Decorum Loves: Giles Miller Studio

I first became enamoured with the designs of Giles Miller’s Studio when MKV design used his work for the bar of Smith and Whistle. Since becoming aware of his work I now instantly recognise it. The studio has been operating for five years, since the founder Giles Miller graduated from London’s Royal College of Art.

Smith & Whistle, Giles Miller tiles for the bar

Material Lab included Giles Miller studio at Decorex 2015 where it was the perfect addition. Fourteen of the finest luxury surface design studios were brought together in one unique monochrome installation, from printed leather hide, gilded glass and high end metal effect finishes, to engineered stone, chalk and charcoal textures. Seeing Giles Miller Studio in this context allowed you to really appreciate the craftsmanship and the mesmerising, glossy, shine of the geometric faceted tiles by getting up close to the material.

Giles Miller Studio surface

The studio prides itself on the ability to deliver a diverse range of surface solutions that marry architecture with beautiful interior finish through inspiring surface development. Focussing on creating innovative surfaces, the tiled surfaces they create are specially designed to manipulate light and shade to illustrate pattern and texture and can also form any image. They recently completed one of their most opulent and extravagant projects, a thirty-metre long ceramic installation on the Champs-Elysees for Le Lido. Geometric gradients were combined with bold graphics and the high-gloss golden tile is angled facing in different directions so that the pattern work is shown purely through the light and movement surrounding the wall. Tourists and visitors to the club have long posed in front of the entrance for photographs, and the new wall creates a truly striking and memorable backdrop.

Le Lido, Paris Giles Miller

Giles Miller Studio is located in Hoxton, in the heart of London’s creative East end. All projects are designed in-house with the vast majority being manufactured in the United Kingdom and completed by hand in their studio. The tiles for Le Lido were painstakingly assembled by hand in the studio space where teams of artists manipulated each individual piece to create this large scale composition, and generate the imagery within the surface.

Giles Miller Studio breakthough talent of the year FX awards 2015

I’m excited for the future of this design house. They recently created a triangular tile shape for the backdrop of world-renowned watch makers Omega’s 2015 campaign across China. They also won breakthrough talent of the year at the FX awards on the 25th November 2015. It seems that they are being presented with ever more eminent opportunities and it will be interesting to watch how far they can go.

Little Luxuries: Christmas Decorations

The lights have gone up on Oxford Street, the cupboard is full of mince pies and we’re already planning outfits for the office party, but it’s hard to concentrate on shopping for friends and family when the shops are full of sparkling decorations. We all know that decorating the tree and putting the wreath in pride-of-place is really what gets that magical feeling started, and we’ve found some of this season’s top choices.

Wedgwood Tealight House

Wedgwood Tealight House

White and gold has established itself as a major trend this Christmas, and ceramic decorations have come into their own. Wedgwood are one of the most timeless purveyors of British ceramics, and these tealight houses will be treasured heirlooms. While the warm glow from the windows looks welcoming on a cold December night, the attention given to the architectural detailing means these miniature houses would be stylish mantlepiece or desk accessories all year round.

Liberty Peacock Christmas Decorations

Liberty Peacock Decoration Selection

Usually there’s one bold colour trend which stands out during the Christmas season, and this year it’s peacock. Saturated blues, greens and purples abound with metallic accents, and there’s no better place to shop for these feathered beauties than Liberty. If you love doing a theme, they also have a matching stocking and plenty of peacock gift ideas.

If you’re looking for something a little more unusual or artistic, it’s always good to check Etsy. It’s full of talented artists who’ve turned their creativity towards original pieces which will set your home apart from the rest.

Peacock Feather Glass Ornament, Mary Elizabeth Arts on Etsy

Peacock Feather Glass Ornament, Mary Elizabeth Arts on Etsy

If you can’t stand the glitzy look and are just waiting to curl up with a hot drink and a cosy blanket this season, there are still decorations to suit you. Whilst most department stores turn into palaces of glitter at this time of year, try The New Craftsmen for an understated selection of winter decor and gifts. Favourites include a personalised, plaited heart wreath by Elaine Lindsay, a twelve-piece winter tea set in hand-decorated porcelain, and these hand-knitted Christmas stockings in British wool by The Good Shepherd:

The New Craftsmen Christmas Stocking

Knitted Christmas Stocking, The Good Shepherd for The New Craftsmen

Georg Jensen Christmas

Georg Jensen Christmas 2

Of course, colour trends will come and go but gold will always be the true king of Christmas. As Georg Jensen’s new flagship store opened last week in Mayfair I was excited to see that they were continuing their annual range of gold- and palladium- plated decorations. Intricate cut-out designs of doves, hearts and stars look great next to the cleverly balanced candleholders. But don’t just adorn the tree – this gold-plated advent crown is the perfect table centrepiece, light one candle for each of the four Sundays during advent, and all four on Christmas Day.

I’d challenge any Scrooge not to be filled with Christmas cheer when surrounded by these festive offerings!


Decorum Explores: World of Wedgwood

This year Christmas came early for Decorum, in the form of a visit to the newly opened World of Wedgwood in Stoke-on-Trent.

decorum times world of wedgwood 6

In the past few months we have worked closely with Wedgwood on the Wedgwood Home Fabrics and Wallcoverings collection by Blendworth, officially launched at Decorex International in September. Having gained insight into the brand and fallen in love with its archive, we jumped at the opportunity to visit the newly opened brand experience, bringing to life Wedgwood’s 250 years in the British ceramics industry.

Our visit started with – courtesy of Chris, Wedgwood’s Group Business Development Director – a tour of Wedgwood’s new office space and its thriving design studio. We were privileged to see the collections launching in 2016 and while we can’t share any details we can reveal that they present a striking and contemporary creative direction for Wedgwood.

decorum times world of wedgwood 2

We explored the brand’s museum which is home to the Wedgwood Collection, one of the most important ceramic collections in the world. It presents the illustrious history of the brand, from its beginnings with Josiah Wedgwood revolutionising the ceramics industry, through its global expansion, to today’s wealth of designs and collaborations. Among the tour’s highlights were the discovery that Josiah Wedgwood was the grandfather of Charles Darwin, seeing tens if not hundreds of trials for developing their famous Jasperware, as well as seeing the Frog service, a 50-person set intended for dinner and dessert, featuring a total of 1222 views of British landscapes, antiquities and gardens. The set was created especially for the Empress Catherine II of Russia.

decorum times world of wedgwood 3

decorum times world of wedgwood 4

Following the museum visit, we entered the Wedgwood factory, which was the most enlightening part of our experience. Here we discovered the labour-intense process of creating Wedgwood ceramics, involving hours of craftsmanship from Wedgwood’s skilled artisans. Casting, figure making, pattern decorating, hand painting, ornamentation and gilding are only a few of the techniques honed at Wedgwood. For me the most captivating was the precision of craftsmen hand painting and gilding individual plates and cups as well as creating Jasperware pieces with carefully cut and placed relief decorations.

decorum times world of wedgwood factory

decorum times world of wedgwood factory 2

We also had a chance to test ourselves at the potter’s wheel, throwing our very own vases – it was a great fun, yet even creating a simple design like ours required detailed instructions from the Wedgwood potters who showed great focus and skill.

decorum times world of wedgwood potter wheel

Our day at the World of Wedgwood had an exquisite finale with an afternoon tea at the newly opened Tea Room. We can confirm that the teas and food were as delicious as the interiors were beautiful! We had the pleasure of sharing our afternoon tea with Chris from Wedgwood, gaining further insight into the company, its plans for 2016 and beyond. We’re already looking forward to seeing the Wedgwood Home collection launch at Maison et Objet in January and to working on the second collection of fabrics and wallcoverings developed in collaboration with Blendworth later next year.

decorum times world of wedgwood tea room

decorum times world of wedgwood tea room 2

If you’re passionate about design, love ceramics and heritage and are simply after a wonderful day out, make sure you book your tickets to World of Wedgwood immediately – it’s a perfect Christmas gift!

Little Luxuries: Rebecca’s Christmas Wishlist

I always have a wishlist on the go, but Christmas is the perfect opportunity to dream a little bigger. This year I’m asking Santa for a selection of luxurious accessories inspired by this season’s trend for warm metallics.

Stocking Fillers:

A must-have for anyone who rejects Kindles for the joy of leafing through the pages of a traditional book, ‘The Bookworm’ is Tom Dixon’s range of six bookmarks in etched brass. Including a fountain pen, a magnifying glass and a finger pointer, my favourite is this delicate quill. It would be perfect twinned with a  great design book or to glam up some book tokens.

Tom Dixon Quill Bookmark - Christmas Wishlist

Tom Dixon Quill Bookmark, £12

Tom Duxon Quill Bookmark Detail  - Christmas Wishlist

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a healthy serving of chocolate, and I’ve been waiting to try Amelia Rope’s range. They are made with Madagascan, Ecuadorian or Tanzanian couverture (depending on the percentage of cocoa solids), and are available in boxes of colourful, foil-wrapped cubes, boxes of truffles or bars. I need someone to help me choose between Dark Mandarin, the Dark Coffee Bean Bar and the Pale Lemon & Sea Salt Caramel Truffles, or to help me decide which order to eat them in!

Amelia Rope Chocolate  - Christmas Wishlist

Amelia Rope, The Pale Chocolate Connoisseur’s Collection, £36

Amelia Rope Chocolate  - Christmas Wishlist

Under the tree:

As my life becomes increasingly digital, the daily act of writing becomes more significant. Having used Parker fountain pens for over a decade for work, diaries and creative projects I’ve come to appreciate how much a pen is a statement of personal expression. Did you know that the nib of a fountain pen will be shaped by your writing style, making it individual to you?

Parker Pens Sonnet Fountain Pen, Pearl Pink Finish  - Christmas Wishlist

Parker Pens Sonnet Fountain Pen, Pearl Pink Finish, £149.95

Parker Sonnet Subtle Pearl and Grey Fountain Pen - Christmas Wishlist

After seeing the Sonnet collection I am not sure I will be able to return to my current pen. The elegant combination of pearl lacquer, rose gold and finely engraved details check all of my boxes. The most classic style in Parker’s range, Sonnet comes in a variety of different finishes including the equally feminine Ciselé, a black finish with 18 carat gold, and vibrant red.

Tom Pidgeon Prints - Christmas Wishlist

Anstruther Haar, £75 and Harbour 2, £50 Geometric Prints from Tom Pigeon

Newly relaunched, the Tom Pigeon store is a carefully curated selection of products which you won’t be able to give to others without buying something for yourself. My pick is these A2 geometric prints, hand-pulled on luxurious GFSmith Colorplan paper with metallic foil detailing. Inspired by the natural forms of rural Scottish coastline, they’re equally suited to a modernist home or a sleek urban office. I’m also planning out spaces for the Luna and Sol series!

Tom Pigeon harbour 2 - Christmas Wishlist Tom Pidgeon Anstruther Haar - Christmas Wishlist

Finally, something for the home. In case you haven’t noticed, in the past few years designer Jo Sampson has been giving British heritage brands a style overhaul and one of the products was this gorgeous decanter set. Part of her Rebel collection with iconic crystal brand Waterford, the set includes amber, blush and plum coloured crystal containers on a golden tray, with matching tags meaning you’ll never mix up your spirits. The range also comes with matching glasses, so you can have everything you need to toast the season. Barware has been a growing trend in the last few months and this would be the ideal time to polish up my collection before New Year’s Eve entertaining.

Waterford Decanters 1 - Christmas Wishlist

Waterford Rebel Decanter Set, £365

Waterford Decanters 3 - Christmas Wishlist Waterford Decanters 2 - Christmas Wishlist Now dream shopping is another point checked off on my Christmas to-do list, it’s time to start researching what to give friends and family!

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