Meet the Team l Aaron Forrester l Product Designer - Parker Knoll
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Meet the Team l Aaron Forrester l Product Designer

Following on from our series of interviews with the Parker Knoll team,  we sat down with Aaron Forrester, one of our products Designers.

Aaron has been with us for over 3 years, having progress through our Graduate Scheme. We are very proud of our Graduate Scheme here at Parker Knoll. From designers and marketers, to frame technicians and accountants, we provide our graduates with the training and opportunities to shape the next generation of managers in the upholstery industry.

Sipping a cup of tea in our Design & Development office, Aaron discussed his role in the design team, what it takes to be a Designer at Parker Knoll, and his favourite trends for Autumn 2019.

You’ve been working here at Parker Knoll for just over three years now, what made you decide to pursue a career in design within the upholstery industry?

I have always been highly creative and enjoyed drawing and sketching from quite a young age. Having studied product design at school, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. Originally from Stoke, I moved to University of Derby to study a degree in Product Design.

I found myself completing a few modules on furniture design throughout the course, where I was able to watch the whole process – from the initial sketching stage to the development of prototypes. With the renowned quality of British manufacturing, I knew I wanted to work for a leading UK manufacturer. When the opportunity arose to become a Graduate at Parker Knoll, it was a no-brainer!

What skills and mind-set does your role require as a Designer?

I have a keen interest in interiors, but my role is largely multidisciplinary. I spend a lot of time working on graphics and initial ideas and developing prototypes, as well as aiding in the planning and execution of national trade shows.

In all aspects of my role, it’s important to be able to envision the end goal and the wider picture of a project. It’s like designing a piece of functional art that stands proudly as a centrepiece in a lounge. It’s not just about style, but ergonomics and developing Sofas and Chairs that are the height of comfort.

As long as you’re doing something that you enjoy, your time spent on projects is ultimately more exciting, and you will always create a product that you’re proud of.

You work very closely with Tom White, our Design Director – what upcoming projects are you working on at the moment?

We are continuously developing and innovating new designs to add to our core range to reflect modern day living. To celebrate 150 years of great British furniture design, we recently launched Collection 150, drawing influence from the rich Parker Knoll archives. We are now gearing up to our next show in September 2019 where retailers will see some exciting new launches!

Thinking ahead to Autumn 2019, what are your favourite trends that you’ll be incorporating into your own home?

I have recently bought my first home in Sutton in Ashfield, and am in the process of giving it a makeover.

Pantone’s colour of the year 2020 is predicted to be inspired by the sea. As a result, we’ve painted a statement wall in the bedroom. The calming tone is perfect for unwinding, and has really brightened the space.

Deep denim blues and tonal greys create a luxurious scheme, and is one of my favourite combinations of the year. I’ve used this on every wall in my lounge, and accessorised with chromes and neutral greys to give it a sophisticated feel.

Of the Parker Knoll collections, which model and fabrics would you recommend for Autumn 2019?

Wycombe from Collection 150 is a modern classic. The chesterfield shape bodes an Art Deco feel with classic scroll arms and deep seats that give it a very elegant style.

The Art Deco styling with contemporary colours and tactile fabrics is a popular trend this year. It will give any home a glamourous yet unstated look. Choosing a grey leather such as Como Slates, gives a neutral base from which to add contracting scatter cushions. Accessorise with gold metallic accents to really accentuate this look.

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone choosing their perfect sofa?
Find your nearest retailer and experience the Sofa or Chair for yourself. Comfort is key, and everyone is different, so sit in your favourite model as you would at home to make sure that it’s right for you.

When it comes to styling, consider the current scheme and feel of your entire house, not just the lounge. This will ensure that your choice works well with the existing décor. It will help to open up the space by creating a good flow between rooms.

If you’re interested in a career at Parker Knoll, visit our Careers page to find out how you can join the team.

Take a look at our social media pages to learn more about the people behind Parker Knoll.  From design and manufacturing, to HR and customer care, our entire team is proud to bring you the best of British comfort.

Parker Knoll Upholstery Ltd


Parker Knoll


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