Rhonda Drakeford, co-founder of design store Darkroom, is combining her wealth of experience across the design and retail worlds and launching Studio Rhonda. Here she offers interior design, styling, furniture, product and print design for domestic and commercial clients.
Her striking use of bold shapes, materials and colours make her playful design and styling stand out from the rest. These qualities are illustrated by her iconic Blue Canyon Richlite kitchen with Frank London and Richlite Slice Chopping Boards at Darkroom.
Here she gives us a little insight into her creative world and the importance of materials and shapes within her designs:
How have shapes + patterns influenced your work and where does this influence stem from?
I come from a graphic design background, so I’ve always enjoyed exploring shape and patterns on surfaces. My work is now more three-dimensional, creating objects and spaces alongside my print work, and so I’m now experimenting with composition and curating several forms, shapes and patterned objects and surfaces within one space. It feels like a natural progression for me.
What is the importance of forms and materials in your designs?
I will never stop feeling excited at the first sight or touch of one of my designs manufactured in its intended material. Tactility is hugely important in what I do — the material is as important as the shape or patterns created.
Do you have a specific design process?
It varies a lot — my output through Darkroom is driven by a more personal desire to create objects I need in my own life, whereas my client-based work through Studio Rhonda always starts with the needs of someone else. I absolutely love working in both ways, and to some extent, they feed into each other.
What are your favourite shapes and why?
My love for the humble triangle has been long lived — it has so many qualities, strength, simplicity, and most of all boldness and attitude with those 3 points! I also return to grid formations frequently. I’ve always put this down to a sense of order being brought up as an Army child, but I like to mess with this order too, with materials and tactility and colour.