Home Design Tips from East London's Expert Interior Designer - Michael Northcroft

A British furniture designer and maker with an international reputation for excellence – what began from a love of making furniture as a boy has developed into the largest high quality furniture design and furniture making company in the UK. With London showrooms located close to London’s Olympic Park, we caught up with Michael and asked him the questions that everyone wants to know the answers to.

Have you always wanted to be a designer? 

No. I always loved making things from wood - it’s been a love affair since childhood. Although I trained as a Furniture Designer/Manufacturer I learned to be a real designer later. It was a necessity. It added the ‘magic’ to everything. I also fell in love with the design revolution in Mid Europe in the early 1900s. Go to Vienna. Don’t look at what everyone goes there to see. Look at ‘Adolph Loos’. It’s sensational even now.

What is a typical day for you? 

I wake early and have a coffee and a cigarette in my garden. I get to work when I do and am the spring that energises everything. In the evenings I eat and talk with my 91-year-old mother who lives with me. She is inspirational - an Oxford Blue. We still sail together in her old boat.

Why did you choose East London as a base?  

The East End was full of furniture making companies in my early 20s. Ironically that’s all gone and I am the one left and thriving. It’s a perfect place for my work and Leyton is now trendy.

Describe East London in 3 words. 

Ballsy, brash, beatified.

What design trends can we expect in the future? 

The boxes will go. Thank god. Shapes, curves everything elegant. Grey will become the derided brown of the Victorian kitchens of my youth. Possibly greys in the accent colours. It’s a reversal.

Have you had any design fails? 

Of course. I abandon design ideas that feel like a cul-de-sac. That’s the joy. The ones that are good enough come through.

Did you design your own home? 

My home is a very beautiful ex council house. It’s designed far better than most homes and in its heavenly garden I enjoy the architect’s design thought patterns. I designed the interior – not what anyone would expect - having fun with small rooms. That’s a treat for me.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about designing their own home? 

Design is being different. Be brave. Follow your thought patterns and your heart.

What will you be doing in 5 years time? 

I shall be guiding and fussing over my furniture firm trying not to be irascible. I would like to sail to the Pacific. If I leave it 5 years that possibility starts to diminish. Anyone want to crew?

For more information, head to www.michaelnorthcroft.com