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London Design Week

Issue: TW Mag April '14

PHEW! MY ARMS are dropping out of their sockets, two days up at Chelsea Harbour during Design Week means dragging around bags and bags and then a few more bags of amassed samples and brochures featuring the
new collections.

From furniture to fabrics and much more, this is one of the two times a year when the wonderful showrooms open their doors to put on a five day feast for the eyes and the imagination. Interior designers from across the globe meet in Design Week, not only at Chelsea Harbour but also at ‘Design Hubs’ across the capital in order to bring back to their clients the inspiration and ideas they have gleaned for use in their next projects.

Of course, many of us take one or more of the interiors magazines and if you are a reader of House and Garden, Elle Decoration etc you will have noticed no doubt, that the April issues highlights these new products beautifully in lavishly presented features. I can’t manage quite that level of production but I thought I would share with you some of the items, which made a big impression on me.

First off, colour, and the colour of the season is Emerald green and shades of green generally; we are not talking about the muted muddy colours within the green palette, which we have grown so comfortable with in the last several years, this is a vibrant blast of sharp crisp fun.

Next, the current obsession with geometric shapes continues, and has by now filtered on to the High Street in the form of tables and chairs, curtain fabrics at al. I saw wonderful small tables in geometric shapes, which can be pushed together to form a larger version of the same shapes as a coffee table. I also admired lamp bases in bronzed, golden finishes and lampshades lined in the same metallic finishes and hanging lamps on the same theme. I guess if you want to buy into this slightly Seventies inspired luxe look, a lamp or coffee table is a good place to start.
My general advice with trends is to buy because you love something and find that its design resonates with you, not because it’s in fashion. I may have said this before but it’s probably worth repeating, in my opinion the purchases we make for our homes should ideally be seen as items, which make a contribution to the ‘whole’. There is little point in investing in a piece that may be very beautiful but just doesn’t work with anything else that you own.

The next theme that I adored, was a small return to wallpaper borders; I DO NOT mean the things some of us became slavishly attached to in the Eighties along with rag rolling and all the rest of it. These new borders are more like panoramic scenes, some depicting landscapes, some a tromp l’oeil of library panels, others cool rows of owls and monkeys. These papers are expensive but very well worth the cost if you want to deliver a big punch in a room.

Carpets too are seeing a move away from the textured pile we have been seeing and using for a while now. The advances in synthetic materials means that many man made fibre carpets have lost the shiny nylon cheap appearance and can often perform more robustly than a traditional wool carpet does, in terms of fading and stain repellence, definitely worth a look.

Of course there were many more new and exciting ideas and trends to mention here but watch this space to see how to use the new colours and products next time.

Happy Decorating!

Christine Robinson is a Partner
at Robinson Design Interiors
& Gardens. Tel: 020 8892 8906