James Harrison UK west elm furniture design

James Harrison is one of the UK’s most exciting young contemporary furniture designers – and our newest collaborator – for all the right reasons. Harrison’s design-forward pieces and traditional techniques make his hardwood + upholstered furniture seem refreshingly new and totally old world at the same time.

Read on for our chat with Harrison, and to see the new collection!

james harrison west elm wingback settee

What inspires you?

I am very much inspired by process. There is nothing like a factory visit to inspire me or time in the workshop hands on with materials or experimenting with form.

Hans J Wegner is my favorite designer. He was a true craftsman with a real attention to detail. His work has such a timeless look which is why some of his pieces designed over 60 years ago are still popular today.

hans j wegner furniture design

Tell us a little bit about your studio process. How do you come up with designs for your furniture?

I try to strike a balance between working in the studio and getting hands on in the workshop. There is only so much you can do on paper or in front of the computer so I like to get prototyping as soon as possible.

james harrison clerkenwall

What’s your approach to decorating?

I am a bit of a perfectionist so it is all about the attention to detail and of course the furniture.

james harrison custom design

What’s the story behind some of the pieces in your collection for west elm?

The pieces are clean and contemporary but give reference to tradition. When we first designed the James UK Wingback there were very few modern wing chairs out there, it was a product that you would associate with your grandparents. The project was about taking the function of a Wing chair, and updating this product to create something contemporary, functional and beautiful.

contemporary rocker west elm

james harrison wingback west elm

See James’ full collaboration with west elm, and you can check out more of his designs on his website.

Images: west elm + James Harrison + Denmark

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