What is J Rotherham looking for in a young designer?

This autumn sees young designers from all over the UK presented with a unique and truly exciting opportunity.

Established fireplace manufacturer J Rotherham has opened up a competition, which will result in the company commissioning lucky designers to work with them to come up with a brand new range of products.

The aim is for fresh and inquisitive minds to join forces with the production team at J Rotherham to develop designs that are a breath of fresh air for the industry – offering customers more choice and vibrancy than ever before at a price that remains competitive.

Do you have what it takes to be at the forefront of fireplace design in 2015? Here are some of the factors that the company will consider when selecting it chosen designers.

An enterprising approach

The project has a strong emphasis on two-way communication and collaboration. Entrants do not need to come up with a detailed point-by-point plan of the whole project, but simply an outline that can be worked on together with production experts.

Commercial Director Matt Rotherham explained that the firm is encouraging budding designers to immerse themselves in its operations as much as possible.

He said: “We’re happy for it to be a two-way process. They can ask us things about the company before they come up with something, or even come and have a look around the factory.”


This process of gaining a feel for the manufacturing stage and then matching a design to fit this is hugely important in the fireplace industry. The dimensions in many modern households and the expectations of customers to receive quality at a reasonable price can add constraints to a design – factors that competition entrants will be required to work around.

Matt adds: “We want to commission someone based on the concept, it’s not a rigid plan at this stage. Especially given that the product is very specialised, we wouldn’t expect anyone to come in with an exact plan of what the fireplace will be like.”

With this in mind, entrants are encouraged to come up with initial ideas that are as flexible as possible. This will ultimately mean that they are able to adapt them quickly and easily as they become more aware of the nuances of the manufacturing process.


When browsing existing fireplace ranges – whether it be Georgian, Tudor or Victorian – most are based on classic designs from certain periods in history.

However, with the interior design movement more ingrained in popular culture than ever before, J Rotherham wants to create a groundbreaking new range for the 21st century home.

This means designers interested in the competition should be open to embracing new materials, patterns, colour schemes and shapes.

According to Matt, it is a time to move forward, not just in terms of aesthetics but also the actual structure of the products.

“What we want to do with this new range is really join in with that interior design movement, which focuses more on the now”, he adds. “We want to use the fireplace as a platform to create something artistic.”

A firm grasp of modern technology

Central to achieving this innovation is utilising cutting-edge technology. This not only opens up new techniques that can be used during manufacturing, but can also boost efficiency and productivity – offering customers their dream stone fireplace at a price they can afford.

Matt explains how these expertise mean that natural stones can now be combined with man-made materials to create a brand new look that is both more practical and artistically captivating.

“We can use the technology we have to essentially create 3D artwork. Most importantly, these are now available at an economically viable level.”

Could this be you?

If the above sounds like a challenge you could rise to, you have until December to put forward your ideas for J Rotherham’s brand new range of fireplaces. For further information and to learn more about J Rotherham, head to https://www.jrotherham.co.uk/