Blog

100% Design – London’s interior design showpiece

Today sees the beginning of this year’s 100% Design – the largest and longest-running design trade event for industry professionals in the UK.

The event has been an established highlight of the calendar for 25 years and forms a major part of the London Design Festival.

Step into London’s Olympia and you will be greeted by myriad stands showcasing the very best in designer furnishings, interior design, creative lighting and more.

But that’s not all. There are a host of speakers covering diverse subjects such as experiential retail, architectural design, sustainability, colour and wellbeing.

Although you would be advised to plan your visit in advance to ensure you see the brands and meet the people on your agenda, there is something to be said for allowing some time to wander.

Today, I stumbled upon several new brands and even found myself engaged at a talk about Lego. Not something I had planned to see, but I am glad I did.

100% Design runs until 21st September.

Tickets are available from 100percentdesign.co.uk

Salone del Mobile 2019

Salone del Mobile 2019, part of Milan Design Week and the biggest event in the design calendar opens tomorrow. There are on average over 330,000 attendees every year from 165 different nations, and this year’s event looks set to be as important as ever.

The shows tentacles spread further than ever from the exhibition halls at the heart of iSalone, and many previews are already to be found around the myriad showrooms of Milan.

This year marks the 58th edition of the show which runs between the 9th and the 14th April. It was founded in 1961 to promote Italian furniture and rapidly went from strength to strength, to become the huge industry attraction it is today.

This year’s interior design trends

Since Milan Design Week back in April, there have been a number of noticeable interior design trends appearing throughout the collections of many of the leading interior design and furnishing companies.

Rich pigments and block colours

Grey may still be the neutral of choice for many interiors, but primary and secondary colours from across the spectrum can be seen among the premium collections this year, both on walls and furniture pieces. The focus is on block colours with classic design and moody interiors more popular than ever. Violet, navy and stunning emerald green are all key colours for 2018. Meanwhile, the juxtaposition of bold colours against grey patterns adds another dimension to this current trend.

Diamond Sideboard
Diamond Sideboard

Down to earth

Earthy pigments such as clay, terracotta and ochre are noted hues, and ethnic prints can be seen in many pieces. There is a tactile element to many patterns, materials and textiles.

Heritage Sideboard
Heritage Sideboard

 

Wellness

Physical and mental wellbeing are very much front of mind in interior design this year. Biophilia remains a prominent trend across many collections, and playful lighting designs use natural elements to accentuate interiors.

Spellbound Cabinet
Spellbound Cabinet

Sustainability

Handmade and natural materials are key contemporary trends. And there is a distinct move towards sustainability, both in terms of materials used and manufacturing processes.

Bespoke Furnishings
Bespoke Furnishings

Metallic accents

This year there is a return to warmer metallics such as gold and brass. These give a sophisticated and organic feel to many furniture pieces including cabinets, mirrors and lighting.

Wave Centre Table
Wave Centre Table

More is more

Maximalism makes a return with more colour, decoration and textures than we have seen for a while. Everyday living pieces such as sofas, lighting and cabinets become objet d’art, with fantastic styling and luxurious materials.

LIPS Sofa by Dali
LIPS Sofa by Dali

 

So these are the interior design trends we have spotted so far this year. We’d love to hear your views. Add a comment below or get in touch with us directly via the Contact page.

 

Milan Design Week 2018 – Salone Del Mobile

Milan Design Week 2018 begins today, 17th April and runs through to 22nd with more than 300,000 expected visitors from over 165 different countries.

It features a number of world famous design events and exhibitions including Salone Del Mobile, the annual worldwide furniture fair and Fuorisalone – which takes place across Milan.

It’s an opportunity for the industry to come together to show, discuss and be inspired by the latest designs.

This year there are a number of premium fashion brands also joining the party, with names such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Marni.

Fashion houses launching homewares is a trend that we have seen in recent years, and this year sees even more luxury brands showing what they have to offer with their own premium furnishings.

Milan Design Week 2018 promises to be an unmissable. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this year’s event.

Check out Wallpaper*’s coverage or read the Monocle’s Salone Weekly.

 

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

 

The Weekend House in Portugal – Vineyard Villa

Situated in the District of Évora, Montemor-o-Novo, this beautiful villa is a perfect weekend house for relaxing…

Designed to be a family retreat, this magnificent villa is the work of two brilliant architects and interior designers, Ana Proença and Célia Mestre from Atelier Spacemakers.

Vineyard Villa
Vineyard Villa

 

The space exudes comfort, originality and authenticity, along with contemporary feel broken down with several vintage pieces that are integrated for added charm and warmth.

The project was meticulously designed from scratch using a choice of bespoke finishing materials and furniture. The weekend house was developed on a single ground floor and it is characterised by modern architecture and clean lines, featuring large spaces and light fixtures, facing the exterior through large glass floors and patios.

Vineyard Villa's Dining Room
Vineyard Villa’s Dining Room

 

The living room is linked directly to the dining area, where the chairs, dining table and the animal print rug are the main features. The COLTRANE Pendant Lamp, by one of our luxury lighting brands (DelightFULL) with minimalist lines and black and gold finish, emerges as an element that, besides being functional, is a decorative and sculptural object, that stands out above all because of its style and simplicity.

Vineyard Villa's Games Room
Vineyard Villa’s Games Room

 

The game and cinema rooms open to a contemporary living room where the furnishings are simple, but where the DUKE Suspension Lamp features as adramatic, yet subtle and trendy lighting piece that illuminates and enchants.

Vineyard Villa's Suite
Vineyard Villa’s Suite

 

In the suite, white, beige and woody tones dominate the chromatic palette. In the reading corner, the neoclassical chest, which is one of the owner’s family pieces, is a stand out piece, and it perfectly matches with the armchair and footrest designed by Charles Eames. The SINATRA Floor Lamp enhances the elegance and simplicity that was intended for this space.

 

Vineyard Villa's Living Room
Vineyard Villa’s Living Room

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!

Time to lighten up

Have you ever thought what your life would be like without lighting?

Most of us are so used to lit spaces, that we never think about this commodity, apart from those rare occasions, when faced with a power cut and lights going off in the evening.

I don’t know about you, but those rare incidents make me feel really uneasy… Being faced with darkness, if not voluntary, is not pleasant at all. This is the best proof that light, and lighting are essential parts of our lives, and can alter our moods drastically.

Following this train of thought; we can really play with the light in our interiors to achieve different effects, purposes and to induce various moods to our space. Knowing how to achieve what we want using lighting can be extremely beneficial, as it gives us scope to cleverly ‘manipulate’ our interior, without having to rearrange, or change our décor. It can help us re-purpose any space and make it as we wish, quickly and cost effectively.

Using the right type of lighting and placing it correctly, can prove to be a little difficult, but when done properly, it can really work wonders in our interior, and bring harmony to all of its elements.

So what are the basic rules, or ways in which we can make light work for our rooms, homes, offices and how to achieve different effects? Here are several ideas on how to illuminate interiors and objects for best results:

Adjust your ambient lighting to the right level

Ambient lighting is crucial in all interiors; here we are talking about overall illumination of your space. If possible, it’s best to think about lighting before you start to decorate a room. What furniture will there be and where will it go? How will you be using the room: is it mainly for use during the day or at night? For study or entertainment?

The key trick with ambient lighting is to get its temperature and level of brightness right. It is often used for task purposes, so a dimmer switch is a good idea, as it helps us adjust the light to the right level, so that the functionality of our interior is maintained, while not missing out on mood and character.

Prepare for the spotlight

Spotlights, or accent lighting is your best bet if you want to create points of interests, or add a bit of drama to your interior. It is used widely in interior design in order to draw attention to particular objects, or features; e.g. a sculpture, painting, or texture of materials such as wood or bricks. Accent lighting will only be effective if it’s at least three times stronger then the rest of lights in the room. When the right level is achieved, it can really play up the whole interior and its best features.

Another interesting way of using spotlights is placing them in corners of the interior, where you don’t normally have any light. Such placement enables you to play with the mood of interior, particularly if strength of accent lights can be adjusted (a dimmer comes handy again!).

Look after your eyes with task lighting

This type of lighting is essential in many types of interiors; commercial and private, and it helps you see things clearly and strain your eyes less, so that you can complete all the jobs and activities, while ensuring minimal effort to your eyes. Here is where all the floor and desk lamps, as well as pendant, cabinet, recessed and track lighting come in to play. Think about how functional your space needs to be and where is the best placement for this type of lighting.

All you need to remember is that task lighting needs to be bright enough for your eyes not to strain, plus free of shadows and glare, which are distracting.

Good luck with making the lighting work its magic in your interior, and feel free to explore our amazing statement lighting collection, which brings you way much more than just illumination!

What does ‘Vintage’ actually mean?

We hear and talk about ‘Vintage’ often, but what do we actually mean by the term?

‘Vintage’ is often used to describe different items, in different categories, different qualities, different ages, but what does it truly mean? Are we using this term correctly, and how is vintage different to retro?

The word ‘Vintage’ was first used in the early 15th century. It was taken from the Old French vendage, meaning wine harvest. Whenever we talk about vintage wine we talk about wine from particular harvest, or crop.

This word today is used not only in relation to wine, but also when describing other items from the past, like clothing, or furniture.

So what does ‘Vintage’ mean outside of the wine category?

We usually mean an old item, which carries certain nostalgic value, and potentially is of high quality. It normally means something that is at least 20 years old, but not more than a 100, as then it would be classified as antique.

This ‘rule’ applies to furniture; anything that’s older than 100 years is usually termed antique. Anything more recent could be called vintage (unless it’s ‘younger’ than 20-30 years old). Term is commonly used to describe an item that is representative of predominant style of particular period, not just any old item that falls into the aforementioned timelines.

Vintage and retro are sometimes used interchangeably, however there is a real difference between meanings of these two words. ‘Retro’ means something patterned after an old style; it doesn’t have to be old, or from particular era, but it resembles, or imitates trends and tendencies of recent past.

Both Vintage and Retro give an amazing opportunity of creating an inspirational and individual style in clothing and interior decoration. A very special design could be formed from contemporary, very recent pieces combined with objects which are representative of different periods. Both truly point at a wide range of items and possibilities, and open a window for creativity and imagination in the world of fashion and interior decor.

Thanks to vintage and retro being a vital ingredient of contemporary furniture and the decor market, anyone can be taken on a journey to a not so distant past, immerse in a spirit of a particular era and bring some of this experience into their everyday life, by introducing such objects into their surroundings.

 

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.