A good few years ago now I remember hearing the name of Ben Pentreath crop up in conversations with architectural designer Charles Morris and Monica Grose-Hodge of The Art Workers Guild. It was Ben this and Ben that and just how-does-he-do-it remarks. When I met Ben it was pretty clear why he had such a loyal following. I guess I have joined this merry troupe.
Ben Pentreath is an interior and architectural designer, shopkeeper, author and journalist. From his two design studios in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, Ben works on a huge variety of buildings. He is renowned for his fresh approach to classical and traditional design and injects a strong use of colour and pattern into his interiors.
Pentreath & Hall, which Ben co-founded with Artist and Maker Bridie Hall, is one of the liveliest and most written about small shops in London. Both are creating a new British tradition that respects the past but is never dull, and both bring a powerful creative dynamic to the shop that they have run together since 2008.
This dynamic is now seen in the new Ben Pentreath for Alternative Flooring carpet collection and Ben has written a brilliant guest blog about this collaboration.
Here are the final paragraphs and I urge you to read his blog in full.
‘A year ago, I was asked by Alternative to collaborate on a range of carpets for their already well-established ‘QuirkyB’ line. It didn’t take long to realise what I wanted to do. Batty’s patterns had come off the floor, and I wanted to put them straight back.
Finally, the terrifying moment when you see the first large-scale piece of carpet in a room set – ready for my portrait to be taken. I stared, and blinked. The pattern was intense, in a way that set my heart racing. It looked absolutely beautiful, and we’re getting our office boardroom carpeted with some of that first carpet to run off the mills right now.
And in terms of the zeitgeist – I thought… yes, this is good. But I take even more comfort in knowing that there’s something a little bit Georgian, and a little bit 1970s in my carpet patterns. Because most importantly of all, I think this means that they might just stand the test of time – and that’s the only test I’m really interested in.’
Ben Pentreath for Alternative Flooring launches on Alternative Flooring Stand C21 at Decorex, 20 – 23 September, 2015.