A Week in the Life of a Commercial Interior Designer


Have you ever found yourself wondering just exactly what do interior designers do on the day to day?
How do they do it? What’s the process? And just how do they come up with the weird and wonderful ideas!? Fancy a peak behind those office doors and beyond…?

Let us delve you deep into the colourful, weekly agenda of the team here at JMDA, filled with so much more than fabulously fluffing up of cushions (There really is style in everything we do). From creative brainstorms to hard hats and high fashion high vis jackets, inspiring mood boards to doggy day care- welcome to a week in our steel toe caps and slip on mules (depending on the day of the week)!

Moodboard Monday
Monday blues are a thing of the past – unless of course you’re inspired by a dark, midnight bar front or frosty crackled leathers.
Communication and a strong team ethic is paramount to us at JMDA. So after a quick Starbucks run *other brands are available* it’s down for a team brief with project updates, personal schedules, and of course some tales from the weekend warriors. Next up we share any findings that have inspired us over the past week- blog posts, websites, latest openings and suppliers- you name it and we can draw inspiration from it! Fuelled on coffee, conversation and creative input we are ready for the week ahead!

Down to the nitty gritty
Moody Mondays mean one thing- Mood Boards.
Mood boards are crucial in interior design with communicating concepts, detailed design elements and pulling together a scheme in which the client can visualize the breath-taking end transformation.
Taking inspiration from recent colour trends to individual building history, they propel the concept into the next stage of design and are crucial to every scheme. A task that is always enjoyed and delivered with style.


Tuesday Trips and Travels
Whether it is a briefing meeting, site visit or handover, visiting a space for yourself allows for great immersing of the workings and understanding how the space functions and how it makes us feel.
Site visits allow for us to capture the transform week by week and are crucial in bringing the ideas to life.

It’s not always the glamorous lifestyle you might imagine, with a hard hat, high vis and steel toe capped boots secured in the boot of company cars we regularly find ourselves overseeing construction work on site. With the colder months approaching it can sometimes seem daunting stepping out on a frosty morning; but don’t be fooled, we love pulling on our jackets and donning the hard hat for a day of problem solving, dimension setting out and discussing the vision with the contractors. Top tip- thick socks, heated gloves and lip balm- it’s a life saver!

Watching beautifully designed wine walls begin to fill dead space, dazzling bar designs lighting up a once dark and tired entrance and dropping rich, inviting furniture into a room is one of the most exciting parts of the job.

Wallpaper Wednesdays
Despite the title, if the specification stage only involved choosing wallpaper our job would be a walk in the park. However, when the time comes to provide specification for all the elements of FF&E – our sample library is our treasure trove. Every floor tile, timber plank, bar front, bar top, wallpaper, light fitting, ceiling render, external structure, window colour and carpet thread is carefully chosen to compliment, and quite often contrast to the other.
The floor becomes our sample wardrobe as we pull together bold colours, textures and fanciful combinations of materials.
But again, it’s not all about the look and feel, there’s a lot to consider here- slip rating for flooring, durability of wallcoverings and suitability of fabrics in different areas. A wonderful ‘floordrobe’ with a multitude of dimensions.

Thursday Technicalities
Whilst creating unique concepts, finding fancy fittings and floors is great for the creative mind. Every design, joinery element and the plan is drawn in precise accuracy. Thought turns to how things will be constructed, shaped, scaled, fit and finished is decided and detailed. Initial sketches are worked up by hand, tweaking curves, planning out elevations and detailing fixings, this is then added to CAD to work up construction drawings for the Contractor. The smallest of details to laying out an entire site plan, nothing is missed. It is this part of the design process that glues a scheme together.

Fur and Fabric Fridays
At the end of a busy but rewarding week, it is time to tie up any loose thread ends and finish off any pending tasks. One exciting thing to any designer is spotting a new product design such as tiles, floor finishes and fabrics. So, we welcome suppliers in through our doors to show us any new and unique products they may have that we can incorporate into our work.
One new member of the team is Belle – Rebecca’s new springer spaniel! Not only does Belle bring oodles of energy to the office, she’s also pretty good at stealing shoes.

This being said, no week is ever really the same, being on the ball and ready for action is something that is needed for a wonder filled week at JMDA x


Insta-worthy Design


POWerful Prints!

With Autumn officially upon us and design week, fashion week (& the rest) all done and dusted, we are welcoming with open arms the latest Autumn/Winter collections from our favourite fabric and wallpaper suppliers! And we are all in for a treat!
Let me take you through what has really get us talking, wooing and swooning! As detail devils and impact pursuers we couldn’t let the bold patterns be swept under a high pile Persian rug without a mention! At JMDA pattern has always sat high on the agenda, it can make or a break scheme. It can be love at first site or it can be a go to fail safe that just pulls a scheme together.
This year we have seen classic styles reworked in millennial pink paired with perfects pastels! And fear not, it looks like those printed palms aren’t going anywhere, this time taking a form of a natural landscape or wild jungle setting (LOVE!) So, let’s dig a little deeper into our favourites: –

Not your average Damask…

Throughout the years of design, Damask prints have been featured in many collections from numerous design brands. Featuring back to the 14th century, we have seen a damask print in many royal backdrops, grand halls and the backdrop to your Downton Abbey Sunday night FIX! Today the damask is traditionally used in high end hotels, oozing it’s luxury heritage.
We have seen many challenge the stereotypical design of a damask print, with brands experimenting with the format, scale, colours and textures. Not my usual fabric of choice, however this year Zoffany’s latest collection has really caught my eye. We see a collection which has bold, statement colourways such as deep purples and royal greens, paired with some delicate, soft pastel tones. This beautiful heritage pattern named Pomegranate Print, oozes elegance and class and wouldn’t look out of place in any home, restaurant or bar. We’d go pattern on pattern here for that maximum effect!


Step into the Jungle…

Dare to be different with this statement piece from Arte Wallcoverings. Still clinging onto those summer feels with this jungle inspired print, what’s not to love about this wow wallcovering!
The earthy burnt tones bring a fresh spin on leafy prints and create the sense of real authenticity. On trend with the fall colours, the pistachio green dramatic leaves reflect a true botanical setting; paired with some potted plants this really sets the scene.

The picturesque setting is coupled with an electric blue sofa to really contrast against its backdrop. This design is one of many of their latest collection, which has all the ‘wows’ and certainly not for the faint hearted. This particular design is definitely a must have in this years up and coming projects, not only for its on point styling but for it’s magnificent quality and ‘art like’ finish!


Peaceful, picturesque prints!

Its not all fierce and full on when it comes to patterns. As designers we are sympathetic to the client, the surroundings and the demographic, and we certainly have time for those calming contrasts.
This tranquil, water-colour inspired autumn/winter collection from Casamance is simply stunning. We can’t wait for these books to land in our office library! They are everything you expect from Casamance; their beautiful show stopping prints and on-point colour pallets are the reason they are one of my favourite brands.
Casamance describes this collection ‘ACQUA VIVA’ as ‘bringing the intense colours to life before blending them like watercolours. A floral and aquatic collection, exuding a feeling of perfect serenity.’ We couldn’t agree more! That statement alone brings a state of trance.
The picturesque landscape fabric is a personal favourite and would be worked up in this deep, encapsulating green and upholstered on an accent chair with popping piping and positioned by a blazing winter fire. This collection has us autumn/winter ready, so let’s kick back those summer blues and embrace the change.
You can’t run and can’t hide from there uncertainness of the country right now but you can be certain of one thing. Prints and patterns are playful, joyful and expressive. Indulge, exaggerate or relax with our favourite printed beauties.



Blog By Interior Designer, Eleanor Sweeney


Branded Around

As designers, it is often our job to create the physical embodiment of a brand; instilling their values, ethos & ultimately their own personality within an interior. We love getting into the nitty gritty of how a company works, making sure we always hit the brief; whether we are focused on operational ease, high impact aesthetics, memorable experiences or all three. But how can you elevate your business in the world of design in this digital consumer age?

Brand Recognition

To stand out in the creative design industry you need to be, yes you guessed it, creative. It can take many years to establish your brand within the industry, however having an interesting product doesn’t guarantee success. Your logo and symbol can be the difference your company needs to stand out when initially getting started. However, the service and product you provide is what will provide the signal to others you’re a key player. It’s important to consider the product packaging, advertising campaigns, and of course the website aesthetics before making the final decision on your logo.

Social Media – Presence, Product, Personality

Social Media platforms offer a key opportunity to reach your target audience without breaking the bank on marketing. Social media presence can really boost momentum for your business, whether you’re an emerging fashion brand, product designer or simply promoting your services. Posting new original content is all well and good but you really need to know how to engage with your audience whilst potentially bringing in new custom.

Hashtags are your friend in this instance. They can really expand your reach across the country and even the globe, so don’t be afraid to use them. There are websites to help you use the most popular hashtags for your subject area. Broad, general and field related hashtags are useful for emerging brands. Take a moment to look up’s founder George Rawlings and the guerrilla marketing campaign he’s created. Felt tip pen, cardboard and the patience to humiliate himself in London for a few hours a day has lead to an exponential boost in downloads of the London based dating app. Proof that you can be creative without breaking the bank!

Relevant content goes hand in hand with your social media presence. Detailed shots of your product, or lifestyle shots can be the difference between making a purchase. Well lit spaces, detailed shots and carefully chosen backgrounds can really enhance your product, after all, a picture can tell a thousand words. Remember that you’re selling a lifestyle, not just the product.


Big companies don’t always need to show personality to progress their brand’s success in the eyes of the customer. However, if you are trying to break the mould or even connect with select users then showing your personality in your posts can go a long way to help you stand out. Use informal language, hyperbole & descriptive imagery to bring your posts to life and gather buzz around your product.

Business Cards
Given today’s digital bias, I’d forgive you for thinking this a futile gesture, however business cards are a great way of marketing your brand and provides people with a quick physical reminder of your brand and service. Remember you won’t always have time to take somebody’s email address or number at networking event so having a memorable business card is the next best thing.

Explore different styles and choose one that suits your brand type whether it’s a fabric card sleeve for a fashion start up, or a script style text for a signwriting business. There are so many options to make you stand out amongst the crowd; embossing text, bold edge colours, patterned backgrounds, or even your minimalistic logo. Check out @thebrandidentity, @branding.mob & @thebrandingcollective for inspiration on graphics, branding and business cards to get your creative juices flowing!

Here at JMDA, we’ve been developing our own services and offer something new. In partnership with Branded Agency, we will soon be able to provide a new branding, graphics and website design service to our current & future clients. We’ve also been creating some new business cards to reflect our ever-expanding business, so be ready for some serious card envy!

Keep your eyes peeled on our Social feeds for more exciting projects and ventures across the country!

Written by Interior Designer Alec Donald Mackenzie

New Fall Colour Trends That Will Spice Up Your Life!

Written by Senior Designer Zoe Coates

As we approach the dark nights and declining temperatures, we are all quick to approach our comfort wardrobes full of greys, neutrals and every shade of black. But this fall introduces an unexpected injection of colour, with bold, bright and totally in your face colour trends that will wash away your summer blues.
If the fall 2019 runways are something to go by, this season’s naked neutrals and monochromatic darks are about to be infused with shades of bold orange and purple, neon yellows, shocking pink and fashion’s new favourite colour: pistachio green.

Pistachio Green
Popping up on several runways this year, pistachio green has quickly taken over our Instagram pages and street style scene. We have fully embraced this colour in our interior trends and have featured it for an upcoming project.

Shades of Purple
From pale lavenders to deep mulberry and all that’s in between, purple hit the fall runways in every form of fashion this year. For interiors, we often stick with darker mulberry tones to enhance warm brass features or create indulgent plush seating with sullen berry velvets. However, one interior that really pushes the boundaries with this colour is the one we know is on every designer’s Pinterest board: Sketch, London.

Bright Orange
Proving this colour is better when bolder, Carolina Herera, Gucci and many more designers showcased this colour head-to-toe down the runway. Orange, a colour sometimes previously read as loud or tacky in fashion, now becomes subtly decadent. We have always loved orange hues and have just installed this pop of colour to a recent bar design: Dukes Head, Crawley

Shocking Pink
The great Elle Woods once said that anyone who said orange was the new pink was “seriously disturbed.” However in contradiction, why not feature both colours this fall?! Sies Marjan did just that, where both colours were paired together on this year’s runway.

We also LOVED how Louis Vuitton paired these colours on their 160 year creative history exhibition in Beverly Hills, California in June.

Neon Highlighters
Surprising the majority, neon’s featured in many of this year’s fall runways, from New York to Milan to Paris, we can’t wait to jump on the bandwagon and feature this colour in an upcoming project. Watch this space…

Written by Senior Designer Zoe Coates


Designing to Influence


London’s First Whisky Hotel?

Over that past 5 years, Whisky has been overshadowed by the double-digit growth of Gin sales with Whisky’s popularity seemingly flying under the radar. This summer, however, London’s Black Rock bar is launching its own whisky hotel and claims to be the first of its kind to hit the Capital!

Black Rock, founded by Tom Aske & Tristan Stephenson, opened Black Rock Tavern on the ground floor in early July, offering an informal version of the basement whisky bar. The much-anticipated Black Rock Lodgings is also set to join their portfolio soon. The hotel offers the ultimate whisky experience and will feature 2 ‘minimalist but luxurious’ compact rooms on the second floor, with a premium suite spanning across the 3rd floor.

Whilst we all patiently wait for its imminent opening, we thought it only right to share some whisky wall inspo from our latest projects! Gin who…?

The Wavendon Arms
The Fox & Hounds, Northampton
The Dukes Head


“Working 9 – 5, what a way to make a livin’”


The average person will spend 1/3 of their life working, which means most of us will spend more time with our work colleagues than with friends, family and even our children. So, in order to find and retain top talent, it’s essential for a company to create an environment that empowers people with the right space to work, think and collaborate naturally.
Wellbeing in the workplace has been a major focus over the past year, featuring the almighty debate of the open plan office – does it improve or hinder productivity? This is still being discussed, where many believe that open plan encourages proactive discussion and the flow of creative ideas, others think that all it creates is distraction and reduced privacy and focus.

LEO’s London offices via office snapshots


With around 70% of offices being open plan, and for those who find it difficult to create a productive and peaceful environment for employees to work in, we have put together some simple design tips that improve wellbeing in the workplace…

So easy to get right, but so easy to get wrong! The wrong lighting can increase headaches, eyestrain and blurred vision. Some simple changes to consider…
Adding skylights to maximise the amount of natural lighting into the workspace and controlling the glare on windows and computer screens will allow employees to spend more time focusing on work and less time fiddling with the blinds. Likewise, arranging large bulky furniture so it doesn’t block out the sunlight is equally as important.
Natural sunlight is the best and most effective form of lighting, especially when it comes to the persons mood and the mental response to it. However not all offices have the luxury of large windows, so artificial lighting is key. The choice of light fittings is equally as important as where they are located in the office, focussed ambient lighting and lamps are best around desk areas creating the illusion of ‘zones’ in a space. Larger fittings with a brighter lamp are best in social spaces and board rooms allowing the whole space to be equally lit and enables focus to be directed in multiple areas.

Office design for innovation and design centre Studio 5B, located in Mumbai, India Designed by Praxis


You can work in the most beautiful office in the world but if you are not comfortable then it is almost impossible to enjoy your work.
Ergonomically crafted work areas, enabling employees to alternative between sitting and standing positions and providing employees with different areas to work in throughout there day is an efficient and proactive response to ensuring that the employee is comfortable.
Sound is one of the most important aspects which requires thought in the workplace, limiting sound from building systems or the outdoors, especially in city locations is imperative to reduce distraction or disturbance to employees work progress.

work by K2 Space


An employee’s mental wellbeing is equally, if not more important than physical. Ensuring that an employee feels considered and cared for in the company is vital for a productive workplace. If the interior design of an office considers social and breakout spaces, improvements are found in concentration, collaboration, confidentiality and creativity.
Of course, creating an area where people can work and essentially ‘get the job done’ is what an office is created for, however providing employees with areas to relax and de-stress works hand in hand with this.
Go green!! Working in an environment with greenery is proven to increase productivity in the workplace. This can be created with living walls and flower gardens, or simply placing potted plants throughout the space. For offices who have the luxury to completely re-design their space, creating outdoor spaces such as rooftop patios and staff gardens for events and meetings or just to allow people to work outdoors creates a diverse environment.
Not everyone works in the same way, so one of the most important aspects to wellbeing in the workplace is choice… offering employees options as to where they would like to work means that they can work in the best way suitable for them.


The Moneypenny offices, with treehouse meeting room. Photograph: Moneypenny


Employees who lead an active lifestyle are likely to be more productive. A few ways to encourage movement at work include offering open and accessible stairways rather than directing everyone towards the lift. Creating shower facilities for those who choose to exercise in the morning before work and offering opportunities for physical activity such as group fitness and meditation classes throughout the working week.

WeWork – Rise By We, a wellness club in New York






JMDA Celebrate a Decade of Design…

…Wow, where did that go? Unbelievably it’s now 10 years since our humble beginnings in Mr Morgan’s spare bedroom with fellow founding Director Mr Simon Tyas and, naturally, we felt the need to celebrate. But, being a design practise, we like to do things differently.

Our latest office opening in Newcastle was decided upon as the catalyst for celebrations. This had nothing to do with Newcastle’s reputation for cracking nightlife, you understand. Nothing whatsoever. It fell to our Marketing guru, Jess, to come up with something a bit off-the-wall as a basis (no pressure there then!). So, after a few sleepless nights and much head scratching Jess came up with the idea of using our skills to put something back into the local community. This evolved into a decision to both design & refurbish the communal areas of Gateshead’s Oasis Community Housing charity. Now all we had to do was come up with a cracking design and enlist several contractors and suppliers to give us their skills and stock for free.
As a bit of background, Oasis run the centre as a vital service primarily for the homeless to support them both generally and in times of crisis. As they say themselves ‘We exist to reignite a hope and a future for everyone facing homelessness. We believe in prevention and intervention. Our four cornerstones of support address both the immediate needs and root causes of homelessness.’


So, all in all, a very worthy cause indeed. If you’d like to know more about the charity, please click the image above!

Basis@Gateshead seen below, before JMDA and the team invaded!

Long (quite tortuous) story short, Thursday 6th June saw several of our team head for Gateshead with enough paint, brushes and masking tape to redecorate St James’ Park. Twice. Well, we didn’t want to risk running out, did we! For some of the team it was the first time they’d held a paintbrush bigger than something you’d find in a ‘colouring by numbers’ set, so all credit to them. Parkside Architectural Tilers also converged on the centre giving up some free labour and the DIY skills of their Head Honcho Richard France to tile a full wall in the kitchen area and help us decorate. In truth, due to the fact that most designers aren’t good with ‘mornings’ the tiling was almost done by the time we rocked-up!
Whilst we decorated, Morgan signs very kindly beavered-away to install vibrant large-scale graphics and general directional signage which looked amazing.

By the evening of the 6th the two rooms in the centre were a definite contrast to the magnolia spaces we’d walked into that morning. Fresh Green and cheerful orange paint had been ‘skillfully’ applied in key locations and the rooms had started to have some life and warmth. Talking of warmth, the sun was shining, and by 6 bells, the Quayside was calling. And so, purely in the interest of research, a few of us sampled Newcastle’s bounteous hospitality. To coin a phrase….’be rude not to’.

The 7th June arrived with almost cloudless skies and only marginal hangovers as, for once, in consideration of the importance of the task ahead we’d been quite restrained in our beverage consumption (don’t faint!). Yesterday’s paint work was touched up and the Carlick Furniture lads began to install a multitude of new furniture. JFA’s top team (and Tracey) got busy putting up motivational pictures, notice boards and framing the centre’s own artwork produced by their clientele.

Their Graffiti artist Janoh went ‘above and beyond’, driving all the way from Northampton to the venue to work his spray can magic on two sets of cupboard doors which, when finished, rivalled Banksy’s best. He then drove home again. You can see the time-lapse vids on our Insta feed. The fantastic standard lamps supplied by Lightique were positioned to give some moody lighting to strategic areas.

The remainder of our team joined us from the Leeds office around lunchtime to bask in the glory (no change there then) and enjoy joint celebrations with the Oasis staff and a few of their clientele. Their Chief Exec David Smith thanked all involved via a heartfelt speech, describing what the works meant to them and how the refurb would make their jobs and the lives of the clients just that little bit easier. Jonathon spoke to also praise the generosity of suppliers and contractors, wishing the centre all the best for a slightly brighter future. There was cake and pop and everything!

You’ll find it hard to believe that the evening saw the JMDA crew and the centre’s Relationship Manager Christine & colleague Holly embark upon a rather wild night in The Toon which involved……..well I’m sure you can imagine. But there was no pop or cake. As far as we can remember.
There’s no way we could have undertaken this without both the co-operation of Oasis Community Housing and the trust they showed in letting this strange bunch of creatives invade their ‘home’ and the fantastic generosity of Parkside Architectural tilers, Carlick Furniture, Morgan Signs, Lightique and last but definitely not least, JFA. We love you all!!!

There’s nothing more to say, really, except as we sail into the future with our fabulous and talented bunch of people………………..Here’s to the next 10!



Makeover for Basis@Gateshead


All is not what it looks like...


Welcome to the team…

… Rebecca, our new Interior Designer


Rebecca is an experienced Designer, with a background in both residential and commercial projects. JMDA are extremely pleased to welcome her into our Leeds office where she will be supporting the Northern ‘girl gang’ to deliver exceptional designs! Rebecca shared some interesting insights we thought you may enjoy reading…

Where did you study? University of Ulster Belfast

Favourite Food? Mexican or anything with a bit of spice!

Best Holiday? Cuba – it was paradise! Sun, sea, sand & rum!

Any hobbies? Spin class, countryside walks, city breaks, travelling and exploring new places for inspiration, spending time with family and friends

Favourite Sport? Swimming

How do you like your Steak? Medium rare

Go to Breakfast? Ulster fry – you have to have potato and soda bread with a fry up!

Dream Home Destination?  Love my home in Yorkshire, but would love to own a second home in the north coast of Ireland one day

Any Phobias? Spiders and creepy crawlies

Nicknames? Becky, Wack

What’s your Guilty Pleasure? Prosecco Friday’s & sitting in the hot tub when I should be in the gym

Predicting The Future Of Design…

There’s nothing like diving in and having a think about the really big questions, is there? So follows the distillation of our thoughts on the subject………………

Design is everywhere!

Form follows function. That’s what was drilled into us on our various Interior Design courses. The essence of this, as every designer knows, is that the function of an object has a large influence on its form, or shape.
But, look around you in today’s world and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this has been turned on its head. And not just for what we’d normally call designer goods. From washing machines which look like a component from a hi-fi system…

to lawnmowers with a Motorsport influence…

The influence of design to improve the look (and therefore saleability) of everyday objects can be seen in just about every aspect of our daily life, even disposables such as food packaging.
Much of this is down to the emergence over the last 20 years of CAD-CAM or computer aided design and manufacture, which makes the process of concept to reality, or at least to prototypes, a much easier ride than it used to be. Add the fairly recent bolt-on facility of 3D printing and the process becomes even simpler for some fields of design. One of the clearest influences of this is in the vastly increased range of models, and model variants, available from motor manufacturers. 20 years ago you could probably choose from 5 different models from major manufacturers whereas today there are upwards of 10 with multiple, almost infinite variations (see BMW’s Mini for example).

Tweaks to models happen on a yearly basis with slightly different light clusters and interior changes etc. Likewise we can see the influence of computers giving greater choice in our own field via furniture, lighting and carpet design, to name but a few.
Form follows function hasn’t, of course, been ‘turned on its head’ it’s just that designers have become much more savvy about making functionality more attractive which has, in part, been possible due to computers being able to make those designer’s ideas a reality, and in double-quick time.
So………what next?
The pressure on designers to come up with fresh, attractive new designs for every aspect of our everyday lives increases each year. Staying ahead of the curve relies on keeping up with influences in other areas of design such as fabrics, fashion and, more generally, colour trends (see our post on Coral as this year’s colour). This is something JMDA pride ourselves on and can be clearly seen in the many recently completed interiors we have produced.
A retrospective approach to design has recently proved to be appealing to the general public with such designs as the new London Routmaster bus…

and the VW Beetle…

as well as watches such as TAG Heuer’s recreation of their Monaco model (made famous by Steve McQueen in the film ‘Le Mans’). These models combine nostalgia with cutting edge tech which seems to be a winning combination. This influence can be seen in Interiors including our own with such examples as Cut & Craft in York which combines Art Deco influenced metalwork features.
In consideration of the future of our industry, we have at this juncture, to at least consider Artificial Intelligence in the role of design. You may consider that Design may be one of the last areas of industry to be affected by this as it relies on the immensely complex process of our imaginations. But, with such advances as a computer (called Eugene, incidentally) passing a test devised by Alan Turing – the hero who cracked the Enigma code – to prove it can ‘think’ back in 2014, this assumption must be made with caution. It isn’t fanciful to predict it will not be too long before computers can be programmed with algorithms which mimic aesthetic considerations and, disturbingly, be then able to learn from this and produce advances in their own designs. Perhaps a couple of generations hence?
Interior Design may present an added challenge in that it not only involves the aesthetic consideration of the various finishes and fittings of a room or space, but the functionality of that space as well. Maybe the combination of creating a mood as well as an efficient space will make Interior Design the last bastion of Human led design? We can only hope.
Meanwhile, back at Reality Ranch, we use computers to trial designs which our clients can see and comment upon before they become reality, whether this be 3D images of products or, in our field, high definition, super-realistic renders of the interiors we have envisaged.
It can be argued that, at least in some instances, the form follows function rule is almost finite. The mobile phone is a classic example of this with all manufacturers producing something of a similar size (due to the functionality of the human hand) and appearance (maximising the screen size with curved edges to the case, for example). Having said that, there are rumours of foldable, unbreakable Graphene phones being on the horizon.
And we all know the distance to the horizon is much less than it used to be.

Majolica Tiles


The world’s first vegan hotel suite opens in London!

According to research by the Vegan Society partnership with Vegan Life Magazine, the number of people identifying as vegans in the UK has increased by a whopping 350%, so its no wonder the world’s first ever vegan hotel suite has opened in London!

Food design company Bompas & Parr have stunningly created the luxury vegan suite in the Hilton Bankside, offering a fully decked out bedroom, bathroom & living room without leather, wool, feathers or other animal products, in a bid to show veganism is “no longer a dining trend, but can also influence a wider lifestyle choice.”

Every aspect of this design has been carefully considered, from the cotton carpets to the footstools, scatter cushions, headboard and even the key card to access the room have been made from the animal friendly product. Feather pillows have been replaced with a choice of buckwheat or millet hulls, kapok or bamboo

Even the entire selection of toiletries, snacks, drinks and cleaning products are 100% free of animal products, too.


Images from Hilton London Bankside & dezeen

Ego Shrewsbury


Cut & Craft, York

is the first of its kind…


… taking affordable dining to the next level, offering a stylish and contemporary setting in the heart of the beautiful and historic city of York.




Northern Design Award Winners

Thaikhun, Liverpool…


JMDA are proud to have been awarded 1st place for Interior Design Project 2018 < 250k with our recent design for Thaikhun Liverpool! We are extremely passionate about what we do and it is reflected in our work.




Welcome To The Team…

…Lucy, our new Junior Designer



Lucy is brimming with enthusiasm, creative flair and a passion for detail; a welcome addition to the JMDA family. We thought you should get to know her a little…

Where did you study?
Northumbria University

Favourite Food?
All food. Can I say that? I suppose if I could only eat one meal again for the rest of my life it would have to be Thai!

Best Holiday?
A small, Californian island called Coronado; the beaches were idyllic and the food was amazing

Any hobbies?
I love training in the gym and learning about nutrition. I have always enjoyed writing too and really want to write a book one day

How do you like your Steak?
Medium rare. (And with a side of mash, always)

Prized Possession?
My dog! He is a Shih Tzu called Fraiser

Any Phobias?
Wasps and Rollercoasters

What’s your Guilty Pleasure?
It has to be catching up with Coronation Street – I never miss an episode


Welcome to the Team…

…Rosie, our new Interior Designer

Rosie will be embracing the city lifestyle & bringing a fresh perspective to the Leeds studio. She joins an already established team with a wealth of experience and some interesting projects to get stuck in to.

We thought it best to get to know her a little better…

Where did you Study?    Northumbria University

Favourite Holiday Destination?    Probably Barcelona

Favourite Food?   Anything with pasta and lots of cheese!!

Biggest Fear?   Definitely Spiders

And finally what’s your Guilty Pleasure?   Cheesy music like Blue & Westlife

Welcome to the Team….

…Jess, our new Business Account & Marketing Manager

Jess will be heading up new developments & prospects within the company. She will be out and about meeting clients, suppliers and gathering new leads for our ever expanding business. So if you see her on her travels be sure to say hello and keep in touch.

We’ve gotten to know her since she joined the company earlier this month and thought you might too…

Favourite Food? You can’t beat a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings

Any hobbies/pastimes? A favourite pastime has to be riding horses around Skipwith common with my sister on the late summer nights

Favourite Sport? To play… Netball. To watch… nothing!

How do you like your Steak? Medium-rare

Most Prized Possession? My makeup bag

Dream Home Destination? Amalfi Coast in Italy

And finally what’s your Guilty Pleasure? I love pork scratchings!

Cookhouse & Pub Rhyl


Premier Hospitality Magazine features The Fox, Harpenden

The Fox, Harpenden is a true representation of the Premium Country Pub brand for Mitchells & Butlers. JMDA recently refurbished this site and converted it into a welcoming and memorable country pub that oozes historical charm and is the ideal retreat for a variety of food and drinks; cocktails being our desired favourite!

We were delighted when Premier Hospitality Magazine featured The Fox in one of its latest publications, which discusses the brief and how JMDA worked to transform the site both aesthetically and operationally. An autumnal pallet was implemented alongside inspiration driven from a woodland fox; accents of oranges and greens compliment icy blue tones to create a warming and inviting setting (not so warming at a snowy handover!!).

With the option to hold 126 guests, the site now features a new VIP area for larger parties, increased dining and bar drinking areas and a new lounge area. Softer furniture including sofas and upholstered coffee tables have been included for guests to enjoy and have enhanced the natural charisma of the site. Printed plush velvets are used throughout the site along with a new bespoke lighting scheme complete in antique brass. Finishing touches such as artwork, wall coverings and internal planting fall back to the woodland fox concept, a personal favourite being the character heads of the promiscuous fox.

Our relationship with Premier Hospitality Magazine is flourishing and we are looking forward to showcasing our future work with them. We are currently working in full swing behind the scenes to do so…

Talk of the town… our latest local project is revealed!

JMDA are currently working away behind the scenes on an impressive new Steakhouse concept for local restaurateurs currently operating in York, Harrogate and Beverley. As the project ramps up the team are getting more excited to see the concept come to life in JMDA’s hometown of York. Situated in the heritage area of Sampson Square, JMDA have dug deep in the archives to create a concept driven by heritage, royal jewels and the famous ‘Battle of the Roses’.

Serving Steak and Craft Ales, the restaurant will house 142 guests and will be host to a lavish central bar dressed in rich blue tiles grazed with lighting and topped with an oxidised copper top, serving cocktails, ales and wines. An impressive lighting feature within the bar will showcase the heart of the restaurant. As the circular radius of the bar expands across the space, the dining areas begin to take shape, from intimate mid height two cover tables with timber screen protection, to large party dining booths. A feature stair case constructed in timber and steel will be juxtaposed with an elegant sky lantern, neon signage and brass metal work to the existing brick of the previous retail outlet.

The design will also feature an open kitchen pass which will showcase the chef’s skills and the quality of the products. Sight lines are kept clear throughout the space in order to create ‘food theatre’ seen by all, an element that is key to the brand development.

It’s not only us who are excited about the design, Insider Media Ltd have recently featured JMDA and the proposed scheme in the article below. We can’t wait for a team night out once it’s opened, keep looking on our website for the big reveal!

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge… to the top!

JMDA’s latest challenge featured three peaks, torrential rain, lots of mud and plenty of blistered feet!!

The Yorkshire Three Peak’s was JMDA’s latest team bonding exercise and, although the faces at the end didn’t show it, we secretly think everyone enjoyed it! The challenge consisted of three peaks over 24 miles; Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough with a task time of under 12 hours.

Up for the challenge, the team set off up the biggest (Whernside) at 8am and you can see by everyone’s facial expressions the anticipation was eating away at them! Throughout the day we saw a couple of broken soles (and souls!), swollen hands and plenty of perspiration (and perseverance!).

Despite the weather, the views from the top made it all worth it. A very successful time of 10 hours 40 was achieved by some, with the rest of the team following closely in a time of just over 11 hours. With everyone all safely back at base, the team nestled into the local watering hole and tucked into some hearty pub grub and a ‘few’ beverages, ending the night in the bunk houses on site – premium digs, some may say. It’s safe to say the walking boots are locked away for another year…

JMDA are currently planning their next challenge, any ideas are greatly welcomed!!

And just like that.. we are on TV!

Another week, another feature for JMDA! This time JMDA have featured not once, but twice on our television screens in the past week. Alec’s eye for detail hasn’t gone unnoticed as he spotted some of our recent work in the latest episode of The Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast and the last in the series of The Undateables.

What a treat is was to see our work through the eye of the TV… The Undateables featured The Corner House in Cardiff which is one of our favourite jobs so far for Mitchell & Butlers and the Tree Top Adventure Golf in Cardiff. The Undateables is one of those guilty programmes, you shouldn’t love it, but you do. However, there is a lot to love about the Corner House in Cardiff; bespoke artwork pieces showcasing the city landmarks, statement fabrics both on feature chairs and fixed seating, and complimenting bric a brac to suit. The Corner House is the ideal setting for any date night and we aren’t the only ones to think so! The Tree Top Adventure is also a pretty cool hang out spot in Cardiff, with levels of themed golf courses to test even the professionals. The rustic Brazilian interior hosts a variety of textured materials, a bold colour scheme and some modish furniture.

Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast featured The Anchor Inn, a recent job for Palmers. Jamie and Jimmy cook mouth-watering dishes alongside guests; Craig David being the latest feature. The Anchor Inn is the ideal seaside spot for any couple with natural, earthy materials making you embrace the local surrounding. The nautical theme was carefully considered with subtle hints in the light fixtures, framed art work and soft furnishings.

Watch the latest episodes here…

The Undateables

Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast

JMDA feature in Premier Hospitality magazine

It’s always great to be featured in one of the leading hospitality magazines! JMDA’s recent partnership with Whitbread has been featured in the latest Premier Hospitality magazine; discussing the new concept and design. JMDA are continuously growing the new Cookhouse & Pub brand and with some more secured sites in the pipe line, it’s always a treat to read about there success.

Cookhouse & Pub’s exciting new design elements have carefully been considered to offer a great alternative for the everyday individual. The brands new identity is all about the hearty, homemade, natural feel and this is portrayed through a theatre kitchen, exposed brick work, feature walls with chopping boards and hand stencilled stories – your typical pub classic; a cosy fire! The attention to detail is prominent through the sites with bespoke fabrics which are co-ordinated with pops of accent colour and cheerful light fittings.

JMDA are looking forward to continuing their relationship with the Whitbread team and everyone involved on the new Cookhouse & Pub brand, check out the article for yourself….

Cookhouse and Pub


JMDA receive M&B Pride Award

With Christmas done and dusted we would like to wish you all a healthy and happy 2018! New Year has kicked off strong for JMDA with site visits, new concepts design and nitty gritty detailing!!
Leeds office had the pleasure of welcoming a familiar face from the Mitchells & Butlers team; Stuart Tucker. JMDA have been working with Stuart and the rest of the team now for over two years on their Premium Country Pub brand, developing a great relationship with everyone involved, which has resulted in a portfolio of successful projects.
Lauren Milner, Associate Designer here at JMDA, has been leading the Mitchells & Butlers jobs since the early days and her ‘design savvy’ ways have enabled the brand to flourish and exceed client expectations. Lauren’s attention to detail and her admiration for colour and pattern are reflected in these hearty country pubs. When Lauren isn’t in the Leeds office, she spends her time on the road attending site meetings and building a relationship with PCP team. Lauren’s hard work over the past couple of years hasn’t gone unnoticed…
Every year Mitchell and Butlers are asked to put forward “Someone who has gone that extra mile for the company, someone who has stood out to us all.”

This year Lauren Milner and the rest of the JMDA team have welcomed the Pride Award from Mitchells & Butlers. Lauren’s dedication and commitment to the company has been noticed by the Premium Country Pub brand resulting in her bringing home the award on behalf of the team. A glass etched brick addressed to Lauren and the team will take pride of place in the Leeds office and will be a great reminder of the success of the past couple of years. Overwhelmed by the surprise JMDA headed for lunch with a glass of bubbly or two to celebrate and settle the hysteria.

This award’s highlights the hardworking ethics of the ever growing team and the team’s ability to deliver and develop with the client… we take great pride and honour in receiving this award, as we do with all our work, long may it continue.
2018 we are ready for you!!

Cookhouse & Pub Launches


Last month, Whitbread launched its newest brand, Cookhouse and Pub, at its first site in Oldbury. The new venture aims to re-invent the pub dining experience, providing the quality food and service of an all-day informal restaurant, combined with the relaxed vibe and affordability of a pub. As such, an innovative new take on a traditional formula required a suitably innovative interior design: one which JMDA was excited to be challenged with.


With an impressive 4,519 square-foot site to make use of, the interior of Cookhouse and Pub was designed to uplift traditional gastro-pub decor with fresh, bright colours and plenty of natural materials. Rich, honey-toned wood forms the backbone of the site’s scheme, accented with a consistent palette of vibrant orange and cool blues.


As an all-day venue, the interior of Cookhouse and Pub had to support a variety of uses. Plenty of open space allows for flexible seating arrangements, whilst the orange and blue accents preserve the mood through both daytime and nighttime service. Being such a large site, it was important to consider the privacy of patrons: wooden half-height dividers and semi-private tables ensure that customers never feel exposed, and preserves the cosy feeling of traditional pubs during evening service.


Perhaps one of the most impressive features of Cookhouse and Pub is the sheer scale and style of its 41-cover bar, topped with stunning marble and split-clad in blue herringbone and natural wood paneling. Copper makes a decisive appearance both in the main bar and the counter of the open kitchen, adding some subtle metallic accents to the interior.


Of course, this is just the first of four Cookhouse and Pub sites opening around the UK, and we’re looking forward to unveiling the interiors for the other locations! In the meantime, check out the full gallery of photos here.

Marston’s House Highly Commended by BCO


Marston’s House has received a National Commendation in this year’s BCO awards, coming second place in the Corporate Workplace category after having won the West Midlands and Central England Regional Award previously. Everyone at team JMDA is so incredibly proud of this achievement, which marks the culmination of an exciting project and what was a fantastic opportunity in working with the Marston’s brand.


The calibre of design on show at the BCO awards was incredibly high, so for our own work and the work of all the other talented people involved in Marston’s House to be recognised like this is a true privilege. As such, we have every plan to turn this energy towards even bigger and better things in our upcoming projects!


Our concept for the Marston’s House – which was designed alongside fellow studio Newman Gauge – was of an interior that was sleek, modern, and above all practical, but which also upheld and took inspiration from the rich tradition of British pub style. As a brand name closely associated with British pubs, it was crucial that the heart of Marston’s operations reflected that spirit, while providing an elegant workplace with plenty of room for creativity and innovation.


JMDA delivered on this with vast break rooms, light and airy spaces, and a warm colour scheme based on the natural tones of the rustic pub image. Most of all, we’re proud to have created a flexible and comfortable work environment that will be on-trend for years to come.


Meet the newest member of the team…

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


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.


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


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.

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