For me, London Design Week is synonymous with international design flair and individual creativity. It’s all about pushing design boundaries within the realms of the luxury interiors market. So, this year, we hot-footed it to the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour on day two (of six) for this fabulous event. As a result, I managed to explore just a snapshot of the latest collection launches and design installations. After all, 120 exhibitors and more than 600 international brands would be housed at the centre. I also signed up for a Discovery Tour to help me on my journey to discover some of the latest launches. Throughout the day, I met some fabulous designers, and you can read on for some of my highlights…
Lewis & Wood and Totty Lowther
It was great to meet wallpaper designer Totty Lowther at London Design Week. A former photographic stylist, costumier and prop buyer for major films, we’ll speak to Totty again soon. However, at London Design Week, she revealed a new collaboration with fabrics and wallpaper specialist Lewis & Wood. Fusing Oriental textile patterns with a European damask tradition, the big reveal came in the form of Pomegranate. This exclusive design, for trade only, comes in seven fabulous colour ways and I adore its flamboyance. In fact, this gorgeous pattern is so versatile, it has been created for wallpapers and fabrics, too. Totty explains: “I found a scrap of Indigo linen in a textile dealer’s shop. It was such a bright, vibrant style. The design was perfect in its balance of colour and light with an almost geometric print. This gave me all the inspiration necessary to make it into a wallpaper.”
Philip Jeffries and Gunter & Co Interiors
A world leader in natural textures and speciality wall coverings, Philip Jeffries was joined by interior designer Irene Gunter of Gunter & Co at London Design Week for this year’s return of ‘Legends’. This sees designers partnering with showrooms to transform windows and showcases for the world to see. So, Irene initially chose an inspirational image by photographer Norman Parkinson, featuring Dutch fashion model Apollonia van Ravenstein in Barbados. In fact, this iconic shot featured on the front cover of British Vogue back in 1973. Don’t you think it embraces the elegance and playfulness of that era? Irene has also captured this entire notion beautifully in this display. I absolutely love the Philip Jeffries’ new Shangri-La wallpaper in Imperial Blue on White Manila hemp, as seen here, too.
Fox Linton and Henry Prideaux, with Stuart Scott Furniture
For this year’s London Design Week, classic British home furnishing brand Fox Linton collaborated with interior designer Henry Prideaux. The designer chose a shot of British model Twiggy for Ken Russell’s 1972 film The Boy Friend to create an elegant window display. Henry created a delicate interpretation of the satin evening dress Twiggy wore in this Justin de Villeneuve shot. Stuart Scott of Stuart Scott Furniture has also joined Fox Linton on a more permanent basis with a selection of their iconic, handmade furniture in the showroom. In addition, this included their award-winning Fleur 3 seater sofa with exquisite fluting – an absolute firm favourite of mine.
Luxury lighting and furniture brand Porta Romana came up with an innovative display at London Design Week. This is where we were treated to a fabulous live demo, showcasing the intricate detailing and sheer workmanship which goes into the production of their urchin chandelier. This dramatic design has been modelled on a chestnut seed pod and this really is a work of art. Made from forged steel with a decorative brushed gold finish, we watched the artists work their magic with intricate painting techniques. As a result, we could see one of their gorgeous urchin chandeliers gradually taking shape before our eyes.
Just had to have a quick stop-off at this gorgeous eatery, The Botanist, on Sloane Square, where we devoured a mouth-watering salmon fishcake and a handful of spring greens. Love this restaurant – it should definitely be on your wish-list when you’re next visiting Chelsea. I just love their bar and restaurant design with such a relaxed atmosphere.
Back to London Design Week, following our delicious lunch away from the masses, we couldn’t resist returning for a Discovery Tour. After all, this can be a fantastic way in which to achieve an insider’s view of some of the biggest names in the industry. Perfect for design enthusiasts, we thoroughly enjoyed this whistle-stop tour, which included a visit to interior designer Nina Campbell’s showroom, or should we say apartment? Nina literally transformed the showroom into an apartment featuring a discerning mix of classic and contemporary design featuring perfectly executed colours, patterns and textures. She featured three rooms – an entrance hall, drawing room, bedroom and bathroom, which her son Max revealed to us.
More tour highlights
Other tour highlights at this year’s London Design Week included a visit to the French designer and manufacturer, Pierre Frey. In fact, this is where they unveiled their latest Braquenié collection featuring an abundance of exotic flowers, pineapples and chinoiserie. This exoticism has been cleverly interpreted to celebrate French decoration, classicism and charm. With a striking combination of silk, embroidery, prints and pingle velvets, they have designed a unique collection of wallpaper and fabrics where colour and striking design are key.
Cole & Son
We had to nip in to see the new Cole & Son wallpaper collection. They have teamed up with luxury Italian decorative arts brand Fornasetti to deliver a whimsical collection of captivating wallpapers. Four new designs feature in the Senza Tempo range and I must say I instantly had a favourite. Shown here, Cocktails comes in four delicious colour ways. It features stylised mid-Century graphic bottles and glassware in a varying colour palette. Derived from an ice bucket design called “Oggetti Cocktail’ created by Piero Fornasetti in the 50s, this paper is so fabulous and fun.
We hope you have enjoyed your snapshot from this year’s London Design Week as much as we have loved sharing it with you!