Great design makes a huge difference to the way we live. Whether it’s a product that looks beautiful and performs seamlessly, a kitchen with the perfect layout, or a building that has been sympathetically renovated to provide rooms that fill the owner with joy, great design undoubtedly adds a whole new dimension.
As part of our 100th anniversary series we’re looking at 10 designers we believe set the standard for the future. Some are new, others long established, but they're the ones we think will help shape the look of our lives in the decade to come…
We’ve long been huge fans of Louisa Grey and adore the way her business, House of Grey, has developed and defined its aesthetic over the past two decades. Louisa says it is now “pioneering an evidence-based approach to health and contentment in interior design”. It’s this holistic approach that sets the company ahead of the crowd. The company philosophy of leaving a positive design legacy when restoring and renovating modern and historic spaces ensures it will stand the test of time and continue to innovate in the decades to come. This commitment is evident in Louisa’s own home, shown here.
London-based interior design business Studio Peake specialises in creating tailored interiors for residential and boutique commercial projects. The studio works closely with a number of UK workshops to create bespoke furniture for each project, designing schemes that are truly special. Blending imagination and tradition, the practice brings spaces to life with a playful blending of opposites and by bringing together the old and new. This young business is certainly one to watch.
Ashley Hinchcliffe Studio
Another young business, Ashley Hinchcliffe Studio is an RIBA chartered architecture practice that designs buildings to work perfectly within the environment in which they sit. The materiality of each project is central, and the company aims to empower crafts and workmanship by collaborating with local suppliers and workshops. With strong environmental values, Ashely’s philosophy centres on the fact that well-designed buildings influence not only the way we live but also our relationship with the surrounding environment. It's these two nurturing qualities that will see the practice grow ever stronger over the coming years.
Having honed her craft working at both large and small interior design
businesses, in 2018 Harriet Nicholls established her own practice. Her philosophy centres on creating highly bespoke, immaculately thought-out interiors designed to perfectly suit the people who live in them. She’s passionate about ensuring her designs work beautifully in the long term and are sensitive to their surroundings. Elegant and relaxed, the spaces she designed are intricately considered when it comes to colour, texture and proportion. Her fresh aesthetic puts her firmly on the ones to watch list.
Mowlem & Co
Award-winning kitchen brand Mowlem & Co creates unique, tailored
and finely crafted furniture which is at once modern and timeless in feel. Function is as important as form and the company’s kitchens are also designed to pleasurable spaces to in which to spend time. At the heart of the company’s philosophy is to create beautiful, functional furniture that its customers can bring to life and give meaning to. It’s this stance that guarantees the brand will continue to go from strength to strength.
Emma Sims Hilditch
Sims Hilditch, led by Emma, has a simple philosophy – that good design makes people happy and that the spaces we live in should enhance our lives. Emma has said: “We believe true luxury is about quality of life, embracing the beauty of everyday living and allowing inspiration to flow from our surroundings.” Every project the company works on is unique, and it creates gorgeous spaces in everything from huge country estates to city apartments, but all have one thing in common – design so well thought-out it feels effortless and timeless. We cannot wait to see what the next decades brings for this standard-setting design practice.
Founder of award-winning design firm Taylor Howes, Karen Howes is well-known for creating elegant interiors in extraordinary homes. The mix of considered luxury and liveability is what appeals most to us about the company’s aesthetic.
Last year Taylor Howes collaborated with us to create a new-look AGA cooker featuring the signature Taylor Howes navy blue colourway with the addition of copper-coloured hardware giving it a truly contemporary and elegant feel. As the company heads towards its 30th anniversary, it’s set to continue to set the standard for high-end interior design for decades to come.
We absolutely adore the kitchens by Blakes London. They are elegant and considered and designed to stand the test of time. Each project is a one-off so designed to reflect both the space and the lives of those who live in it. They describe their design process as collaborative, never daunting. Clever use of materials, gorgeous colours and creative use of available space makes Blakes London a name that is sure to endure. The company also designs bathrooms and dressing rooms and takes on bespoke joinery projects too.
We are enormous fans of Nicola Harding & Co who create spaces that are richly atmospheric. The company philosophy is to create places people feel enchanted by and connected to, places they can quickly feel at home in. It’s a rare talent and one that is evident in the work they do. The practice drills down into the history of a building, its period and location to create designs founded on integrity. It then weaves in the stories of the people who are to live in it to create a new narrative and a sense of belonging. It’s this nurturing of both place and people that makes the company perfect for the coming decades.
Our final designer is totally different. David Fisher is the founder of Fish & Co and what he does is quite difficult to pin down. It’s a kind of experiential alchemy. He’s a commercial mind with a creative heart. He says: “I operate from a rational platform of understanding and then work through a considered and intentional process.” What happens at the end of this process is a product or experience designed to bring happiness to the consumer. Often described as a brand’s secret weapon, David helps businesses think creatively and decide what to do next. That creativity leads to products that not only look fantastic but work perfectly for the future. He’s passionate about longevity. He’s not interested in right now, describing today as “already an archaeological dig”. Instead, he’s interested in life in five- or 10-years’ time.
More than 20 years ago he designed the Mercury cooker. His idea was to make it timeless but also retrospectively iconic. It was a plan that worked as its design is widely revered today. David approached the project with one thing in mind. How could they use the least to create the most. It was a process grounded in pragmatism and with the central tenet being to question the use of even the smallest part. Do we really need a screw here? Does there have to be a catch there...? He says: “I’m an obsessive pragmatist. I always start with a rational platform of understanding and then you can dream and imagine to your heart’s desire from there. In other words, help write the rules and then you can break them.”