Design Centre Stories

Designers at Home: Katharine Pooley

Catch up with designer Katharine Pooley at her Devon beach house, where she explains how to create balance and harmony and reveals her sourcing secrets

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The Cutting Edge of Glass

Glassmaking in the Czech Republic goes back to the Middle Ages, and it is still a centre of excellence and innovation. Gladee Lighting's Diversity collection, the work of renowned glassmaker Jaroslav Bejvl, pushes the boundaries.

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Ready to Pounce

Scalamandre's 'Zebra' wallcovering is one of the US brand's best-loved designs: now, there's a new addition to the pack, 'Leaping Cheetah'.

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Find the Right Rug

"I do things differently, and I like to change, as well. That’s been my motto so far." So says Esti Barnes of Topfloor by Esti, talking to Design Centre Chelsea Harbour's personal shopper Gabrielle Grubanovich for a special 'Getting to Know Rugs and Carpets' session as part of Focus/20's virtual programme.

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Sink in to the Blues

Turri has introduced its first modular sofa, 'Blues'. Created by Italian designer Giuseppe Viganò, it has wonderful attention to detail, from the contrast piping to the walnut and metal decorative bar linking the base to the low armrests.

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Hitting a New Note

Chase Erwin has its roots in the landscapes of founder Ragna Erwin's native Iceland: she often describes the fabrics' subtle colour palette as being suffused with a dash of fog or early-morning mist. So it's surprising that the latest collection, Jass, features textiles that come in retro-inspired celadon and acid-bright citrine as well as earthier shades.

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Morris, Modernised

With a style that fuses the traditional and the modern, architect and interior designer Ben Pentreath was the perfect choice to breathe new life into the iconic fabrics and wallcoverings of William Morris. The Queen Square collection consists of 18 fabrics and 18 wallpapers, recoloured and rescaled to mirror Pentreath's personal aesthetic.

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Ahead of the Curve

With its sweeping curved facade overlooking Regent’s Park, Regent’s Crescent makes one of London’s grandest architectural statements. Although the 200-year-old John Nash facade may be original, the spaces behind them have been completely remodelled for modern living, with a new residence by Millier recently unveiled.

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Making a Spectacle

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was a mighty show of the strength of Victorian commerce, ingenuity and human progress. For her second fabric collection as design director of Zimmer + Rohde's Hodsoll McKenzie brand, German designer Fredericke Winkler has looked to this landmark event for inspiration.

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Wild Style

First made in North America in 1924, Old Hickory hunting knives were prized by their owners for their comfort, ergonomics and longevity. This essential tool of the wilderness-lover has inspired Turnstyle Designs' latest hardware collection.

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A Fresh Face

For the first time in its 81-year history, Marvic Textiles has launched a new brand, Studio by Marvic, which is billed as having "a contemporary, fresh and younger aesthetic".

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Feeling Zen

Made from hand-raked glass beads, Maya Romanoff's 'Zen Garden' wallcovering, available from Altfield, aims to instil the meditative mood of a Japanese garden.

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Iconic Ico

Described by its designer Roberto Lazzeroni as "a sofa conceived to be a protagonist", 'Ico' by Ceccotti Collezioni was inspired by the work of mid-century Italian architect and designer Ico Parisi.

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Checking In

Romo and its sister company Kirkby Design have taken a definitive stance for AW20, with both brands introducing checked fabrics to their collections. Within that, though, these classic geometrics explore a range of different ideas and aesthetics, from pretty upscaled gingham to faded velvet inspired by the punk movement.

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The Design Explorers

US fabric giant Kravet is known for working with the cream of American designers, and two new collections cement its reputation for exciting creative collaborations: a debut by Nate Berkus, and a fourth collection by Barclay Butera.

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Optimistic Outlook

"Colour has the power to lift us up, make us happy, and change our moods. Colour should be a magnetic force that makes us want to stay right in front of it," says Boston-based artist Liz Roache, the latest person to collaborate with Pierre Frey. Her joyously bold work has translated wonderfully to a collection of fabrics, wallpapers and rugs. 

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Palatial Origins

Cole & Son's latest collection, Great Masters, has some opulent roots – it was inspired by the six royal residences cared for by Historic Royal Palaces, including Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London – yet it is far from being just a straightforward take on period pattern. 

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100% Commitment

"Monomaterials" might be a word you'll be hearing more of in product design. Textiles that are made from 100% of any single material are more likely to be recycled at the end of their life, and Kinnasand's Monotypes collection (available from Kvadrat at Home) explores this theme, focusing on "the essence and the beauty that lies in each material".

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Leather in Detail

Although Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has showrooms that are entirely dedicated to the supply of leather – which ends up upholstering the banquettes of the world's best restaurants and the headboards of the finest hotels and homes – this most versatile of materials also has a strong presence when it comes to the design of stand-alone products too.

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Versatile Style

Artisans of Devizes demonstrates the sheer breadth of its work with its new collections. 'Brasserie Mosaic' stands out for its sustainability credentials: made almost entirely from recycled glass, these mid-size mosaics have a suede-like matt finish, making them suitable for floors as well as walls.

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Softer Than Cashmere

Living at high altitude in the Peruvian Andes, alpaca survive the harsh climate thanks to their remarkable fleece. Textiles made from these super-soft fibres are prized for their warmth – and they are now available at George Spencer Designs, since the showroom added French textile company Innata to its stable of brands.

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Gold Standard

The announcement that Sir David Adjaye is the 2021 recipient of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal – one of the highest accolades in architecture in the UK – coincided with a Focus/20 Conversations in Design webinar that took a look behind the scenes at one of the world’s most original architectural practices.

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Revived & Restored

Porta Romana has launched The Upcycling Club, a refurbishment service that allows people to have their existing lighting restored to its original condition, or part-exchange old products for new.

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Rugs with Purpose

Specialising in exquisite hand-made rugs, Jennifer Manners Design, a new arrival in the Centre Dome, counts some of the world's most influential interior designers as clients. 

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A Recycling Revolution

With an estimated 30 million mattresses thrown away in Europe every year, Auping's Evolve mattress, available from Rested, is a model of 'circular' design, being endlessly recyclable.

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Recipe for Success

Espresso Design's showroom in Design Centre East is always an inspiring place, and now Its excellence has now been recognised, having been awarded Best Contemporary Kitchen Designer & Retail Showroom in the BUILD Architecture Awards 2020.

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Organic Standard

Just 1% of the world's linen is organic – and organic textiles are not widely available for the interiors industry. So de Le Cuona's new Pure collection, certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), is a rarity, and a very welcome one.

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A Fitting Debut

Rubelli may have been founded in 1889, but its history is one of continuous evolution, including the launch of its furniture-design arm, Rubelli Casa, in 2015. This 'Tela' chair is one of the first products to be unveiled by Rubelli Casa's new artistic director, architect and designer Matteo Nunziati.

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Engineering Meets Craft

Inspired by the aerodynamic lines of classic British-designed planes and automobiles, Samuel Heath's One Hundred collection has a special place in the brassware firm's portfolio. It commemorates 200 years since its Birmingham foundry opened its doors, and is named after its address, 100 Leopold Street.

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A Family Affair

Head to a new showroom in Design Centre East, Christian Lee, to see the work of US fabric giant Fabricut, including its new Collective Threads collection, which touches on both traditional design and a more bohemian aesthetic.

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