Review of the London design shows – Autumn 2024 by Lynn Llewellyn-Jones.
I visited Focus, London Design Fair and Decorex and found so much to interest and excite. The theme was one of colour, culture and happiness. A strong design focus on collaboration between designer, manufacturer and end user in order to promote identity, support wellbeing and drive sustainability throughout retail, residential and community projects.
The themes I identified in the Spring shows: Rhythmic Form with its warm earth tones, Modern Psychedelic with bold colour and pattern and Chinoiserie incorporating delightful bird and flower motifs, all continue to thrive and have also matured. Mini asked the artist Morag Myerscough to design an installation to launch their new vision for the brand’s future. She produced vivid exuberant designs on walls with abundant greenery and teeming with vibrant life, it was indeed a psychedelic experience.
Lick Paint is a successful brand and focuses on their particular market of ‘millennial’ customers. Their palette is big on restorative greens and give helpful advice on choosing the right colour for the natural light in each room. They were approached by Heinz to create a tomato ketchup red, which they have successfully done, but it is an exclusive product, for now!
Yes Colours give us bright saturated colours and have employed Ry Elliott, one of the designers on ‘Alan Carr’s Design Masters’, to promote their brand. The ‘room pods’ featured Electric Blue, Terracotta and Vibrant Yellow to create a mystical haven just like the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech.
Little Green presented the ‘Sweet Treats’ new collection. Which is a comprehensive palette of warm neutrals in rich tones of honey, caramel and chocolate with dessert names, yum!
All companies have a sustainable production and packaging story as their paint is now sold in pouches not in tins.
A significant new trend seen here both shades and pendants with undulated wavy edges and organic shapes, reflecting the move to curves seen in furniture. Interesting materials are used, some traditional glass (Soho Lighting) and ceramic (Original BTC) but also experiments with mycelium by a company called Mushlume Lighting. These shades are grown into the mould and are innovative but quite rustic looking! Also noteworthy are delightful theatrical shades using dyed chicken feathers from Coldharbour Lights. Feathers, being a byproduct of the food industry, means the company qualifies for the Sustainable Directory.
Trends seen – delicate designs of leaf and flower, bold textures and designs, natural inspirations, V&A archives, and Roger Oates rugs.
V&A archive inspired collection designed by Agnella for Brintons. It features botanical themes and quiet graphic patterns in soft muted colours. My favourite being Tapa, the design being inspired by Fijian Island painted cloth.
Tai Ping presented their new Blur Collection of hand knotted silk rugs. It identifies the trend for designs with an atmospheric feel, taking over from the ‘rubbed-out antique’ aesthetic. This look was also seen in Tania Johnson’s rug collection, ‘Reflections’.
Textures within textures at Vanda Rugs.
The Chinoiserie trend, just hinted at in Spring, is unfurling beautifully as delicate trailing flower and leaf motifs in hand knotted rugs.
Rols Carpets presented ’Strata’ a collaboration with designers Wallace & Sewell and is a beautiful outdoor collection with exquisite earth tone colour combinations made from recycled material, of course.
Alternative Carpets showed a strong graphic flower design with a seventies feel. Whereas Stark Carpets presented a range of delicate flatweaves.
Smart edging for stair runners seen at Fibre, gave a crisp visual outline which is very effective.
Epic backdrop scenes from Arte are still trending, bold florals from House of Hackney and chinoiserie panels of grasscloth. Striking flocked graphic botanical wallpaper from Hohenberger Galerie.
Most interesting product seen.
Traditional tribal Bedouin weaving interpreted by designer Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie as pixilated
patterns and presented as sculptural benches. She worked with the women weavers in the UAE. The
designs would make great rugs!
Alabaster, seen used in lighting and occasional tables. It is a sedimentary rock and can be extracted
and processed sustainably making it a ‘Forever’ purchase.
Cylindrical, translucent pendant lights presented singularly or in a group of five from Tigermoth
Lighting are stunningly beautiful in their simplicity.
Occasional tables where the alabaster is paired with wood and is used either as a tabletop or a table
Each design shows have it’s own special atmosphere. Focus at Chelse Harbour is a confident and
sophisticated affair with each permanent showroom playing host to their clients and presenting new
collections and additions to existing ones. London Design Fair in Truman’s Brewery, showcases
emerging, exciting designers and products. It also hosts events throughout trendy Shoreditch and
Clerkenwell. It is quite edgy and very sustainability orientated. But I have to say that my award this
year, goes to Decorex, as the best combination of both. It is well presented in Olympia’s exhibition
space, had a good mix of established and new brands, all with exciting products. The show had a
great buzz and was well attended. It is great to share all I have seen with you this season. I hope you
will be as inspired as I have been.