Mineheart, Luxury Furniture Design With Humour & Flair

by Becky Hoh in Bespoke stories

Mineheart was launched in 2010 by two product designers Brendan Young and Vanessa Battaglia. The product line is an ongoing range of luxury furniture, lighting, wallpaper and interior accessories called the Lovable Collection.

One of the best words to describe the Cambridge duo’s way of working is ‘playful’. From the King Edison Pendant Lamp, a tiny classical chandelier enclosed in a hand blown oversized lightbulb, to Elizabeth’s Cabinet, a console emblazoned with Good Queen Bess in a Zoro eye mask, you get a sense of fun from these pieces. The design is innovative and technically interesting but it is definitely also, well, playful.

‘The pieces in the collection are selected to inspire us,’ explains Battaglia, ‘many tell a story, express a poetic notion, a thought or an experiment, others just make us smile! The pieces are on the boundary between objects of art and mass produced items and many of the products are made to order or produced in small batches by UK based craftspeople.’

‘We started Mineheart in 2010, originally as an outlet for our own designs, but we have since started to collaborate with other artists and designers to give more variety to our range.’

 

Mineheart takes its name from the Shakespearian English words ‘mine’ and ‘heart’, meaning ‘my heart’. It was chosen as the duo felt the term expresses their passion to ‘create freely, without restraint.’

This design ethos, which is perhaps Battaglia’s kookier Continental influence, dances through all their work, which sees no restrictions in mixing materials, media and art work styles, changing up our ideas of what is classical, what is beautiful what is modern. With the Renaissance-esque image, printed on the underside of a minimalist contemporary shade, for the Sistine Pedant Lamp and the traditional Siberian style embroidery, digitally applied to a hide to create the Persian Cowhide rug, or the strange Ram in Victorian clothing, appearing like a painting on a vintage plate, which is actually a print on fabric for the George Aries Esq. Rug. But nothing is so strange that is doesn’t work. They simply add cool and curiosity to luxury interiors.

This enjoyable mix also comes from their collaborations on the production of their designs with other exciting designers who create the eye catching illustrations, and motifs that become part of the final products.

‘We started Mineheart in 2010, originally as an outlet for our own designs, but we have since started to collaborate with other artists and designers to give more variety to our range,’ Young explains. ‘So the Aries image is actually a ceramic plate design that exists by Angela Rossi and Sistine is our design but the artwork is by surrealist photographer Himitsuhana.’

The products can all be adjusted to suit each clients specific requirements, with Mineheart often creating different size or colour options and various customisations, making them suitable for many applications. With bespoke commissions and when working with interior designers, the first step for the duo is to provide a quotation, following this, a low-res visual of the design so the client can see more definitely what it will look like, before being approved for production. Because all Mineheart pieces are made in the UK, they can usually produce the item in quite a short time, from 1 to 6 weeks maximum.

‘Our most popular bespoke service is our wallpaper,’ says Young. ‘We often make it to a specific wall size or colour for a particular interior. As well as custom wallpaper we also sometimes get asked to make special rugs, lampshades and we recently have branched into upholstered furniture and cabinets, which we can make in various fabrics, sizes, and finishes. We enjoy trying new things and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and it’s always very satisfying to see one of our designs in a beautiful interior!’

They are currently working on a series of bespoke wall art for a bicycle themed cafe, true to form they will feature classic renaissance portraits, wearing bright yellow cycle helmets.

Their home is also a design haven, achingly cool and beautifully put together and is often where some of the loveble pieces start their life.

‘Our home is a bit of a testing ground where we try things out,’ Battaglia describes, ‘we often use our own needs as an excuse to develop new products, and like to live with prototypes for a while to get a feel for them and improve them.’

Mineheart products have been used in restaurants, hotels, and homes as far afield as New York and Tokyo, including in projects by renowned designer Phillipe Starck.

And they are currently working on some new lighting pieces made from a new material for the team – cast stone. They will also be expanding the range of upholstered furniture in 2014, as well as developing a new series inspired by animals, which they promise will be “great fun”. How could we expect anything else.

Mineheart – www.mineheartstore.com

Home photography by Darren Chung – www.darrenchung.com


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