Homegirl London pays homage to Deadgood. Set up by two university friends, this design practice produces thoughtful, functional and fun products. Their cool collection includes furniture, lighting and home accessories which are quite quirky, brilliantly bold and quintessentially British. From wing backed armchairs, mid-century modern style sofas, low slung block coloured side boards, factory style vintage stools, witty wire lamps and unique home accessories, there is certainly something for everyone. With an uncompromising commitment to quality, a tongue in cheek twist and a smattering of eccentricity, this is one brand you really should check out. I caught up with the design duo to find out more about Deadgood.
Double Love Seat, Wire Pendant, Wire Lamp, Bollard Bookends, Turn Table, Knurled Rug and Love Chair
Meet the Deadgood Designers
Dan Ziglam and Elliot Brook are friends and co CEOs of Deadgood. They tell me how they met – “It was at Northumbria University where we were both studying three dimensional design. We soon discovered that we were both keen to work for ourselves after we completed the course. For the first four years after graduating we were lucky to be part of the Designers in Residence scheme at the university. This initiative was set up to support graduates wanting to start their own design business. That’s where we developed our business plan, which was written on the back of a beer mat in a local pub in 2005. We soon launched our first range called “The Form Collection” which won awards from the Crafts Council and One Year On (exhibition supporting the work of emerging design talent).
Elliot Brook and Dan Ziglam
Setting up a business, and in particular a design company, was a passion they both shared. Elliot and Dan tell me – “Our vision from the beginning has always been to create an internationally respected design brand and to be recognised for developing a cutting edge collection of 21st Century design classics. We started with £500 of our own cash and in the early days lived a very hand to mouth existence, making the products ourselves and selling direct to raise funds. We also applied and secured a number of small grants and start-up loans which helped with early design and development costs. Back in 2008 the business secured its first round of venture capital from a regional fund and in 2011 got a follow on round which has helped enormously.”
Naked Chair, Tree Table, Wire Bowl, Jerry Clock, EXTL Pendant, Working Girl Armchairs and Working Girl Soft Armchair
Although they are both CEOs of the business, they do divide their roles. They explain – “When it comes to design ideas and development we work closely together. Generally though Dan looks after design, production and London sales. Elliot is responsible for marketing and the rest of the UK and international sales. We now have two studios; one in Newcastle and one in London. We set up the London studio and showroom to meet increasing demand from clients in the south and we share it with a young British designer called David Irwin. At the Newcastle studio we manage sales and it also acts as a showroom. Product development and production takes place at our London studio managed by Dan and our Design Manager Vicki. Our team has grown to eight people but we also work with many designers, freelancers, sub-contractors and third party partners who help make and distribute our products.”
Collaboration with Lee Broom: Parq Life Sideboard, Coffee Table and Lamp
As for their company name, they explain – “For us it represents our Northern roots and is a mark of quality and excellence. Everything we do has to be Deadgood! Aside from that and more importantly it is a name which everyone remembers.”
View the Deadgood Collection
Dan and Elliot describe their products and design style – “We design and manufacture furniture, lighting and interior products which are fun and quintessentially British. Bold colours and quirky design details are important to us. Our work is clean, functional, fun and somewhat eclectic. We like to call it ‘products with personality.’ The classic trademarks are exceptional design style, an uncompromising commitment to quality and a slightly eccentric tongue in cheek twist. For example, a new design is the Woody, a round upholstered low bench. It is rather like a fallen tree or log which provides fun and funky seating and will hopefully connect people with nature.”
Turn Table, Wire Lamp, Hockney Hook and Woody Bench Seat
Furniture, particularly seating, has a starring role in their collections. The Love range was launched back in 2009 and is one of their bestselling lines. It includes high and low back single and double seater versions of the original Love chair as well as a beautifully console table made from solid Oak. They tell me – “The original Love Chair is handmade using traditional techniques with our trademark ‘Love Button’ detailing. A new design we have just launched as part of this collection is Double LovedUp. This is a lounge chair with full upholstery and a high back with deep wings. It’s nice and roomy, enough for two people to enjoy.”
Double LovedUp Armchair, Delta Mirrors, Raw Spun Light, Turn Table, Knurled Rug and Harvey Sofa
Their Capsule sofas and chairs are a splendid celebration of funky sixties space age shapes. With button detailing on the back rests and a curved form, they are just so inviting that you want to dive straight in and snuggle up. These are available in a wide range of fabrics or you can opt for playfulness by choosing an assortment of colourful buttons. Ideal for living rooms or office receptions, everyone will want to sit down and enjoy the capsule.
Two Seat Capsule Sofa and Anodised Coffee Table
The attention to detail of their sofas and armchairs is incredible. Take the Harvey range which features upholstered sofas and armchairs with mid-century modern cues. With contrasting button detailing, premium upholstered back and shoulder panels and a perfectly pleated leather arm section, it’s stunning. The graphic hounds tooth and herringbone patterns are striking and the overall tailoring makes this piece perfect for the today’s eccentric gent.
Although the Deadgood Studio is responsible for fifty per cent of the products, Dan and Elliot do like to nurture new talent. They elaborate – “We also bring other designers on board to help expand our offering such as Lee Broom, David Irwin, Max Lamb and Jon Burgerman. David Irwin, for example, is the designer behind one of our best-selling collections called Working Girl. The classic Working Girl stool is simple and utilitarian in style and a modern reinterpretation of a workshop stool. With a number of variations you can choose from benches, armchairs, chairs, high stools and low stools plus tables. These come in powder coated steel in bold colours from black to white, red and silver with wooden seats.”
Collaboration with David Irwin: Working Girl Bar Chairs
Storage furniture includes the Plex range which comprises of low sideboards with colour block doors. Tall cabinets are also available with shelving and cupboard compartments. Both designs can be finished with a number of colours or just one overall shade of your choice. Other furniture items of interest are a Turn Table Coffee Table which gives the illusion of a rotating top surface and the laptop table is very handy with space for the cords and is small enough to pack away when you’ve finished working.
Corner Chair, Wire Pendant, Plex Sideboard and Wire Lamp
You might have seen their famous wire lamps and pendant lights before. These were inspired by a classic urn lamp and produced using the latest CNC wire bending techniques. The lamp version of the light is available in a striking array of colours and can even be produced in your own bespoke colour.
Wire Lamps, Anodised Side Tables and Anodised Coffee Table
To complement their lighting and furniture, they added an interior accessories range earlier this year. This includes some very interesting and thoughtfully designed products which all have that sense of fun you’d expect from this brand. The Bollard cast iron set can be used as a bookend or doorstop. The Delta Mirror triangle shaped trio is a modern update of the vintage bevelled classic mirror. The Hockney Hook is an over large picture hook which can be used to hang up coats. Other accessories includes cushions, wooden door stop, book shelve, wire bowl, wire vase and wooden clock.
Wire Bowl and Bollard Bookends
Dan and Elliot are inspired by their presence in Newcastle and London. They explain – “These two very different cities fuel our creativity in very different ways. The industrial heritage of the North has influenced our work right from the start. For example, the raw lacquered finish we offer on our products is directly influenced by this. Leg details on our best-selling Love collection were influenced by the Georgian architecture of the Grainger and Grey streets in the city centre. London inspires us in a different way by the pace of life and the diverse culture.”
Harvey Cushion, Jerry Door Stops and Jerry Clock
Manufacturing is one of the most important parts of their business. They elaborate – “We make all of our products in the UK using factories across the entire country, from the very large automotive specialist factories in the Midlands to craftspeople working from their workshops in rural Norfolk. Working closely with our network of manufacturers and having great relationships with them, allows us to offer added levels of service. We can therefore offer various customisation options for our products, from unique button combinations to fabric choices. It means that we can be really flexible to the needs of our customer and gives us a great USP.”
Buy the Deadgood Products
If you have fallen in love with any of these product you can buy from their website at Deadgood. They can ship products overseas. To give you an idea about prices points, the Love chair collection starts at £1395, Woody starts from £1283 and the Working Girl Stools start from £247. Keep in mind that the majority of products can be customised to meet specific design needs and to fit with a particular project. This could be a different finish or size of an existing product. They can also work with customers from scratch if they have a particular style in mind.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Deadgood. Thanks: Dan Ziglam, Elliot Brook and Victoria Watson.