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Subtle Flair

London, England

Meet British design talent, Fred Rigby, who looks to nature for inspiration

Pebble Sofa, House of Grey

The shapes and tones of nature have incessantly fascinated furniture and interior designer Fred Rigby. From his childhood spent exploring the sloped fields and verdant terrains of Dorset, Rigby has threaded a symbiotic connection with the natural world, transposing this into the fluid lines and tactile textures that characterise his work.

From his London studio emerge creations and design concepts that seek to draw us back into the grounded pace of nature, inviting moments of considered reflection on our place in the world. “I wish for those who engage and connect with my work to take a moment to slow down, relax and feel in some way connected to the piece, he says.

Villa Lena bar
Fred Rigby. Image, Kat Green

Rigby’s latest commissioned designs affirm this idea. “I created the Cloud Sofa to evoke feelings of sitting in the sky, while the Pebble Sofa looks to the shape of a river’s pebble that has been smoothed by the flow of the water’s current.”

The Pebble Sofa marks Rigby’s first collaboration with established London studio House of Grey, reflecting a shared vision that intuitively enhances our experience of the spaces around us. This is the latest in a series of collaborations, which has seen Rigby create pieces for clients including the Francis Gallery in Bath, jewellery brand Alighieri and historical distillery, Talisker. The diversity of his clients is a constant, with Rigby having designed interiors and furniture for everyone from art foundation and Tuscan agriturismo Villa Lena, to Michelin-starred restaurant Leroy.

I feel that the contemporary design world is missing the aesthetic of contemporary classicism
Curve Table, Francis Gallery
Cloud Sofa, Francis Gallery

“I feel that the contemporary design world is missing the aesthetic of contemporary classicism – we are working on an entire collection of furniture centred around this.” While nature is his most potent inspiration, Rigby is also drawn to the works and philosophies of creatives like Salvador Dalì, Barbara Hepworth, Donald Judd, Ron Arad, and George Nakashima. This translates into work that is at once contemporary and celebratory of our humanity. His pieces are tactile, with natural palettes that escape the trappings of fleeting trends and harmonise the spaces in-between.