Ilse Crawford

designers i admire: ilse crawford


seating for eating by ilse crawford for de la espadaI have long admired the career and work of Ilse Crawford. She designs the most extraordinary rooms that look like nothing else you've seen. She does that magic mix of country and Scandinavian and traditional that turns my head every time. She's a scholar and a former magazine editor. I formed my opinion about her long before I had ever heard her speak. Well, tonight I heard her speak. What I am here to say is: move over Ben Pentreath, I have a new mentor. 

"If you've got a broken heart, if you've had a terrible day, your environment's not going to make that much difference, but it can change a lot...I try to think of the human spirit first of all as my starting point."

ode to simple

Mud Australia

Sometimes you just don't need gilt or filigree, or carving or cabriole. Sometimes, well, quite often actually, simple is best. Simple is good, straightforward honest design that just makes you go, ahhh, perfect. Nothing to hide, not a bell or whistle in sight. It comes down to quality materials and just enough design, but not too much. You might cheat on simple occasionally, but you will always come back. You can't live without simple. Here's my celebration of the best of simple. Do you have any simple faves?

seating for dining, Ilse Crawfordmortar & pestle, Labour & Wait

brush and dustpan, Labour & WaitFarm table, Design Within Reach


Robin Day chairchinos, Gap

carafe, IKEA

notebook, Muji


brogues, J. Crewstapler, Swingline




laundry tote, Muji







































Kulla, IKEA


Canadian flag, designed by George F. Stanley and John Matheson