The transformative power of wall coverings is irrefutable. A living space can be instantly revamped with a new coat of paint or the addition of some statement wallpaper or decadent soft furnishings.
In fact, the use of decorative textiles, wall coverings, surfaces, carpets and floor coverings are very often the difference maker between ‘just a room’ and ‘an interior’.
Recognising the significance of the sector, in 2018 we launched a new Textiles, Wall Coverings, Surfaces, Carpets and Floor Coverings category for our Design Guild Mark, to recognise the highest standards in the design of furnishings for volume production.
The introduction of the new category brought with it an opportunity to celebrate the work of another stratum of the design community while giving applicants an opportunity to present to a panel of distinguished judges.
London-based design studio Custhom – made up of Jemma Ooi and Nathan Philpott – caused quite the positive stir in 2019 when they pitched their unique wallpaper range, Igneous, to the jury.
Made from carbon powder, Igneous uses Custhom’s innovative process of hand-foiling wallpapers, the effect being an inimitable distressed or highly polished non-repetitive finish, which is available in a wide range of metallic hues.
Jemma explains what initially inspired them to develop Igneous: “We had been experimenting with a range of ways to apply metallic foil to a wallpaper that moved beyond the repetitive nature of traditional screen or roller printing design. We are always interested in reducing unnecessary waste or materials and developed a method of creating an adhesive out of waste materials. There is an elegance in the fine detail captured by this process of foil application which led us to develop this design collection.”
The finished result mimics the distinct crystallisation of igneous rocks, formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava, hence its namesake.
The new Textiles, Wall Coverings, Surfaces, Carpets and Floor Coverings category is still in its infancy but has already garnered much attention, with lots of recognisable designers and brands in the sector having submitted applications for the award.
Being awarded a Design Guild Mark warrants a huge celebration in itself but to have your design be named the best in category and recipient of the Jonathan Hindle Prize is a huge honour – something that Custhom can proudly tell their customers.
Commenting on winning both awards, Jemma said: “We felt the design had an interesting making process and a unique finish which we hoped the judges would really appreciate. We are so pleased we had the opportunity to present and explain this to the panel because of their expertise and eye for great design. Having a varied panel of experts to present to and discuss our collection with really validates the Design Guild Mark and we are absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive both the mark and the Jonathan Hindle Prize.”
This article is an abridged version of one that appears in The Furniture Makers’ Company’s yearbook, Austin Friar. The full version can be viewed here.