Graham & Brown

Tempting damasks, prints with attitude and a new angle on trompe l’oeil. It’s time to dust off your decorator’s trestle – patterned walls are back as we turn our spotlight on Graham & Brown...

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

Creased Up, £50 a roll, Graham & Brown.jpg

It isn’t entirely a coincidence that as our autumn wardrobes are going all seductive with richly textured fabrics, dark florals and a whole lot of bling, our homes are similarly morphing into something more spectacular. Velvet has surfaced as an important trend, as have jacquard brocades and romantic prints. So, it is perhaps no surprise that damask, despite its vaguely housewifey air, has unexpectedly begun to creep back into our homes. A velvet and damask cushion here, a silk-tasseled lampshade there... In fact, it was only after a recent trip to Graham & Brown, the British wallpaper powerhouse, that we were realised how fashionable the old Dame had become.

Damask, like a good velvet blazer, is opulent without being OTT. Often in silver and a pleasing ornamental design, it adds splendour to a room in an easy, normcore way. To be fair, we have long been admirers of damask – ever since the cool duo at Glasgow-born design studio Timorous Beasties added their subversive twist to the pattern – so it is with glad tidings we (tentatively) welcome it back.

ABOVE: 'Portuguese Tile' (middle print) is a sea of rich greens
ABOVE RIGHT: Trompe l'oeil reigns in 'Creased Up'
BELOW: 'Burlesque White' damask by Julien Macdonald

ABOVE: 'Paradox' wall mural by Kelly Hoppen and Dynamo

Graham & Brown has stacks of knockout looks for Autumn/Winter 2016. The UK wallpaper company’s wide-reaching style stems from the passion of Mr Graham and Mr Brown who founded the business in 1946. Never losing sight of its family-run values – today, two of their grandsons still lead the firm – an impressive 50% of its workforce has been with the company for over 25 years. Rolling out wallpaper from its Blackburn-based HQ to a global clientele, G&B also collaborates with luminaries, including Kelly Hoppen and Marcel Wanders, whose contemporary designs bring a little 21st-century sparkle to the mix.

ABOVE: 'Brian Eno Flower Mask' abstract prints; 'Fresco Palm' 

Of the designer cahoots, the new Brian Eno abstract print is one of our faves. There’s a cool new green 'Portuguese Tile' print, a fab gold spot and hidden away in the design studio, the Spring 2017 Kelly Hoppen designs are looking extremely swish. The company has also started doing murals which, at a starting price of £80 for a 3 x 2.5 metre piece, we think is really good value for a picture wall.  

BELOW FROM TOP: 'Dotty Gold'; 'Marbled Black and Grey'

Lose your fear. Try the heavily embossed, silver 'Metallic Tile' on the ceiling. Impress your floral-obsessed friends at dinner with the tropical 'Fresco Palm', or opt for opulence with the gloriously swirly 'Marbled Black and Grey'. Whether you go for graphic, glittery or a mash-up of damask and encaustic tiles, now's the time to get your wallpaper swag on...
grahamandbrown.com

Boxing Clever at MADE.COM

Chloe Macintosh, co-founder and Creative Director of MADE.COM, talks to the Fizz about British design, future classics and how their new project, Unboxed, is turning our homes into online showrooms

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM 

Chloe Macintosh, Creative Director at MADE.COM

Chloe Macintosh, Creative Director at MADE.COM

MADE.COM burst onto the British design scene in 2010, determined to make modern design accessible to the masses. Four years on, 150 staff later and with a second office in Shanghai, this fast-track online furniture retailer is changing how we shop for our home – allowing us to buy online, so we can sidestep high street costs.
 
‘We wanted to revolutionise an industry that had been largely unchanged for decades,’ explains Chloe, originally from Paris, who studied as an architect before joining Foster + Partners. ‘Our passion to solve a problem – making great design affordable – and our lack of preconceptions and different backgrounds has enabled the business to respond to customer demand rather than conform to industry constraints.’
 
Pitching up at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair within four real-life apartments instead of taking up a conventional stand, this disruptive design house wants their products to be seen in customers’ own homes rather than a sterile showroom. Cue new social platform Made Unboxed.
 
'Unboxed is a social showroom that anyone can visit, at any time of day, to see who has bought from MADE.COM and how they've styled their pieces. We believe this is the future of retail. Forget the demise of the high street, it’s all about the revolution in your own street.'

ABOVE: A cool airy loft was a perfect setting for the
MADE collection at this year's Milan Furniture Fair. 
'Jonah' armchair, £399, 'Jonah' footstool, £159, 
'Merida' rug, £249, 'Houston' floor lamp, £119, 
'Sports Luxe Geo' cushion, £22, 'The Piggy Bag,
Multicolour'
, £79 (on mezzanine)
BELOW: The streamlined home of Helen Powell,
writer and blogger. 'Isis' rug, £299

HelenPowell_Made_073.jpg

At MADE.COM the customer really is king. 'We’re always listening out for what our customers want and they ultimately decide what we sell. We don’t make a product unless we know that there is demand. If they like it, we make it; if they don’t, we stop selling it. We have a fast-fashion approach, launching two collections a week and evolving with the market as quickly as we can.'

'The 'Fonteyn' dressing table (right) by Brit talent Steuart Padwick is a future design classic. We created it four years ago as I needed a small table to fit in my bay window. It’s perfectly compact and the tapered legs are inspired by a ballerina’s feet on point. It’s a real talking point and has become an iconic product for us.'

ABOVE RIGHT: 'Fonteyn' dressing table, £349

FROM LEFT: Monochrome magic: 'Graphix' desk, £149, in Helen Powell's stylish home office
Inside out: 'Bramante' dining table, £499 and 'Legend' café chairs, £149 per pair, add a continental touch to this bright and breezy extension belonging to photographers Giles Christopher and Abigail Cockroft

 

Chloe takes inspiration from London, her favourite city. 'The pool of talent is so stimulating and dynamic, which constantly challenges everyone to evolve. It is also totally diverse. In the MADE team, we hail from all over the world, speaking nearly 30 languages, and that brings real soul to what we do. There is something unique in the UK's desire not to conform but in a non-subversive way. London's art and design scene is very active, but it is also extremely democratic with events such as the London Design Festival (LDF) making design available to all. It’s important for a country's cultural growth to reach across all social strata, which the UK does particularly well.'

At September's LDF, there'll be lots of Unboxed-related fun, new collections and the announcement of the winner of MADE'S Emerging Talent Awards. 'Five finalists from recent degree shows are selected and customers vote for the winner,' says Chloe, 'We also have special guest collaborators coming up this autumn, but it’s all top secret right now!'.
made.com 

FROM LEFT: At home in Milan: 'Double Cross' dining table, £399 and bench, £229, 'Contrast' shelves, £379 and desk, £399, 'Boheme' floor lamp, £79; 'Camber' desk, £499, 'Kitsch' dining chairs, £59 per pair, 'Bowie' square floor lamp, £69, 'Merida' rug, as before, 'Houston' floor lamp, as before, 'Rodnik Shark Fin' chair, £449, 'Rodnik Band' rug, £249, 'The Piggy Bag, Rodnik Seagull' and 'Rodnik Octopus' £89, 'Bowie' square floor lamp, as before; 'Edelweiss' dining chair, £139 per pair, 'Boheme' table lamp, £29, 'Contrast' desk and shelves, as before