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SPECIAL FEATURE: Tribute To Designer David Collins

David Collins bwOne of London’s most gifted and talented designers, David Collins, sadly died on Tuesday leaving the interior design industry in shock at his sudden passing.

There are some extraordinary people whose vision leaves a lasting impression on our world and makes a difference to the way we live our lives, sometimes without us realising. Anyone who has dined in a David Collins designed restaurant has experienced this.

David Collins was probably most well known for designing the interiors of such eponymous restaurants and bars as The Wolseley, Claridges and The Berkeley. His style took the previous fashion for overworked chintz and quietened everything down, using palates of calm blue tones and opting for textures and sleek styling.

David Collins Studio was founded in 1985 and story has it that his lack of qualifications led him from a career in law to one in architecture instead.  He worked in his early days with chef Pierre Koffman after he saw Collins work for a mutual friend who had asked him to do some interior design. This early association with the hospitality industry grew and resulted in such iconic interiors as The Blue Bar at The Berkeley.

Blue Bar at The Berkeley
Blue Bar at The Berkeley

Although he may be best known for his work for hotels, he is quoted as saying,  “I don’t come from a hotel designer niche and so I’m bringing something different to it. That is why I don’t do too many and I continue not to do too many. I continue to do one or two at the right opportunity and everything else falls into place.”

Artesian, Langham Hotel
Artesian, Langham Hotel

The studio motto is Bespoke, Be Better, Be Creative. According to Collins when discussing his work,”there is a deliberate and strategic vision to combine art and commerce and produce design of the highest order.”

The Connaught Hotel in London was one of his favourite projects, where he has hidden on the walls a landscape of Connacht in Ireland. J. Sheekey, Limewood, Bob Bob Ricard and Langhams are all properties featuring the quiet elegance of David Collins.

The Wolseley
The Wolseley

The atmosphere and ambiance created by Collins style is enjoyed in restaurants and bars now all over the world. No doubt his legendary tenacity with finding the exact right piece and incredible attention to detail will influence disciples and admirers of his style for years to come. He certainly was an inspiration to Design Restaurants ethos and we are deeply saddened by his loss.


Design Restaurants is an online fine dining guide and membership, dedicated to bringing our members and guests the very best dining experiences in the country. Find out more at www.designrestaurants.com.

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