Creativity abounds in south east London. Meet four local residents who have mastered their crafts, from an emerging furniture collector to an award-winning set designer. Words by Karen Jensen-Jones

Es Devlin, international stage designer

The most striking thing about stage designer and East Dulwich resident Es Devlin is not her impressive CV, numerous awards and recent OBE, but her refreshing affability and modesty.

There’s no doubt that her drive and dedication have catapulted her to the very top of her profession with projects ranging from small-scale theatre to the most prestigious global events. Whether it’s creating stage sets for Lady Gaga – who visited her former studio in Peckham to look at some designs – Kanye West and Miley Cyrus, or pushing the boundaries in her daring theatre, dance and opera designs, she is the leading lady.

‘When you’re doing a show you make a statement about the space and the space is invested with the energy of the statement,’ she says.

Not content with designing the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony, Es is currently designing the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony as well as Hamlet (with Benedict Cumberbatch) at The Barbican and Carmen on the lake in Austria.

It’s a whirlwind for the mother of two who, in the midst of her demanding schedule, can still design the set for her daughter’s school play.

Camberwell-based designers Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire, who launched Mini Moderns almost 10 years ago, specialise in applied pattern on wallpapers, fabrics, cushions, rugs and ceramics. Heal’s were quick to spot the appeal of their brand and snapped up their first collection. The company has since gone from strength to strength.

‘We still work in the same way where we conceive the collection themes together with our inspiration coming from childhood memories, literature and our travels at home and abroad,’ explains Keith, who concentrates on the illustrations and artwork. ‘We’re not influenced by trends, preferring to create a mood or a story that will evoke something in our customers.’

Using their own distinctive colour palette with only 12 colours, made from 90% recycled waste paint, their premium grade emulsions include Washed Denim, inspired by the well-worn overalls of north-east fisherman and Tangerine Dream, evocative of 70s British interiors.

‘Our paint colours co-ordinate with the whole range of our products and are inspired in the same way,’ says Mark who works on range development and colourways. ‘When we know something is right we call it the ‘Mini Modern clank!’

The ‘clank’ most certainly happened with their three latest Hinterland prints, P.L.U.T.O, Equinox and Gulls, and their striking new enamel range in collaboration with design-led gift company Wild & Wolf.

Jermaine Oscar Gallacher’s interest in furniture and design began at an early age. He studied Illustration at Camberwell College but it was inevitable that he would one day return to his love of interiors.

‘Whenever I was invited to somebody’s house I would find myself re-arranging their furniture,’ says Jermaine. ‘I had a strong instinct about how to style a room and I still use that skill today. Growing up in a typically 80s home with a black lacquered table, pot plants and a cork chimney breast has certainly influenced my work, and modernist forms always appeal to me.’

After graduating, Jermaine set up the Peckham Hotel and nightclub with Frank Boxer (of Frank’s Cafe) and Coco Bayley, a restaurant consultant, working on the design of the hotel. These days, Jermaine spends much of his time sourcing objects for clients with a keen interest in emerging 20th Century designers.

‘There are no hard and fast rules in interior design because really, anything goes,’ says Jermaine, ‘but it’s the pieces and colours you choose and how you put them together that’s key.’

Dulwich-based lighting designer Sharon Marston’s lighting installations blur the boundaries between art and product design. Her breathtaking collections are hand crafted in her studio with a team of engineers using traditional materials and fibre optic technology.

‘I work with woven metals and luxurious materials such as hand blown glass and fine bone china,’ explains Sharon. ‘I’m currently working on a piece for a company using diamonds, which is a new material for me, so there’s always something to learn.’

With clients ranging from 5-star hotels to the V&A Museum and individual clients, Sharon has seen a change in the way her lighting has been perceived.

‘People understand that lighting can make an environment, not just in ambiance but also physically,’ she says. ‘I’ve had clients who’ve commissioned my designs as a space, whether it is an entire ceiling within a home or a backdrop to a hotel lobby, the work has been pushed in a more theatrical direction. I have a strong style that’s transcended through my work.’

Future collaborations for the designer include Citroen car launches in Paris, one-off installations for prestigious art fairs and even projects with dance choreographers.

The Resident: Jermaine Oscar Gallacher photographed in Borough (photo by Tom Dunkley)Jermaine Oscar Gallacher photographed in Borough (photo by Tom Dunkley)