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Meet the newest member of the team…

She’s small, but she’s exceptionally powerful. Meet Bluebell.

Bluebell

Some of you may have seen this little angel on our Instagram feed a few weeks ago, but for those that missed her, this is Bluebell! As the company’s Morale Officer, she’s performing a range of valuable tasks, such as lighting up the room, providing moral support, sleeping, and just generally being adorable.

Bluebell
LOOK

When interviewed about her new role she declined to give comment, but we’re thrilled to be adding her expertise to the team, and we’re fairly certain she feels the same about working with us. It’s a valuable learning opportunity and we hope to better ourselves by following Bluebell’s example.

Bluebell
LOOK AT HER

So, keep an eye out for this tenacious pup popping up on our social media feeds from now on!

Bluebell
SHE’S SO SMALL

Design Spotlight: The Alchemist, MediaCityUK

The Alchemist MediaCityUK

Quirky bar and restaurant chain The Alchemist has really been pushing the limits of commercial interior design lately, and their newest location in MediaCityUK is no exception. Recently landed, the gold-panelled building nicknamed the ‘spaceship’ sets a distinctive silhouette on the Manchester Ship Canal, and offers stunning views of one of the UK’s most impressive metropolitan centres.

Five years in the planning, the Alchemist’s latest venue brings an unexpectedly contemporary and space-age feel to a brand that has been largely built on the dark charm and mystique of the ‘molecular mixology’ image. Though the interior still features plenty of dark wood and leather, the bright gold of the exterior is matched inside with metallic trimming, bringing sparkle and a touch of on-trend drama to the space. With an outdoor bar and enormous windows to boot, the space feels airier; lighter; more casual than other Alchemist locations.

The Alchemist MediaCityUK

Of course, the exterior, too, is an impressive feat: though the building’s striking gold shell is a daring piece of architectural design, it’s remarkably at home with the aesthetic of MediaCity, and creates a bold and contemporary statement befitting this area of Manchester.

The Alchemist MediaCityUK

We were nonetheless surprised by how different the MediaCityUK location is to the Alchemist’s other sites. The self-aware moodiness and edge of the Alchemist has always been a part of the brand’s aesthetic, with subtle hints of period and even some steampunk influence. While by no means absent from this newest iteration, we felt that the Alchemist had toned down some of these qualities for the MediaCity location, resulting in a stylish compromise between contemporary design and the Alchemist’s signature rustic-fantasy. What struck us most was just how magical the bar looks at night: there’s really no way to recreate the perfection of the new location’s waterfront setting.

The Alchemist MediaCityUK

Whether this marks a new direction for their interior style or is simply a one-off intended to match the aesthetic of the building, we can’t wait to see where this exciting brand goes next. One thing’s certain: it’s sure to be impressive.

Find out more about The Alchemist at MediaCityUK here.

Design Spotlight: The Glade at Sketch

The Glade, Sketch

This week we’re being inspired by the recently-unveiled refurbishment of the Glade, Sketch’s own breakfast and brunch bar, which has taken a turn for the magical! JMDA designer Lauren Milner offers her take on the fabulous new look for the bar, and how it’s inspiring her in preparation for delivering on-trend schemes for the UK pub scene.

Sketch London’s iconic pink restaurant might have featured in every designer’s Pinterest board over the past few years, but this summer the focus has shifted to the location’s breakfast and brunch room, the Glade. With this new refurb, it’s gone for a darker feel: winter is coming, inspired by fairy-tale forests and bejewelled with iridescent colours.

With design tastes shifting at this time of year, we’re feeling the autumn hues and mystical vibes, so it’s certainly ticking all of our boxes.

The Glade, Sketch

Of course, it’s no surprise that the Glade really resonates with Lauren’s current design inspirations.

Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons. The change in season sees a new warmth in nature: trees become bare and reveal earthy tones, textured bark, and crunchy leaves underfoot.

Early evenings feel authentic; cosy—think orange glows of bourbon, textured jumpers, leather boots and big scarves (big scarves are my fashion go-to in winter!). Meanwhile the early draw of darkness really feels mystical and moody.

My current design style is textures; jewelled colours that embrace a darker side; those moody ‘winter’s night’ vibes; abstract artwork… the ‘enchanted forest’ look with autumn inspiration and a feminine touch.

Most importantly I’m not afraid of colour, or the collaboration of textures and patterned fabric… all of which could be loosely described as ‘girl meets boy’ – feminine with edge!

The Glade, Sketch

Find out more about the Glade and Sketch here.

Design Spotlight: The Machine of a Dream

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet

Cars might not immediately spring to mind when you think ‘interior design inspiration’, but this week at JMDA we’ve been embracing the intersectionality of the design world, and appreciating some of the most innovative new concepts designed for the motoring industry.

It’s an exciting time to be connected to the rest of the design world (well, when isn’t it?), and we’re seeing some truly remarkable explorations of the practice in a range of different sectors. Car concepts are no exception: the rise of new motoring technologies isn’t just what’s on-trend right now; it’s forming a new turning point in the history of the car. Electric and hybrid fuel systems, self-driving, and materials advances are making real the sorts of cars we’d previously only dreamt of – perhaps somewhat jokingly – in science-fiction artistry.

It’s no surprise then that this turning point is impacting more than just what lies under the hood. As practical concerns shift, so too do design principles: car companies might not be seriously designing flying cars just yet (well, mostly), but we’ve been intrigued by some innovative new concepts that push the boundaries of automotive design.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII “Gallery”

Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII

Rolls-Royce recently unveiled a new feature of the new Phantom VIII: the “Gallery”, a customisable dashboard panel that can be personalised to each individual owner’s specification. It’s a luxury reserved for the elite of the elite, and to give you an idea of the market Rolls-Royce are targeting, one of the display options is a 24-carat gold-plated panel etched with a visualisation of your own DNA sequence. There are less hedonistic options, but the Gallery is nonetheless an expression of extreme individuality; an indelible marker of uniqueness.

Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII

It’s also perhaps a precursor to the trend of customisation being more extensively applied to automotive design. As services – and indeed, interiors – aim to offer a more bespoke, unique experience for consumers, it’s only logical that cars would begin to follow suit. The discussion on how designs cater to individuality is a fascinating one, and it’s one we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on.

Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet

This new concept by Mercedes is perhaps the most conservative example of future-facing car design we’ve picked, but that’s not to take away from how stylish it is. Masterfully elegant in spite of its enormous dimensions (almost six metres long), the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is a modern realisation of classic luxury car design, complete with a nu-art-deco body. The concept even draws on analogues of other timeless styles, and we couldn’t help but see more than a little Riva speedboat in the car’s sleek rear and gunwale.

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet

Yet the nostalgia of the Vision Mercedes is only skin deep: under the hood, it’s completely electric-powered, and the cockpit-like interior hosts an array of high-tech instrumentation. It’s a car that dares to reimagine past design conventions augmented modern innovations. More broadly, it’s part of a trend of retro-futurism that’s been on the rise in recent years, and it speaks to the timelessness of designs that hinge on simplicity and understated elegance.

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet

The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Microbus

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz

Recently confirmed for production, this electric-powered concept car perhaps most notably boasts a self-driving feature which Volkswagen aim to implement by 2025. It’s a very modern reimagining of the classic Camper Van look, with a two-tone paint scheme that calls back to the original Microbus with a colourful contemporary palette. It’s another fascinating exercise in reinvention, but what most intrigued us about this car was how it makes use of self-driving. When the steering wheel is pressed back into the dashboard, the car becomes a mobile interior: mood lighting replaces the usual lights, and as a room in its own right, we could see spaces like this being personalised as custom car interiors become more widespread. It’s exciting to consider how the I.D. Buzz could be utilised as a mobile lounge or meeting space without having to consider the need for space for a driver.

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz

Though it may be a futuristic reimagining of the Camper Van we know and love, it’s also more than simple nostalgia: the I.D. Buzz is a genuinely practical new innovation which, unlike the Phantom VIII and Vision Mercedes, will no doubt be more accessible to the majority of the market. At the very least, it’s a design with some promising prospects in finally bringing self-driving to the market.

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz

Let us know what you think – do you reckon we might be seeing all three of these cars on the road together someday soon? Can you see self-driving technologies steering the course of car design? Or is it all just more marketing hype?

Images from Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen.

JMDA has grown!

You may recall our previous blog post where we mentioned (perhaps somewhat cryptically) that JMDA had been joined by some new team members. Well, the wait to find out more is over, and we’re happy to welcome Lauren, Eleanor and John to the Leeds office, which is now looking a lot more full than it did a month ago! So, as promised, here’s a little more about each of them as we welcome them to the team:

Lauren Woodhouse

Lauren Woodhouse

Lauren is an interior designer with a keen eye for detail. Since graduating from Huddersfield University, she has worked on a number of commercial projects throughout the UK, from large-scale hotels to country pubs. Outgoing, adventurous, and with a passion for cutting-edge design, innovative furnishings, and out-there interiors, Lauren is excited to get stuck in and hands-on in the Leeds office.

Eleanor Sweeney

Eleanor Sweeney

Fresh out of Northumbria University, Eleanor is one of JMDA’s latest recruits and has taken the roll of junior designer in her stride. Although a seaside girl at heart, Eleanor is embracing her move to the Leeds office and is taking advantage of everything the great city has to offer. She is a keen horse rider and loves nothing more than a day out riding in the countryside! Eleanor likes to explore new trends and utilises colour and adventurous patterns whenever she can. Eleanor is excited for the future at JMDA and is looking forward to becoming an experienced team member.

John Craige

John Craige

John heads up JMDA’s online presence, and brings a wealth of knowledge in digital media practices to the team. Having studied at the University of Leeds prior to joining JMDA, John fell in love with the city’s diverse scene and the inspiration it provided. As such, his passion for creativity has led him to build a versatile skillset in digital design, writing, and programming, making him a versatile and invaluable part of the team.

We recommend you check out our team page for the fully-animated versions of their shiny new profile pictures – as well as those of the rest of our team.

 

Design Spotlight: Welcome to the (Dream) Hotel California

When it comes to hotel interiors, few make as bold a statement as Dream Hotels, and as JMDA has first-hand experience of Dream’s Downtown New York City location, we’ve been avidly following their projects for more great inspiration. As such, we thought we’d take a look at their latest new location: Los Angeles, California.

Dream NYC

Downtown NYC. To walk into the lobby is to step into a menagerie of colours; patterns; textures. Every piece of furniture is unique, but leather abounds, lending a glossy chic to the comfortable, airy space. The room embraces the lobby as lounge, and could easily double as an evening retreat in its own right. But it wouldn’t be a Dream without a touch of drama, and even quirkiness: the ceiling is transparent, allowing a tantalising glimpse of the pool above, and the wall-mounted flag of the USA is, on closer inspection, made up of old cans. Aside from being immediately impressive, the room is a microcosm of the Dream Hotels’ brand: a style built on the uniqueness of each location, and reflected in every room during our stay.

Dream NYC

As such, we were impressed with our time at the Downtown NYC location. Very impressed. Once-in-a-lifetime impressed. And we were hungry for more design ideas, especially the make-or-break bold ones that seem to crop up in Dream hotels. So when we heard that there was a new location opening in Hollywood, we were excited for what a new Dream Hotel would do with this iconic area.

Unsurprisingly, Dream Hotels know best how to make use of their locale. Dream Hollywood’s open-air lobby brings LA’s sunshine inside, and looks stunning in gleaming white marble and clean, smart surfaces. An all-day coffee bar makes it a consistent draw, and there’s a real charm to spending time here: like Dream Downtown NYC, the lobby is re-cast as a lounge in LA’s unique style.

Dream Hollywood

Venturing deeper into the hotel, the décor takes on a more subdued tone, with moodier lighting in the elevators and corridors, giving a sense of cool relief from the unforgiving sun in the streets outside. Wood panelling takes over from bright marble, ushering in a distinctly playful and retro feel.

Emerging into the rooms themselves, we found ourselves almost overwhelmed by the sudden influx of light and wonderful views provided by Dream’s full-height windows. Dream Hollywood takes the approach of bringing the outside inside: it’s a simple and spectacular use of the location’s natural beauty, and one that pays tribute to Hollywood itself. As such, the furniture here takes a clean, understated approach, careful not to overshadow the dramatic LA cityscape.

Dream Hollywood

But the bedrooms aren’t the only areas that make use of Dream’s fantastic views, and the rooftop itself plays host to a spacious bar and garden. There’s been a definite trend in designing urban rooftop spaces lately, and we’re glad to see that the Dream seizes on this in turning their roof into a vibrant evening space. The grill area here, The Highlight Room, features a restrained checkerboard-tiled floor and grungy brickwork, which give the venue a very casual feel, and make it a prime location to spend warmer days in.

Dream Hollywood

“Dream Hollywood takes the approach of bringing the outside inside: it’s a simple and spectacular use of the location’s natural beauty.”

For other daytime pursuits, the Dream’s pool deck is – as always – a lovely place to relax on, and features a particularly extraordinary feat of design: the pool itself can be raised flush with the deck, turning into yet another space for partying. Exclusive booths are separated from the main pool by drapes, and tropical greenery adds plenty of natural shade.

Dream Hollywood

In all, Dream Hollywood did not disappoint: once again, Dream bring a uniquely casual, elegant approach to hotels, while incorporating elements of the local culture and aesthetic into each hotel’s design. Dream Hollywood’s adjustable pool remains one of our favourite features, and though some might call it a gimmick, it raises some interesting ideas about how to make spaces versatile and adaptable. This extends to the hotel’s use of roof spaces, which we definitely felt were in tune with Hollywood – after all, nothing says movie glamour like a rooftop party. So, with plenty to take away from the Dream brand, we’ll be keeping an eye out for more inspired twists on these intriguing design opportunities.

Dream Hotel Hollywood and Dream Hotels online.

 

Do Not Adjust Your Screen!

jmda

The winds of change have been blowing for quite some time here at JMDA: with a new office, new clients, and a shiny new website, it’s certainly been exciting for us! We’ve been hard at work these past few months, travelling across the country delivering excellent interior designs and presenting inventive new concepts – not to mention finding plenty of creative inspiration along the way.

On top of that, we’re happy to be welcoming two new designers and a media manager to the team – but there’ll be more on them soon. In the meantime, take a look through the new home of JMDA online: say hello to our team’s new profiles, browse through our gallery of previous projects, and check out our social media profiles – we’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Plus, you can now sign up to our quarterly newsletter for updates on both upcoming and completed projects.

We’re rolling out a new look for JMDA, but some things haven’t changed: our motivation, dedication, and experience in delivering professional interior designs that always leave the client impressed. With growth comes more fantastic projects that we’re looking forward to unveiling, and of course, yet more opportunities and possibilities for the future. So for now, keep your eyes peeled for more developments at JMDA, and we’ll be back with more news soon!

Ghost Architecture

Ghost1

This week Team JMDA have been busy down South with new briefings this week, however we still find the time to be inspired.

Ghost2

We were particularly impressed by this collaboration between Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi & DesignLab Experience, who have used steel mesh to create an ethereal modern landscape inspired by classical architectural forms.

Ghost3

Ghost4

Let the Leeds adventure begin!

We’ve spread our wings and branched out on a whole new adventure! This week JMDA opened their second office in the buzzing city centre of Leeds! The whole team are super exited for the opportunities this will bring and the inspiration that surrounds us. With the four day weekend ahead we thought we would start by checking out some of the local hotspots… have a great Easter everyone!

Team JMDA x

Back on the road…

Team JMDA have had an exciting start to this week with our first MAB briefing of this working year. It was an early start on Wednesday morning, travelling down to southern territory to get the ball rolling for our next challenge.

Creativity is at a high in the Leeds office as we explore all new colours, layouts and samples which will bring this scheme together! What unique and innovative ideas can we create this time?!

Follow our Instagram account for the journeys throughout the next wave of projects we have just around the corner and see how JMDA travel from start to finish within every project!

View

Salone del mobile Milano 2017

The annual Milan Design Week, one of the biggest events of the design calendar, kicked off earlier this week, promising a flurry of new design collections and immersive installations across all design disciplines.

This year IKEA have launched their “Let’s Make Room for Life” Festival inside a warehouse space, which features installations, workshops & talks from the likes of Tom Dixon & Faye Toogood, whilst also offering a behind the scenes look at IKEA’s development process.

Salone1

The Salone del Mobile Milano is the perfect stage to showcase a new collection, acknowledge a milestone in your career or, in the case of Alessi, honour the late great Zaha Hadid with a display of their past collaborations.

Salone1

Whilst we haven’t been able to experience Milan Design week first hand, we have been keeping a watchful eye for inspiration. Meanwhile other members of Team JMDA have been busy travelling to various projects across the country, including handing over the Corner House in Cardiff City Centre for Mitchells and Butlers.

Stay tuned on Twitter & Instagram for a sneak peak…

Team JMDA.

P.S. Follow Dezeen, Tom Dixon Studio, Jamie Hayon & Formafantasma on Instagram for more insights into the goings on at Milan Design Week.