Category Archives: News

Upcycling & Antiques

Incorporating an antique into your interior design scheme doesn’t have to be difficult, in our ‘Upcycling & Antiques’ blog post we help you to understand how to incorporate antiques into a modern room setting and we share our top upcycling tips.
Upcycling inspired ideas & incorporating antiques into your Interior Design scheme. French decorator and designer Frédéric Méchiche's living room and antiques collection.

Read our Upcycling & Antiques inspired blog post here.

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Set Design Inspiration: The Great Gatsby Interior Design Trends.

Our source of inspiration this week is F.Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic The Great Gatsby, we look at the set design from the cinematic adaptation of the famous novel. Talented Set Designer Catherine Martin was tasked with designing the glamorous 1920’s sets to depict the roaring 1920’s…


Read the rest of the Great Gatsby Set Design blog here.

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Interiors UK 2013 Highlights – New Design Britain Awards Winners

Anthony Rayworth

The New Design Britain Awards are one of the most important competitions in the UK for young design talent, giving recognition to students for innovative and ground-breaking work and providing an opportunity for INTERIORS UK to encourage new young stars and look to the future of the furniture industry. Our very good friend over at the National Design Academy – Anthony Rayworth, was once again on the judging panel in the categories of Furniture and Accessories this year, and gives us his overview of the winning designs.

Daniel Schofield – Winner – Furniture


Daniel’s passion for design focuses on the creative exploration of materials, industrial processes and user interaction, working closely with factories, workshops and manufacturers to produce contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories. By giving each of his products an individual story of their own, Daniel hopes to create timeless pieces that have an extended lifespan, reducing their impact on the environment.

Born in the UK, Daniel trained as a graphic designer, then a carpenter before studying Furniture and Product design at Sheffield Hallam University, during which time he worked in New York for leading Manhattan based interior design practice and specifier, DDC.

Graduating in 2011, Daniel soon set up the Sheffield based studio, specialising in adding extra value and narrative to mass produced and limited edition products.

Daniel Schofield Studio has already received national and international acclaim and exhibited at a variety of shows across the country.

‘Shifty’ Desk – Winner – Furniture

shifty1 shifty2 shifty3 shifty4Dan says of his work:

“The Shifty desk / hallway stand is designed as part of the secrecy range of furniture I produced. Unsuspecting people presume that the storage compartment is the draw on the front. What they don’t know is that by pulling the FSC Ash work surface, the whole top slides open revealing the hidden storage area, perfect for personal papers and electronic equipment. By doubling its size and having the work area come towards the user, the desk also lends itself perfectly to small space living”.

Cristiana Ionescu – Winner – Accessories


Cristiana believes that besides functionality, sustainability and global design issues, other important aspects of design are aesthetics, humour and sentimental value.  Cristiana’s winning entry ‘The Three Bears’ is a set of stools for children who also like to scramble all over them. Made of felt over a steel frame, The Three Bears are a witty and fresh take on the classic Charles and Ray Eames ‘Elephant’ illustrated below.

430913A very resounding ’Well Done’ to both finalists!

Standard of work

The overall standard of work was excellent. Innovation and design thinking was clearly in evidence as was the understanding of commercial considerations and awareness of the wider context in which their products were to be located. Craftsmanship and functionality underpinned theoretical and commercial frameworks with all work being made to a standard which not only allowed the concept to be clearly presented but demonstrated understanding of client requirements and aesthetics, whether these were commercial or residential.

Finally, once again, a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Tony Hollyer, Awards Co-Coordinator, UBM; Tony works tirelessly to ensure that the judging experience is enjoyable, professionally conducted and clearly articulated.


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Interiors UK Highlights – Ian Mankin

Stands dedicated to fabrics and soft furnishings were disappointingly in fairly short supply this year but there were some useful and elegant fabrics on display. Ian Mankin is a great example and the family continues to weave its own fabrics in Lancashire, as it has done for six generations.

They were the first weaving mill to receive the Global Organic Textile Standard indicating that all their fabrics use natural fibres and no chemicals are used in the weaving process.

Whilst their range is not extensive, they specialise in stripes and checks which have evolved from their trademark ticking designs, producing a very English feel to their fabrics. To compliment the fabrics, they also have a range of wallcoverings, accessories and reclaimed furniture available on the website.


They have also developed a range of plain fabrics to compliment the stripes and their entire product range provides timeless designs that will not date; providing a staple diet for interior designers.


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Interiors UK 2013 Highlights – Tom Schneider

For clients with modern tastes, Tom Schneider  presented an interesting collection. As with previously highlighted Starbay, Tom Schneider’s work reflects the beauty of wood with contemporary curves flowing through all his pieces.

Atlas Dining TableThe new Atlas Collection shows fluid simplicity with glass tops completing the sculptured look for a range of products including dining, console, lamp, coffee and media tables. The signature curves are present through all his ranges of furniture and are constructed using veneers of maple, oak, cherry, ash and walnut.

Atlas Coffee TableThere is an extensive range of furniture and bespoke options are available.

Every piece of furniture is individually handmade by a team of craftsmen without large scale machinery. Furniture is only made once you have chosen exactly what you want. This means that, by ordering a Tom Schneider piece of furniture, you are choosing a truly unique, inimitable creation. Most of the designs are made using unique, innovative methods from workshops full of handmade formers and unusual jigs which helps create the distinctive shapes.

The flowing curves are created by laminating plywood, which is many thin layers of wood glued together, to form incredibly strong shapes. They are then skillfully veneered by hand.

Atlas sideboard

Look out for students seminars organised by the NDA Interior Design school at Tom Schneider’s north London Showroom later in the year.

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Interiors UK 2013 Highlights – Starbay


MARILYN Vanity / Make up Trunk

Starbay is an international brand of upscale furniture in solid rosewood.  Their Avant Garde series was inspired by classic furniture from the British Colonial past and could easily have adorned a luxury ocean liner or colonial mansion in the time of the Raj. The style reflects the Parisian Art Deco era of the 1930s and would provide an excellent range for any designer trying to re-create the atmosphere of that period.


Marie Galante Vanity / Makeup Trunk Walnut

Emanating from France, their collection includes distinctive colonial pieces not commonly found in ranges today. Beautifully crafted in American Black Walnut with a range of leather trims and upholstery, this range is distinctive and would undoubtedly create a talking point in an art deco, colonial or plantation style setting.

Alexandrie TV Cabinet

Their ranges include Bedroom, Office, Living Room and Dining Room furniture and also includes lighting.


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Interiors UK 2013 – Highlights


The weather was not particularly kind to those exhibiting and visiting at Interiors UK in Birmingham this year – with most of the UK under quite a few centimetres of snow – however, it did mean that browsing the show was actually surprisingly relaxing!

Its always great to use these exhibitions to see what trends will be in the retail stores in the coming years, get inspiration and ideas for upcoming projects and find new suppliers – and this year’s Interiors UK was no exception.

Over the next few posts we’ll share our favourite highlights of the show – and also  look at the New Design Britain Awards Winners, from our colleague at the NDA Interior Design school, Anthony Rayworth who was on the judging panel again this year.

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2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 83,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Fond farewell from the Editor

As Autumn sets in and the leaves turn amber and fall from the trees,  my time as the Editor of The Design Hub has come to an end. I do hope you have enjoyed my posts over this last year, I have certainly enjoyed  sharing them.

The Design Hub will not end with my departure, it will continue to explore the exciting world of Interior Design with inspiring articles and industry coverage.

I am leaving to pursue a new career in freelance PR, photography and videography.

I wish all you all the very best in your journey with interior design, whatever guise that may be.


Pete Morris


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Tent London: Bright Shining Beacon for Contemporary Designers

In its sixth year, Tent London continues to be a bright shining beacon for independent contemporary  designers. Drawing consumers, interior designers and specifier’s with an eye for the not-so-ordinary. But why is it called Tent?

The show is actually split into two parts both conceptually and physically. The Ground floor was subject to ‘Super Brands London'; a rare opportunity to see a selection of the worlds most progressive furniture, lighting and interiors brands outside of Milan Saloni, who have long been absent from trade shows held in the UK.

The first floor is the main event, ‘Tent London’, and is dedicated entirely to fresh independent designers. It was where I headed first, knowing it would be the larger area to explore, however I hadn’t realised it would be quite so large, and quite so rammed to the gills with interesting people and products. After an hour I realised I hadn’t even made it down the first row yet. Already I could tell this was unlike any other interiors trade show I’d been to before; I was enjoying myself too much.

Tent was a joy to explore, I think it is because it champions the small independent designers so well, providing an affordable way for them to present their wares to the market.  Most of the actual designers and craftspeople were manning their own stalls; who better else to tell you about their great products than the people who made them and care deeply about them?  I’ve included a host of brief video interviews throughout this report that will give you a glimpse of the enthusiasm pouring out from these people.


Jon has turned his hand to many creative endeavours over the years, and his current interest lies in lamps that he creates by merging parts of old light fixtures he finds on Ebay.

Interview 09 from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.

Alex Garnett

For some oversized spray can tip stools, giant submerged I ‘Heart’ New York mug chairs and ice cream and skull lamp shades, Alex Garnett is your man. Some weird and wonderful items that could easily be used in the right interior to add a bit of interest and surrealism.


Sarah Turner

We have featured the work of Sarah Turner on this blog before, most recently when she was commissioned to create recycled sculptures for the Olympic village. Here she introduces us to her new lamps.

Sarah Turner from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.



The Silva Patio chair by Popalipana is an unpretentious patio / lounge chair with a great Caribbean aesthetic.

Popalipana’s from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.


Sonya Winner

From bright lights to bright rugs. Sonya Winner creates bold and striking rugs constructed of concentric shapes. Her designs are inspired by famous artists work and can be wall hung as well as laid on the floor.

Sonya Winner from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.


Zoe Murphy

This was Zoe’s fourth year at Tent. Her uniquely upcycled furnishings are doing very well and it’s easy to see why.

Zoe Murphy from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.



A non-profit social business that produces all their rugs with Kumbeshwar Technical School in Katmandu, Nepal. The school was set up as an education and support centre for disadvantaged people.

node from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.

The rugs are all designed by top contemporary artists from around the UK, but any design can be made if so desired. The finished rugs are entirely hand made using traditional Tibetan carpet making techniques and pure Tibetan wool. The results are beautiful, merging traditional crafts with contemporary illustrators, graphic designers and artists.


If contemporary sustainable funiture is more your bag then Understorey have a very considered approach to funiture design. I was most impressed with their coffee table that consists of three wooden pegs, clipped to the table top and held firmly in place by rope twisted around a stick.

Understory from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.



One of the most impressive things I saw launched at Tent was this SEER table and chair set. It was impressive because it married function and form perfectly to make a table and chairs for four people seemlessly transform into a table and chairs for eight people.

SEER Table from NDA Foundation on Vimeo.


Freeform International Ltd

Fresh Taiwan was a stand that brought together many talented designers from Taiwan. It was an impressive array of many different homewares, but what I liked the most were the elegant Waving Tree cup holder, ZEN jewellery stand and The Blue Bird door hooks.



KIMU design

Although these aren’t strictly interior items I couldn’t help to be charmed by the Detective survival guide Notebook by KIMU design – kawaii!


Laszlo Tompa

The work of Lazlo Tompa on the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency stall was very impressive. His Flower Lamps and Cube Illusion box are lathe cut geometric shapes, cleverly fitted together to create an optical trick of the eye.


Kristjanas Williams

Former fashion designer Kristjana Williams has turned her talents to interiors, creating a wonderful collection that features vintage imagery that has been retouched and layered to make colourful fantasy landscapes featuring a plethora of objects and animals.

Tamasine Osher Design

This was the last stand I came to before leaving Tent and what a nice way to remember the show by. Tasasine Osher has been causing quivers with her designs for a little while now. Here she was exhibiting her new space saving shelf come bike rack, spring stools and wood pendant lamps. I’d read about the spring stools before, but it wasn’t until I sat on one that I realised they can actually be springy if you want them to be; just like having a kids play park in your home, I want one!

After spending the day at Tent, I was still none the wiser as too why it was named after an essential piece of outdoor camping gear. But upon reflection (and a quick google search) I found that Tent can also mean ‘to pay attention to” or “to attend” [Middle English tenten, from tent, attention, short for attent, from Old French attente]. So actually it’s a great name for a show because that’s exactly what Tent London does, it grabs your attention, it fire hoses your imagination with icy water and hypnotises you with eye watering good design.

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