London Design Festival 2016

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Annalisa

Over coffee and croissants at the V&A in Kensington, London, the London Design Festival announced its exciting programme of events, installations and exhibitions, which will take place across the capital from 17-25 September.

As well as bringing Visionary Crazy Golf to Trafalgar Square, London Design Festival has announced an exciting line up of Landmark Projects including ‘The Smile’ by Alison Brooks Architects, a cross–laminated hardwood structure using American tulipwood that can be inhabited and explored, offering a new way of looking at the city.

A second Landmark Project, by Shelter and Legal & General, seeks to address the housing crisis through an experiential installation designed by dRMM entitled Baboushka Boxes.

The Victoria and Albert Museum will again be the hub of the Festival. With projects from design duo Glithero who will create a mesmerising time-based installation with Panerai, and ‘Foil’ by Benjamin Hubert of Layer, an undulating metallic ribbon installation which will transform one of the V&A spaces with LED lights and pattern, inspired by Braun.

Mathieu Lehanneur is known for his innovative approach, combining design, science, technology and art to create humanistic projects. His installation for the Festival, Liquid Marble, will be a variation of his ongoing series exploring the materiality of marble, displayed in the V&A’s galleries.

A newly-commissioned Garden installation by experimental architect Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer will launch the Season. Their first ever public commission in the UK, Elytra Filament Pavilion will explore the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making.

Inspired by a lightweight construction principle found in nature, the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra, the Pavilion will be an undulating canopy of tightly-woven carbon fibre cells created using a novel robotic production process. The Pavilion will grow over the course of the V&A Engineering Season in response to data on structural behaviour and patterns of inhabitation of the Garden that will be captured by real-time sensors in its canopy fibres.

The Festival has also commissioned a number of leading design visionaries including AL_A, Kellenberger-White and Pentagram to create their own souvenirs of London, which will be available to purchase at the V&A shop.

’Absurd Bird’ By DesignLSM

Posted on April 29, 2016 by Annalisa

We love this latest project from hospitality design specialists DesignLSM.

Based in Spitalfields, London, the innovative restaurant concept offers the humble delights of spatch-cocked smoked chicken with an ‘Absurd’ twist introducing city diners to the unusual pairings of ‘chicken and waffle’ and ‘sweet potato marshmallow bake’.

Founded by an American Chef and Young Entrepreneur the story behind Absurd Bird is inspired by an amusing tale of the adventure of two rebellious birds who decide to jail break out of the cuckoo’s nest and embark on a memorable journey together. As the brand’s story slowly unfolds the true essence of Absurd Bird is revealed.

DesignLSM’s brief was to capture Absurd Bird’s playful identity and reflect the quirkiness of the menu with a modern yet nostalgic design inspired by the backwaters of America’s deep south.

The overall concept is set across two floors combining a warm and rustic all-day dining environment on the ground floor with a relaxed and intimate evening cocktail bar in the basement.

In the upstairs restaurant the reclaimed wooden seating, taken from old US barns, combined with corrugated timber panels brings a raw aesthetic into the space which is bought to live with playful touches of flannel shirt upholstery and vibrant neon signage.

The story continues through bespoke birch tree chandeliers, up-lit birdhouses and bizarre binocular spotlights suspended over the cement tables, each of which are brandished with bird footprints left by the feathery outlaws on their chaotic journey.

The absurdness ventures into the restroom space where our interiors team designed the weird and wonderful feature of a suitcase vanity unit, which when opened displays a bird watcher’s map illustrating the brand’s story further.

In contrast the basement design is reminiscent of an authentic 1920’s speakeasy bar with a luxurious yet worn feel throughout the space. The bar is a prominent feature designed with a grand marble top, brass trim and beautifully ornate wooden frontage decorated with a distressed paint effect.

The decadent booths are framed by luxurious fabrics and bespoke wallpaper that depicts vintage oil paintings – a perfectly intimate spot to enjoy a ‘moonshine’ cocktail whilst indulging in a spot of ornithology.


ferm LIVING and knit designer Rikke Jo Tholstrup in an exclusive collaboration

Posted on April 15, 2016 by Annalisa

The Danish knit-artist Rikke Jo Tholstrup, has created a limited range of wooden paddles with knit covers for ferm LIVING which will be sold exclusively on

The Paddle People is a series of decorative wooden paddles with knit covers. The patterns of the knit is layered and graphic, inspired by patterns and sculpture from the Indigenous art of North America. 

The entire piece – wood to knit – is handmade and sourced in Denmark, with the knitted pieces being produced in a 1950s knitwear factory in western Denmark.

“We are very happy about the pieces Rikke has created for us. Just like us, she is concerned with craftsmanship and creativity which has been breeding ground for a good, creative collaboration”, explains Trine Andersen, designer and founder of ferm LIVING.

“I think that the Paddle People are decorative, so it’s really how you fit it into your space”, Rikke says. “The paddles are textural, so I envision them in a room with other art pieces, like prints framed on the wall. They’ll add something physical to that kind of space that I think will look incredible. Once you understand the process of designing and creating the paddles, there’s also an aspect of craftsmanship that makes them not only decorative but also narrative – as with every great addition to your home, there’s a story to be told.”

The paddles people come in five different designs and there are ten of each available.

They will retail at EUR 310 / DKK 2300.


The Rug Company

Posted on April 8, 2016 by Annalisa

Gator by Bill Amberg

I recently attended a delightful evening to launch the Rug Company’s new rug in collaboration with Bill Amberg. The event was hosted Christopher & Suzanne Sharp, founders of The Rug Company at their Kings Road showroom.

During the evening Kelvyn Smith from Smith Rules demonstrated the technique for transferring the skins using letterpress to paper, which will then be hand weaved into the beautiful rugs we saw on display.

“One of the more unusual and distinctive elements of leather as a material is the vast array of textures. Some are immediately identifiable, some are more curious and unusual. Capturing their uniqueness is an interesting challenge as each skin reflects the life of the animal, making it completely unique. Having worked with letterpress printer. Kelvyn Smith at Smith Rules on previous projects, I began to think this might be a way of reproducing the individual qualities of leather.’’

Kelvyn did various experiments to get a perfect print of the surface of a number of different skins, lifting the paper to even out the skin’s natural difference in thickness and density. ”It is good to be working with Christopher Sharp and the team at The Rug Company again, developing the materials, shades and construction for the rug and lifting it from a pattern to a real reflection of an animal’s character.’’ Bill Amberg

The new Gator rug by Bill Amberg is available in a number of sizes exclusively from The Rug Company showrooms. It can also be custom ordered in shape, size, colour or scale to suit any specific requirements.

Gator by Bill Amberg for The Rug Company:

Hand knotted Tibetan wool and silk  2.74×1.83m £5,465 or £1,090/m2

Stockist information:
555 King’s Road
London SW6 2EB
Tel: 020 7384 0980



Ballet Pendant Lamp

Posted on April 1, 2016 by Annalisa

Founded 20 years ago in Galicia, Spain, lighting company Arturo Álvarez specialises in handmade lamps for hospitality projects including lighting solutions for hotel chains including Hilton, Sheraton and Melia.

‘Ballet’ is a new design from the studio created in collaboration with product designer Héctor Serrano who together with Arturo Álvarez has produced this pretty light using SIMETECH®, a steel mesh covered with silicone.

SIMETECH®, gives the designer the flexibility to create graceful forms which bring the lamps to life, ‘its asymmetry makes its forms change depending on the point of view. … a constant dance of light and shadows”.

Ballet comes in white, grey, beige, yellow or orange.

Bill Amberg’s Gardening Gloves for Horatio’s Garden

Posted on March 23, 2016 by Annalisa

We are delighted to feature World Interiors News Awards judge Bill Amberg’s recent design for Horatio’s Garden.

Bill Amberg founded the studio that bears his name over 20 years ago. Today this is as much an artisans’ collective as a thriving company offering high-end services. The studio’s endeavours range from architectural services for much-valued corporate and private clients, to interior leather bespoke work, and signature accessories. The studio harnesses the best of one of nature’s most versatile and adaptable resources with an unrivalled creativity in a host of different ways.

Over the last three decades, collaborations with the likes of Aston Martin, Penguin, Donna Karan, Suntory and Alfred Dunhill, and at landmark sites such as the Shard, Stamford Bridge, Burberry in Milan, Tomorrow Land in Japan, and Selfridges has seen Bill Amberg and his studio’s work feature globally.

For Horatio’s Garden, Bill has designed beautiful gardening gloves made from the best quality cowhide. They are oiled leather therefore they’ll darken quickly and stretch to fit comfortably with little use, and they will last a lifetime!

Horatio’s Garden is a charity that creates and lovingly cares for beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. Leading garden designers develop the stunning sanctuaries for patients and their family and friends.

The charity is named after Horatio Chapple, a schoolboy who wanted to be a doctor and volunteered at the spinal centre in Salisbury. It was Horatio’s idea to create a garden, and his research has shaped the garden designs and the charity’s aims. Horatio’s life was cut short at 17 when his camp was attacked by a polar bear while on expedition in Svalbard in 2011 but his legacy continues to help patients and their families with the long process of learning to live with a spinal cord injury.

The first Horatio’s Garden opened in 2012 at the spinal centre at Salisbury Hospital. Designed by award-winning landscape design company Cleve West, Horatio’s Garden has transformed the patients’ hospital stay. Patients can now find peace in an oasis of planting even in their hospital beds. They can take part in activities in the garden organised by the charity, including art therapy, music concerts, artists’ in residence, gardening, sculpture exhibitions and food events.

The second Horatio’s Garden, designed by James Alexander-Sinclair, will open in 2016 at the spinal centre in Glasgow, which cares for patients from across all of Scotland.

Joe Swift is designing the third Horatio’s Garden at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and a capital appeal has just been launched to raise £950,000 so that building of the garden can commence next year. This will be the largest garden to date and the first with a dedicated children’s garden.

The charity is working with Stanmore, Sheffield and Middlesbrough and hopes to bring Horatio’s Gardens to all of the UK’s 11 regional specialist spinal centres.

To donate to Horatio’s Garden please follow the link below:

Bill’s Gloves are available to buy directly from :

The WIN Awards 2015

Posted on December 11, 2015 by Annalisa

“Thank you so much for a fabulous night last night, great venue, and brilliant atmosphere. The whole experience from judging to the ceremony was exceptional!”
-Tracey Wiles, Partner at Make Architects

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street played host to the sixth annual World Interiors News Awards. A collaboration between the WIN Team and our headline sponsor, MOROSO, the main task was filling the space with enough stylish touches to match the show stopping, 360 degree views of the London skyline. Using a selection of MOROSO’s latest collections we added just the right amount of intimacy and Italian style to the venue, including a fabulous, cosy nook area set right in the midst of the verdant gardens.

We were thrilled to welcome our 250 guests; architects, designers, clients and developers flew in from all corners of the world to mingle, network and find out first-hand the winners. With bubbly, wine and delicious canapes from award winning caterers, Rhubarb, plus music ranging from Eartha Kitt to M83, the party atmosphere was soon in full swing. In what seemed like mere moments it was time for the awards presentation. The lovely Libby Potter, host of BBC2’s ‘The Money Programme’, was the face of this year’s awards bringing style, humour and an infectious energy to the proceedings. 16 categories and 24 Awards later, we reached the end of the WIN Awards 2015.

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

World Interiors News would like to thank our headline sponsor, Italian furniture design company, MOROSO; sponsor of the Residential Development category – CBRE Residential London; sponsor of the Residential Interiors category – GIRA; sponsors of the Hotels category – Alger-Triton and our partners for the Interior Practice awards – Aesop, who provided fabulous gift bags – an early festive treat for our attendees.

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

The event drew to a close at 11.30 but our guests continued partying into the night at the Sky Pod Bar. A perfect end to an inspiring and enriching year for interior design.

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

Photo Credit: Matt Chung

The Herbarium: Crabtree & Evelyn

Posted on October 15, 2015 by Annalisa

The Herbarium display for the Crabtree & Evelyn store at Regent Street was part of the RIBA Regent Street Window project collaboratively designed by the architects London Atelier and lighting designers Michael Grubb Studio. The display captures the memory of English Still rooms. A delicate combination of colourful and fascinating plants and flowers, tracing papers, copper and brass utensils, wooden surfaces of country kitchens and remedies, potions and cosmetic products were the inspiration for the project.

The display is a choreographed ensemble of herbs, plants and flowers preserved in panes of soap within a brass grid lit by an LED matrix.

A grid of 96 boxes or pigeon holes was made into 4 separate modules. 77 of these modules were caped with panes of soap with botanical compositions made from around 200 different species of plants common to English gardens cast into them. The piece is constructed from lightly stained plywood, frosted glass and brass angles that hold the soap panes in place and it rests on a plinth of 10mm steel. It is lit using 77 linear runs of LED lights which are connected to a computer to create a subtle, organically animated and surprising lighting effect.  The lighting matrix responds to the movements of the passers-by and translates them into disturbances and ripples into general pattern.


PATTERNITY x Paperless Post

Posted on October 8, 2015 by Annalisa

Innovative invitations company Paperless Post and London-based pattern pioneers PATTERNITY, the world’s only dedicated digital pattern archive, have collaborated on a graphic collection of ten modern invitations to help people celebrate life’s most memorable moments. The bold geometric patterns designed exclusively for this collection reflect the connections we experience as we relate to and bond with one another at occasions like dinner parties, birthdays, cocktail hours, and housewarmings.

To celebrate the collaboration’s launch, Paperless Post and PATTERNITY created an interactive installation called ‘Connected by Pattern’ as part of Somerset House’s ‘10 Designers in the West Wing’ exhibition during the London Design Festival. The immersive experience was comprised of a single room that is filled from floor to ceiling with the patterns designed for the collection to create a space that invites guests to explore, play, and connect with one another in the real world.

Paperless Post’s distinctive, customizable designs can be sent online, on paper, or with the free app for iOS. Previous Paperless Post collaborations include Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Kelly Wearstler, and Vera Wang.

Photo Credit: Luke Hayes

designjunction – Seminar Highlights

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Annalisa

The fifth edition of the critically-acclaimed designjunction is set to raise the bar this September by taking over two new central London venues; The College, formerly home to Central Saint Martins and the striking event space Victoria House B1, both located on Southampton Row (

Expect to encounter live workshops and flash-factories, one-off collaborations, hundreds of new product launches, inspiring installations, delectable food offerings and much more (

This week, see highlights of the designjunction2015 seminar programme, which celebrates, explores and explains design’s new sense of mission. designjunction asks the question: do we really need another chair (or table or camera or shoe or phone)? The ‘Design for a Reason’ programme argues that yes we do, as long as it’s a beautiful solution to a real problem.

Sponsored by collaborative design studio molo, the Cochrane Theatre at the former Central Saint Martins building will be transformed with ‘Softwall’ backdrops and a canapy of ‘Cloud’ lighting.


Keep up-to-date with the show on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

One show, two venues: The College, 12-42 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AP Victoria House, 37 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4DA

19.00: Keynote: Yves Behar and Tylko

Pioneering ‘design entrepreneur’ Yves Béhar, creator of fuseproject, joins forces with Polish ‘parametric design’ specialists Tylko, whose innovative app gives users power to customise their chosen domestic product. Could this be the future of design?

11.00 Transports of Delight

In association with Blueprint, Paul Priestman delivers the very latest thinking on stations and infrastructure.

14.00 Design Futures Come in Layers

Benjamin Hubert on his new direction, which has huge implications for design at large.

16.00 Technology, Tables and Lamps

Follow the journey of royal designer Terence Woodgate.

17.00 Life after Graduation

BIIDpresident Dan Hopwood and design education experts on the next step.

12.00 Working Beautifully

San Francisco’s Studio O+A joins Brooklyn’s Uhuru to discuss spaces that release endorphins.

14.30 Global Colour Trends

Carolina Calzada presents the shades and hues for the upcoming seasons.

16.00 Joined + Jointed

Samuel Chan explains the ethos behind his latest venture – Joined + Jointed.

 18.30 Fairphone 2

Bas van Abel, creator of Fairphone, on his latest sustainable, modular launch.

13.00 Interiors for Unicorns

Christian Hawley, founder of and Russell and Jordan of 2 Lovely Gays.

14.30 Remote Controlled Smoke and Colour

Hosted by luxury product designer Tiipoi.