- Design Forum was first launched from a small barn in Kent, with 5 start-up collections... of varying success! Our first 250 accounts were set up by Andrew.
- Another 250 accounts are opened, bringing the total to 500 across the UK.
- Design Forum featured in our first Decorex exhibition. Our first two agents are hired, and we reach a total of 750 accounts who hold our fabric books.
- Design Forum begin to build our range and further agents are brought on board.
- Design Forum explore the export market and distributers are engaged.
- Design Forum decide to move away from silks to linen. Our export connections establish to become 22% of our overall business.
- Despite the economic crisis, Design Forum increased accounts and collections by a further 50%. Our South East representative is appointed and we moved to our new premises in Kenardington, Kent. Staff numbers doubled and we featured in Decorex and Maison Objet in Paris.
- Design Forum moved to a stock computerised system, which vastly improved our work and logistics efficiency.
- Design Forum engage new mills, increasing stock holding and reducing price points. Design Forum launched the Tuscany collection, which proves to be the most successful book to date, with over 2000 books in the market.
- Design Forum launched the Umbria collection, which flies!
- Design Forum team up with two European mills for distribution directly to the UK. The Capri collection is launched.
- Design Forum increase our account number by a further 20%, and exhibit in Paris for the third year.
- Design Forum form a partnership from an Indian mill, whose investment increases output substantially.
- Design Forum is re-branded, with an unprecedented 100 SKUs and 14 designs launched- the Pemba collection- comprising of three new fabric books.
- Exciting launch of nearly 200 SKU’s in the new ‘Plains Collections’ over seven designs – Bushveld – Llanos – Pampas – Prairies – Savanna – Steppe - Tundra
- October 2019 - Launching exclusive new fabric collections from the Laughland Jones label in the USA - new showrooms in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix
Meet the team
With 28 years interior design industry experience, Andrew is the company founder. His interests include skiing, sailing, golf and mountain trekking. Andrew lives in Kent, with Martine and sons Max and Oli.
Martine LaughlandOffice Manager
Martine previously worked as a sports TV producer and skied for the England bump/moguls team. Married to Andrew, she takes her 2 sons ski race training for the winter in Chamonix, leaving Andrew trailing behind.
Sarah HookerPurchasing & Logistics
Sarah graduated from Rochester University with a degree in Applied Arts. A qualified silversmith, she’s a country girl at heart. She loves walking her labradors, Isla & Bree, and is currently renovating her home in the Kent countryside.
Rob DavisLogistics and Warehouse Manager
With 16 years experience in the furniture design industry, Rob has gained many skills in project management, logistics, warehousing and furniture installation. Rob is a keen golfer and plays for his club in Limpsfield Chart. He enjoys days out with his family, the theatre, karaoke, poker and DIY.
Dan HeadFinance Manager
Dan is currently half way through his Level 3 AAT Qualification with a view to complete this summer and takes a detailed and accurate approach to his work. Away from his studies and work Dan can be found by a fishing lake when not at home with his wife Megan and two children.
Jessica McArdleJunior Marketing Assistant
After gaining experience within furniture retail, Jessica has now decided to explore her creative side by taking on the role as Junior Marketing Assistant. She loves to bake and enjoys travelling to Sweden to visit family whenever she can.