Arlo and Jacob- stunning lounge furniture

Arlo & Jacob are a family run business, recently launched into the UK market. A website and showroom to source designer sofas, armchairs and accessories.

arlo and jacob

We are particular fans of this gorgeous Emilia Cocktail Chair which screams Mad Men and comes in a range of fabrics that you can pick online or in store.

arlo and jacob

They have worked with a range of in house and known designers including Daniel Heath who created this circus inspired cushion, featured Living etc and Good Homes magazines amongst many others.

arlo and jacob

The brand promote the idea of affordable yet high quality furniture, and offer lifetime guarantee on their products. This makes their sofas/armchairs stylish, affordable and of superb quality- if they look like the above…..that’s fine by us. 

Visit them at their showroom:  Melbray House, Melbray Mews, London, SW6 3NS

Subject Matter Art

Subject matter Art,, photographic specialists,  will be launching  a small open edition prints section over the next few weeks, selling 10 different prints (30cm x 40cm and 30cm x 30cm) for around £85. The prints will be from their existing collection and a few new ones.

jeff Claes

KM 67, Jeff Claes

Subject Matter Art supplies for art for everyone. Their ethos and their aim is to make the art buying process an easy and enjoyable one and they are very keen to offer a variety of different price points as well as sell art from both up-and-coming artists as well as well-established artists.

philip miller

NY Taxi, Philip Miller

subject-matter3Aqueous Fluoreau, Mark Mawson

Subject Matter Art firmly believe that all artists should be paid fairly for their work and as part of the fairness and transparency policy, the profits for all pieces sold are shared 50/50 with the artists and their prices include framing and shipping so that there are no hidden costs for the buyer.


Brazil sea of Dunes, Daniel Stanford

They are currently hosting an exhibition at the lovely furniture showroom NOR11 in Mayfair, running until October 22nd.

La Chance at Design Junction

One of the stands that caught our eye this LDF was La Chance’s  at Design Junction. The brand picks only the best new designers to showcase and their website is pretty stunning too. Here are a few of our top pics. borghese, lawrance

Borghese by Noé Duchaufour Lawrance


Bolt by Note Design Studio


Iconic by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova


Float by Luca Nichetto


Magnum by Pierre Favresse


Apollo by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova

Hem at LDF

Online furniture and design brand Hem, launched Luca Nichetto’s Alphabeta lamp at Somerset house and opened up it’s new pop up shop this LDF.

hem, alphabeta

Alphabeta is the world’s first digitally-customisable pendant lamp with more than 10 billion possible combinations. The Alphabeta shades come in eight different shapes of interchangeable top and bottom shades, each available in its own colour, as well as in black and in white. This creates a total of 24 available shades, and thus billions of possible combinations when four pendants are combined (as above). The shades are crafted from steel and spun by hand in a factory near Venice, Italy, resulting in a pristine finish. The pendants adapt to a bi-directional lighting source that brightens spaces above and below the lamp.

hem, alphabeta

Just like combining letters of the alphabet to create words, or combining notes to make music, the Alphabeta lamps reflect a playful functionality. To bring the collaboration to life, Hem and Luca Nichetto created an immersive and interactive environment as part of the ‘Ten Designers in the West Wing’ exhibition in London’s Somerset House, now over.

hem, pop up store

POP UP SHOP. You may have missed Hem at LDF, but their pop-up shop will be in Seven Dials Covent Garden for the next 5 months. The store will feature customisable furniture and innovative design accessories showcased in room set displays; and interactive customisation technology allowing visitors to design ‘their own’ versions of Hem’s exclusive products.

hem, pop up store

This autumn’s launches include a palette of products in solid woods, metals, soft earth and nature tones for sofas and chairs, smoked glass and corks by an incredible roster of international designers such as Nendo, design studio Form Us With Love, Sylvain Willenz, Max Lamb, GamFratesi, Gemma Holt and Staffan Holm amongst others.



5 minutes with Gilda Bojardi

gilda1Despoke managed to grab 5 minutes with the Italian design influencer and Interni editor, Gilda Bojardi, during LDF and the successful Interni Aperitivo talks.

interniThe Interni website is beautiful as well as easy to navigate. Do you think the design world works better online than in print and if so why?

INTERNI was born 60 years ago as one of the first magazines of architecture and interior design. Over the years it has evolved and updated, living up to its ethos: to inform its readers of everything going on in the world of design. Obviously the website, since the magazine is a monthly publication, is the fast version. An interface that collects content day by day from the world of design and architecture. I think they are both important and complement each other: INTERNI is in fact ‘a system’ that comprises many forms of communication, that need the magazine as much as its online presence. I believe that it is up to our readers to choose which medium they want to read, depending on the need for topical or more detailed information.

interni, patricia urquiola

Photo by Alessandro Paderni/Eye Studio- Patricia Urquiola’s home studio


You have been at the helm of Interni for over 20 years. How has the general public’s attitude to design changed across those decades especially given the rise in online funding campaigns and the resurgence in craft? Does everyone now think they know what good design is and that they can be a designer?

Certainly being able to get online has helped spread a design culture that today is becoming more  widely followed. The return of craftsmanship in this industry is certainly a value, even if Italian design, especially furniture design, has always had an artisanal aspect, in the creation, finishes, choice of materials and quality of workmanship. This was always the added value of the ‘Made in Italy’ stamp. Nevertheless, I do not think that the concept of good design is so widespread. Personally, I do not think that just anyone can become a designer: it takes talent, a good education, and a lot of energy in defending their ideas. It’s not for everyone.


Last year you said that Italy’s design output wasn’t in decline and that ‘Milan is still the capital of design’ (dezeen 19/9/2014). Given that Milan is also considered the capital of fashion, what is it about this city that makes it such a force for creativity? Has it always been this way? 

Furniture design was born in Milan in the immediate post-war period. In those years, some companies were beginning to work with the architects who convinced them to abandon the traditional style of furniture production in favour of contemporary furniture and mass production

Then, Salone del Mobile and FuoriSalone together became a catalyst force for the international creative energies, transforming central Milan into the international capital of both project and design. It has certainly been FuoriSalone who has sanctioned the ‘Milan model': a format that has grown over the years that INTERNI created and nurtured, making Milan Design Week a unique experience. As for fashion, Milan became one of the international capitals of fashion in the sixties and seventies with the emergence of the ready-to-wear and the arrival in town of designers such as Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferré and Krizia. They invented the Milan fashion that is still appreciated around the world.

These two industries, that sometimes intersect, make the city a unique hotbed of creative proposals and ideas. Today, this focus has further expanded and established itself thanks to the Expo’ – Universal Exhibition in Milan (May 1 to October 31 2015). This extraordinary event, of which INTERNI is also a partner, which has already attracted over 15 million visitors, a tremendous opportunity to spread the culture of Milan around the world.

ron arad, big easy chair

Ron Arad, Big easy Chair, Moroso

London is also considered a creative capital, the world leader some might say. What does London do right and what does it do wrong for designers and creatives? 

London has certainly had and continues to have excellent creatives, and many factors contributes to maintain it like that, in particular the ‘ education factor ‘, stemming from the number and quality of schools in the city, and from an attitude to self-production typical of young professionals just out of school.

The ‘Brit Style’ is a phenomenon now known internationally. However, London doesn’t have the same level of manufacturers and industrial makers in design, and it is not able to provide the same industrial milieu that is present in Milan, and Italy. A great majority of British designers have become acclaimed designers, only after having been supported and launched by Italian companies who understood and appreciate British creativity: from Ron Arad, Ross Lovegrove, Jasper Morrison, to Tom Dixon and Michael Young, and many others. Now even the great architects like Zaha Hadid or David Chipperfield – and I quote just a few names – realise and produce their ideas in collaboration with Italian companies. Designer furniture is, above all, made in Italy.

gilda bojardi


If you could have had any other career- what would you have done? Why? 

I am very glad to have chosen my career because my education was of an entirely different nature- I am a lawyer! But I have ‘betrayed’ my education when I was still a university student, therefore I can say I chose this career really early on. If I were to do something else, I would say that I like decorating my houses, and giving advice to my friends. So I’m probably a failed architect!


Clark Pickett at Moroso

Friday evening saw the last of the hugely successful Design Aperitivo talks in conjunction with Interni Magazine and Salone del Mobile.

moroso, chair

Taking place in the basement of the stunning Moroso showroom in Clerkenwell, the final talk saw Clark Pickett, architect and interior designer from global design powerhouse NBBJ. Known for the design of environments that are functional, imaginative and meaningful, Pickett titled his talk ‘beauty in the time of the machine’.

clark pickett

26/09/15 Picture by Ashley Bingham. Picture taken at the Interni event at Moroso, London.

A passionate and enjoyable speaker, Pickett explained how important data, analytics and being able to read the behaviour of people has become to creating and designing buildings. Indeed, physical spaces can become like networks themselves. He stressed however the importance of making sure humans have the final say:

‘Algorithms should never make decisions, only provide information and solutions.’

samsung headquarters, nbbj

NBBJ, (with their new Samsung headquarters under construction in Silicon Valley, above) bring to the table a sense of community in addition to vast knowledge of technology and how it can help create a communal and well-used space. Worryingly, he stated that ‘every day humans create as much information and data as we did from the beginning of time until 2003.’ Yet, does this need to be as terrifying as it sounds? Could we not embrace this technology and use it to make informed decisions about the way humans behave- especially within work environments?

bill gates foundation

What’s perhaps most interesting is the way NBBJ use algorithms to allow people’s working day to be a lot more enjoyable. Pickett spoke about placing toilets further way from desks so workers walked a lot further, but food and drink closer, encouraging people to dwell together and talk. NBBJ believe that chance encounters create innovation.

grange insurance, nbbj

The landscape of a building is also something that NBBJ take great care to get right. Using rapid prototyping that they have worked to develop, they are able to prove that workers efficiency will increase if the natural environment they are working in is peaceful.


26/09/15 Picture by Ashley Bingham. Picture taken at the Interni event at Moroso, London.

Top tips from Pickett and NBBJ:

NBBJ have drawing classes- the rise of technology and rapid prototyping shouldn’t mean that architects and designers lose this talent.

They often design furniture for the spaces they create, thus making an overall theme complete- as in the case of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

INTERNI Design Aperitivo ran across 5 nights between 19 and 25 September for London Design Festival 2015, with Salone del Mobile, Milano

To read more on the INTERNI programme click here



Lee Broom and The Flower Shop

British design superstar, Lee Broom’s debut collection of Vases, ‘Podium’, has launched this week.

lee broom, flower shop

He has transformed his flagship store into ‘The Flower Shop’, an immersive floral display where Podium will take centre stage.  Broom also presents his 25 piece collection ‘The Department Store’ for the first time in London, following the recent award winning Milan exhibition.

lee broom

Available exclusively at the store, the ‘Podium’ vases will take centre stage in an immersive floral display across the space, which has been completely re-designed for the event.

lee broom

Hanging Hoop Chair.

Broom’s 25 piece new collection is also shown for the first time. Furniture, lighting and accessories will be presented in glass display cases and on marble plinths surrounded by a sweeping display of fresh flowers.

lee broom

Crescent Table Lamp.

lee broom

Fulcrum Chandelier.

See the collection at: Shoreditch Design Triangle, Electra House, 95 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY.

LDF: Design inspiration is everywhere

Despoke revelled in the sunshine in Islington on Saturday,  popping into Aria to see Camille Walala’s take over of the front window.


The powerful and explosive prints and patterns felt like a clash between a 1980’s and 1960’s art studio.

Head there now for pattern and colour:

v and a, cloud

The LDF’s head quarters for the week are at the V&A and houses a number of one off commissions. Inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, renowned Austrian design duo mischer’traxler have collaborated with boutique champagne house Perrier-Jouët to bring a sensual, interactive installation to the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room.common

New last year, the Queen’s Park design district is now a well-loved part of LDF. A top pick is Bill Amberg Studio who are hosting an open studio from 21-27 September, where they will be showing their Common Collection of benches and stools. This furniture features the Studio’s signature combination of traditional leather techniques and technology.


Our faves from Clerkenwell Design Week, The Goldsmith’s Centre are back with A Sense of Jewellery. The show  brings together outstanding examples of modern jewellery by forty artists and designers made in Britain over the past forty years,  setting out to rediscover British jewellery design and celebrate the quality of design thinking and material innovation in this period.

union chapel, islington

As if LDF isn’t enough, the weekend just gone was Open House London. Upper Street Islington’s Union Chapel was spellbinding, with a free music gig also going on.

Plan your LDF here.

100% Design opens its doors

100% Design is LDF’s largest trade show. We pick some of the top brands from each section below. Register now and be inspired.


Head to Interiors for Designheure

chairs and more

Worplace sponsored by SketchUp sees many brands including the colourful Chairs and More.


Get inspired by porcelain stoneware manufacturer, Apavisa in Kitchens and Bathrooms.


Take inspiration in the Design and Build section sponsored by Formica, from brands including Karndean Design Flooring.


Spot the up and coming names like MACRW in Emerging Brands.


Ready for a brew? Head to Half Three Cafe a concept space designed by Fabrica, Daniel Rous and much needed tea from Twinnings.

yves behar

Hear the latest in design news and head to the auditorium. Yves Behar speaks on tomorrow.

Novamobili gets artistic

Young British artist Ben Mosley will paint British and Italian landmarks on Novamobili furniture live on their stand at 100% Design as a celebration of the brand’s UK’s debut at the show.


The artist has used as canvases two Doll chairs from the latest Novamobili collection, and has transformed them into unique artworks, taking inspiration from British and Italian landmarks, and capturing the two nations’ vibrant creativity and design excellency. The two chairs will be displayed at 100% Design.


Mosley, who was first introduced to Novamobili by Paul Healey Chairman of Pantera Wardrobes, Novamobili’s contract installer for London and the Southeast, is known for his lively and expressive paintings featuring a range of different subjects. He creates his images by painting directly onto diverse surfaces, preserving the spontaneity of his gesture and translating his emotions on the object painted. For this commission, Novamobili wished to pay homage to London’s unique atmosphere and design, and create a metaphorical bridge between Italian and British design cultures.


The vibrancy of Ben’s work perfeclty matches the modern colour and movement of Novamobili’s pieces. See them at 100% Design.


David Chipperfield at Valcucine

London Design Festival kicked off for Despoke at the 1st of Interni Magazine’s Aperitivos. Taking place at the gorgeous Valcucine showroom on Great Portland Street the event saw David Chipperfield discuss the place museums have in society, with the Royal Academy’s Kate Goodwin. david chipperfield, valcucine

INTERNI Design Aperitivo is a series of five talks during London Design Festival 2015, run by world-renowned Italian design magazine INTERNI and Salone del Mobile.Milano, the leading Italian furniture trade fair. Interni will be hosting 5 different talks across LDF, find out more here.

Picture by Ashley Bingham. Gilda Bojardi introduces David Chipperfield and  Kate Goodwin.

Picture by Ashley Bingham. Gilda Bojardi introduces David Chipperfield and Kate Goodwin.

Interni editor Gilda Bojardi

queues, valcucine

Picture by Ashley Bingham.

There were queues round the block as people crammed into the showroom, desperate to see Chipperfield talk about public spaces and the difficulty that comes from the frequent lack of design consciousness in investment buildings.

chipperfield, valcucine

Chipperfield spoke for some time about the difficulty UK public funded buildings have in allowing architects to be creative. He found his feet and fame in Japan in the 1980’s and was allowed and indeed encouraged to create buildings that were beautiful as well as functional and whose premise wasn’t just to meet funding targets.

rowing henley, chipperfield

Chipperfield spoke about the vast differences in the planning processes when designing in England, as per his experience with the Henley Rowing Museum and in other parts of the world.  He highlighted the problematic planning application process in the UK and the weakness of RIBA in architectural competitions in recent years.

nobel centre, chipperfield

However there was a certain optimism to the state of modern architecture: ” Modern architecture is now far better than it was even 10 years ago”, stated Chipperfield when asked about the reason members of the public often oppose so massively to an area changing architecturally. He talked briefly about his practice’s wining proposal for the Nobel Centre in Stockholm and how they aimed for it to be as light and unobtrusive as possible to allow the prize itself to do the talking.

RA, chipperfield

Kate Goodwin spoke about the Royal Academy and Chipperfield’s  winning submission asking how important it was for the architecture of a building to reflect and encourage the artwork inside it. She raised an interesting point for discussion, when saying how often the public thinks they long for a traditional, calm and quiet art gallery and for the architecture to be thus, when frequently the art it contains is far from traditional and quiet.


Top quotes from Chipperfield: 

“I’m not worried about the London skyline as such, as I am about what’s going on on the ground.”

“Architecture shouldn’t push for novelty”

“You often get very different opinions from the art and architecture communities when you present your museum ideas to them. Always listen to the artists as it is their work that the building will contain.”

“The problem with a consumer society is it becomes fundamentalist and is all about delivery. Say anything else (about the project) and you become irresponsible.”


Design Shanghai at 100% Design

Ten top Chinese brands, both emerging and established names, will be exhibiting together for the first time in UK this LDF. The exhibition will be presented at 100% Design, offering a preview of the latest products by a selection of brands that will then also take part in the third edition of the Asia’s leading international design event Design Shanghai, in March 2016. Here are just a few of those present.

ey products, design shangai

Moon Lamp by EY-PRODUCTS

blue shanghai

Blue Shanghai White


Yuue- Balance is inspired by a balance scale. When off, the lamp remains down. To turn on the lamp, the user must insert a smart phone into the slot on the rear.

design mvw

Design MVW





Cos & Hay

Fashion  powerhouse, COS are collaborating with Danish design firm HAY, to create 2 tables that will be sold exclusively in COS & HAY stores. To complement this, a carefully curated collection of objects are on sale online & at the High Street Kensington store.  

cos, hay, design

To celebrate the partnership they have worked with Spanish designer Tomas Alonso to produce a pair of tables, as part of a wider collaboration between the two brands.

cos, hay

The carefully curated collection of objects are housed on the new, specially designed ground floor space within the High Street Kensington store where the handpicked items are displayed amongst items from the COS Autumn Winter 15 collection, inspired by the Japanese Mona Ha movement alongside the photography of Olaf Otto Becker.

cos, hay, tomas alonso

For more information click here.



Design and Build at 100% Design

Calling all specifiers, architects, DIY enthusiasts. 100% Design opens on 23 September and is made up of 5 key sections: interiors, kitchens and bathrooms, design and build, workplace and emerging brands. Here we outline some of the best brands to see in the design and build section. Register here to visit the show for free.

barrisol, 100% design

This may look like a giant, elephantine gramophone, but it’s actually a product of Barrisol’s®  world-leading  stretch ceilings for luminous, acoustic, printed and 3D solutions. It offers innovative custom solutions with more than 20 systems of stretch ceilings available in a range of  colours and finishes.

design and build, concreate

Made from a more sustainable form of mineral cement, Concreate® floor and wall panels can be used in all residential and commercial installations to create architectural concrete surfaces quickly and without the excessive weight of conventional tiled and poured concrete systems.

havwoods, flooring

W are big fans of Havwoods having caught their showroom at Clerkenwell Design Week. Havwoods are Britain’s foremost wood flooring company, with a portfolio of over 1000 products around half of which are held in stock.

mobilane, 100% design

There’s nothing quite like a living wall to make a room feel more alive and Mobilane really corner the market with their pieces that are perfect for home or the office. They have designs that can affix to walls as well as freestanding room dividers.

worlds end

World’s End Tiles are a well known and well loved name, with 40 years of experience in supplying tiles that continue to push the boundaries of innovation and style. At 100% Design, they will launch new product selections and bring some of their most popular designs.

The other Art Fair 10 editions

It may be the season for design, but hot on its tales comes the Other Art Fair from 15 October. launched in 2011 and now on its 10th edition, this is the only place to meet and buy from the very best emerging and undiscovered artists, carefully selected by their expert selection committee.

the other art fair, absinthe

It’s not only art that’s on show. Make sure to venture  backstage and into the secret Green Room, where Rebecca Mason’s Neon Health Service Department of Light Therapy invites you to take off your mask. Unburden yourself to Mason’s Confessional Consultants with a helping hand from the Green Fairy.

the other art fair, assemble

All food and drink at the fair will be overseen by Assemble London, the latest venture from Street Feast founder Dominic Cools-Lartigue. In recent years he has helped revolutionise the way people eat out in London with venues like Dalston Yard, Hawker House and Dinerama. Assemble is about taking those experiences further by bringing art, film, music or theatre into the mix.

the other art fair, film

TOAF will present a new exciting feature of The Others Live programme: a curated collection of highlights from fair partner Encounters Film Festival. The short films will run throughout the weekend so drop in, relax and marvel at the talent from the best of emerging and established filmmakers across the world.

The Other Art Fair takes place from 15-18 October

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