London is a place where any designer feels at home. The architecture, which has been accumulated over a long period of time, does not fit into one style category, giving the city a sort of exhibition feeling in itself. Add to that the eclectic range of cultures, events and people and you have a city that is bursting full of inspiration.
The Design Festival takes places in September and encompasses hundreds of events showcasing a huge range of disciplines. Thousands attended at least one of the five design destinations last month including 100% Design, Decorex International, designjunction, Focus/15 and Tent London & Superbrands London. These shows set out to highlight the impressive extent of design activity that the UK capital has to offer, and they completely succeed.
Being Glasgow based and owning a growing business, I make a point of making it to London to have a look around at least a couple of the high luxury events. Here’s some of my favourite features that impressed and inspired at #LDF15:
Decorex International’s exclusive collaboration with Material Lab was one of this year’s highlights. Housed in its own 300 square metre tent, Material Lab brought together 14 of the finest luxury surface design studios in one unique monochrome installation. The stand outs, for us, included work by Giles Miller Studio – who continue to deliver fascinating results in their surface work through manipulation of light and shade with pattern-focused results. Giles-Miller-Studio
Amongst the emerging brands, I found a favourite of mine was Heliot & Co., who offer surface design that is commanded by texture, graphic composition, creative innovation and beautification of materials.
tektura-decorex-imageConcluding an 8 year break from the exhibition, Tektura Wallcoverings returned triumphantly, showcasing 19 new ranges. These included fabric-backed vinyls such as large-scale marbled prints, cork textures, shibori silks and brand new made-to-measure digital prints.
Naomi Paul continues to impress with her constructed textile design, naomi-pau-headerlspecifically the magnificent Simple Shade Wool collection. This beauty is hard earned, as each shade takes around 10 hours to crochet. Speaking of lighting, Delightfull turned back the clock with their 50’s and 60’s retro-modern and musically influenced lighting collection. They are unforgettable.
This event, which strays from the residential vibe of Decorex into a more commercial style, always has some interesting exhibitions. Something I loved was Küng Sauna – an exhibitor from Switzerland who are redefining the sauna as a focal point of our living space. It may be something you never look into purchasing, but the stunning design of these unique and hand-crafted saunas can’t be denied. ExhibID_515_coverimage
Kast Concrete Basins, presented in their stall with VOLA taps are hard not to notice as you pass, with their beautifully crafted deigns that highlight the qualities of concrete in both stark and sophisticated forms.
Natasha Marshall, textile designer and personal friend of mine from Natasha Marshall Ltd, had one of the most eye-catching stands at Decorex this year where she launched three new fabric collections: Ikon, Alegre and Alibi and the newly released Tandem wallpaper range. Her home range is designed and produced entirely in the UK and ties beautifully in with any Scottish home. Be sure to check out her showroom in Glasgow and follow her design journey on Twitter.
The list could go on, which is a testament to the festival and all those who exhibit as a part of it. Did you make it to any events? We are already looking forward to next year – but in the mean time are going to continue to find inspiration whenever and wherever possible. Keep up to date with my work and more on Facebook and Twitter.