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.

Frequency100.jpg

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.

Michelle Wilkie on adventure, eating pets and keeping quiet.

Being associate director for the award winning global interior design firm TP Bennett is a big job but Michelle Wilkie demonstrates that it is possible to find a deeper satisfaction, balancing work and life.

When Michelle decided to take a 5 month break from her big smoke job, not even she knew what was around the corner let alone around the block but it turns out she is living proof that we should stop amplifying all those internal and external voices that set inhibiting limits - telling us what we cannot and should not do and instead listen harder for that one little voice saying "sod it, yes do it, you only live once for goodness sake".

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Winners Mixology 2016!

Not even this serious lack of summer sunshine could bring us down after attending the Mixology Awards at the Old Billingsgate on Thursday 23rd June 2016.

When we entered EchoPanel for the Surfaces Product of the Year award we were hopeful that the judges would see just how special this beautiful product is and when we found out we were shortlisted we were thrilled!

Mixology16
EchoPanel Mura Dart

EchoPanel Mura Dart

Never could we have foreseen that against such tough competition, EchoPanel would take the winners prize, making this the second year in a row that one of our products has won this esteemed award after docks won Furniture product of the year 2015!

We would like to give a massive thank you to Mix for putting this wonderful event on year after year to such a high standard, it is always a fantastic experience and a date in the commercial interiors industry calendar not to be missed!

Ophelis Docks - winner of Product of the year 2015

Ophelis Docks - winner of Product of the year 2015

The entries for Mixology awards ceremonies are always of an incredibly high standard so we tilt our hats to all entrants, show our gratitude to the panel of judges and a give a big round of applause to all the winners:

Student Designer of the Year - Connor Holland from Kingston University with the Lilo Bench

Product of the year Interior Accessories - Hansgroche - Talis Select

Product of the year Lighting & Tech - Humanscale - M/Connect

Product of the year Furniture - Royal Ahrend - Balance

Furniture provider of the year - Day 2

Environmental & sustainability - Shaw Contract Group

Giving & social Impact - Specialist Joinery Group

Fit out company of the year - Parkeray LTD

Designer/Design team of the year - Naughtone

Manufacturer of the year - Specialist Joinery Group

Design practice of the year - HLW International

Public sector Interior project - BDP - Alder Hey Children's Healthpark

Small commercial interior project - HLW International - Hewlett Packard Enterprise customer engagement centre

Medium commercial interior project - BDP - Royal Pharmaceutical Society HQ

Large commercial interior project - Hassell - Global mining and resources company

The Henry Pugh Award - Katrina Kostic Samen - KKS

 

See you at Mixology North!

 

 

Y Plan anything?

Recently I had no choice but to do an "app cull".  No storage, too many photos, too many apps and too many playlists available offline.

The same day a friend invited me to a 3 course brunch at the Crab Tavern in Broadgate Circle including a cocktail the size of my head, three glasses of wine for £30 and I had to ask, how did he find this steal?  So he told me it's Yplan.

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