroom will give customers the opportunity to experience SieMatic’s product offering within the ‘kitchen alley’ of London and benefit from the invaluable experience and expertise of the renowned Nicholas Anthony team. The showroom showcases a number of SieMatic’s most popular solutions for kitchens including the S2, BeauxArts.02, FloatingSpaces and IndividualDesign. Tony Nicholas the Managing Director of Nicholas Anthony commented, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with SieMatic, creating a dedicated flagship showroom in the heart of London. We believe that SieMatic’s exceptional range of luxury kitchens, rich heritage and outstanding service will provide the necessary ingredients for us to evolve and build upon our successes to date.”


The BeauxArts.02 range, conceived and designed by internationally renowned designer, Mick De Giulio, has been designed for those who would like a more ‘transitional’ style than traditional; something that mixes the best of the modern world while following a classic theme. Following on from the successful BeauxArts kitchen furniture range by SieMatic, BeauxArts.02 the concept utilises Sterling Grey SE2002 doors with polished nickel handles and S2 doors in a rich Ebony Walnut finish with the recessed grip slot in polished nickel. SieMatic explain, “It reveals how it’s possible to create a living and dining space even in the compact spaces common in city homes.”

SieMatic BeauxArts.02 – sterling grey

The design of BeauxArts.02 is purposefully segmented; the cooking area is separated from the cleaning or preparation areas and depending on the segment, different materials, handles and dimensions are used for fronts and surfaces. This gives the kitchen the diversity of styles reflective of the BeauxArts architectural style, upon which the design concept is based.


This innovative design feature concentrates on the kitchen as the hub of the home and welcomes the notion of this room as an open-plan living space. FloatingSpaces is made up of a panel system and highly functional open shelves with customisable finishes such as natural woods, which include matt or gloss lacquer and high-quality laminate. The shelves can be chosen in different lengths and sizes to add a personal touch to your kitchen design.

FloatingSpaces: SieMatic SE 5005 L lotus – white gloss

The shelves provide space for decorative objects and accessories to be displayed, allowing the seamless integration of kitchen and living spaces. The look is completed with matt aluminium shelf elements, which can be clicked into place at regular distances apart between the panelling so you can move your shelving around to suit you. FloatingSpaces provides a multitude of storage solutions for a practical, yet stylish, kitchen.


The IndividualDesign concept brings together a combination of the brand’s most successful kitchen programmes with a stylish new lacquer colour; agate grey. Designed to suit modern living, the IndividualDesign concept makes it possible for designers to integrate cabinets from different kitchen programmes to construct completely new and exciting spaces that blend the definition between living and kitchen areas. Pictured below, the IndividualDesign concept has been created that incorporates elements from FloatingSpaces, SE 8008 and the S2 ranges to produce a highly desirable open plan living area.

IndividualDesign, SE 8008

The launch event brought together the wider SieMatic family with guest appearances from SieMatic’s CEO Ulrich Siekmann, Export Director Roy Oldfield, Architect Marc Sporer and world renowned designer and co-creator of the BeauxArts.02 kitchen, Mick De Giulio. Guests enjoyed fine wine, canapés, music from a jazz duo and cookery demonstrations from appliance specialist Gaggenau.

The new showroom is located at 44-48 Wigmore St, London, W1U 2RY.