November 4, 2017
October 2, 2018
21 things I really liked at the London Design Festival 2018 (LDF18)…
With an impressive collection of goodies inspired by its ever-increasing number of Houses, it’s been fascinating to watch the Soho Home brand evolve. Think spaces synonymous with great style since since its first Babington House collaboration with Ilse Crawford. Interior directed now by Linda Boronkay, Soho House has become an adjective.
The new showroom is on the top floor at Barber & Parlour. Described as, “A space to discover and shop the furniture, textiles, and tableware that have been tried and tested in every Soho House worldwide.” And there’s even an in-house monogramming service. PS Rumour has it that Linda is also designing Amal and George’s pad!!
Soho Home Top Floor, 64-66 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London, E2 7DP. Until January 2019.
One of my very favourite designers for her expertise with colour and material, India has worked with Tod’s to create the Tod’s Sloane Apartment. As the brand describes it, “It’s a home from home and an invitation to enter into an ambience quite unlike any other store environment. with a high impact colour scheme. Touches of rich velvet and brass. And elegant marble flooring evocative of Italian Palazzi. Elements that together induce a sense of great warmth and welcome.”
Oh yes, indeed! Plus there’s some amazing ‘Raspberry’ dyed silk wallpaper from De Gournay in play too.
India Mahdavi at Tod’s, 35/36 Sloane St, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9LP
Relatively new to London, and sharing space with Boffi (the deluxe Italian kitchen crafters), De Padova is one of my number one look-to design brands. Why? Because it has an amazing collection of pieces, all revelling in the joy of material and form. Plus it’s re-issued some of the eternally classic pieces by Paolo Tilche, such as the ‘Silvia’ rattan chair designed in 1960, shown below.
For LDF18 it showed new designs from Danish/Italian design duo GamFratesi, Piero Lissoni and Omi Tahara. You could also see the latest super sleek kitchens from Boffi!
De Padova, Boffi Chelsea, 254 Brompton Road, London SW3 2AS
An exhibition devised by interior designer/stylist Louisa Grey (founder of interior design studio House of Grey) and her friend and neighbour Morgwn Rimel. Showing the work of emerging local and international designers, artists and makers, it was divided between two homes. Grey House, an elegant North London townhouse, and Blue House, an eclectic loft set in a converted Methodist congregation hall.
My fave was Grey House, described by Louisa as featuring “subtle and refined hues, textures and finishes”. Curated with an emphasis on the handcrafted, natural materials and artwork sourced from international designer makers, it’s a study of the sort of domestic calm that many of us dream of. I loved it so much, I dedicated and entire Soft Scandi post to it.
In 1900 Arthur Sanderson introduced a small collection of paints to complement his wallpaper and fabric collections. Now, more than a century later, Sanderson have 154 different colours, with 50 of those brand new this season and available in a selection of finishes.
Rebecca Craig, design manager at the Sanderson studio explained. “Key changes include freshening up the yellows and greens to link in with our Botanical ranges. Adding in a selection of greys and teal shades, plus more coastal blues and sophisticated floral shades.” And did you know they tint all their paints in-house, in the same facility as they manufacture the wallpapers? Impressive.
When this Copenhagen-based super duo works with one of Britain’s best contemporary craft/furniture brands, you have to sit up and take notice. Especially when they say that the designs are inspired by “Donald Judd’s radical and minimalist universe”.
The results then are predictably sophisticated and making their way straight to the top of my desirability charts. The spindle-backed ‘Gleda’ sofa, made in solid oak with brass details is available in three finishes – white oiled oak, aged oak and ebonised (a matt black finish with accentuated grain patterns). Also the ‘Muse’ sofa in natural timber with feather-topped cushions and tactile fabrics and leathers.
The latest collection of embroidered and printed fabrics and wallpapers from the king of colour is inspired by his home in Deya, Majorca. And it’s a riot of flowers, butterflies, fruit and fauna. The digitally-printed ‘Deya Meadow’ paper shown below comes as three 3m panels. I can imagine pasting this across a wall in an otherwise plain room. It’d be like having your own internal flower garden.
As Matthew puts it “I wanted to create the feeling of walking in a summer meadow so set about photographing single stems of meadow and woodland flowers. The flowers have then been arranged and set against a sky blue backdrop. This wallpaper is a favourite of mine and I can’t wait to hang it in my own home to create a dreamlike sanctuary.”
A simple concept. Striking clothing designed by a selection of the most talented alumni from Istituto Marangoni London displayed within the iconic Poliform wardrobes. I particularly loved the joyousness of the clothes designed by art and architecture graduate turned fashion designer Viola Menchini.
Poliform 278 King’s Road, London SW3 5AW
Following the success of his launches in Milan and the USA, British designer Lee Broom transformed his London showroom to present the third and final instalment of ‘Observatory’. This is his award-winning, stellar-inspired lighting collection. Plus he added in a new piece: Orion. Think modular tubes balancing illuminated spheres, presented in gunmetal black.
Lee Broom, 93 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY
Anni Albers (1899-1994) is one of the best-known textile artist of the twentieth century, alongside Lucienne Day. So the news that Christopher Farr Cloth had collaborated with the Anni & Josef Albers Foundation to create two new designs was a stop press moment indeed!
‘Orchestra’ is drawn from a series of works with the same title, inspired by Anni’s visits to the Berlin Opera as a child in the 1920’s. ‘Temple’ is developed from a study for the Ark panels to hang in the Jewish Temple Emanu-El, Dallas in 1956.
Albers worked primarily in textiles, creating wall hangings, curtains, bedspreads, mounted “pictorial” images, and mass-produced yard material. But later in life she added printmaker to her repertoire, producing many fabric designs using ink washes. She even occasionally experimented with jewellery. So fabulous news that CFC is helping to keep her legacy alive.
With the rise of bottled water many of the drinking fountains introduced to London in the mid 19th Century have been allowed to run dry. Yet today, the pressure is on to shift to a refill culture. Thus, The London Fountain Company, set up by Jane Withers and Charles Asprey, is on a mission to bring fountains back to the capital.
The first design comes from Michael Anastassiades, launched during LDF18 at the V&A. Elegant, enduring and robust, just as you’d expect from Michael, it can be used for refilling bottles as well as drinking. The hope though is that it can be implemented on a larger scale throughout London and beyond. First stop? A permanent placement on Thurloe Place, South Kensington.
As ever-increasing number of people are looking to minimise environmental impact when decorating their homes. How great then to see Skandium transform its flagship four-storey townhouse in South Kensington into a Scandinavian eco home! To do so they enlisted the help of two stalwarts of Scandinavian design, Montana and Skagerak.
The intention was to curate a collection of responsible design, but also to demonstrate that it can be a vibrant, beautiful and liveable solution. As such, Montana asked architect Helena Laursen to design two of the floors in its signature bold colour palette. Meanwhile Skagerak transformed the basement and garden using their collection of FSC-certified furniture from a contingent of 30 international designers.
Skandium The Skandium Townhouse, 31 Thurloe Place SW7 2HQ
Fingers crossed that Debenhams can keep up the momentum on its collaborations with British designers as I think this should be it’s USP. This could be what differentiates it from any other department store on the fast-being-depleted not-so-Great-anymore British high street. So, chuffed was I to spot this collaboration. The first home Edition designer it’s worked with since the launch of Abigail Ahern’s collection, and the only lighting designer.
Sarah was inspired by natural quartz formations and said of her work. “Geometric quartz crystals nested side by side in illuminated caves inspired the forms for the GEM collection. The sculptural designs played with the light on their numerous facades and inspired the idea of creating multiple forms that could be use individually or as an eclectic set.” Available in store, and online, from December 2018.
Dutch design duo Scholten & Baijings, famed for its delicate tableware, created a contemporary tea installation on the first floor of the historic flagship store in Piccadilly. And they did it using more than 80 products, designed by companies from across the globe.
Fortnum’s iconic Eau de Nil colour provided the inspiration, and a special porcelain tea set was crafted for the occasion. Made by 1616/arita japan and Maharam Accessories Japan, it was produced in the Japanese Arita region, renowned for its fine porcelain since the 17th century. The marble floor and tables were produced by the Italian marble manufacturer Luce di Carrara. On show only during LDF18.
The ancient art of Urushi, or Japanese lacquerwork, has long been a source of fascination to me. Especially Urushi boxes, often used for jewellery or the storage of love letters. Either way they were precious boxes for precious things. But often very traditional in form and pattern. Enter then Lara Bohinc’s new limited edition creations for LDF18.
Delicious dainty boxes with a sculptural twist. Loved’em!
Ahh how I love Society Limonta‘s bedlinen! And I always look to them to see which colours they have chosen for the season ahead. Occupying a rare sweet spot, poised between fashion and home, that I’d call home couture, they are always remarkably en pointe.
For AW18 it appears to be sea greens and blues, with a touch of rich plum.
According to At Home with Hostmaker, “the home should be an artful concoction of places travelled, people met and stories formed along the way”. And it should know. The brand offers a home-making service for the time poor seeking interior design. Imagine a series of packages from mood boarding to full installation.
As a way to show off its versatility, for LDF18, it crafted an exhibition that took the curious through three rooms with distinct personas. Starting with The Botanist, which offers “sanctuary in its abundance of foliage, hessian and blooms.” Then The Bold intrigues with “deep moody hues and comforting sumptuous textiles.” And The Artisan is intended to “allure with its rustic imperfections.”
Molteni hold the official license to re-issue work from the Gio Ponti archives. And one of the latest pieces to receive contemporary glory is Gio Ponti’s D.859.1 dining table. Originally designed for the Time Life Building it is an exquisitely sculptural piece of art/furniture in solid ash with bronze ferrules.
Designed as a meeting table for up to ten people, it stands out for its impressive size, over 3.6m long. But mostly for its simple yet refined design. I only wish I had a dining room big enough to put it in. But hark, the D.859.1 is now available in two smaller versions that faithfully reproduce the harmony and proportions of the original. There’s also a darker-toned black stained ash. Result.
Max Bainbridge and Abigail Booth, aka Forest + Found, are an artistic duo who produce sculptural and wall-based artworks. The use of raw material is integral to their work. Wood transformed into objects that they describe as “symbolic of human ritual.” And images “that conjure the monumental and contemplative”. As such, many of the vessels in the show were made from a single beach tree found in Sussex.
Very appropriately then, the pair exhibited at Maureen Doherty’s egg, a shop devoted to the most beautiful everyday things. As she puts it, “egg makes and sells timeless, simple clothes, accessories and objects. Drawing on traditional skills from around the world it is not about fashion, but about the pure enjoyment of shapes, colour, materials and making.” Bliss.
Egg, 36 Kinnerton Street, London SW1X 8ES
This wallpaper collection deserves a mention for inducing one of those rare, stop you in your tracks moments. And with an increasing desire to bring greenery into our homes, whether real or fake, you really couldn’t do much better than the magical ‘Forest’ design, shown below. Or in fact any of the other prints in this fabulously outdoorsy collection.
Cole & Son Head of Design, Carley Bean, explains the inspiration. “One of the things I’ve always loved about the English landscape is its distinctive seasons. The innate beauty of nature and the magical allure of its transformation through the year.”
“The Botanica Collection is our ode to nature, exploring both the unkept beauty of forests, fields and meadows, as well as the love and attention given to cultivated gardens. We started sketching, finally deciding upon 15 unique designs paying homage to our British roots. Each design was hand-drawn and hand-painted to scale capturing the inherent beauty of the subject itself.”
First glimpse at the space which Tom Dixon, ever at the vanguard of all things cool, now calls his HQ. And this exhibition explores the creative space between technology and making through a diverse range of installations and collaborations.
So from hyper real patterns printed onto carpet and digitally-printed cow hides to furniture made with specially-patterned Formica to new prints for wallpaper company Kirby Design. A great new space and an interesting concept.
PS Thank you for reading this, and if you’d like to know when I next post something, please subscribe.
Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.