We Heart; Lifestyle & Design Magazine : Online magazine exploring the intersections of art, design, lifestyle and travel.

Lee Broom’s Public House

we ask the influential designer why he's taking a pub to Milan...

Lee Broom’s Public House
  • Pin It

"We have an awful lot of ‘pub’ going to Milan so you can imagine the logistics are pretty insane. We have two days to get there, two days to set up."

Lee Broom has risen from promising newcomer to one of the UK’s leading product and interior designers in the short space of five years – and has remained a We Heart favourite throughout. With good old British workmanship, craft and aesthetic at the core of his own unique style, Broom is taking that Brit-heritage to the nth degree this year; by slapping a pub right in the middle of Milan’s iconic Salone del Mobile. Continuing the theme of his famous Decanterlights, the designer will also be debuting his Crystal Light Bulb – a gracefully crafted ornamental light fitting that typifies his idiosyncratic approach, and an exciting collaboration with Ballantine’s 12 Year Old.

We spoke to Lee to find out more about why he’s chosen to build a typically British watering hole in the middle of the world’s most influential furniture fair…

Lee Broom's Public House

The show marks the fifth anniversary of the Lee Broom brand. What’s been the highlight of the last five years?

There have been many, it’s been a whirlwind of a few years. Winning ‘Designer of the Year 2011 at The British Design Awards was a particular highlight. As a designer you don’t do any of this with awards in mind, but I must say it was a very nice surprise. The phone didn’t stop ringing for a month afterwards.

So, we’ve seen the visuals for your Public House, it’s looking mighty fine – how’s it all going, are you a bit stressed with it being your first solo exhibition at the Salone del Mobile

Putting an exhibition in your own space during London Design Festival is stressful enough but Milan puts everything on another scale. This is also my biggest show in terms of the amount of pieces I’m showing and the set we are creating is the most theatrical so I have not necessarily made life easy for myself, but I like a challenge.

Lee Broom's Public House

You’re using reclaimed materials from old pubs for your Public House exhibition. How involved are you in this process, and what have the logistics been like getting this out to Milan?

I’m involved in every detail from the pub reclamation, right through to which style of glasses we will be serving drinks from at the party, it’s all in the detail. We have an awful lot of ‘pub’ going to Milan so you can imagine the logistics are pretty insane. We have two days to get there, two days to set up.

Lee Broom's Public House

Crystal Light Bulb

The theme of great British heritage has always been at the core of your work; where did the initial inspiration come from?

It really came into its own with my third collection Heritage Boy. All the pieces I wanted to design for that collection somehow involved traditional manufacturing techniques and to get the level of detail and finish I wanted, it was vital we produce the pieces in the UK. After meeting with so many talented crafts people for that collection and being exposed to lots of wonderful manufacturing techniques, it inspired me to create more pieces in Britain.

Lee Broom's Public House
Lee Broom's Public House

The Ballantine’s collaboration sounds interesting; if we were to buy you a drink in a pub, would a Scotch be your first choice?

I’m more likely to order a scotch in a pub now for sure. When you’ve gone to Scotland to meet the master blender and understand the expertise involved in creating the blend for Ballantines 12, just by using his nose, you appreciate it so much more. I was blown away by it actually and also the heritage of the production. Watching 12 year casks of whiskey being driven in, drained and then going back out to the distillery for another 12 years, it was like watching a little piece of history.

Lee Broom's Public House

Crystal Light Bulb

If you were the landlord of your own pub and could implement one rule, that was strictly enforced, what would it be?

A lock-in, every night

Lastly… crisps, nuts or pork scratchings?

Crisps, without question! Nuts get stuck in your throat and pork scratchings are too fattening

Comments