In Conversation with Nick Munro

Nick Munro has a long history of supplying the world's best hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés as well as some of the world's top retailers. The Nick Munro brand specialises in creating beautiful, elegant designs that deliver classic style and service level functionality.

If they were to make a toy action figure of you, what would your accessory be? 
A spring eggcup because that was my first ever design - we sold thousands and it funded the start up of my business, but then it was copied wildly and I learned a good lesson i.e keep on moving!

To what degree have you actually controlled the course your design life has taken?
When I think of my career I have a picture of a road in my minds eye and sometimes its dead straight and other times strewn with rocks and tight turns. I think its a sort of inner metaphor for how I'm feeling and helps me to be objective about whether I'm heading in the right direction, so I think I've controlled it a bit but naturally there have been a few curves in the road that I wasn't expecting...and one or two dead ends and car crashes but its remained a great ride!

Nick Munro - Coffee & Tea - Hayche Furniture Clerkenwell

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I seem to have been presented with the opportunity to design across a vast array of objects and materials from metal to glass to ceramic, furniture, textiles and more recently watches. This is quite rare I think and a privilege which may have come from my engineering background that meant when I went art school I had lots of curiosity but no craft skills - I just figured out how to make things happen whatever material took my fancy at the time.

What product or event inspired you to be a designer/work in the design industry?
Studying engineering and being told I would likely end up in maintenance - I flipped and went to Art College instead! A sort of reverse inspiration...and then I found Christopher Dresser, Susie Cooper, Kenneth Grange, Joseph Hoffman, Terence Conran i.e a brace of inspirational design heroes with perfect taste and exquisite sense of proportion/detail/craft...not to mention entrepreneurship.

If you could go back in time and become the designer of any existing item, what would you choose?
A block&tackle - always loved the elegance of the mechanism and the principal of leverage!

If you could go back in time and speak to your adolescent self, what advice would you give them about the design world?
Hmmm, tune in to your instincts, listen to your heart and enjoy all the fabulous people that you are going to meet. I say that because in a competitive world you always need your heart to be the driver of your creativity, your instincts to guide you towards the best opportunities and your friends to sustain, inspire and mercilessly take the Micky out of you!

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“I would like to thank you very much for the wonderful furniture pieces that arrived today. I can say that they have absolutely exceeded my expectations. It has been my pleasure and privilege doing business with you, and I hope we will again have an opportunity to furnish houses together in the future.”

Terri Steinberg, Interior designer