Country Living Fair highlights: Entrance to the show

The Country Living Fair at Alexandra Palace once again opened its doors to the discerning masses. This is basically our idea of shopping heaven as everything was available to buy and it was all under one roof.

From distinctive interior décor and designer clothing to mouth-watering food, this show was a veritable treasure trove. So, with more than 400 exhibitors, this year’s fair gave us the perfect chance to explore on press day! From designers to makers, here’s our pick of Country Living Fair highlights for the home.

Country Living Fair highlights: Baxter wallpaper

Making an entrance

The Country Living magazine entrance installation was dressed to the nines, featuring a striking Baxter wallpaper by The Paper Partnership. What a fantastic way in which to start the show with so much pattern and colour as soon as you walked in.

Wonder of wallpaper

More distinctive wallpaper design quickly followed suit with a room dedicated to the same brand, The Paper Partnership, showcasing their new Highbrook collection. With 52 papers, this mere snapshot quickly set the scene and raised the bar in terms of the quality we could expect from this year’s show.

Country Living Fair highlights: Limes & Vines room-set

Deckchair delight

A burst of colour on the Limes & Vines outdoor living installation instantly got us in the mood for alfresco dining. Their Danish take on the traditional deckchair on the left with handy footstool is deceptively comfy. We can vouch for this as we tried it for size! But what sets this beautiful piece of furniture apart has got to be its unique design and eco credentials. Did you know trees grow more slowly in northern Europe? Well, this is why the wood used is sourced from here and, they say, a perfect buy for those who are looking for a sustainable option.

Country Living Fair highlights: Zzini home products

Sustainable living

Inspirational ideas to make your home sing came from a number of key stands this year. Zzini Home was one such example, which was instantly marked down as one of our Country Living Fair highlights. From beautifully repurposed furniture to designer accessories, we loved their eclectic mix of vibrant pattern and sophisticated style. Where can you buy from we hear you ask? Make a start with their online shop on Etsy.

Country Living Fair highlights: The Recycled Glass Company stand

Going green

We soaked up the delights of innovative design with eco credentials from The Recycled Glassware Company. You’ll find your money will go far and you can choose from 100% recycled glassware in every colour under the rainbow. Light up your life with a recycled glass lamp or go eco-underfoot with a recycled cotton rug. Voted as one of our Country Living Fair highlights, you can visit their site and buy online here.

Country Living Fair highlights: Kate of Kensington stand

Country creations

A visit to the Kate of Kensington stand meant a chance meeting with the clever artist behind this brand. Kate designs each quintessentially English platter and coaster taking inspiration from the countryside flora and fauna. You can look forward to seeing some pieces featured in our director’s home once her kitchen project comes to fruition in Autumn. She’s rather taken with a bee design not shown here but the Beatrix Potter-inspired The Nibbler, top right, has a special place in her heart, so watch this space! You may find it tricky to choose which theme will suit you, as there are so many gorgeous designs, but you can buy online here.

The natural touch

Another artist who caught our eye as one of the Country Living Fair highlights this year was Iona Buchanan. Renowned for her love affair with botanicals, over the past 20 years this illustrator has expanded her horizons and added garden birds, sea birds and sea life to her must-have product mix. From cushions and notice boards to cards and gift wrap, it seems there’s something for everyone. We are in love with the striking crab cushion and you can peruse her wares online here.

Country Living Fair highlights: Zed and Co stand with hedgehog placemats

Accessorise with style

Looking for creative design with a passion for the unfussy? Then these pretty designs with pastel perfection under the name Zed & Co will strike a chord with you. We must confess that we adore hedgehogs. Therefore, you can imagine which placemats got our immediate attention. So, our director will pick a colour once her kitchen has been redesigned, and can’t wait to add these beauties to her ‘everyday table’. From kitchen linens and bone china mugs to wooden signs and trays, you’re bound to find something to suit. We hear the range is expanding soon too so we plan to keep our finger on the pulse by following them on Instagram @zedandco. Why don’t you?

You can find out more about The Paper Partnership mentioned above if you visit our Q&A with their creative director. Simply click this link: Fifteen minutes with…wallpaper designer Elizabeth Ockford