Our interior design studio is consistently collaborating with a whole host of talent and industry experts, including skilled artisans, award-winning lighting designers, landscape architects and luxury real estate developers. Founder and Managing Director Brian Woulfe shares his conversations with industry partners from these colliding worlds of art, architecture, design, property and interiors. We’ve also invited art expert Tova Ossad to curate our Art Series, a collection of insightful conversations on the intricacies of commissioning, acquiring, transporting and taking care of art investments. In the Emerging Talent Series, guest writer Eva Ramirez discusses creativity, craft and inspiration with some of the design world's most exciting and inspiring trailblazers.
Back in Spring 2020, as the world was collectively getting to grips with the realisation that we were in the midst of a pandemic, 28-year old craftsman and designer Paboy Bojang began sewing cushion covers to pass the time. He had recently lost his job at one of Naples' historic Majolica tile workshops and was staying with a friend who happened to have a neglected Singer machine and some fabric scraps. A year later, his homeware social enterprise In Casa By Paboy is recognised worldwide and has been featured in international media titles including Vogue and House & Garden. In this conversation, contributor Eva Ramirez discusses his introduction to textiles, the inspiration behind his optimistic, vibrant designs and what sparks joy in his life.
Carolyn Miner has worked in some of the most prestigious institutions in the United States and in Europe, straddling the commercial and the academic so it would be accurate to conclude that she is not just interested in objects, she is obsessed. Her fixation manifests in her current roles as independent art advisor and editor-in-chief of Il Libro Magazine. Carolyn thinks in movements and relationships, always asking how one artwork is inspired by another, thereby creating the ever-important art historical chains of inspiration.
From flying across the world to view a painting for thirty minutes to bespoke crates for artworks that are often only used once, the art world has a notoriously terrible carbon footprint. Finally, in October 2020, the Gallery Climate Coalition was formed by a group of gallerists, journalists, fair organisers and others. With a mission to educate this sector and move towards a reduction of carbon emissions by 50% (in line with the Paris accords), the GCC is helpfully providing the tools and the expertise to the art world – and other industries - to achieve this goal.
Seeing one of Modernity’s stands at an art fair gives the perfect sense of the furniture gallery’s philosophy. Take, for example, the 2015 London edition of the Pavilion of Art and Design where they had a large stand with two separate seating areas divided by a beautiful dining table. Two of the three walls had small wooden slats placed close together in what looked like a striped effect. It was something completely out of the ordinary and actually made the furniture interact with the walls as opposed to merely existing within them. To Modernity, furniture pieces aren’t merely being treated as everyday objects, but as unique pieces of art.
For Charles Byron and Maria Gomez of bespoke furniture brand Byron & Gomez, every handcrafted piece they make begins with a story to tell. The Somerset-based duo creates unique designs for private clients, interior designers and architects, and recently completed a piece commissioned by Designed by Woulfe for a private residential client. In this conversation, we discuss the importance of storytelling through design and why sustainability matters.
In the next instalment of our Emerging Talent Series, guest writer Eva Ramirez speaks with Lukas Klimcak, founder of Czech-based glassware brand KLIMCHI. They discuss the influence of his upbringing and how he has combined his family’s roots with his own signature style to create a business that is exciting and progressive while remaining true to the artisanal origins of the craft.
Books, maps, and globes are all areas that generate emotion for any interested buyer and Daniel Crouch is keenly aware of these connections. He invests an incredible amount of time creating experiences for his clients that will invoke a reaction or recreate a memory. When his gallery exhibited at The European Fine Art Fair, Maastricht in 2019, they brought virtual reality glasses and every person felt the elation of jumping into a map of Amsterdam or Paris. It’s not a gimmick; it makes this world breathe before a viewer’s eyes, creating more excitement and evoking further thought. Daniel relishes the opportunity to bring this to viewers and either open those feelings or start making new ones.
If you can’t visit Patrick Heide at an art fair or in his space on London’s Church Street, then the best place to talk about his gallery is standing outside of a small corner coffee shop, sipping a hot drink. The gallery works extensively and intensely to promote its artists with exhibitions and art fairs all over Europe, so you can see that Patrick is used to talking about the artist’s and their medium, no matter the setting. Though he is measured and rational, it is obvious that he has true passion for his work. He cares deeply about the conversations these artworks, and specifically this medium, can instigate and consistently looks forward to inviting those exchanges.
With her background in history of art and a resume that includes Christie’s and now Nicholas Hall, it is very easy to talk to Yuan Fang about pictures. Visit the gallery’s booths at art fairs or one of their expertly curated exhibitions in New York and you will see that she is eloquent and observant. But it is much more fun to talk to her about the work that she does to bring Old Masters to new viewers. She creates projects, curates exhibitions, and works with international scholars to educate audiences on how they too can connect with images that may not be immediately familiar. Of course Yuan loves art, that goes without saying, but it’s easy to see that she also enjoys the spark of a viewer realising that they have learned something new.
Freya Bramble-Carter has been immersed in the world of ceramics from a young age, communicating her thoughts, feelings and interpretations of the world around her through the tactile medium since she was a child. Under the masterful eye of her father Chris Bramble, whom she cites as one of her biggest inspirations, she has made a name for herself within the industry, garnered the attention of influential press and collaborated with the Tate Collective amongst other industry titans. When she's not firing pots in the London studio she shares with her father and fellow ceramicist, she is teaching others to do so through her group and one-on-one workshops, Freya's Clay Club.
William McLure moves comfortably between inventive interior designer and talented artist. He works on his own properties and constructs beautifully chic spaces that fit his extroverted personality with taste and sophistication. With his artwork, he operates with the very Renaissance-era concept of being commissioned to create, but you would be mistaken if you thought that this limited his creativity in any way. He achieves inspired imagination within the parameters of what his clients request and accomplishes an unwavering balance of structure, volume, and colour.
Walk into Peter Finer’s showroom at 38-39 Duke Street, or onto one of their stands at an art fair and his son, Redmond Finer, will be your guide, transporting you to a world of courts and ceremony, presentations of royal gifts, and weapons representing honour and prestige. His knowledge is so vast and his explanations are so detailed that you will see the history of the arms and armour unfold before you. He is an exceptional combination of passionate dealer mixed with master storyteller and transmits his enthusiasm with ease and fervour.
Trying to describe Flavio Gianassi in one paragraph is impossible, especially for someone like me who has worked closely with him for almost fourteen years. I have written draft after draft of this introduction and none of them capture his dynamic personality or his curious nature. So, here is my attempt: Flavio is sure to see every museum or gallery exhibition, every auction house preview, and every art fair because he is dedicated to absorbing as much visual detail as possible. He is tireless in his pursuit of engaging with every detail so that he can recall it from his sweeping memory. And whenever someone asks me, as many have over the years, ‘where does he get his energy from?’, my answer is simple: ‘he is committed to finding beauty in all that he sees and does’.
Bartholomew Landscaping is London’s leading landscape design and build company working on residential and commercial estates and gardens. They have been creating unique gardens and outdoor spaces since 1989. Our interior design studio has had the great pleasure of collaborating with Bartholomew Landscaping on some fantastic projects, including a Parsons Green family home’s urban garden for which we won the 'Residential Interior Private Residence London' award at the UK Property Awards 2020. We sat down with Managing Director Barry Burrows to discourse the ins and outs of landscape architecture.
Charlotte Wood of bespoke florist studio Wild Wood London sits at the forefront of innovative, seasonal floristry. Charlotte started out in womenswear fashion design before combining a longstanding love of flowers with her creativity. Since then, her successful career in floristry has seen her collaborate with luxury fashion houses and create installations for London's most iconic venues amongst countless other exciting commissions. Our interior design studio has worked with Wild Wood London several times to bring Charlotte's knowledge and instinctive eye for both faux and living plants into our luxury interior design schemes.
It is very difficult to engage in a conversation about contemporary British sculpture without examining Nick Hornby. With commissions all over the world and pieces that stand beside Barbara Hepworth and Auguste Rodin, it would be easy to understand if Nick were engrossed in the pretentious world that can capture a talented young artist. Instead, he is calm and speaks in a rhythm that is pensive and precise; because the truth is that he is interested in the experience of reflection and learning from his audience.
Anyone who meets Calvine Harvey will immediately notice that she has a staggering attention to detail; those who know her well would say that this passion is born out of an enthusiasm for telling a picture’s story. I have known her for over ten years and have watched her study the smallest features of an image, or chased the most insignificant facts about a painting’s history, because she believes that every factor will expand a painting’s horizon into the world of the viewer. She works very hard to translate the fascination of a scene or an artist into a language that any spectator can absorb. Whenever I am viewing a sale at Sotheby’s, whether in New York or London, I ask Calvine - who is justifiably busy - to explain at least one painting to me. She always makes it a magical experience.
If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Adrian Sassoon’s stand at an art fair, you will be transported into a celebration of artists and their treatment of materials. Whenever I have seen his displays, I notice that Adrian constantly handles his artist’s pieces. It’s not that he is overly tactile, but rather that he feels responsible for, and connected to, the mediums that his gallery represents. This translates to the gallery holding a reputation for their extremely high standard. He is also one of the few dealers who brings his artists to his art fair stands because he believes that the artist should be explaining their own craft. This all illustrates that Adrian has what is, in my opinion, a rare yet treasured quality in the art world: he likes to listen.
Tom Smith of Dovecote Antiques stands out as one of the youngest dealers in porcelain and silver, but it is his encyclopaedic knowledge that hypnotises any interested party. He can recall from memory entire catalogues of famous workshops whilst making any viewer appreciate even the smallest of details.
Elspeth Pridham is a journalist who specialises in writing about interiors. She is currently editor of The Insider website, aimed at interior design professionals. We asked her advice on the best route to getting projects featured in the press.
Simone Suss of London-based interior design company Studio Suss is passionate about creating sustainable interiors which tell a story, look remarkable and are planet-friendly. Driven by her desire to create positive change within the interior design industry, Simone sits on the Professional Practice Committee of the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design). She is also a Patron of the Royal Academy of Arts and was a longstanding member of the British Fashion Council Fashion Trust.
Ossad Art Management is a bespoke registrar and art transport consultancy, working with galleries, private collectors, art advisors, artists, and interior designers. We caught up with Founder Tova Ossad, who has fifteen years of experience importing and exporting art in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.
A conveyancing expert, Johnny Drysdale of Keystone Law acts for private clients on their Prime Central London sales and purchases. In our conversation, he discusses what to expect when enlisting a conveyancing expert for the purchase, sale or mortgage of high-value residential property. Johnny also shares his insights on how the events of 2020 have impacted the property market for UK and overseas buyers, and what we can expect in 2021.
Aiveen Daly is a multidisciplinary artist, upholsterer and designer who works with top interior designers and architects worldwide to provide specialist finishes and embellished surfaces.
A pioneer of lighting design, John Cullen is an award-winning architectural lighting company based on Chelsea’s Kings Road. Their world class lighting schemes span the luxury residential and hospitality industries.
Tas and George Kyriacou are experts in sophisticated living. Their company creates efficient, instinctive and innovative experiences in the home through integrated technology.
Tom Faulkner has been designing and making striking contemporary furniture, mirrors and lighting for over twenty years. His innovative designs predominantly incorporate metal, glass, wood and stone and are handcrafted in the company’s Wiltshire workshop.
Outsourcing has always played an important role in how Designed by Woulfe operates and has allowed our luxury interior design studio to undertake projects in various countries at the same time. In the run-up to Decorex 2018, Brian reached out to three industry peers to discuss outsourcing with them.