The Idealist

Modern Hero: Kate Tansley, Brand Director at Multiyork

Today’s modern hero is Kate Tansley, Brand Director of Multiyork. She has the dream job of working with designers, fabrics and colours all day and is responsible for an amazing range of looks and styles, including collaborations with Monsoon and an ever-growing range of vibrant prints and styles across the Multiyork range.

We caught up with Kate on the launch of their new collection to find out her story and how Multiyork’s range of sofas and interiors are put together.

No two days are the same and no two sofas are the same

Kate Tansley, Brand Director Multiyork

IDEALIST: Kate – you have a background in Textiles and have worked for a number of different high street names. What took you to Multiyork?

Kate: I’ve been there over four years now and they’ve been a lovely company to join. They have a lovely positive culture — and offered a chance to grow in a very competitive industry. We want to ensure customers understand how Multiyork are different and how our approach to making furniture brings a strong design, but also rich customisability for homemakers. No two days are the same and no two sofas are the same — there’s so much great choice and colour.


IDEALIST: Multiyork is well known for having an amazing choice of fabrics and colours in its range: how do your customers choose what to buy?

Kate: We have a wide range of customers and that’s reflected in a breadth of choice too. We want to encourage creativity through offering a wide amount of choice. We have 50 ranges and over 3000 fabrics but we don’t want the process to be overwhelming. Our in-store staff have real passion and expertise, so we can hold people’s hands through the process.

Monsoon are a perfect collaboration

Customers often want something distinctive and know their own style. They don’t want something generic, so we want to ensure we can satisfy a range of tastes.

Monsoon Home Collection l Dexter Corner Sofa in Chiante Sky Fabric

IDEALIST: You’re also working with Monsoon again. Can you tell us more about that?

Kate: It’s our third year of collaboration with Monsoon. They’re a perfect collaboration because their designs lend themselves to upholstery. We closely worked with their team to maintain their aesthetic but we knew we needed to rescale the designs from fashion to upholstery. The new collection – launching in June – is beautiful and has a strong feel of the countryside. The fabric is printed in a wonderful factory in Lancashire and the sofas, like all our collection, are handmade in Norfolk. Local manufacture is something we are all very passionate about.

Monsoon Home Collection l Gosfield Large Sofa in Sherwood Peach Blossom Fabric

IDEALIST: Who’s your typical customer?

Kate: That’s changed a lot. Our traditional customer was probably quite cautious in terms of choice of colours or styles and was looking for something quite traditional and heritage, but increasingly the tastes of more mature customers are changing both towards cleaner looks but also towards richer colours and patterns.

it’s fun to follow the custom orders as they pass through the factory

In addition to shapes and colours, we have so many other elements our customers can tailor, such as arm shapes, high backs, shorter seat options and comfort choices (from soft through to firm). The most important thing is to ensure comfort and style to suit the customer.

It’s not easy to communicate all these options, which is why the expertise of our staff is important in helping advise. Our sofas are handmade to order. This is a considered purchase which we hope will last a lifetime.

Dunwich Large Sofa in Mayfield Ruby Fabric

IDEALIST: What’s your favourite item in the range?

Kate: I love the Gosfield sofa. Like all the range, it’s handmade to order, but this one has a fixed back which really shows off the patterns of our bolder fabrics well. We’ve seen a real shift towards patterns – over 25% of our orders – and it’s fun to follow the custom orders as they pass through the factory. We like to take photos of them to share with the customer.

IDEALIST: For our readers who are thinking about redecorating, what are the upcoming trends to look out for?

Kate:  There’s definitely a lot of  Moroccan and North African style out there: travel-inspired, heavy woven patterns, liveable ethnic warm oranges, rich coffee colours, velvet, and wool. And we’re seeing a move away from greys towards an earthy palette that’s liveable and easy to style and one which works well on our designs actually.

We’re seeing rich jewel-like tones too: a strong depth of colour, deep emeralds, indigos and blues. There’s still a trend for soft neutrals too, as long as they are warm and textured, for example an  autumn colour palette which soft, light, fresh with herringbone and weaves and rich fabrics, such as you might accent with footstools and armchairs.

At Multiyork, we’re lucky to have a sofa and a colour for every look. Many of our sofas can carry replacement covers too, so you can change out a look to restyle your sofa.

IDEALIST: What would you say to our readers thinking about buying a new sofa?

Kate:  I’d say get something you love, rather than something that’s trendy — and take the opportunity to customise it and try it for comfort to be sure it’s the right fit for you and your family.

  • John is a photographer and journalist from Manchester with a passion for street photography and modern art. When not taking photos, you can find him on a bike anywhere from Sardinia to Amsterdam listening to Zero 7.

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