London Design Festival 2017

What a week it has been with events celebrating the very best in design at the London Design Festival.

Maddox Quirke was delighted to attend Decorex and 100% Design this week, meeting with clients, suppliers and friends, and getting plenty of new contacts and inspiration along the way.

As well as many of the established names we represent, it was great to discover some new talent, and make connections with designers and makers from across the UK. Dean Ford, our marketing director, was there to meet with friends old and new. We hope to bring you new products, premium furnishings and collaborations in the near future!

With a few more days still to go, it’s not too late to enjoy London Design Festival for yourself.

Dean Ford at 100 Percent Design, London Design Festival 2017
Dean Ford with Mariana from Delightfull at 100 Percent Design


Choosing the right colours

One crucial aspect of creating the right mood and atmosphere in your interior is choosing the right colours for your walls and ceilings.

At times it can be tricky to make the right selection. Particularly if making a choice from several colours, combinations and shades.

In this article we give you a number of useful, fool-proof tips that will help you get the perfect match for your room, office, or other space, while reflecting its individuality.

There are several basic factors that will need to be considered when choosing the right colours.

Make a good colour choice

Firstly, get the feel for the room you are working with and think about what you would like to change about it, and what to keep. What kind of mood are you trying to achieve? What furniture do you have, or are you planning to buy? Would you like the space to feel cosier, and more boutique-like? Or airier and more open?

At this point you will need to take the size and proportion of the interior and its dimensions into account. The rule here is that light colours such as white, cream or magnolia help open up the space and make it appear bigger. Darker colours like dark brown or burgundy, visually reduce the size of your room and give it a cosy mood.

Compare and contrast

If choosing more than one colour, it is important to remember that creating points of interests in your room can be achieved by using contrasting colours. If you want to bring attention to a particular part of your interior it is worth considering highly contrasting paints. However if you don’t want create any focal points in your room, keep the tints close to each other, and at the same level of lightness. This also applies to choosing your furniture and accessories colours.

SURF Chair
SURF Chair

Knowing how to use contrasting paints when choosing the right colours for your ceiling can play a key part in how your room will look and feel in the end. If the space you are working with is large and has a high ceiling, it is worth considering a contrasting shade. This will bring the airy feel down a bit. However if you are working with a smaller interior, then sharp contrasts should be avoided.

Natural and artificial light are key factors in how the colours look at different times of the day. They need to be looked at when when choosing the colour scheme for your room.

Get stuck in!

The best way of choosing the right colours and shades is to start experimenting. Try different paints, colour palettes and various phone apps. Thanks to these you can get an idea of what the final results might look like. It is important to remember that virtual results will differ from the real ones. And that they can only be used to get a gist of what the space will look like in the end.

One of the most useful ways to see how colours might play out, is to get several paint samples. Paint small sections of the walls, let the paint dry, evaluate the result. Then choose your favourite colour, or colour scheme. If this can’t be done, then a visit to a décor shop and picking up some printed colour palettes and putting them against the walls of your interior might just do the trick.

Tone and colour family are vital factors that have an impact on how the room will feel. Colour tones can be warm, cool, or neutral; each of these have different properties. Cool tones can make a room feel more spacious, while warm tones give a cosy feel to the interior.

Colour theory

In general, the following effects can be achieved with different colour families. Blues are soothing and convey a sense peace and calmness, reds are typically warm and can make your space feel vibrant and exciting. Greens are great for bringing more balance to your interior and help it feel neutral. Yellows brighten up the space and have ‘feel good’ properties.

Whites and beiges are good for creating a neutral feel, however they almost always have either, a cool or warm tone. This means you can play with these to achieve a different effect.

Amy Lamp
Colours and mood lighting – Amy Lamp

It is always advisable to explore a number of options and combinations before deciding on the colour scheme for the interior. Take into account the interior itself, and also the furniture and accessories that you have, or are planning to buy. Choosing the right colour is a real game-changer. Don’t be afraid to get immersed in a rainbow!

Feng Shui

Our connection with nature

What we see in our daily surroundings really affects how we feel. Our space can give us sense of calmness, energise us, evoke a multitude of different types of feelings. Centuries of civilisation, backed up by strong research show that we are fond of certain patterns, sounds, colours, and that well thought-through space with design from nature, which ticks certain boxes, could be extremely beneficial to our health, reduce stress levels and increase productivity. So what is the main aspect that we are encouraged to consider?

Research carried out on the subject of visual preference shows that our favourite view is one of a scene that includes trees, flowering plants, non-threatening animals, indications of human habitation, and bodies of clean water. Despite being a part of the concrete jungle, we are still a part of the real jungle – nature; and it’s the real jungle where we feel best, and where we truly belong.

Nature is what brings us comfort, makes us feel calm and happy, which is why space which surrounds us should be treated as a biological system, which we are a part of. Visual preference research shows that connection with real nature can really work wonders for our well-being, but also simulated nature, design from nature, can also be extremely beneficial to us.

Biophilic design is an innovative way of designing space, which encourages both; it aims to enhance well-being by creating spaces that are healthy and stimulating, respecting of mind and body balance, but also integrated with the urban ecosystem and functional. Nature plays a big role in biophilic design which provides the end user with as much balanced access to real, or simulated nature as possible.

How can we increase our well-being through incorporating nature in our surroundings ourselves? There are many things that can be done, many of which are close to what Maddox Quirke is integrating to a great extend. Choosing natural, often raw materials that are reflective of the style you would like to achieve, can bring nature into your interior in a very functional way. It can be easier than it seems, and it doesn’t have to be all green… raw wood, metal, or even bricks bring a natural look and feel to your space. Explore how metal as a raw material can be transformed into unique furnishings, which are dynamic and inspired by nature in their forms.

Use of sustainable materials, recycling and up-cycling, using patterns inspired by nature filling the space with sunlight, plants, or letting the outside into the inside as much as possible are all great ways of making your interior more Eco-friendly and user-friendly, and at the same time have potential to increase your well-being.

We believe that it’s way overdue to encourage more of the real jungle into the concrete jungle, unite with nature, and let it envelope you in its order, peace and serenity.