Design Centre Stories

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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Decorators’ Dream

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House has been an unmissable date on the US design calendar since the mid-1970s. The latest Dallas incarnation includes a sumptuous living room by Mark D. Sikes that features custom wallcovering by Iksel – Decorative Arts.

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La Belle Vie

Paris's jewel of a hotel, Le Meurice, reopened in September, and with it came the opportunity to enjoy one of the city's best suites. The seventh-floor La Belle Etoile suite by Lally & Berger incorporates fabrics by Holland & Sherry, Dedar and Rubelli, among others.

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Speckle Mania

From terrazzo tiles to confetti-like patterns, there's a kind of speckle-mania happening in interiors. Are these small-scale graphic prints a reaction against big, bold maximalism, or an expression of how the 1980s and postmodern design are experiencing a revival?

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Palladian Revival

Zoffany has revived Palladio's mid-century wallpaper books, infusing Festival of Britain era design with a new life – and added an equally vibrant design of its own.

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A 21st-Century Jacquard

Heritage weaving company Gainsborough (available at McKinney & Co) has brought the art of jacquard weaving up to date with a collaboration with young Singaporean maker Tiffany Loy. The Weaverly Way is an installation at CitizenM Bankside, with a further version on show in McKinney & Co's showroom window at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

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Creative Energy

Vaughan has joined forces with some of the industry's most highly regarded names, including Susie Atkinson, pictured, for the return of its Made in the Shade campaign, which benefits solar lighting non-profit Watts of Love.

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Ice Cool

Interior designer Laura Hammett has created a lighting collection in collaboration with Bella Figura. Facet consists of five pieces – a round chandelier, rectangular chandelier, lantern, wall light and table lamp – which feature brushed bronze, gold or nickel frames, and 'dry ice' glass that produces a warm, calming glow.

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Take to the Terrace

Samuel & Sons' latest collection sees the trimmings experts team up with another US brand found at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Perennials, to create a range of products suitable for indoors or out.

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Slimline Design

Fine lines can be traced across autumn's new launches, creating a look that manages to be both strong and visually light.

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See the Specialist

New to Design Centre East, Sonya Brown Textiles grew out of founder Sonya Ryman’s Hampstead curtain and blind shop. Ryman began to devise her own collections in 2018, responding to the taste of her clients and filling in the gaps where she couldn’t find the right product. Setting up a dedicated textile showroom was the logical next step, where her …

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Change of Character

New for 2020, Porada's 'Alan' table demonstrates how a single piece of furniture can retain its essential design DNA, yet change its character according to its shape and materials.

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Tailoring with a Twist

Savior Beds' latest design collaboration is with Dashing Tweeds, designers of "modern urban tweeds", whose fabrics are now available to upholster its beds. This is no ordinary tweed, though: the wool is woven with reflective yarn.

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Sweet Spot

Topfloor by Esti's founder, Esti Barnes, is known for her skill as a rug designer, but she's now at the helm of a new venture, furniture brand Formitura.

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The Go-Anywhere Light

Collier Webb's latest launch is a collection of portable, battery-powered lights made with the hospitality market in mind. Showcasing a variety of manufacturing techniques, from hand-spun shades to leather wrapping, casting and machining, the lights have a battery life of ten hours, and can be made in custom sizes and finishes.

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A Shot of Glamour

Ventura's Design Centre East showroom has grown, taking over the adjacent space to create further enticing roomsets that showcase the Dublin-based brand's classic contemporary aesthetic.

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Modern Geometry

Unusual techniques and combinations of materials are one of Gallotti&Radice's strengths. The new collections show a typically forward-thinking approach, and include 'Prism', an intarsia coffee table in walnut and aluminium.

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