“All I’ve ever wanted from life are plain, simple, useful products.” Sir Terence Conran
When it comes to furniture and living spaces Conran has impacted our everyday lives in a great way. Terence Conran was born in 1931 in Kingston Upon Thames, at the age of 19 in 1951 after studying Textile Design at London’s Central School of Art and Design he began working for architect Dennis Lennon, it was here that he really got stuck into the elements of furniture and textile design.
During the early 1950’s on one of Conran’s excursions in France, drawn in by the laid back Gallic lifestyle of rustic kitchen appliance, simple cutlery and hearty food he was inspired to open a laid back soup kitchen. Think black and white quarry tiled floors, cane chairs, practical designs and a menu of easy soups, bread rolls and cheeses. The Soup Kitchen was a success and paved the way for more modern and design-led restaurants and hotels. The Orrery followed a year later in Chelsea with a more Parisian-styled look and in 1956 Conran launched his design practice, Conran Design Group which was responsible for many boutique restaurants and hotels being established in London, he helped design a store for Mary Quant, a fashion icon of the 1950’s and 60’s.
In 1964 Conran opened Habitat, a trendy, modern and affordable store that sold simple home ware and furniture such as paper lanterns, bean bags and to the cool 60’s public. Mary Quant designed the uniforms whilst Vidal Sassoon style their hair, the whole place was a design statement. The laid back minimalistic style is reminiscent of what we now see in the likes of today’s stores such as Ikea.
Conran’s design have inspired many when it comes to furniture and household objects, his look combines minimalism and a practical element with colour and fun and simple clean lines.
This week we’ll be looking at Conran’s minimalistic look and his back to basics ethics…