A work placement at Curve – Lucy’s experience.

For two weeks in June I had the pleasure of working alongside Ben and the lovely ladies of Curve Interior Design. By working closely with and assisting the designers with product sourcing, sample ordering and helping to create sample scheme trays for some of Curve’s current projects, I was given great insight into the world of contemporary and cutting edge design. Furthermore, I was given the opportunity to sit in on meetings with suppliers such as Pierre Frey and JAB and Alma, which I found particularly interesting for it allowed me to broaden my understanding and knowledge of current top designers as well giving me a clearer eye for the Summer Trends of 2015.

As well as working within the office, Gabbie and I visited Manchester Art Gallery to see their fantastic exhibition – ‘House Proud’, an interesting show which exhibited many design classics which we were able to relate to our current work today. We were thus asked to write a report for Curve’s website about what we saw and our general experience of the show as a whole. By doing this, we were able to concentrate particularly on the development and progression of art and design for the home environment through a range of pieces, exploring a variety of glass, ceramics and metalwork’s – constructing interesting observations.

You can read the blog here .. https://taupetips.com/2015/06/05/house-proud-at-manchester-art-gallery/

My experience working with Curve was hugely fulfilling and it was great fun working within a team and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity. I feel I have learnt lots in two weeks, not only from design awareness but also from a musical point of view… My knowledge of music has been largely expanded through Key 103’s none other than ‘Top 10 at 10’…

Thank you so much for having me!!


2015 Summer trend report …

Bringing the summer in with a change of fresher and brighter ideas. Different colours are the start of changes between spring and summer.

2015 Summer trend report …

The Colour
Summer is seeing the mismatch of brave colours against the paler shades to tackle winter head on and welcome summer in one big re-design; especially giving you a colour palette that could last the whole of the season.

Maybe mixing a Greek blue, like the deep blue of the Mediterranean along with perfect pairing such as grey or the colour of the season, pale pink. Pale pink has been brought though from spring still showing that you are able to bring through subtle elegance with these new vibrant colours. Pale pink has also been used within the catwalks and interiors throughout last season and still in this season I definitely it is going to be one of the colours of 2015. Other colours are still being included from the spring trend – don’t forget mixing the lighter shades of green and shades of white to bring a soft more natural interior with a modern twist.


The material
Is marble starting to make a comeback? The rather expensive, timeless rock type was making quiet a big impression during last year’s London Design Festival, but it is looking like it is going to become the elegant material used within interiors in 2015.

When using marble working with a neutral color palette is best, if you are using white marble in particular it can make a room feel and appear more open. Especially because it is coming into the Summer season it can also be used to freshen up you interior as it can add light to dark spaces that are more confined. When you are using marble I definitely think it needs to been chosen wisely and to be used only in small doses, the gleaming stone can always add a classic look to any interior. Using marble subtly and merging modern materials will certainly avoid overwhelming the eye.


The Patterns
With summer approaching fast, ‘don’t fear patterns’ is the echoing advice for SS15…
Spring Summer 2015 is all about the power of the pattern; highlighting the significance of print as an important element of decoration. It appears bold and powerful patterns are pushing to the foreground of the interior design world, with floral, wildlife and geometry prints screaming attention.

Britain is in bloom. Our love affair with nature and calming botanical boosts continues to grow, encouraged further by the glorious displays at the Chelsea Flower Show. Using this epic phenomenon as inspiration, floral looks for the home are key this season, whether they are blossoming on walls, accessories or just a pretty posy.

Trends appear to be looking particularly towards the summer garden with a fresh, contemporary array of floral patterns, creating elegant and modern classic looks. Floral prints seem to have been teamed with brushstrokes and impressionistic designs, with emphasis particularly falling on water-coloured floral designs.

The key materials are more focused on textile and surface printing with watercolour motifs and brush stroke designs made to appear hand painted and artisanal. This trend is currently prominent on the catwalk too and will continue through to the fall and winter months.

This style appears to be evident particularly in Romo’s new summer collection ‘Saphira,’ a contemporary print, comprised of beautiful colourful blooms on cotton-satin and cotton-linen. It also includes a delicate touch of watercolour, which creates a hazy fusion of colour, as well as clear use of brushstrokes crafting a home-made, textural feel.

Designers Guild’s ‘Orangerie’ Fabrics collection of floral digital prints also reflects this fresh summer trend. Their collection draws together a stunning assembly of some of their most popular digitally printed fabrics, in a reformed array of new colour schemes in keeping with current contemporary trends. They too appear to have fused photography with hand-painted artwork.


Continuing with natural selection and neutral hues, in terms of pattern, we zoom in on nature, combining it with a mix of global traveling influences and decadent tribal patterns. Layering and dappled light effects as well as printing and bleeding are pooled together with bold colour mixes and fragmented, tessellated geometrics to form a dramatic, striking look for this summer. Looking particularly at one of our favourite designers, Missoni, their new summer style reflects upon this bold tribal statement, incorporating bold, vibrant colours with the tribal, geometric pattern, as well as the likes of Pierre Frey and their new wallpaper collection.

‘Designers are looking at traditional crafting processes and modernizing them with new materials and colour combinations to create something innovative and otherworldly.’

Following this idea, in Clerkenwell Design Week, designer Patricia Urquiola, produced Tierras in which the ever-popular geometric pattern seems to have been combined with the newest technological implements with the concept of traditional, handmade productions. The warm earthy colour palette, with contemporary bright accents compliment as well as create striking contrast to suit individual styles.


The Conclusion
While looking at the different trend I was looking at many different collections and designers that we look at a lot of the brands have taken inspirations from these trends to keep all their collections up-to-date. One of the patterns we talk about in these trends is tribal pattern and one designer that take elements of tribal pattern within their fabrics to get these dramatic pieces of furniture and accessories used in different interiors.

I also think that the ‘Girandole’ collection is perfect for summer as the bright colours and vibrant patterns. The burst of this colour will definitely add dimension and definition to the interior, Missoni have definitely executed the trends perfectly this season.


Another designer that has included one of the trends within his recent collection is Lee Broom. Within the collection he has used marble in many of his new products which can range from lighting all the way down to candlesticks. This collection has showed that marble has been used more than just its more popular use of kitchen tops and simple coffee tables.

All in all with the trends over Summer you can see that there are many changes from Spring but we have also retained but developed certain trends we previously mentioned. I hope that this blog help you complete the perfect summer interior and we will see how the trends further develop within the seasons to come.

Happy summer everyone!!

House Proud at Manchester Art Gallery

This week Gabriella and Lucy, our two interns had the opportunity to visit the fantastic exhibition ‘House Proud’ at Manchester Art Gallery .. here they report back on some of the design classics they saw, and how they are still relevant to our work today.

Look out for our Summer Trends blog coming next week.

Currently exhibiting at Manchester Art Gallery, House Proud, is inspired by the Gallery’s own Industrial Art Collection, nostalgically scanning a period in the 1930s when the Gallery took the lead in acquiring and displaying home furnishings which revealed mass-produced and limited-edition pieces, focused particularly on those with a very strong, contemporary design aesthetic. The present exhibition draws upon some of the ways in which the boundaries between art and design for the home environment have developed and progressed since then, exploring a range of glass, ceramics and metalwork within furniture design.

In order to improve and enhance the design and distinction of pieces, contemporary artists were deliberately employed as fundamentally, this exhibition shows how functional objects came to be seen in a new light. The show includes items designed for industrial production by artists such as Dame Laura Knight, Eric Ravilious and John Piper. Furthermore, many of the designers included in the display were influenced by contemporary art, particularly Neo-Romanticism, Abstraction, Surrealism, Op and Pop Art. Additionally, the exhibition also includes paintings and works on paper, alongside textiles and wallpapers from the Whitworth art gallery.


Vertical – 1937
Designed by Ben Nicholson 1894 – 1982
Made by Edinburgh Weavers 1937
Tapestry woven cotton and rayon
Nicholson’s usually abstract and constructivist art has been translated into this textile design. The sculptural effect has been achieved through using the contrasting weaves and the varieties of textures formed by the combination of cotton and rayon. This strong juxtaposition has been used to a great effect, formulating a rich architectural rendition. Once again, this piece reflects upon fashionable neutral tones with splashes of bold colour, which is prominent within this Summers trend.


Aircraft – 1938
Designed by Marion Dorn 1899 – 1964
Made by Old Bleech Linen Company Limited 1938
Screen-printed linen and rayon
Marion Dorn produced designs for both mass-produced and bespoke textile furnishings and rugs, Aircraft, having been particularly successful for it was used to furnish ocean liners. Movement is cleverly evoked within Dorn’s design, portrayed through darting birds in the form of silhouettes, provoking the feeling of flight and levitation. This combination of pastel and neutral colours, is particularly relevant to this years Spring and Summer sophisticated palette, as well as the minimal pattern which has been kept simple and graphic, creating a fun approach.


Crawling Couch – 1987
Designed and made by Jon Mills b.1959
Beaten, welded and patinated steel
Mills was one of several sculptors in the 1980s that chose to up-cycle and reuse scrap materials as a statement against mass consumerism. Mill’s Couch is perhaps a prime example of this mode of rebellion for it was originally inspired by a traditional upholstered chaise-longue. He has deliberately reworked this typically luxurious style of relaxation and comfort to form a particularly surreal, uncomfortable and rather menacing piece. Mills has used rusted reclaimed steel, leaving the hammer marks and bolts visible. Together with the extreme sharp edges, spiky back and clawed feet, the feeling of unease and discomfort is generated, contrasting effectively with slick, high-tech modern design. Furthermore, the robust, industrial design of this piece is very fitting with current popular trends.


Calyx – 1951
Designed by Lucienne Day 1917 – 2010
Made by Heal’s
Screen-printed linen
Using the English tradition of basing a pattern on nature, Day has designed an innovative, stylised pattern, which appears to highlight geometric forms within the natural world. This design reflects current trends, perhaps more particularly upon the key botanical and geometric prints, providing a layering effect.


A very interesting read thank you Gabbie and Lucy 🙂

Meet the designer … Catherine


How did you come to be working at Curve?
I’d been following Curve on social media for a few years and tried to win them over back when I first started out in interior design….fast forward a few years and whilst working as a freelancer, I contacted Curve to see if they needed an extra hand. As luck would have it, Sara was going on maternity leave and they needed 12 months cover….over 2 years later and I’m still here!! Must have made a good impression 😉
How would you describe your style?
I don’t think I have a particular style, our job is to work with the clients style preferences so you end up with a whole mix of styles yourself! If I had to pick out a particular style I’m swaying to at the moment it would be Mid Century Modern or Scandinavian but with a touch of feminine or quirky colour. I am still loving the industrial style though especially with all the concrete lights I’ve been looking at recently!


What is your dream interior design project?
A Michelin star restaurant or a home in the Hollywood Hills!

What do you feel is your biggest achievement working at Curve?
Completing 2 full house renovations simultaneously last year was a pretty big achievement…hard work but they both came off great and the clients were thrilled with the end results!

And your favourite moment?
Going to the Design Fair in Milan last year was a definite favourite!! So much inspiration to soak up! Going to House Festival in London was a nice treat too!


What are your favourite products, brands and designers?
Hmmm I hate narrowing down favourites! I’d have a list here as long as my arm if you’d let me!
Rothschild and Bickers, Moooi, Dare Studio, Tom Faulkner, Cantori, Munna, Ginger & Jagger, Boca Do Lobo, Jessica Zoob, The Victorian Woodworks…..The list really is endless with the amount of great designers and products around at the moment!


What is your first choice of radio station in the studio?
Absolute Radio 80’s and 90’s! the oldies are the best, love a bit of cheese and sing-along to brighten everyone’s day hahaha (or not as the case may be with my singing :/)

What is your favourite building in Manchester?
I love the Town Hall and the recently refurbished Central Library. There are some beautiful buildings dotted around the Northern Quarter too….Old buildings are so much more interesting than all these new contemporary glass box buildings that all look the same! I love learning about the history of old buildings too. I went on an architectural tour of Manchester once and it makes you realise just how many beautiful buildings we have here. You just have to look up from your smart phone to see them all!

Aside Manchester, what is your favourite city?
Oooooo this is a tough question! I have so many favourite places for different reasons, it would be hard to pick just one. I will narrow it down to a top 5…..L.A, New York, Vancouver, Florence and Barcelona. I’m sure I will be adding to and changing this list soon though! 😉


Favourite after work cocktail?
You know I’m the worst decision maker, especially when it comes to food and drink!! Hmmmmm I would have to go with a Espresso Martini, although a recent fav is a Pornstar Martini and you can’t beat a nice glass of Prosecco!

Cheers! Thanks Catherine

2015 Spring trend report .. The Patterns

The pattern trend this season it seems as though its runway to room interiors are now being influenced by the different spring fashion trends.
Style isn’t just for on the catwalk—the most well received colours and prints often find their way through the design world as well.


Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2015 collection perfectly combined traditional and modern style. Loose geometric lines are now starting to spread quickly through the interior world there are many different techniques that have been used across different interior but there have been a few interiors that have used hand-painted techniques, which really only requires a calming shade of paint and a little bit of imagination to create the perfect pattern for your interior.

blurred lines


Prints that are nostalgic of a Moroccan pattern have always been popular in both the fashion and interior design worlds. Patterns that are a mix of lighter tones, for example a light ivory, and a darker tone, such as a dark brown, would work perfectly with a lot of different interiors. The bold pattern can definitely bring contrasting elements in a room together perfectly.

Gabriella Braithwaite

2015 Spring trend report .. The Colours

Take some inspiration from the first of Curve’s trend reports for 2015 and add some colour to your home this Spring.

By Gabriellla Braithwaite

Different shades of green can be lively at anytime of the day but I definitely think at this time of year they will bring a safe and calm atmosphere to the home. It brings quite a botanical feel to the room especially when paired with a shade of white. I think this trend shows that there is a shift from the hard graphic interiors to a soft more natural interior with a modern twist.

Farrow and Ball have shown this interior colour trend by using two different greens to complement each other and to give irregular staining and patterns that are seen within nature especially on leaves. They have also used different key pieces of furniture and accessories to complement and highlight these different colours.

GreenD greenC

Pale Pink / Lilac
Pink brings a soft elegance to a room; these certain shades make a room feel accessible, soft edged and pretty. This season is definitely aiming towards the pale pastel pink so that it makes the walls look almost nude. Using a contrasting pink colour on the woodwork will make the room feel lighter, by using shades of pink close to each other make it feel as though it is camouflaged beauty with not using harsh lines or a strong contrasting colour.

Again Farrow and Ball using two different paints on the wall that are so similar make this trend look clean cut by use it on either furniture for a more relaxed feel, or on the floor to complement the whimsical pastel palette on the walls and woodwork.

pinkE PinkF

Although we are craving lighter, paler tones in 2015, darker tones still remain best where natural light is lacking. By using darker tones it is creating darker, dramatic spaces but also is making other spaces seem and feel a lot lighter. The more earthier browns feels like a timeless colour and has a more artisan feel. These different types of colours may work best used as a feature on a skirting board and then using a slightly lighter colour on the wall, this will prevent a light line around the bottom of the room.

Using other colours such as blues and white on feature pieces of furniture will complement these colours perfectly and add some light to your interior.

brownA brownB

Farrow and Ball new wallpaper collection launch

Laura & Catherine had a great visit to Farrow & Ball’s Manchester showroom last Thursday for the official launch of the new wallpaper collection.


Inspired by French fashion of the past, celebrating the enduring link between fashion and interior design.

A stand out installation was the chic ‘Tourbillon’ Wallpaper featured with ‘Dead Salmon’ picture rail, ‘Off Black’ skirting & stand out copper chair. Taken from the Ducharne studio which created designs for some of the most famous couture houses in France in the 1920’s and 1960’s. The paper is composed of segmented circles which blend to give a graphic look.


We loved the featured artwork by Jessica Owen, including this piece ‘Boat Masts & Morning Mist – Abersoch’

More information here .. http://www.northernscapes.co.uk/artist/jessica-owen


Thank you F&B for the inspiring installations, cocktails, canapes & goodie bag on what was a very wet & snowy evening!

You can find out more about the new collections here


Or contact Curve for more information.

Thank you Laura for reporting back!