Interior designers and specifiers across the UK can now order samples from a range of leading suppliers and find fresh inspiration for their projects in the same online marketplace.
Sample Library – targeting the UK design market – features leading products from the design world and gives its professional users a quick, seamless way to explore different materials and order samples with ease.
The founder of the business is Chris Walters, who for the past nine years has worked within the industry as a supplier of Venetian plaster and specialist wall finishes.
He said: “We decided to develop the online platform because we wanted to create a place where interior designers could come and find inspiration for their projects but also celebrate the best of the UK design industry.
“Designers are using the platform already and tell us it removes a lot of the pain that was previously involved in researching new products and, most importantly, saving them valuable time.”
To date, more than 40 suppliers are registered to supply samples through the platform offering a variety of materials including flooring, wallcoverings, tiles, stone and fabrics.
The brands featured include Chase Irwin, Alma Leather, Clayworks and V4 Wood Flooring.
There are already more than 100 professional users signed up to the platform who can view all the available products and request samples from multiple suppliers in one go.
Duncan Sanders, Head of Trading at the Design Museum, is one of the platform’s brand ambassadors.
“I believe the platform will become a really rich resource for luxury interior products and will help to make the process of ordering samples more seamless,” he said. “Historically, you would have to trawl through trade shows and different online platforms for days to get a taste of such a broad spectrum of design ideas, so this could really become a go-to place.
“I also see the value this brings in giving people a clear insight into trends and innovations in the market. It will give great exposure to the many fantastic products out there.”
Early feedback from interior designers since the platform launched in April this year has also been positive.
Interior designer Helen Rees said: “I felt quite amazed and relieved to find Sample Library and think it is a brilliant idea.”
Danielle Fleming added: “Signing up to the website was very simple and it felt like an exclusive club.”
To ensure the quality of products featured on the marketplace are of the very highest standard and meet the luxury criteria, the creators of the platform ensure all suppliers go through a rigorous verification process to onboard.
The vision of Sample Library – as its slogan recognises – is to bring design together and make the whole process of sample ordering much simpler.
“What I like most about Sample Library is that it is solving a genuine problem within the industry,” Duncan said. “In the modern world, having a single online platform to find an abundance of quality samples from suppliers across the interior design market feels like a very natural progression.
“The requirement for samples is still very much alive. These products are physical and tactile; you really need to see samples to experience the difference between good products and great products, but this concept will help to speed up the process and make it much slicker.”