This month’s Q+A is from Amy, a creative designer at Brintons. We work with Brintons on many of our projects and so we were intrigued to hear more about the structure and details of their business!
How would you sum up your company in three words?
I can describe it in two… Tradition re-invented!
How long has the company been established and how long have you been working for them?
Brintons was established in 1783 and so we have an extensive archive resource at our fingertips. It’s fascinating how interior designers today are drawn to adapt and give new life to traditional designs. I have been working as a Creative Designer for Brintons for a year and a half.
What is your role at the company?
As a creative designer, I oversee the whole design process on a commercial project. I meet with interior designers to take the carpet design brief and develop initial digital concepts based on this. I work with the project management and sales teams to ensure we develop a commercial design and oversee the design development right up until production.
What is the best part of the job?
I really enjoy building a relationship with interior designers. Having an open and collaborative relationship with an interior designer allows us be involved more closely in the creative process. Working in this way generally results in more successful carpet designs as we can advise the client on the design styles that work best for Axminster carpet.
Do you have a best-selling product / design?
Brintons have had some great collaborations with other design leaders across the globe. One of the most successful in the UK has been with Timorous Beasties. They have a knack for developing classic designs with a contemporary twist.
Where have you been most proud of seeing your brand in-situ?
Brintons carpets has recently been installed at the iconic Marriott County Hall in London. Our team visited the hotel on a tour organized by the NEWH earlier this year. I love the quintessentially British personality which runs through the interior developed by RPW Design. The Grade II listed building has quite a complex curvature so it was a technical challenge for our design team to develop the corridor design. The unusual geometry and the decorative Art Deco architectural components provided inspiration for the contemporary designs.
What has the most influence over your product design?
The design brief from an interior designer is the main driver for our work although we often see that our clients are influenced by interior trends.
Do you have a favourite new product this year?
I do love the multi-faceted textures of Wonderwood by Richard Yasmin. His compositions are geometric but have an organic tactile appearance as the natural wood is finished in a number of different ways.
How do you promote your brand to make sure it stays in the mind of your buyers/consumers?
Brintons often shows at various trade shows through the year where we host events and network with interior designers. At Clerkenwell this year Brintons collaborated with contemporary artist and filmmaker Shezad Dawood for a pop-up art installation and we launched the new Kelly Hoppen collection at Sleep in November. Collaborating with designers and artists who are leaders in their design field, helps to grow and strengthen our portfolio of work. Stepping outside the box, and approaching carpet design through the eyes of another artist, is always an interesting and rewarding experience.
Are there brands in the industry that you admire, what makes them great?
I do have a bit of an obsession with the luxurious styling at Tom Dixon. I particularly want to go for cocktails at Dandelyan at Sea Containers, which exudes 1920’s cruise ship glamour with a sophisticated contemporary edge.
The design calendar seems to grow every year. Do you have a favourite interiors/design exhibition?
Milan design week is my favorite event in the calendar. The main exhibition at the Salone is where the big commercial names exhibit but I prefer to spend more time exploring the graduate exhibits where you can see the cutting edge designs and the open showrooms in the Brera district. I always make time for the Patricia Urquiola showroom.
How much travel is involved with your job, do you have a favourite country to visit? Why do you enjoy it?
I travel a little to see my clients around London and the south of the UK. I don’t travel abroad for work but as a design destination I would recommend Helsinki in Finland. It’s a hub for Scandinavian design of course. Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art is a great inspiration. I also love how the city is transformed from summer to winter, it’s like exploring two completely different cities.
How do you see your company evolving over the next few years? Do you have any plans you can share with us?
Brintons have a few exciting collaborations in the pipeline. We are currently developing a new collection with Timorous Beasties, which will be released at Clerkenwell design Week in 2018. We will be celebrating 10 years, since we collaborated together – the collection is incredibly exciting for Brintons and at the forefront of design for commercial carpets.
Your Clerkenwell Design Week events sound really creative. Tell us more about your collaboration with Shezad Dawood
The artist Shezad Dawood is a collector of textiles and at the beginning of the collaboration he was introduced to the Brintons archive. He says that “visiting the archive reminded me of how textiles can be a bridge to past, present and future.” This led him to delve into his own archive for inspiration for the large Axminster tapestries exhibited at Clerkenwell. Collaborating with artists like Shezad help to change people’s perception of carpet and encourage us to push the boundaries as designers.
How much do trends influence your designs?
Trends influence our design work every day. Our global design and marketing teams share designs and info which are trending in their regions. Although each region has it’s own local personality there are generally crossovers across the globe. There seems to be a growing demand for natural soft interiors that comfort people. Worn and tarnished effects are still popular but there is a rise in trends to mimic natural textures whether it be ripples in water or shadows cast over a tree-lined street.
Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Amy! It’s been great learning more about Brintons.