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A hotspot for design lovers, the London Design Festival returned to the capital for its seventeenth year, filling the city with an inspiring programme of exhibitions, installations and collection launches. From Focus/19 and 100% Design to London Design Fair and the V&A, there was a vast amount to see and explore.
Throughout the London Design Festival, we found ourselves surrounded by fresh trends, new inspiration and concepts that are bound to filter into our homes over the coming seasons. If you missed out on this year’s action, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite shows and highlights below.
Focus/19 returned to the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour for another year of innovative displays and inspiring collections. Stepping through the doors, it was clear to see that Biophilic design was going to take centre stage this season. Biophilia brings elements of the natural world into everyday environments for improved wellbeing, productivity and calm. Along with foliage and natural materials adorning the entrance, there was a heavy presence of botanical and nature-inspired displays throughout the showrooms.
The Pearwood Collection by Cole & Son
Two brands that shone through were Cole & Sons and Nina Campbell. Nina Campbell’s new collection showcased a beautiful blend of greens and botanical prints, perfect for adding a bold feature to family rooms and dining spaces. Cole & Son interpreted the trend by launching The Pearwood Collection, which pays homage to their inspiring block printing archive. The timeless designs feature bold florals in rich colours, opulent peacock prints in metallic jewel tones and intricate geometric trellis prints that can be combined with other designs from The Pearwood Collection.
Underground Vol.ll by Kirkby Design
This year’s show acknowledged many trends, both old and new; however, sustainability and meaningful design took centre stage. A highlight of the show was an installation by Kirkby Design who collaborated with Transport for London to create Underground Vol.ll. This stunning collection explores London Underground’s original patterns from the 1930s to the present day. These iconic designs were reimagined by playing with texture, scale and modern pastels creating a stylish collection of luxury upholstery velvets.
London Design Fair at the Old Truman Brewery always has a fantastic mix of cutting edge design and emerging talent. It’s where forward-thinking designers showcase their new collections and trends truly evolve.
Altrock Furniture Designs. Photography by Maxwell Anderson
It was clear to see that sustainability and craftsmanship were the main topics at this year’s show. Some pieces that caught our eye included lighting designs by Carolina Palombo. These beautiful pendants are handcrafted using intricate woodwork and 70s style woven textiles. Terrazzo was also a common sight again this year; however, this trend has gone to a larger scale with an even bigger focus on reclaimed materials. Scaled up terrazzo designs were seen from Altrock surfaces. They combine recycled marble flour, marble chips, and chunks of offcuts and broken pieces of beautiful marble slabs to create their stunning surfaces.
With everything from furniture to jewellery, there’s always plenty to inspire at Design Junction. Similar to other shows, a conscious effort to use eco-friendly materials was recognised. Company Di Classe showcased their iconic Foresti pendants which are inspired by nature, made with intricate foliage shapes around glass shades. Beem lamps and Samuel Wilkinson also had an inspiring display. This collaboration between Samuel Wilkinson and lighting entrepreneurs Chris Stimson and Bujar Shkodra comprised of a stunning collection of unique modern low-energy LED light bulbs. Curved and moulded into incredible forms, they created wonderful features with a retro edge.
Smile & Curli Lights by Samuel Wilkinson Studio for BEEM
Sustainability – With the powerful message of sustainability high on the agenda, designers are now focusing on ways to create conscious environments, developing new materials and delving deep into how our surroundings impact planet earth and our health. Their approach is to become more aware of eco-living, looking at key pieces that will stand the test of time and use aesthetics that allow a sense of wellbeing and peace. At this year’s London Design Festival, one of the most memorable installations came from artist Sam Jacob. The piece called ‘Sea Things’ in the foyer of the V&A museum highlighted the problem with global plastics. It features a large two-way mirrored cube with motion graphics of sea creatures and plants which were gradually infiltrated with plastic bottles, bags and rubbish. The installation was made to give the audience a greater understanding of how we need to make the world a more sustainable place.
Curved furniture and fluid shapes – Inspired by the Art Deco movement expect to see curves and spherical shapes creeping into our interiors. Circular shapes in the form of tiles, lighting and furniture can take the edge off boxy rooms and harsh lines. These circular silhouettes paired with brave new colours and luxurious materials are bound to give your home retro nostalgia. One collaboration to look out for is a collection of rugs by 2LG Studio and Floor Story. These stunning designs featured scalloped edges, curves, bright yellows and retro pastels.
Dulux Colour of the Year 2019, Tranquil Dawn
Colour is back – As we move into a new season, the brands we love have launched their new paint colours and trends for the year ahead have started to transform our interiors already. The first release came from Dulux who announced their colour of the year ‘Tranquil Dawn’. We can see this fresh green paint colour taking interiors by storm, paired with rich oranges, poppy yellows and deep greens. We noticed a few colour palettes coming through at this year’s London Design Festival. The first an eclectic vintage feel that consists of bold terracotta shades, burnt oranges, sumptuous tans, yellows and rich greens. As the trend for sustainability and Biophilia design grows a palette of green hues, gentle neutrals and mustards were also present.
To explore some of our favourite inspirational home design trends head over to our Pinterest profile.