With its painted watercolour motif, this ‘Inverness’ wallcovering by Peter Fasano is catching the eye of tastemakers who stand at the crosspoint of tradition, colour and the thrill of the unexpected. The brand was founded in New York City in the 1970s and today its fabrics and wallpapers are all hand-dyed and printed in Massachusetts. They’re available at Tissus d’Hélène.
There is design inspiration aplenty in the Design Centre East showroom of Birgit Israel, with carefully conceived vignettes in a laid-back-yet-luxe style. Rest easy with this ‘Vivien’ oversized armchair, which is upholstered in 100% Orkney wool.
Many international design names at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour are investing in their showrooms. US brand Edelman Leather is a good example, debuting a new look in time for London Design Week 2019. The setting has been devised by renowned design firm Gensler to transform the space, putting the spotlight on luxurious leather in an inviting, hospitable environment. Every element has been created to enhance the visitor experience of viewing the product, using tactile materials such as understated white oak, marble, glass and antiqued brass, along with new lighting. As a backdrop to tell the story, look out for the display of boxing gloves, chic handbags and pieces of artwork, all made out of leather, of course. The aim is to explore, discover and gain inspiration from the artisanal beauty of its leather collections, as well as see and feel its depth of colour and texture.
Exuberant archival patterns are omnipresent this season. Take Braquenié’s Comptoir d’Orient, which is described as “an ode to exoticism,” the 18th century mania tor design from the Ottoman Empire, India, Persia and China. The fabrics feature a riot of flowers across silks and embroideries, with the patterns replicated across wallcoverings as well: by mixing them up, playing with scale and introducing joyful colourways – perfect for the traditionally minded aesthete and the daring alike – an important heritage has been given new impetus. Pierre Frey, whose grandfather founded the business, says of the collection: “We wanted to show that Braquenié can be used in a modern or contemporary environment. Classic is back – but it’s classic with a twist.”
Discerning denizens are discovering the barefoot luxury of super-soft carpet. Colourful ‘Satara’ rugs at Jacaranda Carpets have a notable shine as they are hand woven from 100% Tencel. It’s also available as a carpet, and with the option of bespoke colour-matching.
In an ever-more-machined world, this season we are celebrating makers and artisans. Their commitment to the creative process, rare skills and great endeavours are elevating craft to luxury status. Nothing is standard; everything is fastidiously considered.
Just a handful of examples include (pictured from top to bottom): On the Fringe, a new range by Tai Ping, an exploration of hand-tufted craft. In 12 abstract designs, yarns are freed to go beyond the outer edges, allowing them to be used on the floor or be hung as artwork on the walls. Davidson’s ‘Galaxy’ drinks cabinet is notable for its hand carved and hand gilded front panels. Miles x Bookshop distributes Alexander Lamont’s furniture which is renowned for its exquisite use of the ancient craft of straw marquetry where each piece is inlaid carefully by hand. Much inspired by the work of the great Jean-Michel Frank, Lamont also uses a wide variety of rare materials and finishes – mother of pearl, patinated copper, lustrous indigo, lacquer, shagreen and smoked Spanish eucalyptus – all of which give his pieces a distinctive, rich appeal. SA Baxter Foundry & Design Studio has developed collections created in collaboration with architects and interior designers. The ‘Joy’ door handles were named after a 70m superyacht designed by Bannenberg & Rowell. Artisans employ a unique wax-casting process for creating their moulds. The result is handcrafted hardware that harkens back to manufacturing of the past, updated for today.
Curated spaces at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour are a new way to bring products to life. Nina Campbell has transformed her showroom into ‘Nina’s Apartment’ (top two images), showcasing her wit, flair and versatility as an interior designer. There is an entrance hall, a drawing room, a bedroom and a bathroom with fascinating touches to discover at every turn. Open the ‘Easton’ secretaire and it has a vibrant red interior, while the sculpted ‘Charleston’ headboard is both elegant and dramatic. Bold plays of scale, and modern use of colour and texture, ensure they are welcoming as they are comfortable and stylish.
In the Turnell & Gigon at Home pop-up (central two images), Katharine Pooley has been inspired by F.Scott Fitzgerald’s book ‘The Great Gatsby’, using luxury materials and unapologetic opulence to transport showroom visitors to another era. Hand-embroidered designs from Palestrina London are a key feature with Art Deco motifs interpreted in silk thread and metallic yarns.
In Davidson, a collaboration with interior designer Anna Standish (pictured second from bottom) sees a stylised vignette featuring the West Coast collection that is inspired by her love of 1970s furniture. The ‘Malibu’ coffee table in bird’s eye maple is hand tinted in a vibrant shade of green, showcasing the fact that Davidson is introducing colourful timbers for the first time. In Design Centre East, new arrival Ventura (pictured bottom) is being presented as a one-stop shop. Beautifully conceived, there are tempting vignettes showcasing its range of luxury sofas, chairs, tables and soft furnishings.