Case Study

Brogue_Colours_Bethan_Gray To make a truly great product there has to be a bit of magic involved. Good design is all about the product and often the personality behind it gets forgotten. Sadly most people don’t know the names of great product designers. We think they do; but the reality is far from that; and I’d love for more designers to get the recognition they really deserve. I remember being in M&S when the first Marcel Wanders range hit the store and overheard one confused customer look at his picture and say ‘is he a magician?’.  Errm… well sort of! But for any product there has to be a sense of magic; it has to function and give you that ‘ohhh…thats brilliant’ feeling when you get it home. That rings true across anything from a handbag to a chair, a blouse to a bed.

So two product designers that I think have this innate understanding of design and magic, are Bethan Gray and Marina Bautier. Contrasting in approach, one draws inspiration from tradition the other from function but both develop highly original work. I’ve selected one piece from each designer that sums up their approach; and I know would be very happy if I had their work in my home.


Bethan Gray’s Brogue table combines a traditional craftsmanship, natural materials and touch of luxury that are hallmarks of her designs. Using skilled workmanship ordinarily used in shoemaking; the leather topped table is stitched with wax thread and punctured with holes like on a Brogue shoe (hence the name!).

Bethan creates designs to last, be loved, age, and become a family heirloom.


Marina Bautier’s work leans more to the functional end of design; she starts from observations of everyday life, how we use functional objects around us and develops the idea. The Lap range can be adapted to the individual’s needs. An oak frame can be combined with a number of metal components including a bookshelf, tray shelf and a deep box  and shallow box to build up a collection that perfect fits with that individual.

Marina_Bautier_Lap Desk + Lap Wall shelving dressed

Marina_Bautier_Lap all 3 sizesMarina_Bautier_Lap_shelf_

I really love the simplicity of the elements, a frame on which you can build your components for your life. For me I’d rather have simplicity as a platform for my own bits and pieces I’ve collected along the years.

Both designers have created pieces for Case Furniture, a London based company that has built its reputation on solid design and craftsmanship. Reproducing work by the likes of Robin Day and commissioning contemporary designers such as Mathew Hilton and Samuel Wilkinson. I featured their beautiful Vitrina Sideboard in my round up of Milan and I was happy to hear of their blogging competition. This is my entry for the competition. Find out more at and to enter you blog go to for more details.




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