I’M DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THIS POST WON THE LONDON DESIGN WEEK 2018 BLOG AWARD PRIZE!

London Design Week I’m sure for many of us passionate enthusiasts of design is a prominently ear marked and much anticipated event on the interiors calendar.

With a jam packed programme of 100+ events between the 4th-9th March, including design discovery tours, showroom showcases, specially commissioned installations and meet-the-designer talks, the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour becomes a hubbub of design activity and creative vision.

The rise of Individuality and Creative Expression

I was particularly enthused about this years theme of ‘Legends’, within which celebrates creative collaborations across the interior design and fashion world. I LOVE the idea of collaboration and how creative minds working together can allow design to evolve.  It’s such an exciting word isn’t it?! Collaboration opens doors, as well as creative possibilities, provides novel new looks and design discoveries It makes perfect sense really. Mix together the strengths of the worlds of art & decoration with fashion and architecture for example and design ideas explode, endless possibilities ignite.

Collaboration makes us think outside the box.  Design suddenly knows no boundaries!

And collaboration amongst the legends of design was in abundance at this years London Design Week. From the clever pairing of The National Gallery with Savoir Beds, Nina Campbell and Summit Furniture to luxury accessories brand Loewe with Morris & Co at The Style Library, collaboration was the hot topic, and to great effect.

In fact, wandering around the Design Centre and taking in the wonderful showroom windows, I suddenly felt reassured. Because as a result of this collaboration and fusion of creative minds, the design world in which I am delighted to be a part of is remaining fantastically exciting and wonderfully diverse. It embraces individuality and originality. Which is wonderful to see as increasingly we are seeing the need to create a space that is unique to ourselves, reflects who we are and importantly, tells a story. Collaboration is encouraging us to be more daring with design – we are open to being playful and not playing safe.

Exploring the Trends in Design and Collaborations between Legends at #LDW18atDCCH

BOLD COLOUR

Being a colour lover myself, I was extremely encouraged to see the use of bold colours being a key feature amongst the new collections and showroom window displays. Bright colour, saturated velvets and silks were abundant and with it, its instant uplifting qualities.

Above: Nina Campbell Showroom, in collaboration with Oomph Furniture 

The successful Nina Campbell collaboration with Oomph celebrates this cheerful desire for re-introducing bold colour into our lives. In their own words…’because we all need a little Oomph in our lives‘, this vibrantly colourful range of furniture blends classic shapes together with boldly colourful finishes to instantly add joy.

PASTELS

Interestingly, in contrasting harmony to the bold colours, fresh pastels were also making their mark. From the lavender Wisteria in the Design Centre pitstop pop up cafe to the eye-catching larger-than-life paintbrushes specially commissioned for London Design Week which graced the centre dome in full glory – a bespoke installation by Arabella McNie.

Above: Bespoke Installation by Arabella McNie, gracefully flooding the rooftops in the centre Dome at The Design Centre 

More beautiful pastels spotted in the Porta Romana in collaboration with London based florists Aesme

NATURE

It’s no surprise the the beauty of the natural world around us remains a dominant source of inspiration amongst many design collections. From the Chase Erwin ‘Polar Light’ collection celebrating Antarctic adventures, ice formations and winter sunbeams to the Reverence Collection, a collaboration between Fernando Mastrangelo and House of Tai Ping, which has resulted in the most beautiful landscape inspired rugs.

Above: Close up of beautiful textiles in the Chase Erwin showroom, inspired by glacier forms

Above: Rugs adorning the walls of the House of Tai Ping Showroom 

From land to sea or mountain to shoreline, there’s something that will always remain very calming about collections inspired by Mother Nature don’t you think?

TROPICAL VIBES

Florals are still in abundance but they’re even BOLDER and LARGER than ever before! I’m loving this celebration of palm leaf prints and tropical inspired design. The entrance to the Fromental Showroom was a fine example of this…

…along with the Colony showroom celebrating botanical style with designs in collaboration with Freddy van Zevenbergen and Lambart & BrowneHarlequin’s ‘Zapara’ collection being another fine example.

Above: Harlequin’s Zapara collection in the Style Library Showroom 

TRAVEL

Whether the opportunity to explore or simply be inspired without necessarily having ventured far, the theme of travel remains another beautiful inspiration for design. The theme of travel could be seen amongst the collaborative collection between Cole & Sons and Martyn Lawrence Bullard for example, where decedent tiles and archways dominated across their beautifully detailed showroom.

Above: Cole & Sons showroom in collaboration with Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Or the discovery of the play on scale and pairing down of shapes within the clever Pierre Frey collection, inspired by the new world.

Above: The impressive Pierre Frey Showroom Entrance 

I couldn’t talk about travel and not feature the beautiful collaboration between Studio Kamini and The Silk Gallery and their beautiful window display!

MODERN MASTERPIECES

Perhaps one of the most fascinating themes which showed the scope of the diversity, individuality and creative expression that collaboration can allow for. Fusing modern masterpieces into soft furnishings. Interiors meets art. Or more appropriately (or in my view anyway), interiors IS art.

 

My Favourite 

My favourite collaboration without a doubt had to be Savoir Beds teaming up with The National Gallery to produce the most exquisite bespoke head boards that you could ever dream of, Imagine if you could take any painting within The National Gallery collection and have it on your very own head board. Well you can now!!

Together with The National Gallery, Savoir beds can digitally print your chosen painting in either velvet, linen or cotton onto your very own head board! Simply stunning and beautifully creative. To me this is individuality and celebration of creative expression to a tee!

I could go on, from the award winning showroom window of De Le Couna in homage to the Great Impressionists ….

to the Jean Paul Gaultier collection for Lelievre,

to the exquisite Loewe and Morris & Co Style Library collaboration,

to the beautifully made Giorgetti furniture in collaboration with Carlo Colombo,

all the above pieces of which could quite simply be in a gallery by themselves…..

 

Conversations in Design

Another fab part of London Design Week is the amazing line up of speakers curated to wow the crowds and share their own insights and experiences in the world of design. An eagerly anticipated talk on my own personal Design Week calendar was the wonderful Kit Kemp (a design hero of mine!) talking about Redefining Hotel Interiors. And so I hot footed it to The Design Club (along with multiple others!) to discover more about what inspired the internationally acclaimed interior designer to produce such beautifully unique hotel interiors. An hour of design delight with a strong take home message that every room must teak a story, and to be created in layers, to be discovered in layers. Kit Kemp is a true champion of individuality and creative expression, don’t you think!

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SO IT’s ALL ABOUT TELLING A STORY…

More and more, we’re using fabrics and soft furnishings in our home to help tell a story. Not only are we interested in using design to cleverly narrate a room interior, but we are interested in the story behind the design of the fabrics and furnishings themselves. We want a story that draws us in. And we want individuality!!

 

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This blog has only scratched the surface of what London Design Week has to offer. As usual, my time at the Design Centre is far too short, as I sit on the train heading north once more, writing down my highlights of my whistle stop 24 hour trip, eager to share. The Design Centre will always be and always remain one of my most favourite places to visit. It’s the heart of the design community, an international design destination, a networking hub and a showcase of creativity & artistic flair. It gets my creative juices flowing and I will cling on to the dream of one day showcasing my own Mairi Helena fabric and wallpaper collection in a Design Centre showroom – who knows, perhaps a collaboration involving my brand is just around the corner?! Then I know I will have made it!!

Above: Mixing my Mairi Helena Island Botanist Velvet with complementing velvets from Harlequin in the Style Library Showroom

If you haven’t visited yet, I recommend you register and GO! A perfect opportunity to see what’s new, suss out new collections, seek inspiration, meet the designers face to face as well as gain practical advice, hints and tips. And if you hurry, you can still catch the last day of Design Week as it runs until Friday 9th March. And the cherry on the top – it’s completely free!

Let me know your best bits!

Until next time….

 

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