Nicola Holden Designs – Contemporary Interior Designer, London.

I can’t believe we’re already into July. Where is this year going?

I seem to have hit a bit of a personal stumbling block with my blog. Ever since I upgraded my branding, things haven’t been quite right, and being a perfectionist, but not having the time available to dedicate to sorting things out, I’ve been struggling to pull out my finger and produce more posts. And now you, my readers, are demanding more material.

So, before time marches on too much more, I thought I would share with you some of the exciting companies I have recently stumbled across – during Clerkenwell Design Week and the May Design Series back in May (shh – don’t remind me that was 6 weeks ago)!!


The company that everybody has been talking about is A Rum Fellow, who launched their Maya Collection at Clerkenwell Design Week. This beautiful range of tapestry designs are created by simultaneously combining hand weaving and embroidery, and are produced by the Maya tribeswomen of Guatemala. It takes a month just to produce a slim metre of this fabric!! But the results are simply stunning – a kaleidoscope of colour and complex pattern.

A Rum Fellow 1

A Rum Fellow 2

Next up is Austrian lighting company Kaia with their Lum pendant. I have long been wanting to buy a star-shaped pendant for my home, and this is a gorgeously contemporary take on it, albeit made up of pyramidal shapes rather than an actual star. Another item to add to my ever expanding wish list!


Wandering through the damp confines of the House of Detention I stumbled upon this collection of bright fabrics and wallpaper from Kit Miles. Being a big fan of Timerous Beasties and Badgers of Bohemia, Kit’s wallpaper designs totally appeal to my design aesthetic, and I love the vibrant geometrics of his fabrics too.

Kit Miles

At the other end of the colour spectrum, but still equally gorgeous, are these fabrics from Studio 23. Produced by weavers from a remote village in eastern Nepal, this fabric is made from the Himalayan Giant Nettle (known as Allo).

Studio 23

At CTO Lighting’s stand I came across these opulent triangular Maya Wall Tiles, made from brass, semi brass, dark brass and bronze tiles. What a stunning addition to any home!

CTO Lighting

Urbanara do a great range of affordable homewares, and were showcasing their latest collection at Clerkenwell. I have been on the look-out for an Ikat cushion to add to a client’s Periwinkle blue chair, and this could be just the ticket.


If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you’ll know I’m always on the look-out for African inspired products, and this year’s show didn’t disappoint. I discovered Toghal textiles, whose fabric designs are a contemporary take on some traditional African designs. I love what they have done here!


As well as the addition of bright cushions to liven up your home, how about adding this wire stool / side table – produced through a collaboration between & Then Design and young designer Chris Oswin. Its colour and shape will add a bright, contemporary twist to your scheme.

& Then Design

This lighting from Italian company Prandina caught my eye too. If only I had a stairwell to drop it down through – sigh. Maybe in my next house…


How can one not love the geometric simplicity of these gorgeous prints from Lovely Pigeon? This screenprint with foil blocking celebrates the geometry of Anstruther harbour, near to where the artist lives in an old net loft.

Lovely Pigeon


From the May Design Series, held at the Excel Centre, the stand-out company for me was Australian company Art Hide. Using premium first grade Argentinian cowhides, an ethical supply chain and Art Hide’s trademark laser burning technique, the company produces a stunning range of leather products, from traditional natural rugs, to striking dyed and laser etched wall art pieces, and beautiful accessories for lifestyle and home.

Art Hide

And returning to the UK, how about this beautiful steam bent wood basket from Tom Raffield. Made using local, sustainably sourced English oak, and finished like a fine piece of furniture, this simple wood basket is an example of English craftsmanship at its best.

Tom Raffield

Danish company Ebb & Flow has a tradition of combining old with modern, celebrating unique enduring design. Using classically beautiful shapes and cut patterns, this lead crystal pendant has a dazzling simple elegance.

Ebb & Flow

Freshly back from Morocco, my eyes lit up to see the Amiens tile collection from Grestec – the revival of a traditional tile from the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East. This form creates an imaginative, playful finish that giving a feeling of movement.


If you’re feeling wealthy, then how about this 18-carat gold and copper kitchen tap from Dornbracht? With the increasing trend for warm tones and earthy, natural materials, this tap fits the bill perfectly!


And finally I will leave you with these elegant glazed steel basins from another German company Alape. I just love the simplicity of their shape, and the gracefulness of their dimensions – so thin and sleek.


So there you have it – my global pics from this year’s May shows. Better late than never!

“Everything we have in our homes has been designed. The quality of thought, materials and manufacture defines how satisfying an experience we get from interacting with them. But other issues, such as usefulness, usability and sustainability must also be considered in their creation to ensure that they fully enhance our experience of life in the broader sense.”
Sebastian Conran

Image credits from respective companies.

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