Nicola Holden Designs – Contemporary Interior Designer, London.

I don’t always make the trip up to Birmingham for the Interiors UK show. It tends to be quite samey, and often filled with stand after stand of products that I would never specify for a client. However, having read some of the marketing material for the show there were some new sections which sounded quite exciting. So, last Tuesday morning I got on the Virgin Express from Euston, and just over an hour later I was walking through the NEC doors.

So, what are these new sections that tempted me up here?

Well, there was the Designer Makers section, tucked away in Hall 1. Here I came across the charming Angus Ross showing his beautifully elegant moulded, sculpted and folded wooden furniture, and Christian O’Reilly, whose simple furniture lines caught my eye. Both of these designer makers were also displaying Margo Selby upholstery fabrics on their stands, which was another plus point! I also spotted SOAP (Sum Of All Parts), whose quirky, different products caught my eye.

Angus Ross Christian O'Reilly SOAP

Then there was the New Design Britain section – an area that showcases work from students across the UK, giving us the perfect opportunity to spot young design talent. The students’ work is judged by industry experts within four categories – fabrics, furniture, surfaces and accessories. Some of the designers who caught my eye are:

John Hollington Joanna Hughes Alexander Mueller
Clair Whyman Seema Shah Elizabeth Ret

The Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) had put together a great stand showcasing future trends, in partnership with Global Color Research.

BIAD - Trends

I also loved the Contract Spaces created by Out of the Dark and friends. Out of the Dark is a social enterprise that recycles and restores salvaged furniture as a means to train, educate and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This organisation teamed up with four design companies to create originally designed roomsets that showcased some of the Out of the Dark furniture. I picked up a rather fabulous design idea using Timorous Beastie wallpaper – perhaps for my own home, you never know!

Out of the Dark

Designersblock also had a new section at the show, showcasing he work on 20 new designers. I particularly liked the work of Sboad with their intriguing ‘melting pendant’ but should also mention Laura Wellington, whose lighting designs have hit the interior design world by storm.

Sboad Laura Wellington

However, I think the product that stood out for me the most at the show, the one that jumped out at me and said ‘buy me’, were the simply stunning hand etched copper and terracotta pots by Hend Krichen! Hend has collaborated with local artisans from her Tunisian homeland to bring us these gorgeous accessories. I had quite a long chat with Hend and I love her philosophy in bringing these products to the market.

Hend Krichen

So overall, well worth the trip up to Birmingham! What has caught your eye with the Interior show?