Name to know: British designer Fred Rigby

The rising star tells us about the recent launch of the first ready-to-order furniture collection from his eponymous studio

british designer fred rigby
Renee Kemps

Having already worked for a host of renowned design brands, such as Another Country and Menu, designer Fred Rigby is emerging as one of the brightest young talents of the UK design scene. We caught up with him about his brand new ready-to-buy collection…

Explain the concept behind your first range of furniture...

With the ‘Everyday Collection’, I wanted to create a practical and comfortable series of ‘essential’ furnishings, which could easily fit into people’s homes in terms of both cost and function.

fred rigby everyday collection
‘Cove Sofa’ starting from £1,800
Renee Kemps

It was important to maintain quality while catering for the needs of daily life, whether it’s moving house or growing a family, so flexibility was important. For example, ‘Cove’ is a modular seating range, where the segments can be put together or used in different ways to suit the space.

The ‘Raindrop’ tables have been designed in six different sizes in various timbers, to create flexible pieces that can be used throughout the home, as individual pieces or in cascading configurations.

british designer fred rigby
‘Raindrop Tables’, from £520
Renee Kemps

What feeling or mood did you want to create?

As it’s our first furniture collection, it was our intention for it to feel very honest. It comes down to the materials we’re using, as well as the construction.

It’s inspired by the English countryside, how did this feed into the design details?

Our designs have always taken inspiration from natural forms and textures. For example, the ‘Raindrop’ table series was inspired by the rippling effect of rain in a puddle, and how the droplets merge into one another – this translated into the design as a series of small tables that overlap and vary in size.

british designer fred rigby
‘Cove Slipper Chair’ from £1,600
Renee Kemps

The ‘Cove Sofa Set’ came from looking at the Jurassic Coast, which inspired the shape of the external edges. We chose five different fabric shades, wanting to bring natural colours and energy into people’s homes. The yellow is from the straw fields that I remember on the hillsides near my home before harvest.

Where are these pieces made?

With this collection we wanted to focus on suppliers and materials from the UK, down to the last screw! We’ve mainly used oak for its beautiful grain and character, which we finish with a natural oil. The fabrics on the ‘Cove’ series are dyed and woven in the UK by Tibor.

british designer fred rigby everyday collection
‘Tide Dining Chair’, £450, and ‘Tide Dining Table’, £2,200
Renee Kemps

Do you have a favourite detail or design?

I’m a chair fanatic and they’re notoriously the hardest piece of furniture to design. In fact, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said designing a skyscraper was almost easier! So it has to be the ‘Tide Chair’. We’ve pared it back to its simplest form, drawing on the shapes of the legs of ‘Tide Dining Tables’, so they work beautifully together as a set.

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