Mad About… unboxed

Today I’m thrilled to be able to tell you about a new project by the wonderful which involves moi! Well I’m a small part of it as you can see from the pictures below. It’s called MADE Unboxed and it’s about showing customers and browsers what the pieces look like in real homes.

Kate Watson-Smyth,

From today you will be able to search for other MADE shoppers in your own area (or elsewhere) and see what they have bought, and how they have used the pieces in their own homes. It’s one of those brilliantly simple ideas which does away with the need for expensive photoshoots. I know we all love looking at great images (and pinning them) but how many of us really live in a ginormous loft space with exposed brick walls and 20ft high ceilings? Of course everything looks good in a space like that. It’s like seeing Kate Moss in an outfit and thinking it will look the same on you. Which is something I do every time… had to return a swimsuit to the Outnet just last week because it turned out I didn’t look like the size 8, tanned, long-limbed model in the picture. But I fell for the imagery yet again…

Kate Watson-Smyth,
the brooklyn floor lamp from in the madaboutthehouse study

Still, enough of that, this is MADE’s way of showing you how things look in real homes. With awkward alcoves. And lower ceilings. And smaller spaces. As Chloe Macintosh, the founder and creative director of MADE, said (more eloquently than me and without once referring to Elle Macpherson in a swimsuit): “Unboxed contextualises our products without the need for costly lifestyle shoots or high street shops, which ultimately the customer would pay for.”

Kate Watson-Smyth,
two chairs in the library

She added that it was a great way for customers to take inspiration from each other, which is true. After all we often turn to our friends for advice and opinions so why not embrace the wider community?

Sarah Crozier Hart 3
jardena armchair in the home of Sarah Crozier Hart

To mark the launch of Unboxed, MADE also commissioned a survey which just proved that we are a nation obsessed by property. Not only do we love looking round other people’s houses but two per cent of people deliberately go for a walk at dusk so they can peer into houses before the curtains are drawn.

Danni Williams 4
Danni Williams’ home photographed for made unboxed.

And, get this, one in 20 people actually keep a pair of binoculars handy so they can peer in. Although that may have less to do with the decor and more to do with the residents I think.

Splash screen

The platform launches with almost 100 brand advocates who all have professional pictures of their own home but customers will be able to upload their own images too. I think it’s a great idea. After all, as the survey found 45 per cent of us would happily welcome someone in to see a new extension so this way we get to poke around 100 houses online and even ask the owners questions about their choices. I sense hours of missed deadlines coming my way.

made unboxed: the two bedroom flat of Danni Williams in East London
made unboxed: the two bedroom flat of Danni Williams in East London

You can search by postcode or the made object that you fancy but weren’t sure what it would look like in your home. Here’s how it works

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


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