Join me here in explorations of the places and people who inspire my passion for interiors. I’m always on the hunt for outstanding design, ancient, modern, natural and crafted.





September 22nd, 2015


“Traditional, artisanal & handcrafted” meet “Street art, geometrics & graffiti”

One of the events we always look forward to is London Design Week at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. We love the trends emerging this season. Not only is the harbour decked out in Tiffany Blue, but we can also see a clear resurgence in some of our favourite themes with traditional, artisanal and handcrafted influences continuing to feature strongly across fabrics, furniture and an array of other products. We also love the variety with the modernist, geometric and street art elements creating some dramatic design schemes at the other end of the spectrum.

The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour looking lovely in Tiffany Blue!

The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour looking lovely in Tiffany Blue!

Traditional, artisanal and handcrafted

This theme was already beginning to feature earlier in the year and has now continued strongly with many designs taking the best from the past and rooting it firmly in the present. Favourites included this collaboration between Victoria Bain and Whistler Leather with the intricately embroidered panels and tapes from Victoria Bain now adorning leather – we can see this working well on the back of a leather dining chair or across the drawers of a desk…

New collaboration between textile company Victoria Bain and Whistler Leather

New collaboration between textile company Victoria Bain and Whistler Leather

In fabrics GP & J Baker has just launched an artisan collection using the ancient art of hand blocked printing, while Kravet’s new Nomad collection looks to Mongolian tribes that hark back to the 13th-century.

The new "Artisan" collection by GP & J Baker and "Nomad" by Kravet.

The new “Artisan” collection by GP & J Baker and “Nomad” by Kravet.

The traditional theme continues across ironmongery (with brass making a much awaited comeback!) and in bathroom design. In another collaboration the brassware specialist Samuel Heath and Royal Crown Derby have launched this decorative new shower/tap collection combining hand finished brassware and hand moulded and intricately decorated fine bone china.

New Collaboration between Samuel Heath and Royal Crown Derby

New Collaboration between Samuel Heath and Royal Crown Derby

Street art, geometrics and graffiti

At the other end of the spectrum some of the more recent “painterly” trends have now morphed into these dramatic versions of street-art featuring a mixture of bold geometric and modernist designs. Again the key word here is “collaboration” – this time between contemporary textile brand Kirby Design and NYC based, British “doodle” artist Jon Burgerman to create the “rainbow scrawl” fabric you see on the far fight. The jury here in the office is still out on this one!

Collaboration between Kirby Design and Jon Burgerman

Collaboration between Kirby Design and Jon Burgerman

We do however love the new Street Art collection from Pierre Frey, working with a number of different artists and again taking inspiration from New York.

New street art collection from Pierre Frey

New street art collection from Pierre Frey

You can see more highlights from Focus 2015 on our Twitter feed https://twitter.com/hilaryjwhite

October 1st, 2013


Top 5 trends at London Design Week

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of trade shows including Maison et Objet, Decorex and Focus 2013. It has taken me several days to absorb everything and here are some key trends that I see leading the Interior Design world into Autumn/Winter 2013.

1. Taking inspiration from historical designs and styles

Last season the link between Fashion and Interior Design trends was extremely strong. This season many of the fabric and wallpaper houses have looked to the past for inspiration and reinterpreted historical designs with a contemporary spin.

My clear favourites were the new  “Historical Palaces” wallpaper collection by Cole & Son. As the name suggests the fourteen new designs take inspiration from The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace.

Cole & Son Historic Palaces wallpaper

New “Historical Palaces” wallpaper collection from Cole & Son

In a similar vein Zoffany have based their new “Tespi” and “Curzon” collections on the “grandeur of Venice in bygone days”…

The new "Tespi" range from Zoffany based on historical Venice

The new “Tespi” range from Zoffany based on historical Venice

Zoffany

The new “Tespi” range from Zoffany based on historical Venice

2. Grey is here to stay (or is it?)

No one can dispute the current predominance of grey. Paint specialists Little Greene just unveiled their new range of colours at Decorex, twenty eight new shades of grey, and Farrow & Ball have also included five very useful shades of grey in their nine new colours for the Autumn.

The new "GREY" range from Little Greene

The new “GREY” range from paint specialists “Little Greene”

Nine new colours from paint specialists "Farrow & Ball".

Nine new colours from paint specialists “Farrow & Ball”.

New range of "grey-based" wallpapers from Nobilis

New range of “grey-based” wallpapers from Nobilis

However, with the grey British winter imminent, I was secretly relieved to read in Ben Pentreath’s influential blog that he is considering painting his dining room a very bright shade of purple/pink! – I quote “And even more controversially. Check out what I’m doing in the Dining Room. Guys – I’m bored of tasteful greys. THEY ARE OVER.”

Proposed new colour for Ben Pentreath's dining room - is grey here to stay?

Proposed new colour for Ben Pentreath’s dining room – is grey here to stay?

Here is an image of the colour and Ben is very influential so I’m intrigued to see if we will all be abandoning grey when I write again on the trends for Spring 2014…

3. Metals and metallics  – Bronze is the new Black

Trend number three has to be the re-emergence of metallic finishes, most noticeably in fabrics, lighting and also in ironmongery and bathroom design. In terms of the latter I was impressed by the new range from Samuel Heath. It’s called FUSION and literally allows you to combine two or more of their finishes (e.g. bronze and chrome) into a single door fitting. The bronze and chrome work very well together.

New "FUSION" range from Samuel Heath allowing customers to mix and match different finishes

New “FUSION” range from Samuel Heath allowing customers to mix and match different finishes

Samuel Heath

Selection of finishes from the new “FUSION” range from Samuel Heath which can be mixed and matched to make an interesting combination for door handles etc…

4. Pattern and colour are holding their own and technology is enabling some stunning results

Pattern and colour are still featuring strongly in many of the showrooms, although in a more restrained way than earlier in the year. Lewis & Wood won the Homes and Gardens “Best Printed Fabric” award for their boldly patterned “kimono” fabric.  I liked this new range from C&C Milano  as it enables you to introduce pattern and colour in  a fresh and subtle way that will not date.

"Kimono" by Lewis and Wood, winner of the "Homes & Gardens" Best Printed Fabric award

“Kimono” by Lewis and Wood, winner of the “Homes & Gardens” Best Printed Fabric award

Fresh new collection from C&C Milano

Fresh new collection from C&C Milano

In addition, modern technology and printing techniques have enabled fabric house Romo and artist Jessica Zoob to collaborate and transform her paintings into a collection of printed fabrics, wallcovering and cushions – the reproduction detail is excellent. I love these, will be buying some soon for my sofas!

New Jessica Zoob collection of fabrics, wallcoverings and accessories for Romo

New Jessica Zoob collection of fabrics, wallcoverings and accessories for Romo

New Jessica Zoob collection in conjunction with Romo

New Jessica Zoob collection in conjunction with Romo

5. Iconic and quirky designs with a retro/metro feel

Last, but not least, the ongoing need to differentiate with such a vast range of products on offer frequently leads to some clever and unique designs – “Velvets” by Kirby Design being a very good example this season.

"Velvets" by Kirby Design

“Velvets” by Kirby Design

To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the London Underground, Kirby design collaborated with Transport for London to recreate five iconic designs originally used for seating fabric across the underground!  Whether or not you want to be reminded of the London Underground in your home, the end result is both eye-catching and original.

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