Nick Snow’s winning project for Valspar

1. Nick Snow, Valspar Young Interior Designer of the Year 2015

Nick Snow Valspar young interior designer of the yearBackground

Having worked as a complaint handler for three years, it dawned on me that I wasn’t utilising my skills and or following my passion. I’d always aspired to be an interior designer and decided to take the leap from a steady managerial lifestyle to design.

My achievements range from appearing on BBC One show, Your Home In Their Hands, to winning Valspar’s Young Interior Designer of the Year Competition. I was picked out by a panel of judges including celebrated British fashion icon, Dame Zandra Rhodes; renowned interiors blogger and author, Will Taylor from Bright Bazaar blog; top interior stylist, Marianne Cotterill and Lindsay Rendall, chair of the student committee of the British Institute of Interior Design.

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.


2. Patrick Kendal, freelance designer and Design Council ‘One to Watch’

Patrick Kendal head shotBackground

I wasn’t a standout product design student at school or university, but when you enjoy something and practice it, you improve. I’m passionate about design, and I always strive to produce products that are better than what currently exists.

Signature piece

The Spring Oven is an ovenware product I designed in 2014. The base of the pot has a channel of water that creates steam during the cooking process. Cooking with steam in an enclosed vessel improves the speed, taste and healthiness of the food.

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.


3. Richard Brendon, founder of Richard Brendon, part of Walpole Brands of Tomorrow for 2016

richard brendon heat shotBackground

It all started just over five years ago in my final year of university where I was studying Product and Furniture Design. I was in an antique shop and I realised there were a lot of orphan saucers because people break teacups more regularly than they do saucers. I started buying all of the orphan saucers that I could find and decided to make use of them. I had the idea of creating a reflective cup, which would reflect the pattern on the saucer to reunite the two, and making the antique saucer valuable again.

After graduating I entered a competition with Wolf and Badger who started selling my Reflect range. This generated press and interest from other retailers and led to me starting my business. I have since been featured in The Evening Standard’s 100 Most Influential Londoners.

Inspiration

Although I admire the work of many designers, I wouldn’t say I draw my inspiration from any one individual. I’m inspired by the best elements from the past; I particularly love Georgian design, the Aesthetic movement and Art Deco ceramics. I also gain inspiration from the manufacturing process itself.

Speck teacup and saucer by richard brendonThe 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.


4. Genevieve Bennett, nominated for a British Design Award for her collection of leather wall coverings in 2012, and a winner for her ‘Genevieve’ bedding collection for Habitat in 2007

genevieve bennettBackground

After gaining a Masters in printed and embroidered textiles at the Royal College of Art, I worked as a consultant for eight years, designing home accessories for brands such as Habitat and Wedgwood, with many designs becoming best sellers. In 2008 I established my own studio. My aim was to explore how luxury, natural materials, innovative techniques and unique pattern could be combined in unique and intriguing ways.

I established my business making bespoke leather wall coverings, which are used in boutique hotels, private residences, restaurants and retail spaces. At the heart of my work is collaboration, working with clients to realise unique pieces to be treasured. More recently, I have worked in collaboration on home accessories with leading homeware brands such as John Lewis, and Crate and Barrel in America.

trellis rug lifestyle shotTrellis 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.


6. Rich Turner, winner of the Become a Hillarys Designer competition

rich turner hillarys design winnerBackground

I stumbled across my love for interior design entirely unexpectedly and completely by accident! I’m actually a web and video developer from 9am to 5pm, but since buying a house and discovering beautiful Scandinavian pine floorboards underneath some tatty old carpet, I’ve stumbled across a totally unexpected new path. That discovery seemed to flick a switch inside me; from then on, I couldn’t stop thinking about interior restorations, trends and cultures.

Inspiration

I find that speaking to people is the best form of inspiration, as it gives you a far better feel for the functionality, trend or style required. For the competition, I had to come up with a Scandinavian style; and I spent a lot of time talking to friends of a Nordic and Scandinavian origin and their family members to get a real understanding of what Scandinavian culture means, what they need and want from their homes, and how their style reflects their character.

soraya wallpaper and blind for HillarysSoraya 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.


7. Tamara Bridge, RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year 2015 and member of the Pro Landscaper 30 under 30 for 2015

Tamara bridge head shotBackground

I started school as an animal lover who had set her sights on becoming a vet, or failing that, an Equestrian gold medal Olympian – needless to say I didn’t succeed in fulfilling either. I studied arboriculture for two years and learnt to climb, prune and fell trees. However, I also quickly realised that working at height was more suited to people not concerned about leaving the ground!

I undertook a year placement at Sandringham Estate under the Historic and Botanic Gardens Bursary Scheme and loved it. Part of my time was used to undertake project work and the head gardener suggested that I could have a go at designing a garden for their summer show. I went on to build the garden using items found around the estate and plants that I had grown from seed or lifted and divided from the grounds.

I worked for a few years as a self-employed gardener doing the odd bit of design and a few more show gardens, but it wasn’t until 2013 I decided that I would focus on the design side of my business and enrolled on a long-distance design course.

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!


8. Tom Raffield, owner of Tom Raffield, part of Walpole Brands of Tomorrow for 2016

Tom is also Kevin McCloud’s Green Hero and won the Lighting Design Association’s Lighting Design Award 2011.

Tom RaffieldBackground

Since Tom Raffield launched in 2008, I’ve had such a wonderful experience growing the business. I have a very passionate, enthusiastic and motivated team of people who understand and believe in the company’s core values; originality, quality, craftsmanship and sustainability. I believe the real driver for success is creating a unique product, providing jobs that inspire a workforce and creating a business that is like nothing that has ever come before it.

Inspiration

So much, but definitely where I live and work, surrounded by trees and nature. This isolated setting feeds my imagination and empowers me to be bold and create things that are not about following fashions and trends, but about creating something unique. The steam-bending process we use also inspires me, in the sense that I feel the way we use it means there is no end to what we can do and the capabilities it offers

Signature piece

The Arbor Chair is fast becoming one of our most popular designs. The marriage of steam-bent, sustainably sourced oak and a comfortable seat, upholstered in wool from one of the last remaining vertical woollen mills in the UK, makes for an iconic design that represents our craft perfectly. The No.1 Pendant and Butterfly Pendant are what we would call our ‘iconic’ designs – they are the customers’ all-time favourites and reflect our brand and unique approach to design and 21st-century woodwork.

Tom Raffield Arbour ChairArbour 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 dandelionIsometric 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 smokeElevation 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.


10. Jake Solomon, director of Solomon & Wu, part of Walpole Brands of Tomorrow for 2016

Jake Solomon portrait shotBackground

I got where I am today by not needing validation for my ideas, as well as determination, and the support of friends, family and wonderful staff.

Inspiration

The idea that we can always improve and make a difference in small ways to whatever it is that an individual does. I like to be constantly exploring new materials and developing ideas.

Signature piece

The Cubist Rose. It is a piece that shows the possibilities of the medium form, a different perspective. Our new cubist stencil design takes the form of a 3D object and translates it into a 2D design – playing with depth and making specification a lot easier.

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!

Sponsors