Made in Britain

21 Jun Made in Britain

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee still fresh in our minds and London 2012 just around the corner, there’s a rousing sense of pride and patriotism in the air, so what better time to admire some of the great British designers of our time and do our best to support the new talent that is emerging.

Founded by Arthur Sanderson in 1860, Sanderson is an internationally renowned brand in the field of interior design and decorating. Its quintessentially English fabrics and wallpapers, bed linen, paint and tableware collections offer classic, inspirational product, design innovation, exceptional quality and value for money.

Having been granted a Royal Warrant in 1923, Sanderson still supplies fabrics, paint and wall coverings to HM Queen Elizabeth II and British Royal Palaces.

Sanderson is the oldest surviving brand name in its field

Anglepoise Lamp – 1932

George Cawardine is not a name you may recognize, but his iconic creation back in 1932 has become a design classic.  Known as ‘the lamp of 1001 angles’, the Anglepoise lamp features more than seven decades of British design and engineering.



The furniture designer Robin Day and his textile designer wife Lucienne transformed British design after World War II.

Robin was totally committed to the design of low-cost, mass-produced furniture and was the first designer to appreciate the potential of polypropylene in furniture manufacturing.


Polypropylene stacking chair – 1963

Calyx – 1951


Inspired by abstract art, Lucienne Day pioneered the use of bright, optimistic, abstract patterns in post-war England, and was eventually celebrated worldwide.

Her breakthrough print was ‘Calyx’, a brightly coloured textile that she created for the Festival of Britain in 1951. She went on to design hundreds of colourful abstract prints for industry clients such as Heal’s.


The late David Hicks is acknowledged as one of the most significant interior designers of the late twentieth century. Known for his bold use of colour, eclecticism, and geometric designs in carpets and textiles, Hicks turned English decorating on its head in the ’50s and ’60s. His trademark was the use of electrifying colour combinations, and mixing antiques, modern furniture, and abstract paintings.
Hicks left a lasting legacy which serves as inspiration to many of our designers of today.



Sir Terence Conran is one of the world’s best known designers, restaurateurs and retailers. Born in 1931, he founded the Conran Design Studio in 1956 and later the Habitat chain of home furnishings stores that revolutionized the UK High Street in the 1960s and 1970s by bringing intelligent, modern design within reach of the general population.


Glove Chair – 2003



Boudoir Chair with Chris-X legs


Christopher Guy Harrison is a British born luxury furniture designer who is world famous for combining modernism with classicism in his designs.

Perhaps one of Harrison’s most famous designs is the Patented Chris-X (pronounced as Kris-Kros) leg design. This piece of furniture was apparently inspired by the corseted waist-line of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind as well as the crossed legs of a classically poised ballerina.

(Viscount) David Linley is a furniture maker and Chairman of the Auction House, Christie’s UK.  He designed and made furniture for three years before setting up his own company David Linley Furniture Ltd, now known as Linley, where he makes bespoke furniture, upholstery, and interior design products renowned for their neoclassical appearance and use of inlaid woods.  His beautiful creations are set to be the sought after antiques of the future. 1

Tom Dixon began his career as a designer in the early 1980s, working in recycled metal. Since then he has worked with a variety of materials and has designed a huge selection of products, but is perhaps best known for the S-chair, designed for Cappellini, and the rotationally moulded plastic Jack Lamp.
In 1997, Tom joined the UK furniture retailer, Habitat, where he was Creative Director until the inception of his own company, Tom Dixon in 2002.

S-Chair –1991
Crystal Bulb – 2012

Lee Broom founded his company four years ago, and has since gone on to become one of the UK’s leading interior and product designers. To date, Broom has designed over 40 bar and restaurant interiors across the UK and has won over 17 awards, with his work featuring in most major broadsheet and interior design publications.

The importance of the manufacturing process is integral to Broom with his unique contemporary pieces produced in the United Kingdom, where Broom works closely with talented traditional manufacturers, from seed to creation.


These are just a handful of examples of some of the incredible British talent we’ve seen over the past century.  We have a magnificent creative reputation we should all be proud of.  Unfortunately, so many other highly skilled trades in this country are being gradually driven out of business, with cheaper, lower quality imports taking their place.  Let’s make an effort to support our home-grown talent wherever possible and if we have the opportunity, invest in original, well designed products that will stand the test of time.

Buy less but buy better and where you can, buy British!

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