Visiting Bad Schönborn - where the Ophelis magic happens

The Collective team have recently returned from a very exciting trip to Heidelberg to visit the Ophelis showroom and factory. It was a great opportunity for our newer members of staff to get a better feel of the products (literally) and get an overview of the whole product range!

Ophelis is a high end furniture manufacturer that makes a beautiful range of office and residential fittings that we have the pleasure of representing in the UK. Their collection is vast and colourful, ranging from modular soft seating systems to conference tables to acoustic storage.

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We were hosted by the very lovely Holger, who organised a comprehensive training session for us plus a visit to the factory where all the magic happens. It was so humbling to see a family run business taking so much care and attention with their products, most of which are made manually. 

The Ophelis showroom was like entering the equivalent of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory for furniture. The bright colours and unique designs are one off, with every corner being a different configuration, really showcasing how to fill varying spaces with the Ophelis range. It's the type of the furniture that would fit perfectly into university break-out areas, co-working spaces, airport lounges etc.

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Two main ranges that are close to our hearts are the Sums and Docks soft seating systems. Described as 'Island's in a room', both Sum and Docks highlight the spectrum of layout options not often seen with items of seating. The systems can be adapted to changing work and space requirements with ease, acting as places of retreat in busy environments. The colour and fabric options are almost never-ending which is great for changing decor trends and all with matching accessories. What's great about it is that the customer designs what they want for their space and it's unlikely you will see the same elsewhere. 

Ophelis and it's staff have a very clear passion for what they do, which shone throughout our visit. We can't thank Holger enough for his hospitality, we were very well looked after and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. We're now full of knowledge and raring to get these products out there even more than before. 

It's a wrap - CDW 2018

 The indoor/outdoor garden area furnished with Loll Designs, walls adorned with Mura Haku metallic acoustic wallpaper and Balance acoustic tiles.

The indoor/outdoor garden area furnished with Loll Designs, walls adorned with Mura Haku metallic acoustic wallpaper and Balance acoustic tiles.

Is there really any way to be prepared for Clerkenwell Design Week? As an exhibitor, or a punter - we think not.  Each year it seems to get bigger and better and this year was no exception.

The Collective stand at Design Fields as part of Clerkenwell Design week 2018 was buzzing with activity all week with an outstanding amount of visitors who wanted to know more about the what we do.

Incase you missed it, we provide clever, simple and sustainable furniture and finish products to the interiors market. 

Woven Image Echopanel is a tactile, sophisticated acoustic treatment which everyone just wanted to touch and talk to - yes talk to.  It doesn't talk back, but EchoPanel Balance absorbs 65% of sound waves so is a great listener.  Being made from 60% recycled bottles, if it could talk there is no doubt it would have a tale to tell.

 Balance acoustic tiles, mura acoustic wallpaper and sum soft seating.

Balance acoustic tiles, mura acoustic wallpaper and sum soft seating.

Ophelis sum and docks were elegantly poised in a pallet of pastels and offered reprieve to many weary legs over the three days.

Docks and Sum have both won loose furniture product of the year at Mixology so it was no surprise they drew quite the crowd.

The outdoor range from Loll Designs went down so well, much of the furniture on the stand was sold to local residents who were so taken with the fun, durable designs that they purchased the items then and there, before carrying it home with them at the end of the show!  After doing the comfort test and explaining the products are made from 100% recycled plastic, a demonstratio of the integrated bottle top opener is all the icing that cake needs.

 

For those who came along to see us, thank you 🙏🏽, for those who couldn't make it then we hope to see you during London Design Week 2019.

A huge, massive, sincere thank you to:

  • All the amazing people who came along and spent time with us.
  • Heather from Loll Designs, Scott from Surface Matter and Holger Ophelis for all of your time, energy and enthusiasm.
  • Charlotte Dunroe and Harry "the kid' White, the ultimate wheel turners and domino stackers.
  • Alex Howard from Clerkenwell Design Week, for making the "first time" as smooth a process as it possibly could be

The Collective @ Clerkenwell Design Week 2018

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Next week will see the first official presence of The Collective at Clerkenwell Design Week.

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On display at Design Fields (spa fields) will be charming outdoor furniture made entirely of recycled waste milk bottles from Loll Designs, beautiful soft seating to recharge at by Ophelis and tactile acoustic hanging panels, wallpaper wall tiles made from 60% recycled plastic bottles which instantly transform interior environments both visually and acoustically by Woven Image.

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Don't miss a photo opportunity on the stand at the "Sea Wings" installation, created to bring focus to the massive impact that plastic is having on our environment, designed by industrial designer Harry White.

Open from 10am - 9pm Tuesday 22nd May through to Thursday 24th May, we look forward to seeing you there!

Haven't registered?  Get your pass here.

 

 

Hello, World!

 

 

 

The Collective shared showspace in Clerkenwell has arrived

On the 1st March, we celebrated the opening of our shared showroom space in Clerkenwell, a big milestone and proud moment for The Collective.

Ophelis

We now have a space where you can see and experience award winning Ophelis Docks and Sum soft seating ranges along with Woven Image acoustic tiles and suspended screens which are made from 60% recycled plastic bottles.

A big thanks to Adrem for allowing us to share their Dreamspace Gallery with us, and to those who came along to celebrate with us despite the snow and sludge, we salute you.

Visits are by appointment so if you would like to come in and see some of our innovative, beautifully designed products in person, please contact us.

Mixology North 17 Ophelis and Loll Designs made the cut!

The Collective is overjoyed to announce that not one, but two of our brands products have been shortlisted for Loose Furniture Product of the year for the the esteemed Mixology North awards!

 Loll Designs Fresh Air table and bench seats made from 100% recycled milk bottles

Loll Designs Fresh Air table and bench seats made from 100% recycled milk bottles

On December 7th, Sum by Ophelis and Fresh Air by Loll Designs will be vying for the title of Loose Furniture Product of 2017 from a shortlisted group of 6 products.

 Ophelis Sum high back 3 seaters with swivel tables

Ophelis Sum high back 3 seaters with swivel tables

As thrilling as all this is, winning isn't everything.  Here at The Collective we are incredibly grateful that we are able to represent such an exciting range of brands that continue to release beautiful, practical products which add long term value to commercial interiors.

To all the companies who have been shortlisted for these awards, we congratulate you and look forward to seeing you on the 7th of December!

Stephanie Simpson – to be a groupie

"You know when you meet someone whose company is incredibly comfortable, it's normally because they know who they are."

 Stephanie Simpson

Stephanie Simpson

I met Stephanie for the first time at TP Bennet where she is an Interior Designer, dropping off some samples, something which is normally done in 5 minutes but 45 minutes later when I realised that I was deeply absorbed in conversation about clubs - and no, not the open 11pm till 6am type, I was hooked and needed to know more.

Stephanie fell into design as many probably do, a born creative who would feel content for hours with a sketch book, pencils and a cup of tea.  What makes her different is, I believe down to her father Trevor.

In his twenties, Trevor studied engineering at Queen Mary's and in his spare time was an Olympic diver who competed at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 and won bronze at the Commonwealth games.  I don't know about you but in my spare time I create pintrest boards I never revisit.  Following this remarkable achievement he was interviewed by the BBC on the topic of “Work Life balance” and it seems, history is repeating itself.

 Trevor Simpson

Trevor Simpson

Amongst other things, what Trevor has passed down to his daughter is the importance of self regulated balance.  Yes, we all yearn for a world where work is enjoyed and not tolerated but for the majority of us, work does not and cannot supply all the ingredients to bake “content cake”. 

When Stephanie first started working as an Interior designer it was pretty gruelling.  As the weeks went on the days became longer, harder and eventually work was all consuming.  After a few years, Stephanie realised that the late nights weren’t doing anybody any good; not herself, her circle of friends, family or her colleagues.  Something had to change so she decided to make time, just a small fraction of her 112 waking hours every week to spend with her other passion – sport. 

"There must be another way for me to show my company what I can do."

To start off this meant leaving work at 7pm to make it to the gym or a club session and before long Stephanie noticed she was arriving at work more energised, becoming more productive and was getting her tasks done quicker and to a higher standard.  She was a happier, healthier person and this small nugget of self dicipline was the catalyst to a big positive change.

We are told all the time that balance is the key but if you look at an old school set of scales (not the battery required type) it’s clear that TO balance we need to have equal weights on both sides of the scale.  It occurred to me that that trying to balance work and life when “life” consists of netflix and chill– no wonder this quest can feel unachievable. 

So what is the solution?  Stephanie has one tried and tested suggestion which is utilising groups and clubs.

"My aim now is to do more things that really take me out of my comfort zone, so I'm doing a navigation course in the Brecon Beacons, so I can plan my own multi day hike/ trekking trips." 

Now Stephanie is obviously a natural sportswoman, who else could win a silver medal in their first ever triathlon! It helps that she is a member of Clapham Chasers running club and has been part of her home running club Leigh on Sea Striders for 11 years.

Personally, I have always thought of athletics as quite a "solo sport" but in Stephanie's case this is far from the truth.  She organises exercise classes at work twice a week and is a National Trust volunteer at Box Hill, helping with hiking tours and tending to the countryside, which is something close to her heart as she gets so much enjoyment running amongst the beautiful british countryside, she feels it is only right to help conserve it.

 Left to right Stephanie's family - sister Natalie, mum Sally, sister Elizabeth, father Trevor and Stephanie.

Left to right Stephanie's family - sister Natalie, mum Sally, sister Elizabeth, father Trevor and Stephanie.

"I've supported 100mile hikes across Bavaria and the South Downs UK, which was incredible and really opened my eyes to the world of hiking and trekking, which I'm now building my experience in to go on big expeditions around the world."

The resounding realisation I have had through my time with Stephanie is that the person to your left, to your right, the person in the front page of the newspaper and the poor fella sleeping on newspapers, we all have 24 hours in our day.  How we distribute and balance our time is a skill but something we really should try and get better at for over our lifetime, we have so much to gain from this mastery.

After doing some research, it's clear that Stephanie is not alone in her enthusiasm for groups and clubs - there are a plethora of them just a click away and if you are based in London, there is absolutely no excuse not to give one a go.   Just a quick scroll through the website Meetup and you will find everything from "The Terrible Footballers" and "Reiki healing" to "Walks by water".

If Trevor can be an Olympic diver in his spare time...

Thank you to Stephanie for sharing her time and thoughts - I hope like she has for me, she can inspire you to be more thoughtful about the way you fill your 24 hours.

L Abraham

Cost effective Acoustics

 Balance 1600 tile

Balance 1600 tile

Acoustic absorptive treatments have in the past been an expensive luxury, too often something retrofitted once the space is being used once the sound levels prove too much for those in it. This is something which has become increasingly evident in cafe's and restaurants as complaints of not being able to enjoy a coffee and cake or dinner date due to excess noise levels are featuring too much in customer reviews.

 

 Penta Tile

Penta Tile

EchoPanel Tiles are the perfect retrofit solution for poor acoustics in offices, cafes, restaurants or any space where there is too much reverberation which is often due to a lack of soft finishes and furnishings.

These tiles have a peel and stick back making installation to walls, ceilings or any flat surface quick and easy and saving time and money on labor.

Depending on the thickness you choose, these tiles absorb between 35% and 65% of the sound waves that reach them and have the added benefit of being extremely light weight and easy to handle which is due to its composition; 100% compressed PET fibres 60% of which come from post consumer drink bottles.

 

 Mura 500 tiles

Mura 500 tiles

If you have a space that needs acoustic absorptive treatment and needs it fast, get in touch to see how EchoPanel tiles could be the perfect quick and easy fix.

We are lollygaggers

lollygag

verb

  1. To idle about; He has the summer free for play, swimming, berry picking, and general lallygagging

Let us introduce you to Loll Designs, the latest addition to The Collective furniture portfolio.

Loll Designs offers a range of indoor/outdoor furniture suitable for the residential and contract markets including chairs, benches, tables and much, much more.

There are quite a few reasons we were taken by Loll Designs furniture, of course it looks great but that's not enough to make the cut, we are not just skin deep.

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Environmental

Here at The Collective, we really care about the environment.  We want to live and work in beautiful inspiring spaces but not at the cost of our earth.  Loll Designs as a company aligns with these beliefs - not only is their furniture made from 100% HDPE (recycled milk jugs) AND is 100% recyclable but the company themselves are committed to doing what they can for the environment

Durable

The best way to be environmental is to buy less often - so buy things that last.  Loll Designs products are the durable with a capital D.  They can stand up to the sun, wind, rain and snow outside so just imagine how it perform indoors.

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Attitude

We work hard, but choose carefully who we work with.  The team behind Loll Designs are a great bunch of people who make working a pleasure and at the end of the day, we can all appreciate the need to just loll about.

 

 

 

We are so excited to be the exclusive agent for this delightful furniture range in the United Kingdom and can't wait to see it being used and loved for years to come all over the country.  To find out more, please get in touch or download the brochure.

 The Lollygagger Lounge chair in grey

The Lollygagger Lounge chair in grey

 

 

Balance - the brand new easy install acoustic tile from Woven Image

We are not supposed to be biased when it comes to the products we choose to bring to the market (we think they are all pretty special) but this latest release from WovenImage has stolen our hearts.

 Balance 1300 in 365 navy

Balance 1300 in 365 navy

Balance, a 24mm thick bevelled edge acoustic tile is just the ticket to take a plain, drab wall to another level.  With an NRC of 0.65 this acoustic wall or ceiling treatment will do wonders to the acoustic levels in any space with a lashings of sophistication and class.

Installation of Balance is a breeze, all the tiles are peel and stick so the transformation can be quick, clean and painless.

Of course, environmentally these sit high along side all the EchoPanel products being made of 60% recycled post consumer plastics.

Download the brochure or contact us for more details.

Lets go outside - in the sunshine

Is it safe to say that winter has packed up and slunk off?  That spring is here?  At the risk of bringing on a snow flurry, we say yes!

Alfresco is now achievable and to go with it, we have some stunning designer outdoor furniture which can withstand the summer sun, spring frost and occasional downpour for years to come.

 Loll Lago Lounge

Loll Lago Lounge

Loll designs have create an extensive range of indoor/outdoor furniture that is made out of recycled milk jugs.  Loll is environmentally friendly, all weather, durable furniture with loads of sit appeal and not just for outside either, the Loll range is perfect for high use areas like cafeterias and universities.

IMO indoor/outdoor furniture is born and bred in New Zealand and if it's tough enough for them, it's tough enough for us.  A gloriously fun range of stool and tables that can be powdercoated in a plethora of colours to scratch your quirky itch.

 IMO A2 440H Stool

IMO A2 440H Stool

Bring on lunch hour!  

Welcome chrome

The latest addition to the stunning acoustic dividing screen range by Woven Image are chrome finished joiners and we absolutely approve!

Utilising the light weight screen panels, you can configure the perfect dividing screen for your space with a touch of class.

All screens are made from 60% recycled plastic bottles and are excellent at absorbing noise, providing visual and acoustic privacy.

The complete range of joiners now includes chrome, copper, charcoal and off white.

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Finding your frequency

A classic revisited, EchoPanel frequency has had a makeover!  

We are absolutely loving the new release of colours in the frequency print range, adding even more variety to the 60% recycled, pin-able acoustic panel range.

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These 2400mm x 1200mm panels are perfect for direct wall application but are also double sided so make great workstation dividing screens.

 Frequency 612

Frequency 612

For more information, please contact us or download the product brochure to see the whole EchoPanel print range.

Product Launch - Introducing IMO

The Collective are extremely excited  to introduce the brand IMO to our product portfolio.

IMO is a family run, New Zealand based company who design and manufacture their products to be simple, beautiful and durable.

A2 Stool

The A2 stool is an eye catching, beautifully designed stool which comes in both high and low options and stack up to 8 high.  Suitable for both indoor and *outdoor use and the option of leather seat pads, we think the A2 is sure to be a big hit!

RAL matching and special colours available.

Baker Stool

Also suitable for indoor and *outdoor use, the Baker stool is a true chameleon with 3 height options and over 16,000 colour combination options.  Solid wood, steel and aluminium components make these stools incredibly hardy and long lasting and have successfully been used in airport terminals, shopping centres and education environments across New Zealand and Australia.  

RAL matching and special colours available.

Fiord Table

The Fiord table is a stand out piece which started life with an aluminium top and stainless steels legs as an outdoor table but the demand to see it indoors has seen a wood top option added to the mix.  Savour a single table and let it shine or stack them up for the ultimate long lunch the Fiord is perfect for use in cafes, meeting rooms, board rooms or at home.

ABC Accessories

A range of accessories which speak true of the IMO ethos through and through.  Zinc and powder coated steel with solid beech finishes promise longevity and durability no matter if they are being used on the desktop, around the office or in the kitchen.

*outdoor use suitable where all finishes are metal.

Getting suspended

 Custom floral design in Pendent 12mm

Custom floral design in Pendent 12mm

Ladies and gentlemen, the award winning EchoPanel has just added another skill to it's long list of attributes.

Let us introduce you to Pendent.  A series of pre-cut acoustic panels and suspension system designed by Bang design specifically for the panels.  Seamlessly simple.

Choose from the pre-cut designs of Splay, Summit, Dot or Tandem, or choose a plain panel where you have the option to CNC router your own design.  You can also have the panels printed with your own design.

Perfect for the office, hotel, restaurant or any open plan space where visual and acoustic privacy is required.

All the panels are made from 60% recycled content.  Download the brochure or contact us to find out more.