A new spirit of individuality is celebrated at London Design Week 2018
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A new spirit of individuality is celebrated at London Design Week 2018

One of the highlights of our year so far has been our first trip to London Design Week.

 

It takes between 4th – 9th March 2018 at the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour where the very latest in interior design trends is showcased. So as Pump design websites and create content for interior designers it’s a no brainer – and it fuels our obsession for interiors too.

The show this year is about celebrating a new spirit of individuality and inspiring excellence in design, and that spirit is present right throughout the show.

Right from the moment you arrive the window display at Miles – located on the entrance stairs, shouts individuality so loud, it will stop you in your tracks before you have even walked into the building.

Owner Miles de Lange has dressed his window with bright, handmade fabrics and ceramics by Livio de Simone featuring designs which capture the vibrancy and light of Capri where they’re made, alongside the beautifully diverse range of fabrics by the exciting young British designer Kit Miles.

Speaking to us about his window display Miles explained: “It’s about time we start to inject a bit of personality into our interiors again. Designers have dabbled in using a patterned cushion here and there but why not be bold in wall coverings or sofas? Traditionally, British interiors is rooted in pattern and colour. But, in the last 20 years there has been reaction against that tradition and let’s face it, things have become boring. Thankfully though there is a new generation that are coming through and starting to embrace pattern again.”

A leading light of that new generation is Kit Miles – a textile designer stocked at Miles, who talked us through his wonderfully diverse collection.

When asked what inspired his designs the Royal College of Art graduate told us: “There is so much we don’t know about the world around us, I try and draw attention to its beauty and abundance through my designs. For example,’Biophillia’ is named after a love affair with nature. This pattern forms part of a great tradition of botanical print-making and is pointed towards the notion of ‘a beautiful future’.”

The spirit of individuality continues once you walk into the Design Centre and are handed the spring summer guide by the welcoming staff that greet you. Blue and white patterns dominate wall coverings by Anna French at Jacaranda, fabrics by Zinc Textile at Romo and Casamance at Colony and trays by Livio de Simone at Miles Bookshop.

If it is your first visit to the London Design Week – as it was ours, we would recommend to start with a delicious coffee and cake at the South Dome Deli, taking in the striking fabric installations in the roof of the glass dome, made to look like giant paint brushes. To make the most of your visit, spend some time here planning your trip and working out which of the 120 exhibitors, 600 international brands and 100 workshops, demonstrations or talks you would like to head to.

First up we chose to visit the ‘Care About Your Flooring’ demonstration at Siberian Floors in Design Centre East. There, Paul Long – Osmo’s technical expert, showed how best to look after all-natural oil flooring finishes.

Next, just a short walk down the corridor Grant Pierrus of Interior Style Hunter was hosting a ‘Meet The Experts In Interior Design’ Q&A at Artisans of Devizes. Rachel Winham, Sophie Peckett and Maria Constantinou gave us a rare insight into the life of an interior designer, explaining how they got into the industry before talking us through their latest projects.

With a glass of fizz in hand, once the talk finished our noses led us further down the hallway to Espresso Design. Walking into their kitchen showroom felt like we’d walked into someone’s home, smiling at the dog curled up in the corner as we were greeted with the question “coffee or tea?”. And who could turn down that offer once we had spotted the american pancakes being cooked on the hotplate to demonstrate the genius Bora hoodless extraction system?

We finished our time in Design Centre East with an interesting workshop by Adrienne Chinn giving tips on how to give your home the edge as you prepare it for rent or sale. The best tip? Aluminium foil and full fat coke are a great way to remove rust from chrome – now you know!

There were plenty more events we wanted to experience – but there simply wasn’t time. Like the Discovery Tour where Carole Annett gave an insider’s view on what’s big for spring/summer 2018 as she took visitors on a trail of the design centre, but it sadly was fully booked.

And the ‘Why Craftsmanship Matters’ where Lord Snowdon in conversation with interiors editor Giles Kime, explained why traditional skills are the key to beautiful, functional pieces that last for ever.

So what was the highlight of our first visit to London Design Week? Speaking with Kit Miles about his designs which capture the new spirit of individuality at the heart of the event was a real treat, but our highlight would have to be the Q&A with Rachel Winham, Sophie Peckett and Maria Constantinou. It was really special hearing from such inspirational women designers on the eve of International Women’s Day.

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