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Throughout London Design Week 2017, workshops in participating showrooms were packed with visitors eager to learn from a series of experts at the top of their game. To capacity crowds in Tai Ping and Simpsons, KLC School of Design explored time-tested theories explaining the visual impact of colour. Over in Zimmer + Rohde, florist Larry Walshe led a demonstration on how to take your dining table from bleak to chic, while Sipsmith, pioneers of the London gin movement, held workshops and tastings exploring their imaginative approach to distillation in Fox Linton, Wired Custom Lighting and Decca (Bolier). In GP & J Baker, designer Tim Gosling led a masterclass amazing visitors with the art of drawing. It was proof positive that even in a digital age, an ability to draw is a treasured skill in interior design.

London Design Week 2017 is the spring event that keeps you ahead of the curve on the latest design topics. Highlights included sessions on colour and pattern at Wool Classics, virtual reality at Crestron EMEA, use of modern technology at The Silk Gallery and the benefits of social media at Topfloor by Esti. Plus behind-the-scenes peeks into the creation of collections from Holland & Sherry, Remains Lighting. Ulivi Salotti at Passerini, Casamance, Nemo lighting at Poliform and Halsted’s new Zambezi collection at Colony, which draws on magical creations by the Ardmore ceramicists.

 

Did you notice a camera crew at many of the Access All Areas events? They were on hand to speak to the industry’s top influencers. Tasked to capture the ‘moment’, they film and edit on site offering breaking news and insights from the people who make great design happen. With content so key to social media, these interviews offer unprecedented access as the shows unfold – at London Design Week 2017 nearly 50 interviews were posted during the six-day event, reaching out to an expanding digital audience. See them for yourself in the ‘Right Here, Right Now’ section of the blog.

From inspiration to implementation, London Design Week 2017 is packed with opportunities to get the inside track from some of the most creative minds in the industry. Visitors were able to meet design duo A Rum Fellow at Altfield, Tori Murphy at David Seyfried Ltd, Bernie de Le Cuona in her brand new showroom, award-wining rug designer Michaela Schleypen at Front Rugs, ace embroiderer Victoria Bain at J. Robert Scott, design doyenne Nina Campbell in her Design Centre East atelier, Christopher Peacock, Dimonah Iksel and Frans Schrofer at Simpsons. In-house designers from wallpaper and fabric houses also stepped out of the studio to explain how collections came together, from the making of Sanderson’s Art of the Garden to Mark Alexander’s use of linen in its latest collection at Romo.

Seeing experimentation and technique up close is always rewarding. In the Jason D’Souza showroom, a demonstration with a skilled artisan showed beautiful creations of a passementiere’s art. The designs by Wendy Cushing were actually inspired by period costumes and interpreted as exquisite embellishments. Other highlights included a bed maker at Savoir Beds, a weaver creating twill and herringbone designs on a Harris table loom at Chase Erwin and artist Samuel Waterhouse (pictured) using ancient Korean techniques at Black & Key.

Expert-led guided tours offering privileged access are burgeoning – now Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is entering the frame. At a sell-out event hosted by ELLE Decoration, deputy editor Ben Spriggs devised a behind-the-scenes tour to some of his favourite showrooms including Colefax and Fowler, Poliform, Front Rugs, Zimmer + Rohde, Turnell & Gigon and GP & J Baker. The Design Centre also led discovery tours throughout London Design Week 2017, introducing visitors to the most talked-about new collections and bespoke installations.

No-one does bespoke hand-made cabinetry like Christopher Peacock, and its longevity – 25 years in the design business – is a tribute to its success. The company philosophy has always been to produce handcrafted designs of the highest quality, using the finest materials and offering an unparalleled level of professional service to its clientele. Luxury lifestyle interiors include kitchens, libraries, dressing rooms, bathroom suites, wine tasting rooms and even butlers’ pantries. They have all the functions of modern design but radiate personality, human touch and warmth, conveying the feeling of stepping into a beautifully timeless space. The detail that goes into each scheme repays close attention, so head to Design Centre East to see the craftsmanship up close.

Christopher Peacock, First Floor, Design Centre East