After navigating my way around Brompton for the London Design Festival, I couldn’t wait to see how 100% Design compared. You’d be forgiven for thinking that once you’ve been to one event, you’ve seen them all but actually, each design show has something different to offer. I wasn’t disappointed.
In fact, I came away with a very good idea of what we’re going to be searching for to improve our homes over the next year. Some products I could already picture being snapped up all over the country and others didn’t have the same mass appeal yet were impressive, one of a kind, items nonetheless.
Without further delay, here’s my roundup of the latest home products inspiring us into 2014. On the whole, current designing seems to have taken a more masculine turn with its celebration of fixtures and fittings and heavy use of wood and metal.
Stand out designing at INSIDHERLAND
Architect Joana Santos Barbosa based her designs on memories. Everything has a story worth telling and each piece in her Beyond Memory Collection leads onto the next, with links back to Joana’s cultural experiences. Her ‘Four… For Luck’ centre table takes on the appearance of a four leaf clover. The base comes in polished brass, while the top is a wooden structure finished in rosewood veneer and topped off with a matte varnish. Each petal is linked to the stem with polished brass detailing.
Whether it’s this legend of the four leaf clover or the ‘Three Rocks’ depicting a tale of two lovers, Joana’s pieces stood out for three main reasons – 1) The heart behind them 2) The imagination that went into their conceiving 3) The clever blend of wood and brass.
Over in the Super Design Market, Kirigami Plywood showcased their space saving collapsible furniture. Perfect for children’s bedrooms, their stools and toy boxes are able to withstand up to 200 kilos. I had a go at dismantling and assembling one of the stools. It was up in minutes and all of the 8 products are so lightweight that you can carry the pieces around in a bag, ready to re-assemble at any given moment.
Giving them a run for their money, Steuart Padwick’s developed a quick way of folding away a table to clear space. Each table folds in half to form a console or desk. As for the material, again wood’s making an appearance, with veneered oak accompanying brightly painted cross shaped table legs.
Appreciating fixtures and fittings
Back in August, I explained how fixtures and fittings from plug sockets to wires are being given the respect they deserve. Instead of working to hide them, we’re finding ways to place them centre-stage. Nowhere was this more evident than at Ilias Ernst. Designer Ernst Koning’s display included ‘Nail Cloud’ and ‘Illuminate’. The first — a bulb with a magnetic surround, attracting (you’ve guessed it) nails, and the second – an LED lightbulb with a larger lightbulb shaped laser-cut surround.
Taking the celebration in a different direction, Mullan Lighting showcased their pendant, wall and ceiling lights. New to the design circuit, the company’s designers learnt their craft working in Irish pubs before recently designing for the home. Their industrial approach comes at the right time, as we’re starting to embrace coloured wires and cables to secure our lights.
If you’re looking for some pendant inspiration, the message was clear – consider metal pendants in aluminium, nickel or copper, a la BTC Original and Davey Lighting.
As for the finishing touches to the room, Cherif Morsi’s, ‘Apotheque’ would be a perfect accessory for the sidetable. Rooted in anatomy and the struggle to balance the simple with the complicated, the vessel’s innermost intricacy is akin to a Plumen, twisted bulb.
If you’d rather move away from the fixture and fittings appreciation, copper vases, bowls and maybe even a fish ornament (!) could help root your lighting scheme. I found plenty of inspiration at the Copper in a Box exhibition.
100% Design is the biggest event during the London Design Festival, attracting over 25,000 visitors including architects, designers and retailers. Other companies worth seeking out include designyouedit with their magnetic shelving solutions (ideal for the hopeless DIYer!), FormRoom for their contemporary twist on classic display furniture (think heavy duty chests and Selfridges display cases) and Hanna Francis Design for her take on sustainable kitchenware and ceiling lights.
Feeling inspired to makeover your home’s interior? Post a job on Rated People in our Painter / Decorator category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradesmen.