Meet the brand: Liang & Eimil

We’ve been working with the lovely team at Liang & Eimil for over a decade. We stumbled across their (then) modest stand at an interiors exhibition in Birmingham and were totally floored by their cutting edge, glamorous design.

At a time when shabby-chic ornate French design and mirrored everything seemed to pervade, L&E brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to a generally tired and uninspiring interior design period.

Speed ahead to today and Liang & Eimil continue to live up to their founding ethos of bringing exquisite, timeless and modern design to the UK interiors scene. Their success has been incredible, and this proud British brand is highly revered by the UK’s leading interior designers and commentariat.

The L&E design team

Liang & Eimil is one of our flagship brands so we reconnected with the team after months of lockdown and the limited ability to meet our business friends. Here, we get up-to-speed on the creative thinking and exciting developments & Liang & Eimil. We also meet Byron Colman, L&E's lead designer who works with Frank Eimil and Honghui Liang, to hear his thinking.

Please tell us about the Liang & Eimil customer

The Liang & Eimil customer is, first and foremost, both design-led and super style focussed. As we are a business-to-business company, most of our clients are interior designers, property developers, real estate developers or architects. We are fortunate to have a very diverse, worldwide clientele. This allows us to be exposed to all kinds of design, as well as different industries including and not limited to residential, hotels, offices and so on.

All our clients come from different backgrounds; however, we do know they are all people who enjoy luxury, travel and cutting-edge trends. They are individuals who care about the environment and are always mindful of sustainability as well as keeping high design in mind. 

What are your best sellers and why are those so popular?

The Mayfair Coffee Table in Brushed Bronze

Here at Liang & Eimil, we have some obvious best sellers which we keep in our ever-green collection. From the Mayfair Coffee Table to the Yves Dining chair, which can be seen in many of London’s top restaurants. The reason behind these pieces being so key in our collection is the well-thought process behind the design that can be tweaked to keep up with changing trends. As well as living room furniture, Liang & Eimil are very well known for our classic but contemporary case goods, which we believe are produced to exceptional quality, allowing them to be key pieces in homes or commercial spaces for years and years to come. 

The pandemic made people think a lot more about enhancing their homes, which for some became the office and the classroom in 2020. Do you have any reflections on how customer expectations have changed?

Since 2020 a lot has changed, not just for us but for all industries and this has impacted all businesses in some way or another. We strongly believe that our clients’ expectations have become somewhat fairer, bearing in mind the delays globally, as a brand that prides itself on holding a wealth of stock, our clients have been patient whilst we bring that back up to speed. As well as this, our clients do expect a certain level of luxury from us, which we believe we have always continually delivered.

At Liang & Eimil our uniqueness is the level of stock we have in the UK, which drives customers to purchase from us as we can meet their tight deadlines. We hold over 80% of the stock in our UK warehouse which is ready to delivery immediately once an order is placed.

Being a large furniture distributor, we’ve shared the challenges faced by furniture and accent retailers. As many know our products are produced mainly in the Far East, the COVID response there has meant delays in receiving our shipments. This has meant less stock and not always being able to meet our clients’ deadlines and needs. Some clients have had to wait six or even eight months for their order to arrive, which wasn’t easy for them and neither for us, as it was an uncontrollable situation, but we believe we’re past the biggest difficulties and slowly but surely back to normal.

During the unfortunate pandemic that we faced globally, the furniture industry saw a significant boom. This was down to more home-based living, that being with both work, pleasure and sometimes simultaneously. The last two years have seen people staying at home more than ever, and this resulted in many creative minds, who were staring at their homes, whether that be apartments, houses, or luxury mansions, we were all in the same boat – this focus on home improvement and increasing flexibility of space is set to continue.

During the stay-at-home period, many people started to work on projects which they usually wouldn’t – whether that be gardening, home DIY or learning a new skill. We noticed this as the majority of our clients had many projects lined up during the lockdowns and this meant we were able to still remain resilient as a business.

What’s your design process and what inspires your designs? And...who is the team behind the unique L&E design style?

My name is Byron Colman and I’m the lead designer here at Liang & Eimil. Throughout my career I have specialised in high-end furniture design, which is why I was given the opportunity to work with Frank Eimil and the studio, developing new pieces and bringing concepts to life.

Our process is a tried and true one, starting by exploring ideas through concept sketching and experimenting with varying forms until we are happy with the options in front of us. We can then start to focus our efforts at the development stage, using 3D digital tools to quickly visualise in an augmented reality space, helping us to sculpt the piece closer towards our collective vision and move it onto the technical design phase. Every element of the design phase is undertaken within Liang & Eimil, allowing us to take complete creative control of each project.

We take our inspiration from a plethora of sources, looking at everything around us. Frank has a great eye for detail, which he uses to both direct and initiate ideas. He often finds inspiration whilst walking through the city of London, the home of Liang & Eimil. We combine our independent backgrounds and experiences, challenging one another to think differently about our designs, often reaching decisions that we may not have reached alone. It’s this connection that equates to Liang & Eimil’s iconic style, with every piece being carefully considered & impeccably designed in house.

What kind of interior style do you think Liang & Eimil pieces work particularly well in?

Our brand sits perfectly within contemporary interiors. Our collections feature timeless yet modern designs which means a Liang & Eimil piece in your home will never go out of fashion.

And finally... what interior design trends are you looking forward to in 2022?

The design direction we are taking in 2022 is towards a more conceptual and minimalist style. We will be focusing on geometric forms and shapes, which will help to organise the space and enhance the forms. Over the past year, we have started exploring patterned fabrics that provide a sensual feeling of luxury just like the traditional velvet. Exploring textures and materials will be a key part of the design process in 2022 as we understand that this will be a way to reconnect us with nature and our instincts. We will be using a simple colour palette that – together with simple shapes – will reinforce the space and create the intensity we are looking for to reconnect with ourselves. In summary, 2022 will move us towards a more intimate and personal design.

The design direction we are taking in 2022 is towards a more conceptual and minimalist style. We will be focusing on geometric forms and shapes… exploring textures and materials will be a key part of the design process.

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