The Furniture Awards return in January to recognise and celebrate the industry’s champion suppliers. The awards – developed by Furniture News in partnership with the January Furniture Show – offer the event’s exhibitors the opportunity to put the best of their new products before a panel of expert judges.

The awards scheme, which is now approaching its third year, aims to identify and reward the best new products launched at the January exhibition, the principal launch platform for new models and ranges into the UK market.

Each exhibitor is permitted to submit an entry within one of the four product categories – Bedroom, Dining, Living or Decor – which will be evaluated based on criteria such as value, quality and marketability. The most promising entries will be shortlisted and inspected on site, before the suppliers of the winning entries are recognised and revealed on the first day of the show. The deadline for entries is Friday 9th December.

The awards are co-ordinated and chaired by Paul Farley, editor of Furniture News magazine, and the 2017 judging panel comprises a mix of new and returning judges: Malcolm Walker, director of buying for Furniture Village; Diana Celella, award-winning interior designer and president elect of SBID; Rob Scarlett, furniture designer; and Royce Clark, MD of Grampian Furnishers.

Ahead of the 2017 edition Furniture News, presents an opportunity to meet one of the four judges …

Rob Scarlett

Over a 13-year career producing commercial furniture designs for the high street, middle-market designer and developer Rob Scarlett, who returns to the panel after judging the inaugural awards in 2015.

Scarlett Design was established in early 2010 by British designer Rob Scarlett, who began his career when he was named the 2003 Young Designer of the Year. Subsequently, Rob has played a key role in the design teams of some of the best-known brands and businesses in the UK furniture industry, including Willis & Gambier, Nathan Furniture, Mark Webster and Yinihome.

He has also enjoyed success with ranges launched through UK retailers such as Heal’s, Marks & Spencer, Furniture Village and John Lewis. More recently, he has created new ranges for high-end retailer And So To Bed, and Estonian manufacturer Skano.

Rob also contributes regularly to Furniture News, most recently through his interview series, Rob Scarlett Meets, which explores how today's leading furniture designers balance the relationship between creativity and commercial pressures.