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Best of British: British Design

By 28th August 2018Articles, Lifestyle, News

Whether you’re looking for on-trend accessories or investing in heirloom pieces, British design is rightfully back in the limelight with an array of choices, from handmade kitchens to bespoke lighting.

There are a host of home-grown brands designing, making and sourcing unique pieces for the home here in the UK. These are just some of our favourites…

Plain English

Plain Georgian architecture, simple domesticity and a homage to nature is the inspiration behind this British brand’s handmade cabinetry for kitchens, larders, sculleries and pantries. Founders Katie Fontana and Tony Niblock started the business from an old tannery in the Suffolk countryside and have been lauded for their exquisite attention to detail ever since. Visit the London showroom to see the latest designs in situ. Hero pieces include a voluminous Dutch Larder with Georgian style shelves and Queen Anne plinth detail, and a curved Bath dresser – each are given a contemporary twist with the addition of a choice of bespoke paint colours devised by Adam Bray in collaboration with Paper & Paints.


Tetbury’s Lorfords Antiques made a splash in the capital with the opening of its first London showroom in 2016. Now, owners Toby Lorford and Lesley Ferguson have branched out with ‘Created’, a capsule collection of graceful, bespoke British-made pieces, including sofas and armchairs. A series of distinctive headboards has recently been added to the range too, each made in the team’s Cotswolds studio. Look out for fabric and wallpaper ranges from The Fabric Collective, including niche British designers Penny Morrison and Rapture and Wright. For nature lovers, the store’s pretty courtyard garden hosts a treasure trove of stone troughs, weathered turquoise copper bins, Regency ironwork and an inspiring mix of antique and mid-century statuary, furniture and objects.

Rowen & Wren

Lucy Uren set up this unique online homeware brand with her partner Graeme Purdy in 2011. The former textile designer curates a collection of contemporary and understated pieces, known for their soft colours, organic shapes and tactile nature. Inspired by simple functionality, Lucy’s furniture, linens, glassware, hardware and accessories sit just as comfortably in an urban loft as they do in a country retreat. Look out for the brand’s Christmas collections which always include one-of-a-kind decorations and stylish trimmings.

Rosanna Lonsdale

Having founded her business in 2016, designer-maker Rosanna produces glass and wooden table and floor lamps created in a shared studio space in Wimbledon. Using the decalcomania techniques passed down by her grandmother, Monica Greig, Rosanna’s extensive collection offers a range of striking glass lamp bases which can be made to order in a range of sizes, colours and designs. Each base has many layers built up inside the glass to achieve a unique paint finish and for a truly bespoke result, names, initials or key dates can be discreetly incorporated. On-trend designs such as the Palm Beach base, are complemented by brass frames and smart silk and gold wires.

Russell Pinch

Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon have been producing graceful, honest furniture from their Clapham studio since 2004, with an emphasis on pieces that are both easy to live with and timeless enough to become heritage staples of the future. Last spring, the pair opened their first standalone showroom in Pimlico’s design district. The beautifully curated space features handmade cabinetry, lighting and upholstery characterised by the quiet elegance and simplicity that this brand is renowned for. Standout pieces include the handsome Frey armoire, a modern classic, and the Moreau bed, with its softly sculptural form.

Article written by Emma J Page

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