No stone was left unturned this week as I dived in and out of showrooms at The Design Centre for Focus 19. I had the pleasure of attending talks from top interior designers, interviewed creative directors and textile company owners discovering along the way that more than just a handful are several generation family owned. I even managed – on neutral territory – an undercover meeting with the Interior Spy.
London Design marathon
There’s so much wonderful creative talent to see and assimilate at The Design Centre. And this is just one of the many venues which make up The London Design Festival week (14 – 22 September 2019). To put it in context, The Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour is a world class design destination which hosts 600 international luxury interiors brands. And this year Focus 19 at The Design Centre was the biggest it’s ever been.
The future is bright
London’s Indian Summer weather and the prettiest of ‘Sky Garden’ installations conspired to create an effervescent showcase for Focus 2019 Autumn Winter interior collections. In a world of uncertainty, the designs were upbeat and vibrant offering interiors professionals a myriad new tools with which to create.
Pop-ups in the new Design Avenue
Although not completely finished, the new Design Avenue extension was considered a hit. It brushed up very nicely with 20 large pop-up spaces for additional room sets (the stands at Blithfield/Kit Kemp, John Stefanidis/Tissus D’Helene and Barneby Gates were v popular).
A passion for interior style
As with all creative industries, the work that goes in to creating furniture, wallpaper and fabric is often very labour intensive. Stephen Lewis, owner of Lewis & Wood (now a two-generation business with his son Ben working in the company), remarked that “if there was a scientific formula for the perfect design, we would all be very time rich!”
Whatever their individual design approach, the one thread that links all these companies is a great passion for interior style. It is a joy to see and a privilege to hear about first hand. Over the coming months, I will endeavour to share more of the inside track with you. In the meantime, here is a crystallised version of my style notes and trends from the show:
AW19 Interior style trends
There is, as you might expect, a crossover with trends at The London Interior Show: Wall to wall walling is a growing luxury trend and was used across several roomsets and window displays. Colour is vibrant with primary palettes including quite a lot of thered I mentioned in a blog at the beginning of the year. Passementerie, printed velvets (huge) and embroideries are also key looks.
In contrast, monochrome designs created a bit of punctuation amongst all the colour. It was great to see Sue Timney with a pop-up and a new website relaunch on its way with Timney & Fowler’s signature classical monochrome designs. C & C Milano and Ventura are also offering some beautiful designs in a monochrome palette.
As interior designer Susie Atkinson pointed out in a discussion panel with Homes & Gardens Editor Sarah Spiteri with Suzy Hoodless and Flora Soames, in the age of social media bespoke and handmade is even more important than it ever was in offering clients a decorating scheme with originality.
There is one brand which encompasses all of the above mentioned trends and that is Morris & Co. Their new velvets in particular are beautiful and if you want to include a little of the ‘matchy, matchy‘ trend in a scheme, they are the perfect one-stop shop.
I had the pleasure of meeting Emanuele Castellini, the CEO of C&C Milano, at their Design Centre showroom in London. Along with seeing all their beautiful linens and fabrics, I discovered that the Castellini family, who are sometimes described as ‘Lombardy textile aristrocracy’, were inspiration for characters in a favourite 2009 film “I am Love” . Charis x