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Monday, July 4, 2022

Ask the Designer: On Furniture

Furniture design and specification can be one of the largest plot points in a design scheme narrative. It’s like character development, bringing to life the space with doses of personality. We asked four design studios:

How do you express a scheme through furniture selection and how do you design for your own collection without determining a house style in projects for clients?


Charlotte and Angus Buchanan, Co-Founders, Buchanan Studio
For us, the first step is to decide what it is that dictates the scheme of the room. It could be an incredible piece of furniture that you want to style everything else around, or a piece of art, or even an architectural feature such as a window that offers amazing light, or a particular view. In these instances selecting furniture becomes about picking pieces that suit the particular room. The aim when we design more of our own collections in the future is to design pieces that work in lots of different spaces, pieces that have a timeless aesthetic and sensibility, while also feeling current and fresh. Our own style (and that of Buchanan Studio) is often quite informal and eclectic, so as part of our collection we will be designing both classic pieces as well as more modern ones and some re-purposed vintage pieces / antiques. The collection as a whole will work together, with each piece complementing the rest to create a really interesting collection’.


Elena Maresca, Director of Interiors, Maresca Interiors
In every project, after receiving a brief from the client, the first element that determines the choice and style of the interior furniture selection is the property itself. As interior designers, we rely heavily on the history and structure of the space to create a scheme that reflects its soul, without distorting it with elements and styles dictated by trends. Our recent projects, such as the newly opened Thom Sweeney Townhouse in Mayfair, London, and the Guest Pool House have just completed in Trancoso, Brazil, are a testament to the fact that style is not an imposition on our part; our aim is to find a way to create the perfect fitting for the space and the location, so that the client, once moved in, can feel at ease as if the space had always been made and decorated in that particular way.


Nicky Dobree, Founder, Nicky Dobree Interior Design
The design and selection of furnishings plays a crucial role in interior design and is key to the function, circulation and overall feeling of an interior. Furnishings should be comfortable, functional and reflect the personality of the person living and working within the space.  Striking the balance between beauty, style and functionality requires well thought out furniture choices. Choosing the right furniture can spectacularly transform a room adding an elegant and timeless beauty to it.  Making incorrect furniture choices will have a negative effect on the space.  Each piece of furniture needs to complement the other, making the room comfortable without overloading it. It is often hard to find exactly what you are looking for to furnish a room. It is therefore very usual for us to design bespoke pieces for a project. Furniture is a key component of the room and it is their colour, texture, finish, shape, detailing and sizing that will be used to define the room.

Thomas Griem, Founder, TG Studio
Furniture and its finishes make any scheme.  They are intrinsically important to setting a scheme, therefore in all our projects we include the furniture layout, finishes and specification in our initial concept.  Sometimes a piece of furniture can be the starting point to set a scheme.  When designing your own collection, you are either inspired by something or methodically seek to achieve a look.  Occasionally whilst working on a scheme for a client, we design a product that we like so much that it becomes a product.

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