Category Archives: Art

Best of Interiors UK 2012 Part 1: Contemporary Interiors

The Design Hub went to the latest Interiors UK event this week to scope out what’s hot in the world of interiors. Held at the behemoth that is Birmingham’s NEC, Interiors UK has been a valuable trade resource for over 25 years and an essential event for British Interior Designers; a useful place to research trends, make new connections and gain some inspiration.

For discovering cutting edge contemporary design we found The Design Village to be a welcome and friendly place to hang out, here’s what caught our eye there:

Modern Windsor Chairs by Sitting Firm

Classic Windsor style chairs receive a fantastic contemporary twist thanks to small family run business Sitting Firm. The workmanship and use of wood is fantastic. For chairs that feel modern and yet are steeped in tradition you need look no further.

Mensa Coffee table by Lazerian

The special edition carbon fibre edition of Lazerian’s dazzling Mensa Coffee table grabbed my attention straight away, as did the price tag: £9,000, which isn’t surprising once you consider that gram for gram carbon fibre costs the same as gold. The more affordable birch plywood version is available for £2,000.

‘Outside in’ reclaimed wood lamps and furniture by Nic Parnell

Tucked into one corner of The Design Village were these vibrantly coloured lamps and furniture created by designer Nic Parnell. Using reclaimed materials (apart from the Nylon Flock covering them of course) these lamps and coffee tables offer an original visual feast. Whilst not commercially yet available, Nic is finding himself busy creating items for commission. He plans to develop the range further by using other materials to cover the wood such as rubber and metal.

Illuskate tables by Stuart Melrose

Taking inspiration from skateboard art and materials, Stuart Melrose has produced a colourful range of tables/benches that I’m sure will prove to be very popular in homes and retail spaces.

The Design Village also hosted the The New Design Britain award which recognises up and coming design graduates and provides the winners with industry work placements.  The two notable stars of this years awards were James Uren who won the first prize for furniture design for his elegant, modular Chaise Longue design called the Luso Lounger (pictured below).

Lucy Alice Porter won the Highly Commended award for her multi purpose storage/seat/table design that uses woven material to create her highly unique style, which we would love to see commercially available! You can read a full report on these awards at The National Design Academy’s website as their Directors of Studies was on the judging panel.

Moving away from The Design Village and into the trade stands, there was still some commercial contemporary tid bids to catch our eyes. Whitebox Lighting are the UK retailers for italian design collective Emporium who make these wonderfully psychedelic lamps and lampshades.

Finally my last tip for contemporary interiors comes down to comfort as much as style. With the rising popularity of family media rooms and lounging about in ‘wearable blankets’, I found myself adding these modern bean bags by Beanbagcrazy to my ‘must have’ list for 2012. You can even use them outdoors thanks to the special outdoor fabric as these rather nice photo sets show.

Part two of this report from Interiors UK will focus on more traditional interiors, so if you are into heritage interiors stay tuned!


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Design of the Day – Little People Project

Street Artist Slinkachu was born in Devon in 1979 and moved to the hustle and bustle of London in 2002 to pursue a career in commercial art and design. Then in 2006, the anonymous artist embarked on the first installment of his street art collection, the “Little People Project” in 2006, which has attracted attention worldwide.

Slinkachou uses miniature figurines of people and abandons them in various satirical situations on the streets of London, based around themes of anonymity, alienation and loneliness inspired by city-living. You can choose from a number of this artists though provoking imagery in the form of a poster, badge or model from The Andipa Gallery in London.

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Shortlist Erika Davies’ NDA National Design Award 2011 submission


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Grace Moulder – NDA National Design Award 2011 winning submission




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New Designers 2011 Gallery


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Design of the Day – when Design and Street Art meet

Designer and co-founder of design studio Yellow Diva, David Whalley collaborated with Australian street artist Phibs to create this funky vinyl chair which was exhibited at the 2008 Fringe Furniture Festival in Melbourne, Australia.

Whalley based the design on the human body and Phibs graffiti represents Polynesian tattoo’s that was achieved with automotive spray die that soaked into the vinyl upholstery.My eye is instantly attracted to the colourful swirls which bring the chair and the smooth curves which look incredibly comfortable.

I also love the fact that is you look at the piece from the side it resembles a fish shape – not sure if that’s on purpose though!

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Design of the Day – Sat on a thousand balloons

This psychedelic chair created by Israeli industrial artist Pini Leibovich will brighten the darkest of rooms and is intended to created happiness and positivity. A piece of  “Happy Material” collection,  it’s made entirely of balloons – I wonder if it’s bouncy! This super cool chair is a tribute to surrealism and furniture-as-art and is featured in the New olds: design between tradition and innovation exhibition at Israel’s Design Museum Holon last month.

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Deaf Texan artists’ first UK exhibition at the Surface Gallery

Earlier this week I visited the über cool Surface Gallery in Nottingham to see the grand opening of their 2010 Surface Open Show winner’s exhibition. Texas based artist Janet Morrow has been preparing her three week solo exhibition for nearly a year after scooping the prize and is her first in the UK.

A Community of Non-normative Beings” is a body of work examining themes of deafness, disability and otherness and what it means to occupy a non-normative body in a culture where normality is narrowly defined. Striking shimmering sculptures of polythene plastic, polyester organza, ink, rope, helium and concrete among other materials, dramatically occupy the space. Continue reading

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Nottigham Eco Artist and Designer turns heads with her plastic bottle designs

Nottingham based Artist and Designer Sarah Turner, is causing a storm in the interior design world with her eco-friendly lighting designs.  From her studio in the heart of Nottingham, Sarah uses old plastic bottles discarded from the city’s cafes and transforms them into eclectic pieces.

So far she’s been commissioned by the likes of SodaStream, London Fashion Week, Twitter, the Ideal Home Show and recently secured a place in the final of this years Philips lighting competition.

Read her exciting interview with The Design Hub and find out how Sarah’s made such an impact within the design world and what’s in store for her next! Continue reading


Filed under Art, Bedroom Interiors, Birmingham Interiors Show 2011, Eco Lamp, Eco-friendly, Home Acessories, Interviews, lighting, Living room Interiors, News, Quirky, Sarah Turner, small businesses, sustainable interiors, The Designers Block

Design of the Day – Exposed industrial coat rack

A website called Brighton POD was brought to my attention by a colleague today and what a whimsical site it is! Full of eclectic and individually handmade pieces from up and coming designers. What I like about this site is how it acts as a propeller for new designers to showcase their work and also how buyers can contact the seller direct through the website which saves you trawling the internet for their email. To top that, buyers get a 14 day money back guarantee if they’re not happy with a purchase!

Inspired by the exposed piping in industrial buildings, Nick Fraser has created a coat rack which is made from copper pipes and brass fittings that are powder coated in bright colours. This design looks striking on the white wall and almost appears to be  part of a whole system hidden behind the wall. I love the impact this coat rack creates, it’s an instant eye-catcher.

You can buy this or any other of Nick Fraser’s coat racks from Brighton POD, this one will cost you £78 which I think is a bargain for such an origional piece.

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