Scottish designers to look out for


From the creator of the first telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, to one of the inventors of the television, John Logie Baird and Alan MacMasters — the inventor of the first electric bread toaster — Scotland has a rich history of famous names who have created items which have become commonplace in our homes.

The scene in Scotland continues to be bright, especially where interior design is concerned, as Glasgow fitted kitchen specialists DM Design has discovered when taking a look at Scottish designers to keep an eye on:

Mairi Helena

Based in Edinburgh, Mairi Helena is a designer of high-end luxury home accessories which take inspiration from a photographic portfolio of Scotland and catching the eye for their abstract surface pattern designs and unique fine art feel.

Speaking about her work, Mairi said: “With both my parents being textile designers, I was brought up with an appreciation of design. Previously with the vibrant, earthy colours of the Scottish Borders landscape where I grew up, then seaward by the rustic, weathered, coastal fringe of Fife and now the bustling, pulsating Edinburgh sensations, I love fusing textiles, textures and photography to create fashionable prints.”

Angus Ross

An award-winning designer based in the Scottish Highlands burgh of Aberfeldy, Angus Ross has a main aim to create items which celebrate the traditional craft skills that are involved in fine furniture making.

Arguably the designer’s most iconic product to date is the Unstable Stool, which sees a single length of ash or oak steamed and bent round a former in order to create a rocker that is incredibly strong and effective in its execution.

Jennifer Gray

A graduate from The Glasgow School of Art and Royal College of Art and now based in Edinburgh, Jennifer Gray uses traditional hand-carving methods and enhances them by looking into emerging digital technologies to create a collection of standout jewellery pieces and objects perfect for the home. For the latter, Jennifer’s already vast portfolio includes classical tessellating wall tiles, an ‘All Things Nice’ sugar and spice container inspired by Neoclassical design collections, and crown egg cups which were created using spun and cast silver and feature gold plating.

Commenting on how she approaches her work, Jennifer explained: “I am interested in identifying then reinterpreting place, time and individual personalities. Re-told stories juxtapose historical and modern themes from an alternative perspective through objects, jewellery and the way these works are experienced by others.”

Johanna Basford

An illustrator and ink evangelist who grew up on a fish farm in rural Aberdeenshire, Johanna Basford is a graduate of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design — where she studied Textile Design. Following a period interning after graduating, Johanna took the jump to set up her own studio where she hand-printed wallpaper and small selections of home accessories. Today, her illustrations can be seen on everything from beer labels and tattoos to colouring books and, of course, wallpaper.

Wherever you see Johanna’s work, you can be assured that they have been created using the power of the pen and the pencil. The illustrator and ink evangelist explains: “For me, computer generated artwork lacks the warmth and charm of something hand drawn, so I create all my artwork by hand; drawing first in pencil, then redrawing in ink. I love intricate details and try to craft images that invite you to pause and examine the artwork a little closer. Hidden within the flora and fauna are rogue butterflies, half hidden hedgehogs and even the odd little owl!”

Eliza Kesuma

Though born and raised in Jakarta, Eliza Kesuma has lived and worked in Scotland for over a decade and is now the creative engine behind Moody Monday — a screenprinting studio that’s found within Edinburgh’s St Margaret’s House that specialise in bespoke prints for wall coverings, fabric and interior accessories. Eliza gained knowledge and experience in the interior design world when she studied for a Textiles & Design degree at the Heriot Watt School of Textiles and Design, before working at a number of UK studios before setting up Moody Monday in 2011.

The appeal of the prints created at Moody Monday is summed up on the company’s about page, where it is stated: “Noticing a niche in the interiors market for distinctive designs that challenged traditional creative concepts, Eliza began developing a signature style that was innovative, stylish and luxurious. By embracing individuality, she strives to subvert people’s expectations of interior design with her highly original and provocative collections.”

Silvia Perez & Rose Black

When Silvia Perez and Rose Black met during their studies of Furniture Restoration at the City of Glasgow College, it would be the beginning of a friendship that has expanded to the point where they have set up a small upholstery business 10kH Ten Thousand Hours. The company, which is based in Glasgow, has allowed both Silvia and Rose to learn new skills and be creative while they give furniture a second chance through upholstery procedures.

In their personal statement on Craft Scotland, the pair stated: “We are committed to sourcing and using unique and beautiful textiles, exploring mixtures of textures and colours and maintaining a high quality, hand crafted service.”

Looking for further design inspiration for your home? There’s plenty of expert advice and guidance to be found on both of DM Design’s kitchen design and bathroom design pages.


Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.

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Light up a north facing room
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