Episode 4: Colour and Design


Can a personality be beige? How is an iconic building like a cushion? These and other pressing questions are explored in the latest edition, from Abigail Hall and Rachel Fisher.

This month I:

Rachel’s been to the theatre to see the re-imagining (revival) of the Sondheim classic Company. Neon sets and grey pallet sets play the part of New York City – in a show that makes you laugh, cry and reflect. How is turning 35 different for a woman than for a man?

Abigail has been watching (a lot) of TV to stay out of the rain. In particular she’s been immersed in the Amazon Prime Original The Marvellous Mrs Maisel soon to start its second series.

Good Design / Bad Design

Rachel continues her theme of kitchen-ware that isn’t fit for human consumption by questioning why all her pepper grinders seem to break. Having sought high and low – she’s obsessed with the Crushgrind. Seven years and counting!

Abigail is always on the hunt for the perfect finishing touch – and in particular seems drawn to Etsy.com.

A couple of Rachel’s friends have Etsy shops which you should check out.

Lucy Springall, Artist

Kate’s Vintage Shop GB

Designing Together

It’s been an exciting month for colour – lovers. Farrow and Ball released their NINE new colours. Rachel and Abigail went to the shop in Marylebone to experience the new colours and learn more about their favourite paint!



It’s fair to say that the launch of the new colours caused something of a stir, and there was even a deeply amusing article in The Times.


Colour in Design

Abigail wants people to bring colour into their homes and be less afraid of colour – what’s the worst that can happen?

Rachel is wary of too much colour – though clearly it has it’s place. But wonders whether cities can have a colour.  She also got very excited recounting her trip to Pyrgi ‘The Painted Town’ in Greece last Easter.

Next month I will….

The Royal Academy is clearly the place to be, with both the Oceania exhibition, and Rachel’s favourite We are They in the Architecture rooms.

Rachel, will be visiting Florence, and in preparation is reading Mary McCarthy’s The Stones of Florence.




Episode 3: Open House London



Abigail and Rachel braved the rain and set off to record Every Day Design on the road (literally, so sorry for the sound quality!)

Open House London is an amazing opportunity to nose around people’s homes and public buildings. We chose a number of different options, and part of the fun of exploring what’s on during Open House is realising just how many amazing places are open to the public all year round.

This Month I:

Rachel has been on holiday – and her holiday book of choice is the fascinating Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson. This is the second of Bee’s books that Rachel’s read, and it’s a well-researched and thought provoking exploration of how we cook and eat literally shapes and is shaped by what we eat.

Secondly there’s been a recent report from property company British Land Designing for Life which explores the ways in which our built environment impacts mental health and wellbeing (and ultimately profit).

Abigail has spent her month on the road, listening to podcasts – and this month she was particularly struck by 99% Invisible’s exploration of the Sears Houses. In the early 20th century American’s were ordering everything from this catalogue – and now there are bands of enthusiasts seeking out these early kit houses.

Good Design / Bad Design:

Partly inspired by Bee’s amazing book, but also by living in 5 different houses in as many weeks while her building works were completed Rachel has been thinking a lot about spoons. Specifically about the balance between the all-purpose spoon and the specific spoon. In buying new spoons is it ever permissible to give it a ‘trial run’ in the shop?

Abi has been thinking not so much about the specific design, as about the issues that can arise when you try and make off-the-peg kitchen shopping live up to your bespoke dreams. Stay tuned on Instagram (@EDDPodcast) for her modifications to an off the peg kitchen.

The Big Topic: Open House!

We were thwarted in our attempts to visit Stafford Terrace, the queue was literally around the block and it was pouring with rain. So we scurried around the corner to Lord Leighton’s house. Both homes are museums and open to the public throughout the year.

Lord Leighton House

After an extensive exploration of Leighton’s house – we had two questions:

1 Why no photos??

2 Does the fireplace in the back parlour actually work (it sits directly below a window).

Abigail was particularly keen on this temple to Victoriana.

Abi at leighton

Next we drove to the Tin House to try and have a bit of a comparison with a contemporary bit of architecture (the kind of thing that makes Rachel’s heart sing) but sadly didn’t read the visiting hours closely enough – and had a rather bemused woman answer the intercom only to be told they’d closed up shop hours ago.

Rachel at Tin House

Back in the car Abigail and Rachel mused over housing design, in part in response to the recent panel discussion Rachel had at the Big Tent Ideas Festival.

Next Month:

We will be moving back into our respective homes, clearing away the builder’s dust, and probably having a good old autumnal clear out!

We’d love to hear from you about what you’re interested in at the moment, any particular topics you’d like us to cover.

Till then, remember, Every Day Design!

Episode 2: Plants in Design

Welcome back to Every Day Design for our second instalment.

This month I:

Abigail read an Architectural Digest article about the importance of considering architecture and design when choosing a wedding venue.


She also mentioned doing design work for the lovely Wedding Club.

Rachel has also been doing a bit of reading, this time an article from Curbed, about the importance of moving into a home that suits your lifestyle 364 days a year, rather than the one day a year when you may need a 16 seat dining table

Good design bad design. 

It’s been a scorcher of a summer, and Abigail’s thoughts have turned to water bottles.

Bad design was a bottle like this with a teat…

Photo by: Abigail Hall 

Good design was the Camelback large plastic, the lanyard is an extra but it has a hard loop ready for it.

Great design was the Memo bottle.

Rachel’s been doing quite a lot of walking and has a few opinions about cobbles (hint, she is not a fan of the granite set).

Good design, Green Dragon Yard in Stockton-on-Tees. Smooth paving, and trees, what more could you want?

Big topic: Plants in Design  

The long hot summer has parched our normally green and pleasant land. Plants are important in design, both inside and out!

The RHS has a very well researched article on the impact of house plants .


Some good recommendations of faux flowers but remember to change them as you would real flowers.


For outside green spaces check out this report on the interaction between good quality green spaces and health inequality.

Rachel also references running (hobbling?) the Royal Parks Half Marathon last October.

As well as Lordship Rec and Parkland Walk.

Designing Together

Rachel and Abigail delve into the BBC archives to watch Building Sights, specifically Series 4, Episode 6 on the Alton Estate in Roehampton.

Presented by starchitect Lord Richard Rodgers, who gave us Towards and Urban Renaissance  which led to the seminal (in Rachel’s career anyway) 2000 Urban White Paper

Next month I will…

Both Abigail and Rachel are embroiled in domestic refurbishment projects – follow @EDDPodcast on twitter and instragram to follow the process. Will it be good design or bad design???



Episode 1: Ikea

In our first ever episode Abigail and Rachel talk about the touchstone of Every Day Design, Ikea.



This month I:

In which Abigail reads about Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in Architectural Digest and Rachel thinks about how the rise of the robots will influence urban designers.

Good Design / Bad Design:

Music venues are the name of the game in good design, whereas parking permit renewal and swimming bath changing rooms fall short of the mark.

Hammersmith Apollo

Sixty Six Sounds – Denmark Street

Dana Immanuel and the Stolen Band

The Big Topic:

Ikea – force for good or force for evil? You be the judge…

The Billy Bookcase

Ikea collects old furniture

House Beautiful’s 21 Best Ikea Hacks

Designing together:

Netflix documentary on Minimalism made us question our approach to ‘stuff’, but can Abi be convinced that it’s time to part with some of her precious shoes?

Next month I will:

Abigail heads to Focus 18 at the Design Centre Chelsea, and Rachel moves (briefly) to Ealing.


Presenters: Abigail Hall and Rachel Fisher
Produced by: Rachel Fisher
Music: The Duelist

Coming soon…

Do you like design? Have an opinion about what’s good and what’s not? So have we!

Every Day Design is a podcast that explores the impact of design on your everyday life; from the chair you’re sitting on to the skyscraper you’re working in – and everything in between.

Presented and produced by Urbanist Rachel Fisher and Designer Abigail Hall.