Shanghai Inspired!

8 Aug 2016 15:12:15

With gleaning inspiration from travel & sourcing trips, books, architecture and museum visits a fundamental part of our design process we continually look to new opportunities for inspiration. Our latest opportunity came in the shape and form of bustling Shanghai!

A few members from our design team set off to Shanghai in June 2016 to soak up the atmosphere, ramble the streets of old Shanghai, take photos, sample the food, explore details of the intricate typically Chinese architecture, sketch for future designs and immerse themselves in the complete Shanghai experience. Regarded as a trip of a lifetime, the discoveries made in Shanghai really have excited all back at the Design Studio for future collection works.

Shanghai the City....

Currently undergoing a fast economic expansion whilst also recapturing its position as the leading business city in East Asia, Shanghai has over 24million residents. This rejuvenation has ensured Shanghai has many delights to offer; bustling flagship stores offering all designer goods imaginable, celebrity restaurants, impressive awe inspiring architecture & loads of history and traditions to be absorbed & marvelled at in Old Shanghai.

Shanghai has always been the most fashion-conscious and outward-looking city in China... making it the perfect backdrop for our latest research trip.

Yuyuan Gardens...

The team’s focus fell mostly on ‘Old Shanghai’ and described it as ‘breathtaking’. After arriving at the Yu Garden, an extensive, five acres Chinese garden located beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City... the scene was set for some sketching and photography, a truly inspirational process for future projects.

Brimming with idyllic pools packed with fish, pavilions, shaded alcoves, blossoms from flowers such as the Magnolia Graniflora and an array of magnificent cherry trees. The Yu or Yùyuán Gardens as it’s fully known is one of Shanghai’s must see sights.


The garden was established over four hundred years ago during the Ming Dynasty and is composed of six scenic areas: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden. With the Gardens highlights being, the exquisite sculptures and carvings, the classical Chinese architecture and the busy Yuyuan bazaar.

The entrance of the Yuyuan bazaar, adjacent to the gardens, is perfect for a browse for collectables and memorabilia.


The team snapped and sketched loads of inspiring intricate details when she spotted them throughout the City. 

One of design teams last stops in Shanghai was the Old City God Temple again in the Old City. Much like the Yu Gardens the temple was established during the Ming Dynasty reign. Enjoying a high status in Shanghai there is an old saying ‘one who fails to see the temple never reaches Shanghai’ so everyone ensured this was on their busy itinerary.

The Temple was built to protect the safety of the cities people.

Painting’s of the town God’s protecting the gates of the temple.

The team’s busy week in Shanghai generated a wealth of inspiration the very stuff every designer regards as their most important tool. Going forward we are excited to see how this design -trip, all its intricate details, architecture and inspiration translates onto our bedlinen designs!

Posted in Inspiration By

Alastair Nixon