Top 10 British designers to watch in 2016

Real Homes takes a look at the ones to watch in the world of British design

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Nick Snow Valspar young interior designer of the year

shelving made from pipes in turquoise living room with plants

Inspiration

I’m a real fan of textures. Rough and smooth textures and metallic finishes all feature strongly in my designs; you won’t often find a flat surface with no character or depth in my work. I also look at other designers work for inspiration and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that as long as you adapt it to your signature style and something you can be proud to put your name to.

Signature style

I’m very adaptable and work with a range of different styles. My own home is the one place that I can really showcase my personality and signature designs.

living room with coat peg picture rail

Coming soon

I have a lot of exciting projects coming up. I’m continuing to work alongside top interior stylist Marianne Cotterill, who I’ve helped to style shoots for Laura Ashley and G Plan, to name a few. I’m also doing some styling for a television show which I’m looking forward to, and I’m continuously working on updating my website.

Patrick Kendal head shot

spring oven steamer

Inspiration

I love to see designers and businessmen work on projects that make the world a better place. Elon Musk’s solar city business, for example, makes solar panels available for everyone.

Coming soon

I’m currently reworking the Spring Oven to be even better, and made from terracotta. I’m also developing some other cookery products that use the power of steam to cook healthy food. The new Spring Oven will be available to buy soon.

richard brendon heat shot

Speck teacup and saucer by richard brendon

The Speck teacup and saucer

Signature piece

My Reflect Collection, which teams vintage saucers with reflective gold and platinum-plated cups. It’s such a simple idea but such a lovely concept.

Coming soon

I’m working on a new teaware collection, some collaborations with retailers, and brass and leather trays.

genevieve bennett

trellis rug lifestyle shot

Trellis rug, £595, John Lewis

Signature piece

My Camelia hand-sculpted leather design, a wall covering made from exquisite veg-tanned natural leather. It has been reworked in many different ways, from a continuous 12metre all-over wall covering for a private residence in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, to a bespoke artwork for a five-star hotel in Russia.

Inspiration

So many things; from Islamic tiles to wrought iron work and vintage textiles. The ornate sculpted and embossed leather wall coverings of 16th-century Europe are also a strong inspiration. And the intricate beauty of the carved-wood panels of master craftsman Grinling Gibbons, is a trace element in my work.

Coming soon

A new collection of rugs for John Lewis, a wallpaper collection, and a new bespoke leather commission for a private yacht.

5. David Worsley, of Dove Street Pottery, won Best New Business at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in 2014

Background

I didn’t touch clay until I was 41 years old. I’d never contemplated being a potter at any point until then. I do have a creative background, though. I studied art for eight years and then got a job selling handbags for Louis Vuitton and ended up managing the opening of the concession in Selfridges. At the time, I felt I had to make a choice between a career in retail and art, and chose art.

In 2007, I founded an arts festival and spent the next four years running it. I began to meet crafts people, who are totally different to artists. Crafts people make things that people use, things related to our basic needs, like furniture, clothing, and pottery. I realised that what had been missing all along was the relationship of what I made to function. I wanted to make something that was beautiful that someone could use every day in their home. I chose pottery and was hooked. In 2015, I created a bespoke range for the Tate gallery’s Barbara Hepworth exhibition.

Dove Street Pottery beaker and mini jug and serving bowl and dinner plate

Inspiration

I’m inspired by the knowledge that pots have been handmade for more than a thousand years. In essence, pots have changed very little in that time and I feel that connection to history within my own workshop. There is a sense of being passed the baton that I will pass to someone else. Today, when there is little stability and we are encouraged to chop-and-change and not stay with anything for long, this thought provides much strength.

It is exceedingly difficult to learn a skill, like throwing a pot on a wheel. It takes many years of making really rubbish things and it is so important to be able stick with the hard times and believe that you will, eventually, make something beautiful. Feeling that connection with other potters helps give fortitude.

Signature piece

I don’t really have a signature piece, as I try to make my tableware fit together as a range. I think my signature comes from the look of the range as a whole. The forms are simple and elegant, with clean lines; the colours dark and strong. They have a timeless quality that allows them to sit comfortably in a modern or traditional setting.

Coming soon

Currently, I’m working on ovenware. I am trying to expand the range by providing pots that go from oven to table, like casserole dishes, adding a little bit of drama to the meal.

rich turner hillarys design winner

soraya wallpaper and blind for Hillarys

Soraya wallpaper and blind for Hillarys

Signature style

I would have to say the Scandinavian-inspired blind design, which won the Hillarys Become a Designer competition – as that has catapulted me to where I am now.

Coming soon

It’s looking likely that my design will make it into the Hillarys range and be available to the public, so that’s the next thing on the horizon and something I am really excited about.

Tamara bridge head shot

traditional english country garden with pedestal and arches

Inspiration

At the moment, it’s passion. The friends, clients and professionals who have an infectious passion for what they are talking about or enjoying is what makes me strive to produce the best work that I possibly can. 

Signature style

It’s funny as I would say that I didn’t have a style but when people were watching my Tatton garden come together they would walk in and say “I can definitely tell it’s your garden Tamara” so perhaps I do! I love gardens that have a strong framework with soft romantic planting, although I cannot help using punchy accent colours, too.

walled garden with wild borders

Coming soon

My next big aim will be to exhibit at an RHS show again. It’s such a great learning tool, a chance to try new concepts and new materials, and to consolidate ideas that take a while to materialise in real gardens. I’m getting married this year and have been pleaded with not do a show garden at the same time, so it may have to wait till 2017!

Tom Raffield

Tom Raffield Arbour Chair

Arbour chair

Coming soon

There are quite a few new lights and pieces of furniture in the pipeline, which will add something very new and different to the range, but the thing I am most excited about is the sculpture we are making for London Craft Week. I want to demonstrate how the products we make come directly from trees, with so few processes in-between the raw material to finished piece. They really are so sustainable, honest and innovative; it is the steam-bending process we use that helps us achieve this and the sculpture will be a very literal way of people understanding what makes steam bending so beautiful.

9. Siobhan Currie, home textiles designer for John Lewis

Background

I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA(Hons) in Printed Textiles. I worked as a freelance designer for several years, creating prints and embroideries for design studios selling to both the fashion and interiors markets. I started at John Lewis in 2009 and have worked across a variety of product areas within the design studio. I’m currently the designer for bed and bath linens.

isometric towels in steel and dandelion

Isometric towels in Steel and Dandelion, £2–£20, John Lewis

Inspiration

Everything and anything! Any time I travel, whether for work or holidays I find it very inspiring. However living and working in London is a great source of inspiration, too, particularly with the opportunity to visit amazing galleries and museums. We work across such a variety of styles at John Lewis and each collection has a different source. It could be the work of an architect or artist, or a design from our archive.

elevation duvet cover and pillowcase set in smoke

Elevation duvet cover and pillowcase set in Smoke, £25–£55, John Lewis

Signature piece

If I had to choose, I’d probably say our House brand, which I design most of the patterns for. Some examples currently in store are Isometric, on several products, and Elevation, on bed linen.

Coming soon

Developing the bed and bath linen for our SS17 collections. The design studio will also soon begin researching for AW17, too.

Jake Solomon portrait shot

solomon and wu poured colour table

Coming soon

We are launching our new furniture range at the Surface Design Show in London and then taking our work to the Salone di Mobile, in Milan, in April. My favourite new project is a new range of flooring that we’re currently developing to launch in the summer – it will be like no other flooring!