Meet the Showroom: MindTheGap
Founded in 2006 and based in the historic Romanian region of Transylvania, MindTheGap’s fabric, wallcovering, artwork, accessories and more are a perfect match for lovers of pattern and colour, and layered, maximalist interiors. This spring it unveiled its first-ever UK showroom at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, which is a treasure trove of its exuberant collections. Its founder and creative director Stefan Ormenisan explains more about the brand here – from why storytelling sits at the heart of everything it does, to the craftspeople he works with both locally and further afield.
What brought MindTheGap to Design, Centre, Chelsea Harbour?
The UK is very important for us – it is our biggest market since we first launched. We were very keen to have a space where we could truly show all the elements of MindTheGap: the wallpapers and wall art, fabrics, furniture and the full range of home accessories. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is very much the epicentre for interior design, with an exciting schedule of events and a wealth of inspiration, so it was a very natural choice.
What should we expect from the showroom?
I would say, expect the unexpected. We were keen to create a showroom that would not only present all our collections, but also offer a sense of escapism – transporting you from London to a great many different destinations, through a rich tapestry of global design inspiration and craftsmanship. It is a cosy place where there’s a joyful, exuberant backdrop of our wallpapers and fabrics, and set against this is a curated selection of our furniture, rugs, cushions and homewares, which also provides the perfect, immersive spot for client meetings. We have samples and pattern books to review the collections and our team are on hand, ready to advise on all the ranges and possibilities.
Why should customers visit in person as opposed to looking/buying online?
There is of course an ease to online shopping, but I believe that traditional shopping will be forever on a different level, in the same way that a face to face meeting is so different from a Zoom call. When you visit a store or showroom you can discover the full range in person, to see and feel the quality and intricacy within each product, opening up new options that perhaps may not have been considered before. You become immersed in a different, sensorial world that will never be available online. It is the same as holding a real book or having real watch on your wrist; the true sense of the authentic and original.
What’s your brand’s design philosophy?
MindTheGap is at its core a storytelling brand, creating moods and lifestyles with collections that pay homage to art, architecture, artefacts, culture, rituals and people from all four corners of the globe. Each collection is created with a deep appreciation for the history of art and design and every design begins life as an original hand-painted piece of art, created in our studio. We try to discover new stories to tell every year and to create collections that will transport our customer into different periods and to different places of the world.
Is there a ‘hero’ product that you feel sums up your brand, or that’s been a long-standing bestseller?
The collection that is perhaps closest to our hearts is our Transylvanian Roots anniversary collection [pictured below]. It references the history of our country, the melting pot of different cultures, the vast natural beauty and mystery of the surrounding mountains and forests and the jubilantly embroidered textiles, trims and tassels found within traditional homes. It’s a tribute to our ancestors and brings together a rich array of inspiration combined with historic craft. It is wonderfully rewarding to celebrate this sense of history, and its enduring appeal.
What can we expect from the latest collections?
Woodstock is an homage to the iconic and legendary music festival of the 1960s, with the vivacity and courage of the counterculture generation expressed through a flamboyant collection of wallpapers, fabrics, furniture, cushions, lampshades, wall art, lighting and hand-knotted rugs. One of my main inspirational sources is music, but this is our first collection we’ve created that’s based upon a music story. With inspiration gathered from the swirling forms and vivid colours of the era, as well as the bold floral motifs, psychedelic patterns, instruments, Buddha silhouettes, and psychic symbols that all depict the spirit of the festival, this collection will transpose you to another time and place, full of bohemian positive vibes.
What craftsmanship and innovation goes into MindTheGap’s products?
We have retained the manufacturing process close to our homeland in Transylvania where we produce our wallcoverings, lighting and framed prints. We strive to support local artisans who still use traditional methods, and for our fabrics, furniture and accessories we source these from trusted European suppliers, to ensure we partner with the best craftspeople for the particular product: for example, our ‘Suzani’ silk embroidered bed throw is handcrafted in Uzbekistan and our new range of kilim rugs are all hand knotted in Anatolia in Turkey, where rugs have been crafted by hand for thousands of years. It is so important that each product is authentic and has a sense of its own history.