When you launched KFive, what were the initial motivations to start the business?
Because both Kearon and I had over 20 years experience in the industry together and our tastes in design collaborated well. We wanted to have a business delivering honest, clean and simple designs, something that was lacking in the market. We also wanted to have fun with our employees and create a community at work and to this day we've had biannual staff trips oversees and watched our business grow into a nurturing environment which I felt was lacking at other workplaces.
What is quintessential European design?
It's the family owned business, regardless of size it always feels like everyone knows each other. In terms of aesthetic there are 3 archetypal styles in Europe.
Italian - slick, attractive, demands attention and beautifully created.
Continental - well engineered, practical, timeless pieces.
Scandinavian - honest, natural, understated and exquisite craftsmanship.
These three come to create what we know as euro- design
How do KFive & Kinnarps collections vary from one year to the next? And is this in line with the brands you represent?
We stick to a certain set of rules when it comes to curating our collection. All selected items must be functional, user friendly, durable, environmentally conscious versatile and above all enhance our clients ability to push the boundaries on new projects.
Can you tell us a little bit about the design and furniture trends for 2017?
Clear trends are simplicity, minimalism, functionality, progressive creative, and friendly, products designed for you, healthy and happy lifestyle and outdoor office concepts. The line between home and public environment is wiped out, it is evident in the range of producers and interiors, mixed more and more.
What's the best tip you can give someone who is looking to furnish their home?
If you are using an Interior designer make sure they have a current and correct brief of what you are hoping to achieve. If you are doing it yourself don't rush, take your time, and collect ideas and objects. If you travel make sure that during your travels you pick things up, take note of what people are doing and then make what appeals to you your own.
You're constantly travelling for work to explore new products and brands, can you tell give us some insight into this?
I like learning and exploring, I like experiencing different businesses and experiencing how they work, related to the design industry or not. When I'm travelling I like to do lots of walking and observe on my feet! I'm fortunate to have children who are at an age where they are interested in different trends. My daughter Bethany lives in New York and constantly points out new products and brands, my son Matthew is into photography, music and film and always has lots of ideas and input across the board. I also have Olivia and Isobel who work in the office with me, Olivia, has a great eye for fashion, art and design and Isobel is always across and up to date on all social media and current trends. Product and brand exploration is an exciting and interesting pursuit, there is always something new to learn.