April 29, 2011

I couldn't do a round up British design supersstars without a mention of Kelly Hoppen.

I'm trying something new with this post, diy blogging. Here I show you the pictures and link you to Hoppen's website so you can peruse at your own pleasure (or I've been up since 3am and I can't be bothered to write anything, but I had to put something up to finish off the week.)

Great right? Here's the link to her website again, because I'm generous like that.

April 28, 2011

The fourth British design superstar I'm featuring is Lee Broom.

Lee Broom has always been passionate about art and design, and spent his adolescence working in theatre, and then pursuing fashion studies at Central St Martins in London after an internship working with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. During his studies, he partnered up with Maki Aoki, another student at the school, and started doing bar consultancy work to help pay for their studies.Upon graduation, the pair was approached to complete a renovation to Nylon, a celebrated London bar. The success of that project encouraged them to create Makilee, a full service bar design consultancy. Makilee went on to design over 30 incredible interiors, and was honoured with 10 industry awards for it's design achievements.

In 2006, Maki Aoki returned to Japan, and Broom continued the business under his own name. His success garnered him a lot of attention, and in 2009 he was named the 13th most influential person in the bar design industry by Theme Magazine. Broom also began doing more private, high end work, and began having custom furniture pieces created for these projects. In 2007 he launched his first furniture collection, Neo Neon, at London Design Week. Broom's lines are inspired by British history, and works with local craftspeople to create his pieces. The Lee Broom brand currently has 6 different furniture and lighting lines to it's name, and this past winter, Lee Broom launched a shop within The Shop at Bluebird.

Broom's future is bright as he continues to produce lines for his own collection, and work on his interiors projects. In 2010 he was awarded two awards by Elle Decoration: Best British Design for his Carpetry Sideboard, and Best New Interior for Coquine Bar.

all photos via Lee Broom

April 27, 2011

Abigail Ahern is the focus of our next profile on British design.

Abigail Ahern is a London based stylist, designer, and owner of Atelier Abigail Ahern, which is an absolute treasure trove of unique and unusual furnishings and accessories, and regarded as one of the top interior design shops in London. After studying interior design whilst living in the US, Abigail began travelling the world in search of new inspiration. Instead she discovered a gap in the interior design market; Her hunt for extraordinary interior objects was falling short. This is what inspired her to open Atelier.

Atelier gave Ahern a platform from which to share her entire design philosophy. Abigail describes the shop as the following:

"An Aladdin's cave of gorgeousness, bang on trend, gracious, and grown up. Nothing is ordinaire everything is extraordinaire. Not a smidge of British stiff upper lip ness in sight. So says us."

Ahern's design style has been compared to an Alice in Wonderland approach, playfully toying with scale and colour. Her quirky and unique approach quickly alerted the British press to her fabulous sense of style, and she has become a tailblazer for the British design world. Not content to sit on her heels, she published a book, "The Girls Guide to Decorating" in 2009. This past fall, Ahern also debuted her first line of lighting, as Maison et Objet in Paris. The imaginative lamps feature porcelain animals, with fussy pleated and tasseled shades. Ahern is left teasing us with undeniable curiosity, what could she possibly do next?

Photo by Jonathan Player for the New York Times

Photo by Graham Atkins-Hughes via sfgirlbybay

Photos by Graham Atkins-Hughes for Atelier Abigail Ahern, unless noted otherwise.

April 26, 2011

The next talented Briton I wanted to feature is textile designer Donna Wilson.

Photo by Matt Munro for Elle Decoration

Donna Wilson began her textile career during her time studying for her MA at the Royal College of Art, where she began selling her unique knitted animals to several small shops in London. Upon graduation in 2003, she founded her namesake company, producing a whimsical collection of knitted creatures, pillows, and wool blankets. In a commitment to sustainable handmade craftsmanship, Wilson ensures that the majority of her products are produced in the UK with local materials.

Donna's signature playful aesthetic has slowly gained a loyal following, and has more recently resulted in calls from Heal's, John Lewis, and SCP, with whom she has collaborated on a furniture line. In 2010, her success was rewarded as she was named the Elle Decoration Designer of the Year.

See more of Donna Wilson's work at her website, and her furniture collection on SCP.

Images via Donna Wilson.

April 25, 2011

As all eyes turn to England this week, I thought I would finally pick up where I started off with this post back in January. So this week I'll be focusing on the best and brightest in British design.

Photo by Hege Saebjornsen for the Observer via The Guardian

Faye Toogood is rapidly establishing herself as the next big thing in British Design. After graduating from Bristol University at age 21, she was hired by the prestigious The World of Interiors magazine. She worked as an Interiors Stylist for 8 years at the magazine, before deciding on a career doing freelance work. Her new role allowed her to spread her design wings and take on a wider variety of projects. In 2008, she founded Studio Toogood, a creative consulting agency that works in styling, set and exhibit design and interior design. The studio has worked with other design powerhouses such as Tom Dixon, Selfridges, Liberty, and Christie's to name a few. This past fall, Toogood created two of the most buzzed about exhibits at the London Design Festival, solidifying her role as a new leader in British design.

Image of 'Super Natural', one installation for the London Design Festival 2010, featuring Assemblage One, Toogood's first furniture line.

This is my favourite quote from the Studio Toogood website:

"Its distinctive approach disregards convention in favour of something altogether more brave, joyous and impulsive."

See more of Studio Toogood's work on their website.

All images via Studio Toogood.