THE HOME CONSCIOUS INTERIOR DECORATION AWARDS
Welcome to the first Interior Decoration Awards. This is not about interior designers or indeed interior design blogs as there are too many of those; this is going to be an annual post detailing companies, suppliers and products that have done well in the last twelve months, demonstrating great service, great design or cementing an illustrious history.
It’s important to celebrate this work or these companies because so many go unsung and time and time again it’s always the big players that get the recognition.
It’s also important to think not just in the terms of ‘who is a good designer’ but what products and services are out there that can help YOU become a better designer.
The categories are as follows:
- Best Fabric House
- Best Wallpaper
- Best Flooring
- Best Lighting – task
- Best Heritage Brand
- Best High Street Retailer
- Best Website for ordering
- Best Twitter Account
- Independent Manufacturer of the Year
- Best Company for Service
- Best Technology Innovation
- Colour of the Year
- Room of the Year
- Luxury Brand of the Year
- Book of the Year
- Best Tiles – Budget
- Best Tiles – Luxury
- Style of the Year
This list of course is not exhaustive, but it will go some way to helping you see what you should be looking for on your interior design journey. So, without further ado..let’s get started..
Best Fabric Brand
– WINNER – Jim Thompson Fabrics
– FIND THEM – http://www.jimthompsonfabrics.com/products
– HISTORY – Bold and eclectic, Jim Thompson Fabrics is held under the Fox Linton umbrella (in the UK at least), but they have their own website. This site could be a little better if I am honest..the site can be slow at times..due to the large and enormous amount of photographs. Their second brand ‘No 9 Thompson’ is also great (though this website has the same issue as the main one!)
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Quite simply they fabrics are unusual and not found anywhere else. From silks to cotton and embroideries, they consistently deliver on the ‘east meets west theme’
Here are some samples of their work..
‘Wedding Parade’ :
This is ‘Golden Sunburst’ :
This is from the No 9 Thompson collections:
Special Mention to:
Harlequin for their Palmetto range. A mix of wildlife, botanics and the jazz age, Palmetto is quintessentially English and yet brings an exotic elegance to any interior. Think Kew Gardens in the time of the Edwardians. A superb collection.
WINNER – Cranes In Flight by Harlequin
– HISTORY – Harlequin are the ‘modern sister’ to the heritage Sanderson in the Walker Greenbank stable of brands.
– WHY HAVE THIS WALLPAPER WON? – Interior decoration is an art. Consistently used to bring elegance, inter-nationality and a touch of decadence to interiors, Harlequin exceeds itself with this very British take on the ‘three flying ducks’ motif so beloved of the 70s. In a range of six colourways, this striking print will be used for years to come by those bold and creative enough to try it. It also neatly ties in with the natural world and sustainable trends that continue to grow.
Special Mention to: House of Hackney for their William Morris style paper ‘Hyacinth’.
– WINNER – Ted Tods – Copper Herringbone
– FIND THEM – https://www.studiotedtodd.com/floors/
– HISTORY – Ted Todd have been producing high quality wood for decades. They have quite a range and take on both commercial and residential clients. Parquet, wide board, bleached, lacquered – they do it all.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – They spiced things up a little by adding a copper finish to their popular parquet wood. We were all stroking it when we saw it at Decorex in 2016!
– WINNER – Terzani Lighting – The Doodle
– FIND THEM – http://www.terzani.com/en/products/preciousdesign/doodle
– HISTORY – Founded in Florence, Italy in 1972, Sergio and Nicolas Terzani now merge traditional Italian artisan craft with modern luxury.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Such an interesting design. Use on its own or in a cluster, the Doodle is a decorative and modern twist to add to a designers wall light inventory.
Here’s what the Doodle looks like….
Special Mention to: Soane’s Helios Light (below)
Hand beaten brass masks a concealed fitting – perfect for those who put beauty before practicality but actually want both!
Best Heritage Brand
– WINNER – Laura Ashley
– FIND THEM – http://www.lauraashley.com/
– HISTORY – From their kitchen table beginnings, Laura Ashley has been at the centre of English interior decoration for many decades now. Often out of fashion, they remain the embodiment of affordable English country style for the masses.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – They have not deviated from their brand culture of fresh, original design that reflects both the modern age whilst giving the world the British heritage that you won’t find anywhere else on the high street. Florals sit comfortably with plaid and solid oak dressers meet art deco consoles. Their paint and home printed fabrics are still sold from their stores and with their design service as good as ever (as well as a thriving vintage market for their older products), this brand will continue to work its magic for those that need it.
Best High Street Retailer
– WINNER – Zara Home
– FIND THEM – Everywhere! https://www.zarahome.com/gb/home-collection-c1020031179.html
– HISTORY – The Spanish mega giant brand of Zara continues to provide good value to those of us that love that sun-bleached holiday home look.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Co-ordinated interiors, fresh, well lit and with Ibiza-vibe inducing tunes playing overhead, Zara instills a little lifestyle aspiration in each of us as we cruise around its aisles. From ceramics and linens from Portugal to gold cutlery and hand blown glass from Italy, Zara presents us with a relaxed style that anyone can dip their mediterranean toe into, without blowing the budget.
Special Mention to: India Jane for its classic and elegant store that evokes a sometimes prestigious, colonial atmosphere from times gone by.
Best Website for ordering
– WINNER – ROMO fabrics
– FIND THEM – https://www.romo.com/collections
– HISTORY – Founded by Robert Mould (an amalgam of the two names), Romo was established in 1902. Home to five brands including the main Romo brand, their name is well known throughout the design industry. Many high street upholsterers use their fabrics – look out for Linara! Interior Decoration at its best.
Still based in the north, it remains a family business. Bravo!
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Hands down, the easiest fabric site to order samples from; even from an ipad. I continue to keep coming back to this brand because of the ease of service both online and off.
Here are some samples of their work..
Special Mention to: Not On The High Street
With a search facility that enables you to put in a lead time, clear pricing and a ‘Recently Viewed Items’ section that actually lasts longer than ‘recently’ it’s a clear winner for me!
Best Twitter Account
– WINNER – The Pattern Spy
– FIND THEM – @thepatternspy or at http://www.patternspy.com/
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – I like the fact that they are ‘anonymous’ and don’t get caught up with all the advertising and promotion side of things. Just good things to look at when you’re on the move between client homes! Great snitbits of interior decoration.
Special Mention to: @TBeasties – aka Timorous Beasties – https://twitter.com/TBeasties
Our lovely Scottish friends provide a riot of colour over my Twitter feed and some educational videos too!
Best Independent Artisan
– WINNER – Christopher Burley at Heliconia Furniture
– FIND THEM – https://www.heliconia-furniture.co.uk/
– HISTORY – Christopher Burley has been designing bespoke furniture for many years now and has a loyal following amongst designers and clients alike.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – British manufacturing is having a renaissance and Heliconia Furniture demonstrates clearly that practicality and beauty can be combined.
Here are some samples of their beautiful work..
Special Mention to:
Kate at Atelier Interiors. Consistently providing a great service to Interior Designers in and around London. http://www.atelierinteriors.co.uk/services
Best Company Service
– WINNER – The Conran Shop
– HISTORY – Created in 1974 it’s now synonymous with good simple but effective design for the modern home.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Good design, coupled with the ability to actually see the products (with or without your client) means they are a step ahead already. Add in quick response times and professional service and you have gold. Demonstrated, admirably by Maria in the lighting department; for her exemplary service when I’ve been really up against it.
Special Mention to: Paul at Alexandra Locks for his devotion to his craft! http://www.alexandralocksmiths.co.uk/
Best Technology Innovation
WINNER – The Tala LED Light Bulbs
FIND THEM – http://www.talaled.com/store/c5/FEATURE.html
HISTORY – Tala was founded by four partners at The University of Edinburgh with a shared passion for technology, sustainability and design. The company is now based in London.
With exciting developments in materials science, they are now able to design lighting with a strong shift from the functional towards the emotional; lighting as an experience is the backbone of the Tala range. Added to that is the Tala ethos. The Ten Trees programme pledges that for every 200 units they sell, they plant 10 trees; making their products truly carbon negative.
WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Their LED lights are up to 90% more efficient than the normal incandescent bulbs. So the Tala LEDs use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs. They look beautiful and with the enormous amount of glass pendants and lanterns, elegant filament bulbs are the way to go
I particularly like their Totem design.
Special Mention to: Forbes and Lomax invisible light switches!
Colour of the Year
– WINNER – Pink – all shades have been popular, but in particular, Dusky Pink. Try Farrow & Ball’s ‘Setting Plaster’
– WHERE TO FIND IT – http://tidd.ly/2e8176c
– HISTORY – From Sugar Pink to deepest Cerise, pink has not always had the ride that it should have. Having it trend heavily in 2016 was a relief to those of us that used it frequently – we didn’t have to convince clients to use this most useful of tones.
WHY HAS THIS COLOUR WON? – Essentially the colour pink has been everywhere. I predicted this back in 2014 when I saw it was ripe for revival.
Room of the Year
WINNER – The Kitchen
HISTORY – Cooking, children’s homework, parties..today’s kitchen has to fulfill a number of roles in modern society. It’s the place where all of us create the families that are the bedrock of our society.
WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Frequently the most popular room of the house, you will note that clients take a long time deciding on what goes into this room. Second only to the Living Room, the Kitchen is another show ground to exhibit taste and organisation abilities!
Special Mention to: K&I Kitchens who supply me with my kitchens in a timely and cost effective way!
Luxury Brand of the Year
– WINNER – The Rug Company
– FIND THEM – http://www.therugcompany.com/uk/showcase
– HISTORY – Started in 1997, Christopher and Suzanne Sharp (who also designs) ensure that every rug is handmade in Nepal, and is therefore individual and unique.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Consistently producing designer rugs that clients want. True, they are expensive, but for some clients, this is the only rug website they need. They have a great website too, full of inspiration and their catalogue is a coffee table book for floor coverings!
Book of the Year
I was very tempted to put my own book on Room Colour as the winner for this year but that would have been naughty!
– WINNER – Kit Kemp’s – Every Room Tells A Story
– HISTORY – Kit Kemp has been designing hotels for some time now and their popularity is demonstrated in this second book from her.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – It’s a great coffee table book and yet it really teaches you about design ethos as well as the practicalities of owning and furnishing a hotel. Plus, it uses an extraordinary amount of colour – something I love!
Best Budget Tiles of the Year
– WINNER – Busca Bevel Tile – Topps Tiles
– HISTORY – Topps Tiles have been trading since the 1960s and have captured 30% of the British market. This is essentially due to their prominent presence on the streets of the UK. They also supply grouts, adhesives, underfloor heating elements and trimmings.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – If you’re looking for an inexpensive art deco tile then look no further. There are others but the Busca is better for those projects that are a little financially stretched.
They are also a nice alternative to the metro tiles that are seen everywhere these days. You can also get these tiles in the ‘mosaic’ format. I find them striking, but a little busy with the ‘foxing’ finish.
Best Luxury Tiles of the Year
– WINNER – Ann Sacks; Beau Monde range
– HISTORY – Ann Sacks, an American company started in 1980 and grew to 17 showrooms. Their international flagship store is in London. Providing a wealth of finishes; honed, glass, ceramic or marble; they are a designers dream. Well worth a visit.
– WHY HAVE THEY WON? – Their Beau Monde range is simply a design classic that will keep on going. Carmen, Audrey and Dorothy are beautiful. If you have the right client, who appreciates decorative art as well as workmanship then look no further for interior decoration within a tile.
Special Mention to:
The Stone and Ceramic Warehouse for providing quick and simple solutions to the trade with minimal fuss and great service.
Style of the Year
– WINNER – English Hotel
– WHY HAS THIS WON? – The modern hotel has to encompass many people’s ideas of comfort and service. Getting the interior decoration right can get you half way to a satisfied customer. But what makes a British hotel different to other international hotels is the comfort, heritage, printed textiles and architecture – and all combined with technology to make this experience something that you want to bottle and take home with you.
Special Mention to: Luxury Neutral – Think of the retail store The White House, it’s light and white layout conveys to its customer a sense of luxury, cleanliness, freshness and comfort. Exactly what clients are looking for within their homes.
So that’s the 2017 Interior Decoration Awards completed for this year. Let’s get to work on the next up and coming projects and put these award winners to good use!