Furniture designer and upholstery specialist Lucy Kurrein set up her studio in 2013. That same year, her first design was launched by SCP.
What’s your background? I studied furniture design at Buckinghamshire University, then worked for several years with Matthew Hilton, followed by PearsonLloyd. I was fortunate to have such a diverse and rigorous training.
How did your business come about? I always felt a particular sensibility for design and knew I would have to work independently to be able to fully exercise that. I approached SCP with my first idea and it went from there.
Do you have an aim? To create pieces that will last a lifetime.
Define your style... Always evolving and still forming. I like to challenge beauty ideals, but elegance is important to me too – as you can see in my new ‘Isola’ range for Heal’s (below) and my ‘Lincoln’ design (bottom) for SCP.
What inspires you? Sculpture. Artists such as Richard Deacon and Alexander Calder who display familiar and standardised materials in extraordinary ways.
How would you describe your process... Drawing and handmade model-making is integral, but my process is predominantly digital for accuracy. I create three-dimensional models on screen, then print maquettes at a fifth of the size, which I paint or upholster. The factories can then work from my data to the millimetre.
What materials do you use? Upholstery, wood and metal, but I’m always looking for sustainable options. Whatever I’m using, I try to work in a compelling way.
Would you ever introduce more colour and pattern? I try to focus on the texture and colour inherent in the materials. But perhaps it’s time to branch out.
Tell us about your latest range... I am launching two sofa collections at London Design Festival, one for Heal’s, one for Molinari. They are very different; both break away from the standard towards something more sociable and fluid.
And your greatest achievement so far? I’ve always sought to design something both unusual and commercial. I loathe the idea that popular needs to be plain. My ‘Rondo’ sofa is a curious design, but one of my most successful. It’s given me the confidence to carry on in that direction.
Where can we find your furniture? The Conran Shop, Heal’s and SCP.
In the next five years, where would you like to be? I hope doing the same, ensuring each new piece is better or different than the last. I’d like to have an icon under my belt, but it may take a few more years to get there! lucykurrein.com
This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration October 2019
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