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Our annual pilgrimage

We made our annual visit to the London Design Fair on a beautiful sunny day in London. Up bright and early to visit Farrow & Ball first, we made a day of the trip visiting cake shops, flower stands and did some boutique interiors window-shopping in Chelsea.

…back to the Design Fair!

We like to go each year to see what trends and influences are being embraced by the creative folk to display there, as well as the brands that feature new ranges and collaborations.

There were several trends that seem to feature strongly at the fair, but we felt two took the centre stage; curves and simple shapes and natural materials.

Curves and abstract forms

Almost futuristic in style with flat, bold colour and curves where you might have once found angles, this style seems to have really made an impact.

One of the first stands we spotted featured a beautiful range of runs, some with familiar scalloped designs that we definitely recognised. The 2LG boys have designed some rugs as part of a collaboration with Floor Story and they were catching everyone’s attention.

These chairs from Made by choice are beautifully curvy and bold.

Made By Choice

Simple lines and clean curvy shapes also featured in the display by ‘Hi thanks bye’ who are from Canada. Their pieces ‘present sculptural interpretations of the Canadian landscape fused with a Chinese aesthetic’.

Hi thanks bye, from Canada

We loved these birch ply cabinets, all curved with scalloped hand holes. Beautiful too look at and touch.

Even the shelving had curved brackets underneath, where we might have seen clean-cut right angles a few years ago. The accessories fitted the trend perfectly too. These two vases in bright blue – a really popular colour at the fair this year.

Bridging the trends with curves from natural materials, these wood-carved accessories are beautiful.

Design Milk

Natural and ‘eco’ materials

Not surprisingly green products featured strongly this year. But not just that, natural materials with a texture that helps to soften a design.

Woven materials have been really popular for the last eighteen months and with the scandi trend going strong, we don’t see that changing any time soon. We really liked these woven chairs – great feature pieces for those brave enough!

This stand by Fernando Laposse really caught our eye. Fernando has been collaborating with a family in Mexico to produce a new material made entirely from corn husks. Suitable for a wide variety of uses, corn husks are processed and flattened into this beautiful material. Normally a waste product, these beautiful colours and shapes can be used as flooring, wall covering, or even to make furniture.

We really loved these light shades that are made by heating up the wood and bending it. When it cools it retains its shape. So pretty!

These light shades by Heather Orr are made from reclaimed materials. With a focus on sustainability, recycled and reclaimed materials are sourced where possible such as recycled cotton cord and reclaimed vintage frames.

Heather Orr

Back to the ply… less green perhaps due to how it’s processed, but very much natural in style. We really like the wood grain in all its glory on these kitchen cabinets.

If you read our blog posts regularly you’ll know that we love cork! Sally visited a cork farm in Portugal earlier this year to learn all about it. Its a really beautiful and green product. Cork trees regenerate every couple of years so that trees aren’t harmed at all in the harvesting process. Also, many bottle corks are recycled and made into different products. Lots of cork on display at the fair – so good to see it!

As much as ethical, green materials are important to us, so is provenance. We love the ‘Sit Still Studio’ stand, where everything is made by a wife and husband duo in Wales – with all materials sourced locally. Just beautiful.

We never seem to have time to do everything we’d like to during London Design Week, but we’re very pleased we made the fair this year!

See you in 2020.

Anna Tonkin

I love interiors! I've always enjoyed styling my home and my husband will tell you I'm always moving things around and trying something new. My favs include Mid Century Modern and Ecclectic mixes of contrasting themes such as classical design and pop art.

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