London Design Week 2019 Trends

Last month our capital became a pioneering hub for innovative design and interiors, with the start of the greatly anticipated London Design Week 2019. There was a range of events staged in different venues across the city, and we were excited to see some new trends emerge. We share four of our favourite highlights from the show…

For a week in March, the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour hosted some of the most innovative and exciting designers from across the world, celebrating the new season in style. With 600 international brands across 120 showrooms, the show offered inspiration, advice, and expertise to both designers and creatives alike.

Visitor spent the day indulging in meet-the-designer sessions, new product launches, artisan demonstrations, Q&A opportunities, and a line-up of expert speakers. We were pleased to see that there was a strong international influence this year with patterns, colours, and shapes reflecting a global outlook.

Inspired by legends…

The brief throughout the whole show was ‘Legends’, with exhibitors asked to draw inspiration from key creative figures. Many displays reflected pieces from the Iconic Images photographic archives.

Through the lens of international photographers, images featuring luminaries from fashion, rock, film, and the arts were creatively interpreted across the showroom windows and design displays. Arteriors, Decca, Gladee Lighting, and Perrin & Rowe all chose fashion images by legendary photographer Norman Parkinson.

Image Credit: Norman Parkinson

Norman was one of the 20th century’s most renowned celebrity and fashion photographer, known for telling stories through his portrait images. He worked for a wide range of publications, notably Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, and other international magazines, which brought him worldwide recognition. His work had a casual yet elegant feel, and he was usually the first to capture iconic cultural moments, photographing everyone from celebrities, artists, politicians, and royalty.

You can easily create a show-stopping feature in a hallway or bedroom by hanging a large framed print that beautifully captures one of your favourite icons. Norman Parkinson prints are available in a range of sizes from Artnet.

Nina at home…

For the first time, Interior Designer Nina Campbell transformed her showroom at The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour into an exquisitely decorated apartment with three different spaces – an Entrance Hall, Drawing Room and Bedroom. Nina’s design cleverly encompasses her signature classic style with a contemporary twist, combining a rich colour palette with fresh patterns and textures.

Image Credit: Nina Campbell

The simple but striking entrance hall leads to a classic Nina Campbell drawing room decorated in a vibrant red. Occasional splashes of navy and paler blues give the room a ‘city’ look. The bedroom and bathroom is a haven of fresh greens, aqua, and whites.

If you’re looking to create a contemporary look that’s slightly reminiscent of the ’70s, opt for traditional shapes furnished with vibrant and colourful fabrics. This bespoke, British-made Beaufort Sofa by Nina Campbell has a touch of boho about it, but the cool shape and exceptional quality takes centre stage.

Eco-friendly design at Topfloor

A favourite with interior designers, Topfloor is known for distinctive textured rug designs and innovative production techniques. Founded by the iconic Esti Barnes, her rugs are found in prestigious private residences, luxury hotels, and yachts across the world.

Image Credit: Topfoor by Esti

Topfloor’s environmental values and dedication to using ethical materials make them a firm favourite. Bamboo is used extensively in their bespoke rugs, not only for its eco credentials, but also for its aesthetic and versatility. It’s a fast-growing grass that doesn’t need harmful chemicals or fertiliser to produce a good crop. It self-regenerates from its own roots, so it doesn’t need to be replanted. When compared to cotton cultivation, which requires large amounts of water, pesticides, and labour, Bamboo is a clear winner in the eco-stakes.

While silk is a popular and common material choice among rug and carpet makers, it comes at a price for the poor silkworm when the silk is extracted from their cocoons. Topfloor now uses new natural silk that has been extracted by a newly developed, cruelty-free process.

We were excited to see a few new designs launched at the show, including two hand-made optical illusion rugs, Emboss and Valentino. The rug’s 3D effect has been created with colour grading rather than by cutting patterns into the surface, resulting in a stunning finish.

A kaleidoscope of colour and pattern

This design really shouldn’t work – there’s far too much going on here, with a mix of bright colours and patterns. Nevertheless it was ultimately the main talking point of the show for all the right reasons.

Designed by British designer and architect Ben Pentreath for GP & J Baker’s smart new showroom entrance at the Design Centre, the scheme features layers of vibrant patterns and brave colours combined in an innovative and forward-thinking way. The whole room is built around GP & J Baker’s archival Magnolia fabric design, which was first drawn by William Turner more than 100 years ago.

These interiors aptly demonstrates how colour clashes, geometric patterns, and eye-catching finishes can be brought together in a way that feels right. This is by a clever juxtaposition of modern lighting, contemporary pottery and monogram glass pots. You’ll certainly need to be brave to bring this look into your home, but it has been coined ‘the new maximalism’ and it may well be the start of a very exciting interior design trend.