Original Article: CovetED Magazine
Staffan Tollgard is the creative director and founder of Tollgard Design Group, a London-based interior design studio with several world-class projects. Staffan is known for using the Swedish expression “red thread” that explains the design narrative in each project. Being one of the most successful designers in the UK, CovetED magazine had the pleasure to know more about his point of view and future projects.
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“Tollgard Design Group is a creative and collaborative interior design studio and respected curator of international contemporary design. With three London showrooms and a dedicated commercial contracts team, our aim is to add value at every stage of a design journey: for our clients, for architects, for interior designers and for design aficionados around the world.”Tollgard Design Group
ABOUT STAFFAN TOLLGARD
What Staffan Tollgard loves the most about his work is having a love-hate relationship with just how broad and diverse his work really is. “We are meant to have infinite knowledge of many things, from arts and culture to the best furniture, lighting, and specialist materials. All of this is in addition to an understanding of CDM and a complicated building site. The work is never done and there is always more to learn. Wonderful but it also makes you feel like a beginner at times even when you have almost twenty years of experience.” – explained Staffan.
Early on in Staffan Tollgard’s career, he struggled with “Imposters Syndrome”. The designer told us that everything happened very quickly, and he was really uncomfortable with it. “There was no shortcut or quick solution to this issue. The experience eventually led me to feel more comfortable with my position.” – he said.
Definitely, Staffan didn’t achieve everything in life. As he said to us, his bucket list just keeps changing and he is constantly adding things to it. “It is probably growing faster than I can tick the boxes so I have a feeling my to-do list will be longer on my deathbed than now!” – he said. In the future, the designer and his wife, Monique, are planning to spend ten years living and working in a different place around the world for three months of the year. Vancouver, New York, Kyoto, and Florence are on the list so far, but they have just started thinking about it. Still, he is super excited about this chapter. What professionally fulfils the designer is very simple, he chose the interior design area to make other people feel good. “And if they feel good, I feel good.” – said Staffan.
About communicate with his audience, Staffan Tollgard explained that as they are a bit of a hybrid studio, with four different sides to the business, they communicate with different audiences in different ways. The studio’s showrooms and contracts division has an ongoing dialogue with the interior design community, providing them with the right pieces for their projects. As the relationships are very important to them, they have driven their business through word of mouth, relationships with various trades and repeat clients. At the moment Staffan is working on an amazing capsule collection of marble furniture, or functional sculptures as he prefers to call them, due to launch in October. The project is still under wraps, but he is flying out to see the prototypes soon and couldn’t be more excited about it.
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“I am allergic to the word trend, but I suppose it is one way of talking about the state of our industry. Aesthetically it is hard to put your finger on, and I believe this is a good thing, as it suggests a lot going on. I have always had a healthy infatuation with discovering “new” pieces from the mid-century period. Pieces that have been discovered again after years of being out of production. This has now turned into a big part of the furniture industry where reissues are being launched all the time.”Staffan Tollgard
When asked about his type of client, Staffan Tollgard explained to us that it is very varied and there isn’t really a type. Still, it does tend to be quite international. For future collaborations, he is very excited about the marble project mentioned above, launching this autumn. He and Filippo, the studio design director, are also in discussions with various brands about future designs. Advice: we all should keep an eye on this!
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It is a bit difficult to talk about interior design and don’t talk about craftsmanship. This way, the designer established that there is amazing craftsmanship coming out of many different places. “I would argue that Italy and Scandinavia have been the most interesting showcases of authentic craftsmanship and great design after World War II. However, today you also have amazing things coming out of America, Portugal, and Asia.” – said Staffan Tollgard. Asked about the design’s future, he said “I think we are heading into two extremes. On a larger scale, I think we will see a huge usage of VR in creating and especially presenting interiors. On a smaller scale, I think there will be greater opportunities for emerging designer-makers as well. Macro and Micro.”