Hi Mark, thanks for talking to us.
- We hope you had a great summer, seen any great design on your travels?
This summer has been great, loads of European travel, something that really caught my eye was an amazing street sculpture in Barcelona, Homenatge als Castellers, in the Placa de Sant Miquel.
It's a towering steel sculpture which looks like an overblown doodle of twisted coat hangers.
Then in my home city at Clerkenwell Design Week, I loved a super cool Tom Vac chair by Vitra designed by one of my favourite architect practices AHMM.
- You're a trained interior designer. What fuels your passion for design?
My passion for design is fuelled by everything that surrounds me, one of the most profound things I learned at architecture school was to look, and look again at what surrounds us, whether it's a building, piece of furniture or nature. So many of us don't.
- Can you remember the first piece of furniture you bought?
My first piece of furniture I bought was a 1961 Charles Eames Carrara marble topped circular coffee table with steel legs. It's very elegant, and very practical.
- What is your most treasured piece
My most treasured possessions have to be my collection of ceramic pieces by Bitossi Ceramiche designed by Italian designer Aldo Londi. I have four original 50's pieces a bull, a bird, a giant cigar ashtray and a lamp base. They are really striking in blue and green colours with really retro patterned surfaces. I am keen to add to my collection.
- Do you have a favorite item at O&OO
My Favorite Out and out original piece has to be the Briggs Breakfast Stool in Yellow, as you can see I like bold colours, it's a simple not complicated design.
- What would you say was your style when it comes to home interiors?
My style is totally eclectic mish mash, my work is centred around contemporary design, but I inherited some amazing antiques from my Grand parents who had really good taste. We used to have an UBS modernist flat in the Brutalist Trellick Tower, and now we live in 500 year old Oxfordshire cottage. Our furniture is the same; it all seems to fit together somehow.
- You're a Director at Capital Designer Studio. Tell us a little more about the company?
I am the London Sales Director for my third generation Family Business Capitol Tiles.
I created Capitol Designer Studio, two years ago which sits within the Capitol Group.
We aim to take tiling to a new level of importance within the architecture that surrounds us.
I curate a stunning collection of contemporary porcelain tiles that is exhibited on our buy online website and London showroom in Fulham.
We have a program of doing large experimental installations by combining our manufactures products with Top architects, last year we launched Pulsate designed by architect www.lilyJencksstudio.com which got us onto the front cover of Interior Design magazine in the USA.
This year we worked with London based architects www.CoupdeVille.net to design our stand at 100% Design using the flexible architecture collection by Philippe Starck.
- How do you pick the best tiles or surface materials?
I source products very carefully, I don't want to overload or confuse my clients, and generally new products have to fit in four categories of marble, wood, concrete, and stone, neutral porcelain tiles, or bricks or patterned tiles, but I am constantly on the look out for something which knocks me over.
- Our customers are passionate about great home design so what advice would you give them when it comes to using these materials?
My advice to my customers is combine textures and finishes and sizes, first of all choose a neutral tile and combine it with a wood, marble brick or patterned tile. If you are doing multiple bathrooms, I think there should be a flow between them all. With your samples lay them all out on a board, with your paint and other materials; they should all compliment each other. Then when they are installed you will have the same sense of well being that everything goes with each other.
- At 100% Design London 2014, you announced a Phillip Starck partnership. Exciting stuff, tell us more?
This year we collaborated with Ceramica Sant Agostino, one of our best manufactures in the launch of the Flexible Architecture tile collection designed by Philippe Starck.
At 100 % Design we hosted M. Starck on our stand after he opened the show, he met our top clients and discussed how he came up with such an amazing tiling system.
He then went on to do a Q and A with Tony Chambers, Editor of Wallpaper magazine.
It was an incredible morning, please see the film, and check out the ground-breaking collection which plays on depth, and different surface and colours to create unlimited different laying patterns.
- What are the big interior design trends we should look out for?
I think colour is coming back, geometric bold patterns are huge, and my favourite new technology is the use of water jet cutting tiles. Any of our tiles can be cut into any shape or design; this opens up our collection into unlimited options. I think people want to put their stamp on their home or design. I urge people to be brave, it’s allot easier than you think.
- Finally, for you, what music makes the world go round?
Just heard Lamb's new track We fall in Love, I am a sucker for electro jazz, can't live without Thievery Corporation, Trentmoller, or Moderat.
Thanks Mark, keep powering, amazing stuff. Have a great day