‘We are surrounded by inspiration if you look closely’.

James Hudson is a Director of Gallery Direct, who will be exhibiting at the 2016 Decor + Design show in Melbourne, 21 – 24 July. We sat down with James in the lead up to the show to talk about his path and inspirations.

James, can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be in the business?

I joined Frank Hudson on my 17th Birthday as an apprentice woodcarver and was taught to carve by my grandfather, Frank Hudson himself. Having said that – I had been sweeping the floors at the factory to earn pocket money from the age of 10! I used to watch him carve beautiful creations.

I then went on to business studies in my spare time whilst getting into the product development side of the business. This resulted some years later as me being the business and sales director of the business in which my brother Tim and I took our creations overseas, guiding our overseas craftsmen in the techniques of making British-designed furniture

How would you describe the aesthetic of Frank Hudson?

FH is a luxury brand in its perception but is designed to be affordable – catwalk looks at high street prices.

What are the key components in the end-to-end process of producing a new piece for the collection? Which parts do you enjoy the most?

The key components start with the design, then it’s the timber selection, the finish and of course working to a price target to deliver a commercial, well-designed, well-made and affordable piece of furniture.

I enjoy several parts! The creation of the design idea, through the making process to seeing the buyers’ eyes light up when they see the piece for the first time.

The international homewares and interior design sector is quite a crowded space. How do you ensure that your brand gets visibility and respect?

Gallery has quite a following so we tend to find that customers make a bee line for us, we also make sure customers are fully aware we are exhibiting with advanced marketing.

Diana Vreeland famously said that the ‘eye must travel’. Do you have a favourite locale in the world for gathering design inspiration?

My father Rex Hudson – who was a fantastic designer and illustrator – always taught me to look beyond what other people see. Some people may see a building, where as I look at the brickwork, the windows…the roof tiles. All these things help to give me inspiration which gets translated into furniture designs. That applies to all things – it may be the fantastic lines of a boat or seeing the colours of a field of spring flowers. We are surrounded by inspiration if you look closely.

Are there any exciting design developments on the horizon for the rest of 2016?

We have some great designs on the drawing board for Jan 2017. You will see metallic finishes and some great new wood finishes – plus marble with an indoor outdoor twist.

See pieces from the Frank Hudson Wycombe range at Decor + Design 2016, 21 – 24 July in Melbourne. Register now to visit Australia’s No.1 Interiors Event.