Friends of Sunspel: Fred Rigby

Leading British Furniture and Interior Designer, Fred Rigby, on designing our Sunspel Archive Store, his advice on curating a space and wardrobe essentials.

You studied Product and Furniture Design at university. Were you always interested pursuing in a career in interiors?

Having studied Furniture I felt that creating an interior was essentially designing multiple pieces of furniture within a space, but with the consideration of a person’s journey through the space, developing a materials palette which worked harmoniously, and having an understanding of scale and proportions. All of which a furniture background adds an understanding of.


What does your typical day look like?

I like to wake up really early to get ahead of the day, so tend to get up around 5:30-6 to work for an hour before hitting the park for an hour of fitness, then back home to shower and get ready for the day. I stop by my local coffee shop, Wilton Way Deli, for a morning coffee then cycle to our studio/workshop in Stoke Newington, where my team and I normally start with a run through of where we’re at with various projects and what the big and small tasks are of the day. We then start sketching or modelling out ideas in the morning, taking calls and finalising floorplans and palettes. We always cook and eat lunch together, which is a nice moment in the day, between everything going on. We then dive back into it.

I like to try and get into the workshop in the afternoon but it’s increasingly hard to carve out the time due to managing interior and furniture projects at varying stages of design and production. The team works through to 6 then I normally push on a bit later to try and wrap up any loose ends, then cycle home via the organic shop and cook up a storm whilst listening to podcasts. In the evenings I’m currently working on restoring a 1960’s motorbike I have in parts on my coffee table, which I find relaxing and a break from thinking about designing!


The store itself is inspired by the Sunspel archive and brand history. How did you incorporate this into the design?

I’d seen some shelving at the factory in Long Eaton, which was used to store garments on and was simply made with lengths of timber, so we decided to use this as a starting point and develop the system for the Archive Store.


What materials did you work with for this particular space and concept?  

We used a combination of cork, birch ply and pine. The basement space felt really cold and cramped, as it had low hanging lights and a concrete floor, so we used cork tiles for the floor and put the lights on the walls, which really opened up the space. Plus the airy rail system made from pine, which we designed, felt light within the space.

What was your favourite part of the design process?

My favourite part of an interior project is always tracing out how we can maximise a space for the customer or homeowner to use. We always start with floorplans and sketch out lots of different options, imagine the furniture in different combinations throughout the space until we settle on one, which we then draw into 3D and render.



What advice do you have for people when curating a space, whether it’s their home or office?

I think when curating a space it’s about creating vignettes throughout a space, perhaps one when you first walk in, a curated group of objects to set the mood and then a couple of others as your eye travels around the room, so you are enticed to zoom in and travel further into a space.

Style or comfort – which is more important to you?

Both! We always aim to design furniture and interiors which whilst being stylish are also comfortable, much like Sunspel.


Do you have a favourite designer or product?

This changes almost daily. Currently I’m obsessing over the work of JB Blunk, Lee Miller and Brancusi.

Speaking of design, what would you say is your wardrobe essential? 

Well, I think my staple would a white Riviera T-shirt although I’m also wearing a Cashmere Cotton Jumper almost daily!


Follow Fred on Instagram: @fredrigbystudio

Visit the Sunspel Archive Store at 2 Silver Place, London, W1F 0JT.