Monthly Archives: April 2011

Conran: Milan Furniture Fair Trend Report

As promised, here’s an overview of trends shown in Milan by Conran & Company’s Alice Walsh.

Milan, as always, was great fun, but the economic situation (and maybe the volcano’s 2010 disruption) was definitely evident in the lack of new products being launched this year.Instead we saw products re-issued in new colours and materials.

Colour was generally toned down and more grown up. However there were some brights thrown into the mix. These included lead reds, vapor yellows and sulphate blues. Combinations of these 3 colours were visible in a lot of stands and exhibitions.

Colour combinations

Colour combinations

There was a definite sense of ‘casual living’ throughout the fair. This sense of realism was shown through soft plump upholstery, coupled with fat piping, hospital corners and blanket stitching to illustrate construction and emphasise comfort.

Casual living at Vitra

Casual living at Vitra

Another noticeable trend was that tables were presented in clusters rather than formal nests.Honesty in material and form was a nice extension from the last few years.







And off the wall lighting kept appearing too, whether it was a re-issue in a new colour or a new design.



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Conran in Milan

Milan furniture fair drew to a close last weekend, and unlike last year, everyone made it home on time! The show is a great opportunity to seek out emerging trends and to make contacts, alongside enjoying the atmosphere at the obligatory opening night parties!

As always, there was a Conran presence at the fair, with staff from various areas of the business in attendance and Terence himself could be spotted mingling amongst the crowds.

Air Vases by Torafu Architects

Air Vases by Torafu Architects

Wolfgang Zender of Studio Conran was a returning visitor to the fair “My favourite stand this year was Kiovisto Rune for Huawei, and Kkaarrls in Zona Tortona. Although I couldn’t pick a favourite designer, there was a lot of talk surrounding Konstantin Grcic’s new work” Wolfgang also mentioned trends in the use of pure, untreated materials, suggesting the qualities of craftmanship, alongside a use of fresh colours combined with lightweight materials, such as aluminium casting.

Mood Sofa by Hanna Emelie Ernsting

Mood Sofa by Hanna Emelie Ernsting

Next week we’ll be bringing more information from Conran & Company’s Alice Walsh, alongside images of her trend report, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of what she thought…

Naber Concept Kitchen by Kilian Schindler

Naber Concept Kitchen by Kilian Schindler

“Overall there wasn’t much newness visible, with a lot of companies showing re-iteration of product in new colours. In terms of colours, there was a noticeable trend to off-primary, brightening the mood mid-recession. Attention to detail was a key trend, particularly noticeable on stitching and seamlines, with a return to plump, slouchy sofas in the upholstery sector, giving a much more relaxed and lived in feel.”

Check back next week for the full version and plenty more images!

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Conran: New bedlinen for Spring!

Spring is in the air!
It’s time to do a good old spring clean and start thinking about refreshing your interior.
Terence always says one of the easiest way of updating an interior is by investing in some new bedlinen – and we have just what the doctor ordered.

Bed by Conran Broadway

Our fresh new designs for Spring Summer 2011 are all based on what we do best when it comes to design-led bed linen: stripes. We have rethought this most classic of patterns interpreting stripes in a variety of different ways – this season all our new designs are based on street plans, maps and elements from cities around the world.Broadway is inspired by the criss-cross geometrics of downtown Manhattan, softened by a sophisticated, feminine colour palette – perfect for a sunny Sunday morning lie-in with the papers.

Old maps of Manhattan inspired our graph-paper style Broadway design

“Berwick is inspired by vintage flags and fabrics from Berwick Street in London and is a beautifully woven, panelled design finished with crisp, white piping” Holly-Anne Rolfe, Conran & Company

An early concept board for Berwick

Bed by Conran Berwick

“Madison is a playful, oversized herringbone weave – a nod to this most traditional of fabrics but with a contemporary, bold approach and bright colour palette.”

The new ranges are available now from House of Fraser - have a look online, or pop in store to see for yourself!

Bed by Conran Madison

Did  you know?

  • We spend almost a third of our lives lying between sheets or a duvet, so your choice of bed linen is vital – comfort is the difference between sweet dreams and a restless night
  • Terence is the man credited with introducing the “continental duvet” to the UK. He was so taken by seeing them in Europe, he decided to sell them in ‘habitat’, which he opened in 1964.
  • Although Terence is arguably best known as a designer of furniture he actually trained as a textile designer in the 1950s at the Central School of Art and Design (later Central Saint Martin’s) before starting his first job working on designs for the Festival of Britain.

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Conran: Green Man Lane demolition begins!

On Monday, Paul Zara, Lee Davies and Tory Freeman from Conran & Partners joined Rydon and A2Dominion at Green Man Lane to celebrate the start of demolition work for phase one of the regeneration project.

The team were joined by members of the residents association and Councillor Bell from Ealing Council to mark this important milestone.

Demolition at Green Man LanePaul Zara had this to say on the day: “This is a very special day for the residents of Green Man Lane and for Ealing. We think this project will be a flagship redevelopment for the Borough and very much hope that people will enjoy seeing the design develop over the coming years”.

Read more about the project in our earlier post and on the Conran & Partners site.

Green Man Lane Master Plan

Green Man Lane Master Plan

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Conran: Content by Conran in Trondheim

Content by Conran, our range of contemporary upholstery and cabinet have recently been busy producing items from the Matador collection ready to ship out to Norway.

Content by Conran  Matador, Trondheim

Content by Conran Matador Range in ELD

ELD restaurant, in central Trondheim is a new upmarket steakhouse, and their designers selected items from our best selling modern classic Matador range as the perfect accompaniment to their retro inspired interior.

We think these pieces, in a sleek brown chocolate leather look great! And the menu doesn’t look bad either…

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Conran: CEO Speaks: The changing face of the London skyline

Should we keep every old building just because it’s old – or should we concentrate more on the distinction between good and bad rather than ancient/modern?

Do we in Britain take enough risks when it comes to new Architecture?

These are just some of the questions our CEO Roger Mavity raised in a talk last week, organised by the London Chamber of Commerce, loosely based on the London skyline which appropriately took place right at the top of one of London’s most iconic landmarks – Tower Bridge, just around the corner from Conran HQ.

Click here to see a bite-size version of his talk.

Afterwards, Q&As from the floor raised some very interesting questions surrounding the legacy of the Olympic buildings, Supermarket design and whether our planning regulations help or hinder progress.

If you’d like to hear more about these the full talk and Q&As will be up here on youtube shortly.

Certainly food for thought.

Click back for more opinion on this point.

What do you think?


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Conran: Thanks to all those bloggers out there…

You might have read in our last post about the fabulous event we had here at our Head Office – well, in Terence’s apartment to be exact -last week;  a chance for the great and good from the design bloggers community to come and meet us all to see what we do.

Check out what some of these lovely people had to say about it! Thanks All!

Also, a great way to see more photos of our beautiful building (and staff…!)

Keep a look out for ‘meet-up no.2′!

Read about it and see more pictures on…

Angel & Blume

Better Living through design


What Katie does

You might like this

Fabric of my life (more coming soon!)

Tea for Joy


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Conran: Meeting up in style…

What better place to enjoy a cool glass of wine on one of the warmest, sunniest evenings of the year than the rooftop terrace of Terence Conran’s apartment.

And while you’re there why not have a nose around our building and find out a bit more about Conran?

That’s exactly what tempted 40 of the UK’s most eminent design bloggers to join us last night for the first of our blogger’s meet-up events, run in conjunction with our friends over at, the one-stop shop for all your design needs.

We thought it would also be a great opportunity for people to chat to our team and get the lowdown on each part of Conran, whilst having a little look around our studios.

While the team from The Conran Shop chatted to people about some of their hot new products for Spring Summer 2011, down in Studio Conran Bryony Akehurst and Katy Clarke talked the guests through the branding project they did for the healthy cake people Petit Pois and Product Designer Jared Mankelow demonstrated the design process behind our mobile phone which launched in Japan last year, sparking a very interesting discussion on the dying art of hand sketching as a useful exploratory phase at the beginning of the design process.

Interior Designer Jacqui Senior and Architect Nico Santarelli showed bloggers around our Architecture & Interiors floor, Conran & Partners talking about the breadth of interior design we have done all over the world and the massive new redevelopment project Conran & Partners have just completed in Tokyo (more next week…).

All very interesting stuff and lots of questions asked!

In Conran & Company project manager Holly-Anne Rolfe and textile designer Lâle Güralp gave the bloggers a quick tour around their office, showcasing some of the Conran branded product they help develop including brand new bedlinen designs from Bed by Conran and Conran Fine Bedlinen which are just about to hit the shops – books, colour and inspiration galore.

Plus much interest in the beautiful collection of prints of paintbrush collections which Terence bought as a book and framed years ago which have adorned the walls of the office since it was Terence’s a few years ago (he’s now just across the hallway).

There’s already been a few reports posted up there in the big, bold, blogosphere…

there’s one here at – (thanks!)

Watch this space – we hope to have many more meet-ups in the future….enjoy the sun!



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Conran: Meet the team: Architect Simon Kincaid

Here’s the latest introduction to our team here at Conran…

Simon Kincaid is the first of our architects from Conran & Partners to be featured.

Thanks very much Simon!

What do you do at Conran?

I am an associate at Conran&Partners working on both Architectural and Interior Design projects.

What were you doing before you joined Conran?

Working in London since graduating in 2000.  I have spent time working with a leading branding and retail design consultancy as well as a top restaurant design specialist.  During this time I have designed and seen through to completion interior environments for both high-street and luxury brands.

What do you love about your job?

Applying creative ideas then seeing the end results being experienced and enjoyed by clients, customers or guests.  It is this satisfaction of seeing a design brief come to life, sometimes in short period of time, that gives me the most pleasure.

What do you like about working at Conran?

For me it is the diversity of design brief and opportunity to travel that I like so much about working at Conran.  For example I have been fortunate enough to work on Residences from Kuala Lumpur to Ibiza, Restaurants from Hong Kong to Hyderabad and Shops from Milan to New York.

Regent Residences, Kuala Lumpur

The Conran Shop, Rinascente, Milan

Park Hotel Hyderabad

What is your favourite project you have worked on at Conran&Partners?

I do have a soft spot for the Conran Shop project in New York as working for our sister company on a project located on Broadway with a tight programme and a real positive team made for a great experience.   However my favourite project is the Zen restaurant at the Park Hotel in Kolkata India.  We have been involved in the full refurbishment of this city centre Hotel and the Asian Fusion restaurant was one of the first areas to be constructed.  The design changed very little from our first proposals and the screens, lighting, finishes and open kitchen create a wonderful ambience which I am very proud of.

Park Hotel Kolkata

What are you interested in now?

I have an ongoing interest in the crossover between different project types; residential with hospitality or mixing retail and leisure.  This trend for blurring the line between these is becoming the norm:  high-end residences with room service, restaurants with guest rooms and environments where you’re not sure if it’s a café or shop are examples;  I’m thinking about what’s next………………

Find out more about these projects and more of our architectural and interior design work on the Conran & Partners website.

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