Discover Norfolk's Utopia: an atmospheric gallery that transports clients into an inspirational world that exudes a faded grandeur. The Unexpected Gallery is a unique concept gallery for unusual decorative interior ideas. At Utopia, everything is designed and created in-house. Original statement lighting is harmonised with exclusive, limited edition lampshades. Restored antiques, unexpected wall collections of framed antiques and curios are juxtaposed with intriguing contemporary black and white studies of Norfolk’s wild landscapes, flora and fauna.
Utopia works to commission with private, corporate and retail clients, dynamically blending art, inventive design and expert craftsmanship.
Utopia offers something different, something unexpected…
Utopia was born out of the aim to offer clients something different, something less expected, that was a leap away from the high street. The collective creativity of Jac Scott and Michael Slaney forms the backbone of Utopia’s vision.
Its two key architects regard Utopia’s atelier both as a laboratory for experimentation of new ideas and a giant cabinet of curiosities for their designs and creations. The atelier is spread over several sites and includes: a gallery in the courtyard at Creake Abbey, North Creake, Norfolk, for display and consultation with commissioning clients, plus retailing directly to the public, and a workshop, studio, office and storeroom in a nearby village.
Creative Director and Founder of Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery: Jac Scott
Jac Scott MRBS is a multi-award winning visual artist, a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors with an international exhibition portfolio. Scott is an innate researcher and lateral thinker enabling her creative world to be without boundaries.
Her vision of developing a unique company that harnessed the collaborative creativity and skills of herself, and her husband Michael Slaney, came from a frustration of the narrow offering of many decorative interior outlets.
Technical Director: Michael Slaney
Michael Slaney is a master cabinetmaker and antique restorer with over 30 years experience of bringing new life to damaged pieces. Michael’s furniture design company, Michael Slaney Design, won many accolades. Drawing on this depth of experience across a wide breadth of materials and processes, Michael now applies these skills to reengineering antique items into unique lamps and lights.
The Expert Team
The British team of expert craftsmen who work with Utopia include: a wood turner, lamp shade manufacturers, fine art printers, metal fabricators, a picture framer and a qualified electrician.
Creating the Dream
Utopia's aim is to design and make individual pieces of interior accessories that form great focal points. Even the shade designs are limited to only one hundred of each, to ensure that clients enjoy an element of exclusivity that is Utopia. Utopia believes in the value of good design, excellent craftsmanship and in using only the best materials to ensure that every product made contributes to stylish living and living sustainably. In line with this we aim to support British manufacturing by prioritising sourcing materials locally and harnessing the skills of British craftsmen.
Utopia’s environmental policy underpins its design practice, hence the processes and materials used possess as green credentials as possible. The products are made to last and be cherished for longer, the team actively work against the ‘inbuilt obsolescence’ mantra favoured by many manufacturers and prioritise sourcing only sustainable woods, the best quality paints, varnishes, fittings and electrical components.
Utopia are advocates of the reusing clean packaging fit for reuse - and all can be reused again and/or recycled.
Selling the Dream
Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery has a unique retail gallery based in the pretty courtyard complex at Creake Abbey in North Creake, Norfolk.
The atmospheric gallery transports clients into an inspirational dreamy world that exudes a faded grandeur. Discover aged artefacts lovingly transformed into lighting, each endowed with a palpable sense of time and history, amongst antiques capturing the lost splendour of the banqueting table.
Fresh, contemporary lampshades, inspired by the wonder of flora, birds and literature, form ethereal layered designs in muted tones.
Fine art prints of Jac Scott’s drawings complete the Unexpected Gallery.
The gallery is open all year – please consider the opening times on our Contact Us page before visiting.
Retailers of Utopia's Collections
You can find our unique lamp creations at Osprey London's flagship store in Regents Street, London and in its lifestyle store at St. Albans.
Osprey London flagship store
27 Regent Street, St James's, London SW1Y 4NQ Tel. 0044 207 8519960
Osprey London St. Albans lifestyle store
Woodcock Hill, Coopers Green Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL4 9HJ Tel. 0044 1707 264332
Independent interior design company, Aitch Interiors in Lincolnshire, proudly sell a range of Utopia’s unique products. Find them at:
Aitch Interiors, No 4 The Stables, Wellingore Hall, Wellingore, Lincoln LN5 0HX
Tel: 01522 810961 Open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 5pm
Working to Commission
Utopia regularly works to commission with private and corporate clients, interior designers and independent high-end retailers to create bespoke products. We relish developing bespoke commissions that encompass our client’s wishes. With a strong track record of working to commission, and a team of experts on hand, we are ideally placed to transform your idea into reality. Creating a poetic dialogue between unexpected objects and materials, whether for a product, collection, or display, we will enjoy working with you to build something new, dynamic and engaging.
Please enquire and Utopia will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.
Here is a small sample of some of the commissions from our clients.