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Mid-century in Haggerston

We went to Mid-century Show East yesterday and enjoyed an array of mid-century design pieces that, sadly we could only covet after (prices were eye-wateringly expensive.) Chairs were a real standout at the show, with original Eames glass-fibre moulds.

modern shows

A great deal of the furniture had been lovingly restored, which somewhat made up for the hefty price tags.

modern shows

Strong traditional colours and graphic prints had been used on fabric chairs.


2 stunning 1950’s original Knoll chairs.

modern shows

A gorgeous wooden piece sat in a prime window position.

modern shows

This light caught our eye. An unusual piece in a colour that would complement any scheme without dominating.  The mushroom-like shape was very pleasing.


In fact colourful lights were another recurring feature.

With Columbia Road flower market only streets away, there were stunning small room sets across the show.


On the Hackney Road an advert for new housing reflected the area’s interest in design perfectly!

For more information on Modern Shows, head here.


Artek’s 80th Birthday


Yesterday we celebrated Artek’s 80th birthday in the Vitra showrrom, Clerkenwwll. Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, creating new paths at the intersection of design, architecture and art.


Here are just a few of the pieces from the Kaari collection by the Bourroullec brothers for the brand.


The brothers wanted to create a collection that was unique and functional as well as a table network that could be multi-functional- unusual for a table, unlike it’s close cousin the chair! Wood and steel have been used to keep the pieces as simple as possible. The ‘kaari’ collection is comprised of rectangular and round tables in two sizes each, in addition to a desk, a wall console, small round shelf and larger wall-mounted shelving.


Artek presents Alvar Aalto’s iconic Tea Trolley 901 reinterpreted by Dutch designer and colour expert Hella Jongerius. Get planning a cocktail evening to enjoy these iconic designs. For more information click here.

DSIGNIO for Beltà

Despoke loves this new puzzle-like table from Spanish brand DSIGNIO.


Pent is the new table designed for Beltà. A modular system consisting of a pentagonal piece that can be used again and again, creating countless compositions, it’s a playful piece of furniture for the office. It is a kind of puzzle to play with, looking for the result that best suits your needs.


The finish of the pieces in natural ash provides warmth and, due to the way the modules can move about, a kind of timeless design is achieved. You can also create more fun compositions using lacquer ware in different colours.


For more information head to

Driade top picks

Italian powerhouse Driade have sent us over some of their latest work and it’s amazing. Working with some of the world’s top designers including Nendo and Konstantin Grcic, we were lucky enough to see new creative director David Chipperfield speak a few weeks ago. Below we have picked some of our top products. To see more, head to the Driade website.


Nendo- Astrology- Clock in Clock


Gear by Philippe Bestenheider

Oyster by Marco Zanuso Jr.

Oyster by Marco Zanuso Jr.

Root by Giorgio Bonaguro

Root by Giorgio Bonaguro

Zigzag by Konstantin Grcic, driade

Zigzag by Konstantin Grcic

Archipelago by Fredrikson Stallard, driade

Archipelago by Fredrikson Stallard

Meridiana by Christophe Pillet, driade

Meridiana by Christophe Pillet

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. 

They created an infographic showcasing what country’s inspire their pieces and why. See London and Paris below:

Interior Design Infographic copy

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.



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



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





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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