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Uncommon Projects

The appeal of furniture-grade birch plywood remains strong at Trim HQ.

Quite apart from the hypnotic manner of its manufacture (think of a cartoonishly-oversized pencil sharpener), plywood is remarkable for its “strength, sustainability and simple beauty” (the words of Unto this Last).

We have recently had our heads turned by the precise and imaginative work of Uncommon Projects, founded by James Hoy and Alan Drumm in 2011 (Hoy had worked as a product designer in the toy industry, and Drumm qualified as an architect).

We love their use of strong, bold colours, and are sure that the team felt great pride following the completion of their work in mid-2017 at the new Maggie’s Centre, in Oldham (below).

Grey, pink and copper

Maybe you already have enough restrained off-whites and light greys in your home?

Perhaps you should consider a palette like this one, a successful an beguiling combination of grey polished plaster, pink tiles and copper accents?

Photo via Rethink Interiors, in turn via Apartment Therapy.

Thibaut wallpaper

We recently worked on a project in Mayfair with a somewhat glamorous wallcovering designed by Thibaut – we hope to post photos soon.

The firm, whose designs bear a strong European sensibility, has a long history:

“Still bearing the founder’s name, Thibaut (pronounced Tee-Bo) was founded in New York in 1886 by Richard E. Thibaut, an American of Parisian descent. Once heralded as the “world’s largest wallpaper company” Thibaut began as a successful retailer and with multiple distribution points in Boston, New York and Newark.”

You’ll find lots of designs to browse here.

Abigail Edwards – Seascape and Oak Tree Wallpapers

We were drawn on Instagram recently to the wallpaper designs by Abigail Edwards.

The Seascape and Oak Tree designs were two of our favourites…

Abigail Edwards Wallpaper and Fabrics

Acro- Navy wallpaper by 17 Patterns

We’ve loved the wallcoverings by 17 Patterns since first coming across their designs a couple of years ago during a redecoration project we carried out in Fulham.

Acro- Navy is one of our favourites…

The British Library

The British Library – which is Grade I-listed – was the largest public building constructed in the UK in the 20th century.

The next time you visit, take a moment to notice the superb quality of the materials used in the interior of the building.

How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand

“A fascinating and indefinable book … How Buildings Learn is a hymn to entropy, a witty, heterodox book dedicated to kicking the stuffing out of the proposition that architecture is permanent and that buildings cannot adapt.”
– Stephen Bayley

“Evolutionary design is healthier than visionary design.”
– Stewart Brand

How Buildings Learn is Stewart Brand’s remarkable and memorable book which proposes – convincingly – that “buildings work best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants”.

What, Brand asks, “makes some buildings keep getting better, and others not?” The approach he took was to “look at buildings after they’re built. That’s when the users take over and begin to reshape the building to suit their own, real needs. What kinds of buildings work well with that evolution, and why do so many buildings work so badly?”

“Magazine architecture” is the phrase Brand coins to describe the sort of famous, or would-be famous, buildings which are functional failures. “A major culprit is architectural photography. Clare Cooper Marcus said it most clearly: ‘You get work through getting awards, and the award system is based on photographs. Not use. Not context.’ Tales were told of ambitious architects specifically designing their buildings to photograph well at the expense of performing well.”

Do seek out the book – it is out of print, but secondhand copies are easy to find online; and the six-part TV series broadcast on BBC2 in 1997, can be found here.

Owl Design

We discovered Owl Design – established in London in 2012 by Simone Gordon and Sophie van Winden – on Instagram recently – their website, which you can find here, is a ready source of interior design inspiration.


Colour Makes People Happy

We hope that more painters and decorators in London discover the fine paints made by Colour Makes People Happy, which is run by Simon March in East Dulwich. 

In Port Magazine’s interview, Simon nicely removes the mystique which so often surrounds the marketing of paint… 

“Making paint is no more difficult than making bread. It’s made of three basic ingredients. If you want your paint for outside use, you put more resin in it: if you want it interior use, very often people want it to appear “flatter” so you take resin out and put more chalk into it. It’s quite a simple thing to do.”




Miles & Wilde

A brief nod on a Friday afternoon to a firm of craftsman whose work we have respected for several years.

Miles & Wilde, founded and run by Leigh Miles and Jason Wilde, specialise in the manufacture and supply of fibrous plasterwork such as cornices, ceiling roses, corbels and panel mouldings.

We recently recommended Miles & Wild to clients in Belsize Park; by the time we arrived at the project, new cornices had already been installed by M&W in the living room and main bedroom. We used an XVLP sprayer to paint the cornice; we’ll post the photos of the work in the next couple of weeks.