- Posted on 24th October 2016 by Nicola Holden
The end of last month saw a frantic week of activity surrounding the London Design Festival. Usually the important trade shows at this time of the year take place over two weeks, but for some reason this year everything happened during the course of one week! It was a busy week!!
So, before time runs away with me too much, I thought I would give you all a quick run through of my highlights from that week, starting off with Decorex. This is my all time favourite show for the quality of the products on display. It is held at Syon Park, and seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year.
So, without further ado, here are my highlights from this year’s show…
I have been a huge fan of A Rum Fellow ever since I first came across their work in the damp surrounds of the House of Detention during Clerkenwell Design Week a few years ago. The duo, Caroline Lindsell and Dylan O’Shea , were awarded the much coveted prize for best new product launch at this year’s show. Caroline and Dylan travel the globe in search of the wonderful and unique, introducing collections inspired by an explored country, taking in that region’s finest traditional design and translating it into their own uncommon style. They have a firm belief that beautiful design can be a force for positive change by working direct and with weaving cooperatives and social enterprises.
Naomi Paul’s beautifully crocheted lampshades caught my eye. Her designs are born out of childhood on a farm in Sussex surrounded by nature and craftsmen. All her pendants are handcrafted in their studio in East London.
The unusual finishes on Tamsin van Essen’s porcelain caught my eye. Her designs involve embedding and partially obscuring baroque decorative elements within Parian porcelain.
Carola van Dyke’s textile taxidermy has caught my attention before, but this year she has launch an African collection for Decorex. Carola is an artist with experience in illustration, fashion, art and design, and her work draws on her passion for textures, mismatches and the contrasts of colours, textures and layers, creating works that are quirky, intricate, and with a sense of humour!
Whilst on the subject of taxidermy, I was captivated by French company Design et Nature who sell real taxidermy, made from zoo animals that have died, or butterflies that are bred specifically. They had some ethereal displays of dyed pigeons that Damien Hirst I’m sure would admire!
Seeking out beautiful things at the show, I couldn’t help but be drawn in by The London Basin Company’s stunning designs! Founded by mother and daughter, Anna & Nathalie, they have created a collection of beautifully decorated basins that would transform your bathroom from bland to spectacular.
I was totally blown away by the light installation at Tangent designed by Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono. Inaho is inspired by golden ears of rice swaying in the wind. Light from LEDs is cast in dots, reminiscent of paddy rice, through perforated tubes attached to narrow stems. Human-detection sensors, embedded in the base of the installation, cause the stems to sway as a person passes by. Wow!
I always love products with a good story, and that is certainly what is behind the Newton Paisley wallpaper and fabric designs. Founder Susy Paisley is a conservation biologist, artist and textile designer. Her designs tell stories of neglected and endangered species, and contribute towards the preservation of critical wild habitat. Collaborating with the World Land Trust, for every metre of fabric sold, 100 m2 of wild habitat will be preserved.
The new Bolle lamp, designed by the Anglo-Italian team Giopato & Coombes, and made from hand blown glass, is inspired by the lightness of soap bubbles. And that is exactly what it does look like!
The picture of this coffee table by Method fails to convey the intricacy of the carving on it, and the difference between the textures of the frogs and the water lilies. This particular piece took Method’s creative director and co-founder, Callum Robinson, a month to create, and it is a truly beautiful and unique piece!
I have blogged about Kaia’s beautiful lighting before, but this year they excelled themselves with their new Ora collection. I can see this beautifully sculptural piece hanging above a dining table, and I want one!
And finally, something for outdoors. A Place In The Garden was exhibiting this contemporary water feature. It is completely self-contained, so does not require a water supply to the feature. I only wish that I had discovered this water feature before installing the pond in my own garden!
Well, that’s it for Decorex 2016. I’ll be back with another post soon.
Image credits from respective companies. The Method table © Graeme Hunter Pictures.