Live from London: Zoe Murphy
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By Charlotte West / Published by Dwell
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Pieces from furniture and textile designer Zoe Murphy were among of the standouts during our weekend tour of Tent London, an amalgamation of art, architecture and design on display at the Truman Brewery, a reclaimed warehouse on Brick Lane in East London. Here Murphy shares her thoughts on inspiration and her design process.
A collection of pillows created from reclaimed silk from old dresses and screened with Murphy's seaside-inspired designs.

A collection of pillows created from reclaimed silk from old dresses and screened with Murphy's seaside-inspired designs.

A 2008 graduate of Loughborough University, Zoe Murphy was educated as a textile designer. Her colorful and appealing revived mid-century modern furniture draws inspiration from her hometown of Margate, a resort town on the southeastern coast of England. From her studio space located inside a former pie factory, Murphy reassembles and re-veneers dressing tables, foot stools, side tables and wall pieces, adorning them with silkscreened imagery that pays tribute to British seaside town iconography—theme parks, mid-century cinema and Formica-clad cafes. For the upholstery on the cushions in her collection, she uses hand-dyed silk appropriated from old wedding dresses. To see more images of her bespoke pieces, make sure to check out our slideshow.

Margate Drawers, a re-veneered circa-1950s chest-of-drawers with drawings of the Margate seaside screened atop.

In this quick video, Murphy explains how she gives new life to old things:

The Patchwork Footstool, which is covered in hand-dyed silk garnered from old wedding dresses.

The Patchwork Footstool, which is covered in hand-dyed silk garnered from old wedding dresses.

A simple chair, re-covered and re-veneered.

A simple chair, re-covered and re-veneered.

 

Murphy prints images of seaside menus and Margate signage atop old pieces of Formica and wood.

Murphy prints images of seaside menus and Margate signage atop old pieces of Formica and wood.

The Windbreaker Table, with a hand-veneered design of seaside windbreakers situated in a circle formation.

The Windbreaker Table, with a hand-veneered design of seaside windbreakers situated in a circle formation.

A pair of re-tooled bedside tables.

A pair of re-tooled bedside tables.

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Charlotte West

@charlotte_west

Charlotte West is a design writer who recently returned to the United States after six years abroad in Stockholm, Sweden. She writes for a number of publications in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Sweden. Her work has appeared in Icon, Step, Varoom, Budget Travel and Men's Journal. She is also an editor at large for Elemente magazine in Canada. Charlotte lives in Seattle with two Norwegian forest cats.

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