In the latest of our Homelife Style features, multiple award-winning designer Steuart Padwick talks to us about the space he’s been spending most of his time in during lockdown and tells us about his sculptural projects that are raising awareness of mental health.
Steuart, tell us about your favourite interior at home.
I have been one of the lucky ones during lockdown. I am used to working from home and mostly on my own, but of course it has not been ideal. Like all of us, I miss the intimacy of hugging friends and family. Physical connections are so important on all sorts of levels, and as a nation we are probably all much more tactile than we realised. It is perhaps only now that we realise how intimate and important it is just shaking someone’s hand.
I love my house and have poured my heart into it over the years doing most of the work myself, and my favourite space is my kitchen. I have about six desks around the house and a workshop and yet my main workspace is often my kitchen table.
I trained as a designer and cabinet maker with John Makepeace at Parham House and went on to the Royal College of Art to do furniture design. I love the feel of materials and of craft and splashes of bright contrasting colours. In the picture I designed and made the glazed doors/windows, the floor light, and the prototype wooden Horseshoe chair on the left. The one on the right was the production version that received my third Design Guild Mark.
I also designed the Nunnery ceiling lights, the Double Cross folding dining table and benches, the upholstered Buttons chair, the Chuckle Bin and the multi legged Eye of the Storm concrete table on the patio. The floor in the photo is mainly slate – the rest of my downstairs is a beautifully aged pitch pine block flooring that I salvaged from a hall in Wales and laid it all myself – it was so much work, but worth it. The sad thing is it is finally looking its best and I have finished off every detail – just in time to sell it. I will miss it dreadfully but want to return to London.
The room is me through its straight lines, quality materials and design but with a sense of humour through the various odds and sods.
What extracurricular activities have you been up to during lockdown?
Last year, just after we went into lockdown, I had 10 wild ducklings hatch in my garden. What a glorious distraction while I tried to work – they even waddled into the kitchen at times. After a few weeks we transferred them to the local river – it was like seeing my children off to college.
I have kept working throughout, partly on furniture and lighting, and also more large-scale public works of art following on from the Head Above Water and Talk To Me sculptures we did over the last few years. Look out for new work appearing towards the end of the year.
It has been and continues to be a very difficult time for many people and we are all having difficulties to a greater or lesser extent. It is vital that we look out for each other and show kindness. We all need that support at times and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You can find out more about Steuart Padwick here: www.steuartpadwick.co.uk