An Interview With ELLE Decoration Editor, Ben Spriggs

We’ve teamed up with ELLE Decoration to celebrate their 30th anniversary. To mark the milestone they’ve chosen their favourite 30 Habitat products, both old classics and future icons. To find out more about the Habitat collaboration, their 30th birthday plans and the hottest interiors trends right now, we sat down with the man in the know, ELLE Decoration Editor, Ben Spriggs.

How did this collaboration with Habitat come about?

ELLE Decoration has had long connections with Habitat. Throughout our thirty year history we’ve featured the brand’s pieces, profiled its designers and championed the way it’s democratically brought original design into peoples’ homes. Personally it’s one of the few brands which has been there throughout my life, defining what home means to me, from my parents’ ‘Chicken Brick’ from the Seventies to the ‘Ribbon’ lamp that sits on one of my sideboards in my home today. When I saw the autumn/winter collection I was really impressed so we started discussing a collaboration – it felt right to celebrate our anniversary alongside ELLE Decoration’s and Habitat’s shared design heritage.

What has been the highlight of your 30th anniversary celebrations this year (aside from the Habitat collaboration of course!)?

It’s been a long and celebration-packed year. Thirty years is quite a milestone in the publishing world, so we wanted to mark it appropriately. We’ve created special edition gold and silver covers, resurrected our famous British Design Awards and threw the party to end all parties at London’s newest design hotel The Stratford… My own personal highlight was getting the opportunity to interview our founding editor, designer Ilse Crawford.

Elle Decoration october 2019 cover

How has the magazine and the interiors world evolved over the last 30 years?

When ELLE Decoration launched in the UK in 1989, the world, and peoples’ own small versions of it, was infinitely different to where we find ourselves today. Rather than kitsch or cutting-edge, avocado bathroom suites were the norm; chintz fabric hung at windows and woodchip paper covered the walls in most British homes. The magazine launched with a bang and was unique in that it brought design into a domestic sphere.

How did you go about choosing the 30 Habitat products?

I was tasked with picking my favourite pieces from the autumn/winter collection and then I wanted to add some classics from the past that have stood the test of time. The main criteria was that they were all products that showed originality and design flair.

Walnut veneer sideboard with gold accents

What does ‘Original Design’ mean to you?

In this world where so much design is derivative and familiar, for me ‘Original Design’ has to stand for unique, ground-breaking pieces, which mix natural and innovative materials in unexpected ways.

Do you have a favourite from the edit?

That’s a tricky one! There are so many stand-out pieces, but it has to be Matt Long’s ‘Arianne’ dining table. It’s in terrazzo, the material of the moment, but one that’s created from glass from recycled beer bottles. Sustainability is increasingly a driving force in the products we choose for the magazine and our homes and rightly so.

8 seater green terrazzo dining table

What interior design trends are you loving for AW19?

I’m loving the rise of what at ELLE Decoration we’ve christened ‘chubby’ furniture. Expansive curves on upholstery and furniture which add a comforting, familiar feel a million miles from the sharp angles and corners of recent seasons. I’m also a huge fan of how that Seventies-inspired colour palette has moved into something altogether more subtle and sophisticated, with sludgy hues of terracotta, mustard and putty.


How would you describe your own interiors style?

My style is modern, but not minimal. It’s definitely eclectic and, I think, in keeping with the aesthetic of ELLE Decoration. Think a vibrant mix of old and new, some design classics and antiques alongside some more cutting-edge pieces. Plus, a good mix of high-end and high-street pieces as great design can be found everywhere.

Ben Spriggs, editor or Elle Decoration

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