Taking time to reflect; 2018 in review
2018 saw a year of continuous change at Rachel Usher Interior Design.
As a team we challenged our approach within the practice, keeping pace within an industry that’s ever changing. This week we look back at just a few of our highlights from the last 12 months, a year which can only be described as transformative…
Luxury residential Interior Design Studio
Surprisingly we’ve only been working from our current premises for the last year, the space has gradually filled out as our studio team has expanded with the addition of a Business Development Manager and additional Project Site Managers - it’s hard now to imagine that our close-knit team were ever based anywhere else.
We welcomed clients and suppliers to our first ever open-studio back in April and couldn't have been more grateful for the love and support of all those who attended; the space was filled with positive vibes and judging by the late hour of the evenings end - you had as good a time as us. Since our open-studio event the space has developed further as new suppliers have been added to our ever-expanding sample portfolio and our existing collection has been edited in keeping with our commitment to quality and craftsmanship.
Our website and social media accounts have all transformed into a streamlined representation of both the expertise our highly talented team provide and the inspiration behind the luxury residential spaces that they transform. If you’re not following us on social media already, you can join us by following the individual icons at the bottom of this page.
Milan’s prestigious Salone del mobile
Each year the eyes of the design world firmly fix on Milans prestigious Salone del Mobile. It’s the busiest design week within the interiors calendar, on an international level, showcasing and celebrating creativity, innovation and quality in equal measure. Towards the beginning of the year we immersed ourselves within Milans creative districts, in search of the latest inspiration from the exhibition itself as well pop-ups, installations and more.
We listed our top-six-highlights from the world’s most influential design week here, noting references we felt were key within our industry; in particular the focus on emotional experiences within a space, a principle demonstrated within every design we saw - from furniture to installations. Architectural botanicals, minimalistic integrated lighting and everlasting iconic designs have become present in all of our design schemes since, individually catered to each space and client.
There’s a a lot of ground to cover at Salone Del Mobile, the exhibition itself is vast and covering the external pop-ups and installations too is a challenge. A lot of walking was involved, something as a team we’ll never forget, along with the reward of unmeasured Gin & Tonics…
Iconic brand Tom Dixon - The Coal Office
Internationally renowned brand Tom Dixon opened its doors in 2018 to the design brands most ambitious development yet; The Coal Office, located in the heart of London’s Kings Cross. We were lucky enough to be invited to a private press-preview of the space, the first interior design studio to do so, for a behind-the-scenes look at how the space had been transformed.
Since our initial visit the restaurant collaboration between acclaimed chef Assaf Granit and Tom Dixon has now opened, the final touch on The Coal Office experience which serves as the ultimate centre for interiors. We were invited back during London’s Design week for a private preview of Electroanalogue, a collaborative installation with friends and partners Bill Amberg Studio, Teenage Engineering, Ege carpets, Timorous Beasties, Spiritland, Formica and Kirkby Design - exploring the impact of digital innovations.
The design destination is now somewhere we regularly visit when working in London, refreshing our product knowledge but also as a source of inspiration with continuous pop-up events and installations held within the space throughout the year.
Luxury and contemporary residential Projects
Last year we purposefully embraced a limited number of clients to afford ourselves the time to offer a truly personalised service whilst fully utilising our teams wide-ranging experience.
We began building a new portfolio of high-end interiors where we honed our skills in designing bespoke pieces, developing lasting relationships with suppliers for bespoke elements such as fixed- joinery, furniture, upholstery and luxury flooring. As the year progressed these individual elements evolved to form part of the studios overall designs aesthetic as clients understood the value and our knowledge within these areas. As a result we carved out a particular Interior Design niche within the North of England, for interiors which are truly luxurious and high-quality whilst remaining contemporary and modern.
Commissioned artworks by artist Fenella Elms were a particular highlight from our residential project ‘New Reflections’ - Fenella is an award winning artist and designer with her bespoke pieces notably having been presented in ceramic art books as well as high-end interiors and architecture magazines.
Our trip to Milan’s Salone del Mobile taught us to embrace simplicity, allowing iconic pieces such as the Bocci’s Series 21 Pendant to speak for itself within our luxury master bedroom scheme, ‘Relaxed Luxe’ - as an impactful feature to compliment our studios’s bespoke specialities.
Further projects completed towards the end of the year are due to be photographed and added to our website shortly here, follow us on Instagram for automatic updates when new projects are incorporated online.
Amara Interior Blog awards
After years of working closely with many talented individuals, interiors retailer Amara recognised blogging as an integral part of the interior design industry. Introducing the concept of an Interiors Blog Awards in 2013, the campaign to celebrate and champion bloggers from various backgrounds has since grown tremendously - thanks to the awards philosophy of being open to all, regardless of size or stature within the industry.
With the aim of deconstructing the commonly perceived notion of design simply being about aesthetics only, back in February we launched our own interiors journal to explain why, to us, creating a memorable interior experience with an emotionally considered approach is the only way to add meaningful value to a space.
We couldn't have been more proud, when after only a few months of exploring topics that our studio are extremely passionate about, we were nominated within the ‘Best Interior Design Blog’ category. With your help we became finalists and were lucky enough to attend the prestigious awards ceremony hosted by former ELLE Decoration UK Editor-in-Chief, Michelle Ogundehin.
It was a truly rewarding experience and confirmed that what we do, and say, connected with both our clients and the prestigious judging panel. This year we’ll continue to take a fresh look on how interiors are inextricably linked to health and wellbeing and why investing in an Interior Designer is just that; an investment.
What to expect in 2019
Along with fresh photography from our ever-expanding portfolio of luxury interiors, we will also be embracing some other visually exciting changes towards the beginning of the year… Keep your eyes peeled in early 2019 for a streamlined high-end service experience - with a contemporary new look.
In February we will be travelling to Stockholm for the city’s annual Design Week, a Furniture and Light Fair which is considered a leading event for Scandinavian Design. It will mark our first inspiration trip of the year - seeking out the latest developments from the world’s most prestigious and innovative interior brands. We will of course update our online journal upon our return but for those who would like to share the experience with us - follow us on Instagram here.
Towards the beginning of the year we will be looking to expand our studio team further still. Our future vacancies will posted via our careers page here but in the meantime, if you’re a qualified interior designer, technician, project manager or you are an overall highly organised and creative individual with a genuine passion for design - we’re happy to hear from you on a speculative basis. If you would like to get to know our current team a little better, a page on our website will soon be added - dedicated to each individual member who make our design studio the skilled practice that it is.
You can also expect exciting digital content collaborations with some of our industry’s finest pioneers - add @Rachel_Usher to your follow on list own Twitter for collaboration updates as they happen. We would also encourage you to join our community of loyal newsletter subscribers here - as invites to this years carefully curated open-studio event for both clients and suppliers will be sent electronically (expected towards the beginning of Summer 2019).
We would like to take the time to say thank you to everyone who has joined us on our journey so far, here’s to another transformative year…