There’s a new interiors collection – the John Lewis Design Project – that I’ve been waiting for impatiently. (It’s been in the pipeline for two years). It’s finally launched, though, and I was delighted when John Lewis asked if I’d like to write about it. Why so? Not only are the designs beautiful and exciting, it also heralds a new era for their in-house design.
If you follow this blog you’ll know I’m an enthusiastic supporter of John Lewis. Not least for their support of young designers and the work they’ve done to introduce good design to the high street. So what’s different about the Design Project? That’s probably best explained, in the first instance, by Philippa Prinsloo, their Design Studio Manager:
My first impression, when I saw images of the products, was how coherent the collection is. I thought it looks modern and sophisticated, but in a very understated and timeless way. Which was exactly the intention. The John Lewis Design Project team decided on three core principles that informed each stage of development for each piece in the collection: “original, beautiful, progressive”, with the latter being the priority.
We wanted to create a brand in John Lewis Home that would reflect a progressive approach to design and manufacture; a lasting collection that reflected our values as designers, and a committed belief in moving forwards in design to reflect how we live today and will do in the future.
That said, they were also determined to balance that ideal with creating designs and using materials that would easily sit alongside someone’s existing contemporary furniture.
I think they’ve succeeded in that aim very well. I set myself the challenge of mentally replacing items in every room of our home with pieces from the Design Project, and I was spoiled for choice. Here are my favourite picks from my fantasy redecorating spree:
John Lewis Design Project
1. No.045 Floor Lamp | 2. No.004 Highboard, Oak | 3. No 079 Soap Dispenser | 4. No. 19 Throw, Plaster | 5. No.001 Large Glass Table Lamp | 6. No.039 Cushion, Natural | 7. No.061 Nest of Tables | 8. No.086 Armchair, Hamble | 9. No.049 Bed Frame, Oak/Grey | 10. No.071 Large Glass Vase | 11. No.002 Medium 2 Seater Leather Sofa
I was interested to discover that the design process for the collection was very ideas-led (you can read the whole story here). Consequently they didn’t have a fixed aesthetic for the Design Project series to begin with. John Lewis explain:
As a reflection of this process in the design studio, each piece has been given a project number. The team also created a palette of materials, colours and finishes, including new materials and techniques developed especially for the John Lewis Design Project.
It evolved as we created the materials, the colours, the shapes. Piece by piece it came to life and what linked it together was our shared ethos on what progressive design and manufacture means to John Lewis.
This carefully considered palette, which includes natural wood, concrete, smoked glass and metallics, ensures that all the pieces work together harmoniously. Of course, they’ll also stand alone if all you need is a single item to add to your existing décor.
And with everything from beds to roller blinds and sofas to soap dispensers, I’m pretty sure that my shopping list won’t stay in the realms of fantasy for very long.
Posted in collaboration with John Lewis