The Luxurist

A compendium for luxury living

Behind The Brand

9 Independent Design Brands & Artisans You Need To Know

Supporting independent crafts is something for everyone’s to-do list

Jessica Harding By Jessica HardingSenior Creative Buyer

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the world has come to a halt, including most of the LuxDeco team who are practicing recommended safety measures and working from home. One group we don’t want to come to a halt, of course, is our roster of independent artisans and brands who rely on continued sales to keep their operations moving. Indeed, we want them to flourish as much as possible.

These truly remarkable creators are important to us at LuxDeco and we are committed to supporting them in whatever way we can through the efforts of our Think Big, Shop Small campaign—an exciting campaign to support small and independent design brands which constitute a large proportion of the global interiors industry and are likely to be hardest hit during this time.

For the next 30 days, we’re offering customers a 10% discount on all products from smaller brands using code SHOPSMALL10 at checkout and doubling our marketing spend, dedicating the increase to the exclusive promotion of these brands.

Looking for ways you support the design community? Fall in love with one-of-a-kind design with these small and independent design brands and artisans as your inspiration.

SmallArtisanBrandsHelenGreenDesignShopLuxuryBrandsatLuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Helen Green

Alex McCarthy

Describing himself as having a “fascination for touch”, Bristol-based ceramicist Alex McCarthy updates simple ceramic profiles (or so he says) with anything-but-simple surface finishes. His highly textured designs are instantly recognisable for their carefully considered proportions, crackled, rugged finishes and generous lashings of gold, silver and copper lustres.

Elevating bark, earthen surfaces and marine life to luxurious new heights, the designs are as unique as the nature they’re inspired by.

“No two pieces are ever the same,” Alex explains. “This is intentional, as I feel each piece has its own story to tell. I want the viewer to interact with the work through touch and perhaps see if they can feel the pot’s journey.”

That journey takes about 4 to 6 weeks as the artist (who works alone) carefully completes each step by hand, utilising metal oxides to create intense hues and undertaking three firings for a perfect finish.

Alex’s work has been spotted in projects by Helen Green Design Studio and London’s Berkeley Hotel.

Discover the brand here and read our interview with the ceramicist here.

Support Small and Independent Brands and Artisans | Alexandra Shorey | Shop now at LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Alexandra Shorey

Alexandra Shorey

If you don’t recognise the name, chances are you’ve already enjoyed Alexandra Shorey’s creations in the projects of some of your favourite interior designers. The British artisan is most well-known for her beautiful horse sculptures—full of grace and almost perceptible movement.

The artist draws from a personal memory bank of beloved childhood moments with her horses to inspire her work which is sensitive and elegant—a modern yet sophisticated take on horse sculpture.

“My aim is to create work that is both decorative and emotive, taken almost exclusively from memory,” Alexandra reveals. “I try to capture how I feel about the horse, through movement and subtle gesture. My horses come to life as a recollection—a musing on past experiences and interactions.”

For each piece, Alexandra begins with a wire framework to render the horse’s statuesque proportions and bring to life its prancing gait. She then applies countless resin clay layers (which produces their textural finish) and undertakes just as many drying cycles before finishing with black and soft creamy brown acrylic paints, giving them their antique iron tone.

Shop Small and Independent Interiors Brands and Artisans | Bella Pieroni | Shop LuxDeco

Image Credit: LuxDeco

Bella Pieroni

Is there anything as fulfilling as collecting art and supporting a local artist? British artist Bella Pieroni has spent her career of over 25 years capturing human movement and translating it in a two dimensional form.

The inherent motion and energy of her sketchy, as-quick-as-it-happens artwork is a result of the artist “almost always” painting to music—the rhythms organically influencing the movements of the model and, thus, the rendering of the artist.

Using predominantly neutral palettes and faceless forms, Bella’s work is simultaneously easy to relate to and subjective in nature. All are enjoyable to view but one might take interest in a particular piece whilst another—with a different perspective, looking with different eyes or a different purpose—chooses a different piece.

The Portfolio Collection (the gallery where she exhibits her work) explains, “Her way of working is very much in the moment and captures the essence of model, movement and music, with the intention to allow the viewer as much input as possible so that the work can also become theirs.”

Discover the brand here.

Small Artisan Brands | Diane James | Shop Luxury Brands at LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Diane James

Diane James

American brand Diane James should be praised for creating realistic beauty in a sphere that is too often saturated with less-than-realistic alternatives—the world of faux flowers.

“For over 20 years, we’ve been designing the world's most beautiful faux floral arrangements… and not one of them has ever wilted!” the brand website quite rightly points out. Of course, fresh flowers are wonderful (as its undeniable source of inspiration, Diane James would surely agree), but imagine the joy of fresh flowers for 20 years with no upkeep and just as much beauty and realism.

Founder Diane is trained in floral composition, having learned the art whilst living abroad in Europe, and each arrangement is given as much attention as any her team might have produced out of real blooms.

“Perfect for special events like holidays, birthdays, and weddings, our luxury faux flowers and plants will make every occasion even more special.” Or even a self-quarantined spring?

A family affair in every way, Diane runs her near-all-female eponymous company with her twin daughters Carolyn and Cynthia out of their Connecticut studio.

Discover the brand here and read more about it here.

Small Artisan Brands | Hyde House | Shop Luxury Brands at LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Hyde House

Hyde House

Satisfying the wishes of Maximalists everywhere, Hertfordshire brand Hyde House trades in high-impact furniture with an edge. Designs characteristic of the brand’s urban style include teddy bear fur armchairs, sofas in upholstery in marbled fabrics, Roaring (20)20s Art Deco-inspired sideboards, and plinths decorated, trompe l’oeil style, in a panelled Phillip Jeffries wallpaper—proof that small and independent needn’t mean bashful and quaint.

Ever-creative, the brand has patented a unique furniture finishing system, RESINATE™—a method of setting wallpaper finishes, applied to casegoods, with a specially developed resin, allowing the brand and its customers to explore a host of patterns, visual textures and designs which have never before been used in this way.

But RESINATE™ isn’t the only way this brand is offering bespoke design. An independent workshop in true form, the brand has the agility to work closely with customers, designers, architects and others to produce custom-created, monogrammed, one-of-a-kind pieces which can’t be found elsewhere.

Discover the brand here.

Small Artisan Brands | Loom Furniture | Shop Luxury Brands at LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Loom Furniture 

Loom Furniture

Loom Furniture excels in contemporary furniture design inspired by classic forms and the made-to-order brand—based in Worcestershire—is fast becoming the go-to for sophisticated homes in town or country thanks to this best-of-both-worlds aesthetic.

Simple in construction, beautifully proportioned and perfectly finished” are the brand’s promises and it delivers. Designs are elegant in form—aesthetically and proportionally. Nothing is overthought or overdesigned. Pieces are either left in their purest form or very minimally accented.  

Console tabletops teeter on razor-thin legs, simply framed modern coffee tables are accented cautiously with a contrasting metal panel, and mirrors play with the inherent beauty of lines.

The brand’s use of finishes is equal parts classic but interesting, working with a carefully chosen selection of classic metal, timber, marble, glass, leather and specialist finishes. Between nero marquina marble and Port Laurent marbles, bronze glass and antique mirror, and racing green leather and faux parchment, the brand offers a world of choices to create pieces that are simplified in form but never in effect. 

Discover the brand here.

Small Artisan Brands | O.W. London | Shop Luxury Brands at LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: O.W. London

O.W. London

British ceramics have a long and illustrious history, so it’s thrilling to see that history continue with O.W. London—a fine bone china workshop based in the north of England.

Established in 2015 by Olivia Weinberg—an art journalist-turned-ceramic artist—the brand’s pieces are all handmade using traditional pottery skills and skill screen printing methods dating back to the Song dynasty. (What the brand might lack in age is made up for by this alone.)

“I started O.W. London because I couldn’t find what I was looking for—tableware that was classic and contemporary, vibrant yet understated, functional and timeless... all at the same time,” says Olivia in an Instagram post introducing herself. “Our products are 100% British. They are about quality and craftsmanship, but ultimately they are everyday pieces that are there to be used and enjoyed.”

From Greek fret-inspired tea sets to latticed table settings, the brand’s pastel wares are a spring lover’s delight.

Discover the brand here.

Small Artisan Brands | Rosanna Lonsdale | Shop Luxury Brands at LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Richard Brendon

Richard Brendon

Traditional in medium, maverick in nature, artisan Richard Brendon seems hellbent on shaking the dust off of a few less-than-sexy industries. The London-based designer is steadily building himself a reputation as the purveyor of contemporary chinaware and fine glassware.

The story goes that whilst Notting Hill-raised Brendon was studying product design and working at a pub on the Portobello Road, he recognised an opportunity—the plethora of singular teacup saucers, found amongst the eclectic wares of market sellers, whose cups had long been damaged. Seeing those orphan saucers, he had the simple but (what has turned out to be) ingenious idea to produce mirror teacups which would reflect the pattern of the saucer, creating a perfect pair.

“Our products are designed to challenge people’s perceptions of what traditional materials, such as bone china and cut crystal, look like and to maximise the pleasure of food and drink,” says the brand website.

Founded in 2013, his studio has garnered industry acclaim over its short life and counts establishments such as Rosewood, Four Seasons and Gleneagles as fans of his work.

Discover the brand here and read more about it here.

Small Artisan Brands | Rosanna Lonsdale | Shop Luxury Brands at LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Rosanna Lonsdale

Rosanna Lonsdale

Uniquely British design is one of the country’s most charming exports and Rosanna Lonsdale is the perfect modern example. Not only is the eponymous brand an independent, it’s also a start-up with an utterly sweet story.

Inspired by the work of her acclaimed lighting designer grandmother Monica Greig, founder Rosanna is continuing the family tradition of crafting lighting designs using the same 18th century decoupage techniques.

“Each lamp is handmade in London, through a meticulous process of painting and decorating glass vases from the inside, using the 18th Century technique, decalcomania,” says Rosanna of her vibrant glass lamps which feature motifs such as palm fronds, chili peppers and flamingos.

Expanding its catalogue, the brand also offers a range of cushions crafted from silk taffeta, handwoven in Uzbekistan. Ever-so-reminiscent of an extravagantly glamorous past of silk-covered walls and fringed upholstery (most recently espoused by the renovation of the iconic club Annabel’s), the cushions feature lively colourways which just might make you rethink your colourless decor scheme.

Discover the brand here.