Designing furniture

Nomad collection


The upholstery

Initially we experimented in our studio. We wanted a squidgy look. I bought colourful fabrics and Styrofoam pellets on Shepherds Bush market and had the cushions sown up. Let’s just say, the result prompted me to seek professional advice. We had worked with Phil and Sam Timings from Uptec on the upholstery for an inbuilt couch in the Tin House.

Phil has a lifetime’s experience at working with high quality upholstery, supplying the likes of Heals and the Conran Shop. Together we developed a simple, super comfortable sumptuous upholstery.

The seat was to be one thick and wide cushion, rather than two separate seat cushions (we want to minimise the number of parts that make up a sofa), the armrests were to be equally substantial, (so you can lie down comfortably and use the armrest as a headrest), the back was to be just proud of the armrests (emphasising the box like appearance).

 All cushions are zipped so that covers can be removed for cleaning or replacement. The final design efficiently uses one cow-hide and one sheet of ply.



The leather

Phil made us appreciate different qualities of leather, recognize different stitches etc. and he quickly convinced us to rule out split hides, solid colours and embossed surfaces.

We wanted a ‘natural’ leather look and chose a high-quality aniline cow hide tanned with a blend of oils and waxes giving a slightly distressed finish to achieve a warm aged look, which is what you want from a leather sofa. These hides – ‘Old English’ by ‘Crest’ leather are a superior quality of leather only few furniture manufacturers offer.

At this time, we’re offering the sofa and or armchair in three distinct colours of leather.


Not everyone wants leather, but everyone likes the advantages of leather, hardwearing durability.  Again, we chose to listen to the expert upholsterer with years of experience and Phil suggested the ‘Plush Velvet’ by ‘Wexford’. 


We’ve chosen three uncompromising colours in this luxurious velvet.


Bruciato leather



How does the design of the Nomad Sofa measure up?

In the late 1970s, Dieter Rams, designer for German consumer-goods manufacturer Braun, was becoming increasingly interested in the world of things that surrounded him – “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” As a designer, Rams was aware that he played an important role in the world he was helping create, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?

Good design is subjective and can't necessarily be measured. However, Rams attempted to express what he believed to be the most important principles for design. 

Here is an overview:

  1. Good design is innovative

  2. Good design makes a product useful

  3. Good design is aesthetically-pleasing

  4. Good design makes a product understandable

  5. Good design is unobtrusive

  6. Good design is honest

  7. Good design is long-lasting

  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail

  9. Good design is environmentally-friendly

  10. Good design is as little design as possible

As with our buildings, we here at Henning Stummel Architects Ltd have followed these principles in the design of the Nomad London range