Design Talk

&New Design

Mirka and Jo crop

How would you describe &New Design’s unique style and aesthetic?

Less is fun! Distinctly modern with elegant lines, our core collection is recognisable by it’s minimal powder-coated form. The airy designs combine an aesthetic of British wit and Nordic simplicity. Our designs are simple, functional and playful. &New products are made in Britain in small batches so they are all slightly different from each other.

When starting a new project, what is the creative process each product goes through?

We chat a lot, bounce ideas off each other and do bad drawings. Debate pros and cons until we arrive at something that satisfies both of us.

When looking for new ideas is there a particular thing you do to look for inspiration?

We go to a lot of auctions as a hobby and seeing old items and how they used to be made is a huge source of inspiration. Everything used to be so well made and made to last. There was a real pride in manufacturing in this country. It is inspiring to think that we are able to use those small local manufacturers who care a great deal how their products are made.

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How do you view the development of storage prodcuts in interior design?

It’s great to see that people are thinking about the storage products and furniture as an important part of their interiors. Stylish storage is a key, as people have more and more possessions and perhaps less room than before, to have it in. It’s great if you can store away the clutter and show off the nice items you have.

How do you feel your products fulfill both form and function?

All our designs are very practical. We are busy mothers and design furniture that we can have in our own homes. There is absolutely no point designing a lovely looking chair or table if it’s not comfortable or functional. However, functional can always be beautiful. There is no excuse for these two not to go hand in hand.

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What was the thinking behind the Leonard Console?

We wanted to design a sideboard that was functional, airy looking and well made. The size was important as well as we wanted it to suit modern living. We admire James Leonard, a British designer who designed a lot of simple plywood furniture for schools. Leonard’s furniture is beautifully designed and made to last. Our Leonard is influenced by Leonard’s designs and use of materials – it is functional but attractive and handmade by a carpenter.

AndNew Leonard

How long does it take to develop a new product through design, prototype, production and into the shops?

It really depends, some ideas are so good that we prototype and produce them straight away. The beauty of being small is that we can be very quick from thinking to prototyping to manufacturing. Other ideas take a while to mature. If the prototype has not worked then there is a lot of testing and adjusting. Some ideas just don’t work as products and too many compromises is never good.

Which beautifully designed storage or organising product do you covet?

Ha! We are constantly falling in love with bits of furniture. Too many to list!

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Are you fanatical about buying great storage for your own home?

Yes, great storage is the building block to a harmonious interior. If you can have a beautiful hiding place(s) for the everyday clutter, it leaves you with plenty of space to play around with.

Do you have any great organising tips you can pass on?

Hide it. If you can’t – get rid. :)