• Steve

LONDON DESIGN WEEK 2018

Updated: May 10

This week plays host to ‘London Design Week 2018’ at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, the UK’s most influential and highly anticipated interior design event of the season.

From 4 -9 March, the event showcases over 600 international brands and 120 exhibitors from the world’s most creative designers, the largest of its kind in Europe.

Housed within the 155,000 sq.ft. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour on the banks of the River Thames, ‘London Design Week 2018’ is focused on celebrating individuality and inspiring excellence in interior design.

The event showcases over 100 immersive experiences including talks and presentations from the world’s most influential designers, demonstrations and behind the scenes glimpses of how collections were conceived.

Combine this with unique pop-up food and drink venues and specially commissioned art installations, the event is not to be missed for anyone wanting the inside track on the latest interior creative thinking.

Arriving at the event by the courtesy Mercedes from Sloane Square, the grand atrium of the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has been transformed into an Art Deco inspired brasserie, the ‘FT How To Spend It Restaurant’

Soft copper tone metallics and luxurious pastels mix with the natural colours and textures of giant two storey high trees surrounding the brasserie.

Beautiful blush pink floral arrangements by the renowned London florist Rob Van Helden in ‘Tiffany’ blue style vases, compliment the signature tones of ‘London Design Week 2018’

Moving through to the Centre Dome of the exhibition a specially commissioned art installation hangs proudly underneath one of the buildings beautiful glass domes.

‘Canvas of Creativity’ by Arabella McNie represents the growth and vitality of creative expression at ‘London Design Week 2018’ with larger-than-life whimsical paint brushes featuring fabrics from designers such as Zimmer Rohde, Sheila Coombes at Brian Yates and La Maison Pierre Frey.

With over 100 immersive experiences to explore, there is a steady flow of activities and not to mention food and fizz…perfect!

Each day has an events list as long as your arm ranging from product launches to behind the scenes talks and hands on interactive workshops.

Starting the morning at Colony located on the Second Floor of the Centre Dome, a tropical breakfast awaited surrounded by lavish plants and exotic birds to showcase the new collections by Barbara Osorio and Casamance. 

Sumptuous jungle and tropical inspired fabrics pop with flamboyant design, my personal favourites included the ‘Beauharnais’ by Casamance and the ‘Ecuador’ by Barbara Osorio collections.

Drinks and nibbles continued at the Julian Chichester showroom on the Ground Floor of the Centre Dome. Echoing the mantra of this years ‘London Design Week 2018’ creativity and personalisation are the foundations to Julian Chichester.

Described as an individualist, the collection is a twist on classic British made furniture with a huge splash of personality.

The stunning showroom was an plethora of colour and textures, with unique design pieces from sofas, beds and coffee tables to lighting and accessories.

If the abundance of interior inspiration has got you a little peckish then the all-day dining venue ‘South Dome Deli’ offers imaginative salads and cakes all freshly made from seasonal ingredients.

The light and airy atmosphere boasts spring pastel shades, stripped back wooden tables and white Tolix chairs.

Custom coloured ‘Lotus’ wallpaper by Galbraith and Paul adorns the walls of the deli whilst the bar is covered in a fabric wallcovering by Rubelli.

The deli staff can’t even escape without a little ‘London Design Week 2018’ stamp with their aprons custom-made in Brooklyn based designer Rebecca Atwood’s ‘Marble’ fabric.

After the little pit stop, it’s time to experience the shows daily ‘Design Discovery Tour’ a guided look through the highlights of the event accompanied by a lovely glass of bubbles.

On the tour we experienced ‘Legends’ a unique collaboration from the world of fashion, art and architecture with the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s residents to transform their showroom windows.

Style Library on the First Floor of the South Dome teamed fashion house Loewe with Morris & Co for their ‘Legend’ contribution, a reinterpretation of William Morris’ 1883 ‘Strawberry Thief’ creating a punk meets contemporary style including Loewe’s Gate Bag.

A key aspect to ‘London Design Week 2018‘ is the numerous daily talks and discussions in the Design Club on the Third Floor of the South Dome by international experts in the interior and design world.

‘Conversations in Design’ offer a rare insight into all aspects of design, talks include Sir Peter Osbourne on celebrating 50 Years of the brand Osbourne & Little, to a panel discussion on individualism, the new “craze” within interiors.

Three designers, Sophie Ashby, Hubert Zandberg and Susie Atkinson explore whether interior design is moving away from fashion trends to the concept of individualism?

After the fascinating talks at the ‘Conversations of Design’ it’s time for a little coffee break and the pop-up ‘Foodmarket’ in the Design Centre East provides fresh and fast refreshments including sandwiches, sushi, coffee and juices.

The eye-catching bright green artificial grass flooring creates a vivid and bold entrance which is softened by floral lilac and powder blue canopies and wallcoverings by Sanderson. 

Complementing the products from Sanderson, the seating areas are covered in ‘Kelim’ banquette fabric by Etamine from Zimmer & Rohde and lighting by Original BTC.

As the day starts to draw to a close, we headed to the Third Floor of the South Dome to join the launch of Jim Thompson’s Spring 2018 collections.

Thai style canapés and free-flowing champagne helped to celebrate the latest designs from Gert Voorjans.

The four diverse collections were truly individual and would create a real visual impact in a interior design project. The collection includes a relaunch of it’s bestselling handwoven silks.

Several glasses of champagne later, it was time to head back to Sloane Square, fully inspired (and only slightly tipsy) by the latest in interior design. More importantly, now with the confirmed philosophy that individuality and creative expression is the key to the future of design.

‘London Design Week 2018’ continues all this week until Friday 9th March.

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United Kingdom