London is bubbling with creatives, designing everything from chair seats made from woven extension cords to funky bowls decorated with pieces of coloured porcelain. Here’s our round-up of the top emerging designers in the capital.
Native & Co
This trendy design studio, founded by British-Japanese Chris Yoshiro Green and Taiwan-born Sharon Jo-Yun Hung, opened its store in Notting Hill in 2014. The duo aims to ‘recontextualise traditional craft through contemporary design’. The studio sells a range of furniture and tableware with inspiration coming from the founders’ native countries.
Native & Co, 116 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, UK, +44 20 7243 0418
Hand & Eye Studio
Check out this up-and-coming lighting design company led by Tom Housden. The studio believes that, like architecture, lighting can have a ‘transformative effect on our spaces and how we live’. It sells a range of lighting and, in particular, has an excellent range of terracotta lamps. The company also collaborates with like-minded designers in the UK and in continental Europe.
Originally from Dorset, Anna Wiscombe moved to London to pursue her business in making wooden objects. The designer works with a range of wood – including oak, beech and birch plywood – to her pieces. These include decorative flowers, which the designer is known for, jewellery and ornaments. Still, Wiscombe doesn’t forget her roots, drawing inspiration from the Dorset countryside. Where possible, the designer ensures her wood is sustainably sourced.
This studio uses a collaborative approach between architect Craig Bamford and artist Louise Sayarer to design buildings, furniture and objects. Products made in this Peckham studio include a gondola made from oak, pine and plywood; a metal wind register, which can be easily assembled and taken apart; a shelving unit; and a Spanish sofa crafted from reclaimed wood.
Charlotte Frances London
Set up in 2015, this Stoke Newington-based studio specialises in handcrafted prints and fabrics. It sells cushion, scarves, wallpaper, brilliantly floral sofa chairs and ornate wallpaper. The designs are inspired by the travels of the firm’s founders, Charlotte Sumner and Camilla Blunt, using ‘visual elements and patterns found all over the world’.
Charlotte Frances London, 14 Batley Place, London, UK, +44 20 7686 8067
Austrian-born designer Alexander Mueller set up his London studio in 2013, offering a range of expertly crafted furniture and lighting. Mueller’s designs include a maple wood side-table decorated with burn marks; wooded-framed chairs, which use woven cords to create geometric patterns; and a monochrome-coloured dining table made from ash. The studio also offers bespoke furniture commissions.
Ana Jiménez Palomar
Mexican-born Ana Jiménez Palomar uses distinctive shapes and bold colours in her designs, specialising in furniture. Her pieces have included a stool with a woven orange extension cord used to make the seat; a coat hanging unit inspired by electrical plugs; and handprinted wooden jewellery. Palomar also makes storage units and wardrobes. She has had stalls at exhibitions across the world, including the UK, Mexico, China, Sweden, America and Italy.
Before Breakfast was founded in 2016 by designer Nicki Shen. Shen was inspired to set up the company when she began thinking about how to manage her time more effectively and set out to achieve something meaningful before breakfast on a daily basis. She creates everyday objects, from plant holders to cushions and geometric patterned trays. Her designs are printed using printed using soy-based inks and Riso printers.
Sevak Zargarian is a ceramic designer, who works from in garden studio at home. Zargarian uses interesting techniques and finished in his designs. His work has included a collection of kitchenware, including bowls and chopping boards, decorated with pieces of coloured porcelain. He has also created a series of jars made from coloured grog (fired ceramic pieces) – each vessel has its own unique pattern from the random placement of the clay during the making process.
This award-winning textile designer ingeniously designs using discarded fishing gear collected on the coasts of the UK and Puerto Rico. Her strong social conscience informs her design, and her work includes a wooden-framed chair with a seat woven from netting.