The design team at NoChintz travelled to London on Friday to visit Material lab at 10 Great Titchfield Street. Our Johnson Tiles rep Rob guided us around the space, which has been designed to showcase their tile collections along with products from their studio partners Dulux Trade, Egger, Modulyss, Karndean, Tektura and Flowcrete. It was a great chance for the team to get familiar with their new ranges and to see some full size samples of larger products.
In the basement there is a reference library which contains new and unusual samples. It is curated to exhibit a global selection of up-and-coming small studios and individual designers, who are creating innovative and unlikely materials which are not always commercially available, but offer insight and inspiration.
Some favourites from the team included light-responsive Sensitiles, Pinatex pineapple leather and plywood spelk from Orla Lawn, a Royal College of Arts graduate who Is known for her combinations of many hard and soft materials, from concrete, wood and Jesmonite to silk, foam and chocolate.
The team then headed over to The London Eye, stopping by at the Mulberry flagship store on Regent Street to take a look at the impressive interior, designed by Studio TooGood. The entire scheme is story of great contrasts, taking cues from the English countryside as well as the architectural tradition of Brutalism. Primitive yet delicate spindled chairs sit in front of rigid grid form tiles and chunky plinths are upholstered with rattan weave, which has come from Somerset and ‘smelt very strange when it arrived’, we are told. The rich array of materials are a feast for the eyes: gloss and textured green ceramic tiles, cast resin, polished pink plaster, digitally printed wallpaper, brushed stainless steel and patinated bronze. There is an undeniable luxury in the space. Thick silk carpets grace the lower ground floor, and the interior of the display drawers are laced with smooth velvet in order to showcase the products to their fullest potential.
After visiting the store we continued on our journey to Southbank where we boarded the London eye. It was a beautifully clear February day and great weather to see London from up high. After this excursion we headed over to Ping Pong to have some Dim Sum before boarding the train back to Manchester.
A special thanks to Rob for being a great London tour guide and to Johnson Tiles for hosting us at Material Lab.