Our Living Room Blog shares a little bit more about what we do and why, from our manufacturing to the people with whom we collaborate. When you consider this small independent business in the decision making for your home, you are considering a small group of people, not a brand.
We are passionate about UK & European manufacturing, not only because of the superior quality level that it affords, but as a deliberate stance against the negative impact of global sourcing, both environmentally and ethically. Likewise, we thrive in collaboration because, just like you, we like to work with and buy from people. Makers and creatives who share our sensibility of honestly of materials and love of things made well.
Any of you familiar with our Instagram account, lifeatlivingroom, will know that our own home and studio is somewhat of a muse for the Living Room aesthetic.
When we started our business, we wanted to create design led pieces of exceptional quality, but ones which were very much intended for real homes and normal daily life. We don’t live in a perfect ‘design’ box and nor do our customers. Our home is pretty modest in size and is restrained by the same budget restrictions as most. Likewise it is filled not only with Living Room pieces (as you would expect!), but is also home to our favourite vintage finds and objects that either evoke memories or just make us happy.
We were so flattered when the freelance journalist and editor, Dom Cortlett, asked to photograph our home and discuss the renovation of our late Victorian semi. Undertaken when we moved to Hitchin from North London back when our daughter was a toddler, we think it has scrubbed up pretty well several years on… it is featured in the May ’20 edition of Real Homes magazine, shot by the very talented Kasia Fiszer.
Working and collaborating with our customers to assist in finding their perfect interior solution is one of the most rewarding aspects to what we do.
As we design and develop all of our upholstery models from scratch with our suppliers, we are invested in every detail. Likewise, our fabric sourcing is as important to us as the the design of our models, understanding that fabric has a significant impact on both the appearance of any given piece but also it’s longevity over time.
The restrictions of working with UK and EU mills only is challenging at times, particularly in the face of so many cheaper imported alternatives. But we want our furniture to be investments for the future and are as passionate about understanding the provenance of the fabrics we use as as it’s quality level. Our customers understand that buying furniture with longevity is in many respects a more frugal choice than buying cheaply. For this family, in the renovation of their late 60’s Brutalist property in rural Hertfordshire, they wanted to invest in furniture that was contemporary yet reflected the period of their home. Likewise, with three under 10s, they wished to use fabrics that were hard wearing and forgiving, with strong use of colour. We think that the combination of dark ink blue and vibrant orange, both in our Camira Fabrics ‘Main Line Flax’ wool / linen mix, delivers on all counts.
We were lucky with this project not only to make three of our own pieces for the main open plan living space, but to also consult on the rest of their interior choices, from occasional furniture to soft furnishings. From the Jane Ellison cushions which sit alongside our own to the Ercol originals nest of tables, we are delighted with the overall theme of hand crafted, British made items that will withstand family life and be enjoyed for years.
Be it help with fabric choices or the perfect light to sit next to your sofa, we are always happy to discuss the bigger picture behind your home or room renovation. Get in touch to learn more.
Well that was a blast! Thank you to all those who came along to our stand at last week’s London Design Fair. Our very first outing at the festival has been a hugely positive experience and it has been fantastic to meet so many design enthusiasts, from press to public.
Our stand saw us take quite a bold stance with our colour palette, the highlight being our bespoke ‘gorse’ yellow back wall created by our friends, the excellent paint alchemists at Fenwick and Tillbrook , exclusively for the show but now available on their website here. This amazing colour was inspired by our introduction of a vibrant new mustard wool from Camira Fabrics, which we showcased on our latest Model 6 chair design. It also provided the perfect backdrop for our Model 1 sofa, which was upholstered for the occasion in another new contract standard fabric from Yorkshire’s Camira Fabrics, our ‘Silk’ wool mix in ink blue.
Fenwick and Tilbrook’s ‘Vintage Peony‘ pink provided a softer accent on the side walls, which were contrasted by our Model 3 Cocktail Chair in our saffron orange 100% wool from another favourite British Mill, Abraham Moons.
In addition to launching our new Model 6 collection at the show, we also launched our second collaboration with another British designer maker, Daniela Rubino. Our Collection 2 side table combines our signature solid oiled oak in a new design of tripod base with Daniela’s hand cast jesmonite terrazzo tops. Each piece was created by hand, reflecting our stand’s colour palette for the show but available bespoke in any chosen colourway. Base and top are held by solid brass centre pins, hand turned for us by the impeccable Swarf Hardware who also make the brass wall hooks for our fabric swatch wall.
After four whole days of manning the stand, we are now just about ready for a sit down. The sore feet were worth it though.. thanks again to everyone who made it so special.
This year saw our first collaboration outside of our own furniture designs.
It had always been our hope for Living Room that we could expand our collection to home accessories. However, in doing so, we wanted to apply the same attention to detail and vintage inspired contemporary aesthetic. We also wanted to find British makers who shared our love of craft and provenance.
The result is a collection of 4 cushion designs, created exclusively for Living Room from the creative mind of Sally Weatherill. Sally’s Studio on the Suffolk Essex border houses her two 24 shaft dobby hand looms, from which she creates her unique designs. Blending her love of craft with an inherent modernity, each cushion is handmade using UK sourced materials.
Combining her experimental approach with our chosen colour palette, each of the four designs works independently or when grouped. Designed as a co-ordinating family, each piece uses two separate yarns across the warp and weft. Backed in our Abraham Moon & Sons 100% wool, each cushion is hand sewn with concealed zip and duck feather fill.
Although passionate about woven textiles, it is by no means an expertise, and so this project has been a fantastic learning. Trying to understand the technicalities behind the creation of each design has been an education and a delight.
See our six designs here, including the two additional blue and pink designs created for this September’s London Design Fair show.
This project has also ignited a desire to collaborate further with other makers, so the search is on..
Those already familiar with our brand will know that we are nothing if not passionate about British manufacturing industry. We pride ourselves on making our upholstery at one of the UK’s most respected manufacturers, based in Nottinghamshire.
We work in partnership to ensure that every single piece of upholstery produced is made to exacting standards, using the best UK or EU sourced materials, so that what you buy from us is built to last. The highly skilled workforce are continuing a long standing heritage of British made upholstery, taking great pride in the work that they do. We hope that this is evident in every detail.
We like to carefully oversee every order, knowing that for each customer their sofa purchase is one of the most important items in their home. This particular sofa was one of a pair of Model 2 sofas, recently delivered to the family home of one of our favourite Instagram accounts, The_Idle_Hands, whose stunning interiors you can enjoy here. Made to order in our grass green Designer’s Guild 100% cotton velvet, we went up to oversee their manufacture and to capture one of our products in production.
Thank you to the Master Craftsman that is Dean here for agreeing to have his every staple and fabric tuck committed to camera, and to Kasia Burke Photography for joining us on the day and to capture him at work. See our Model 2 collection here.