My notebook is bursting with new interior designs this Autumn from the high street to independent and luxury design companies. With a spotlight on burnt orange and earth tone palettes, borders are back lining our rooms along with flirtatious passementerie. There are showstopping 20th Century antiques and patterned rugs that will have you floored! And working hand in hand with all this luxury design are some pretty big marketing ideas.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful a design or brand might be, having a ‘big idea’ to promote it can often make the difference between achieving longevity and reaching the wider audience they deserve.
Marketing ideas – be they physical or on social media, as collaborations, with professional room set photography and styling (essential for magazine exposure), communicated by skilled PRs and in-house press offices – are the essential teamwork required to keep the story of British design at the forefront.
We may not be in quite the same economic times as when a UK fabric company once famously wrapped an island off Sri Lanka with 2,000 metres of red fabric for an advertising campaign, but the need to be seen in a competitive arena is perhaps now even more of a priority than ever.
Lockdown was the catalyst for Managing Director of The Design Centre Claire German’s idea for Wow House, the highly successful interior design room set showcase that took place at The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour in June 2022.
Wow House is set to return 1 June – 6 July 2023 when we can look forward to another full house of top interior designed rooms using luxury design brands from The Design Centre.
World-renowned interior and textile designer Penny Morrison and founder of The Fabric Collective, has cleverly taken Penny Morrison advertising to the street via an Instagram hashtag #PennyonWheels with her super stylish fabric covered tuk tuk.
In tandem with the tuk tuk is an Instagram competition running to win a £1000 to spend at Penny Morrison (winners will be picked on Friday 30th September 2022). Just tag your tuk tuk image #PennyonWheels if you spot it out and about in London before the 29th September 2022!
Penny says “The inspiration behind the tuk-tuk was in aid of the launch of our brand-new website that is going live in October, enabling our clients to order our fabrics and wallpapers online. We felt the tuk-tuk embodied our brand ethos of mixing and matching patterns to create the unexpected. We wanted it to be eye-catching, yet fun and playful!”
When Penny’s tuk tuk isn’t scooting round London advertising her fabrics, it is delighting passers by outside Penny’s interiors boutique in Langton Street, Chelsea.
So here are some UK interior design stories which have been catching my eye this Autumn:
The Party skirt
Rather wonderfully, the fun tassel trimming on OKA’s Tamara armchair can be taken on or off depending on your mood or occasion. The OKA press office described this trimming rather like the addition of a party skirt to an outfit.
There are newer upholstery editions of OKA’s Tamara armchair for Autumn ’22, but the versatility of this classic ticking stripe is the version I like the most.
New Shashka Cornflower Blue fabric covering Volga Linen’s cloud shaped Kokoshnik headboard and quilt is just so pretty.
With its simple flowing small-scale design, it has the power to create a deceptively strong striped backdrop to a room. I love the soothing colourways of this undulating droplet design.
Borders are back
I mentioned a couple of years ago in a blog post about how I thought borders were making a come back and that the person who had the design foresight was Jane Cumberbatch with her gorgeous stripey collection (still love this hugely).
Borders are now in full flow from edging wallpapers and fabrics (a concept that Lewis & Wood were also ahead of the times with Bacchus and Coromandel); from Iksel and Nina Campbell’s new Petit Dapuri design at Osborne and Little to stand alone designs from interior designer Susie Atkinson and design duo Parker Jules.
The beauty of a border is how they draw the eye to the architecture of a room, adding design and pattern. They can also be applied easily without the need of a professional decorator.
Antique Modern polish
Sophocles Sophocleous has opened a new Antique Modern Mix emporium of 20th Century Antiques with a strong focus on glamorous mid-century modern designs on the first floor, South Dome at The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour.
Beautifully restored pieces in the large showroom include this gorgeous sideboard and chairs along with some stunning 1960s rosewood desks and a 1970s Herman Miller ‘Lounge Chair’ by Charles and Ray Eames.
There are so many beautifully embroidered trims for soft furnishings and upholstery to choose from this Autumn. Too many to mention but my eye couldn’t help being delighted by these styling ideas. Firstly, some plain velvet cushions at Osborne and Little with super chunky trim in bold contrasting colours and a smart trim on Abbey Velvet dining chairs by OKA.
I think every colourway works with Rapture and Wright’s hugely successful Albaicin design but this dark aubergine/grapey colourway is completely captivating as a flat weave rug. The colour was also pleasingly echoed in paint on the ceiling at the Rapture and Wright stand in the Design Avenue at Focus 2022.
Burnt orange and earth tones
Decorating with delicious burnt orange is a subject I enjoyed delving into with a 6-page decorating feature in the October 2022 issue of Period Living magazine and was delighted to come across even more NEW designs for AW22 since I wrote it.
Finally, it was lovely to meet Sarah-Jane Axelby at Focus last week for her exhibition of her portrait interiors.
Sarah-Jane has had a paintbrush in her hand for as long as she can remember. From a long lineage of artists, including her great, great grandfather who designed the Penny Black stamp and was the art teacher to Queen Victoria’s children.
You may know S J Axelby as she is known on Instagram from the @RoomPortraitClub that she started whilst shielding in lockdown. Every Saturday afternoon GMT Sarah-Jane gives a prompt on Instagram with a famous designer’s room for anyone to join in and paint. The results of which are then posted on the @RoomPotraitClub Instagram grid. It has become an instant hit.
S J Axelby’s debut book Interior Portraits is out 13th October 2022 published by Pavilion/Harper Collins., with her own interior portraits and interviews of 89 famous interiors from the homes of Alexandra Tolstoy and Anna Spiro to Ben Pentreath and Charlie McCormick to Erica Davies and Lulu Lyttle.
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