Porta Romana’s ‘Urchin’ chandelier tells a tale of two birthdays. The lighting company has been in business for 30 years, and has commemorated the occasion by donating five of the chandeliers to the Royal Academy – which, a couple of centuries ahead, is 250 this year. The pieces, which are made from hand-painted folded steel, and are based on the organic form of a chestnut seed pod, now hang in the Shaw Staircase. ‘Urchin’ is also available in a silver or white finish, and forms part of Chronicle, an eclectic new collection that also includes sixties- and seventies-inspired silhouettes, reinterpretations of heritage pieces and unusual textures and materials such as plaster and flock.
In a smart navy and white livery that gives it a Mediterranean feel, this whimsical bottle-shaped ‘Marbella’ lamp from Arteriors has an inherent individuality. Each one is unique, thanks to its hand-painted stripes and the textures on the porcelain’s crackle glaze – setting it apart from a mass-produced design.
As the late Postmodern architect Robert Venturi once said: “less is a bore”. These days, highly individual interiors keep adding, layer on layer: artfully clashing patterns, unusual surface finishes from flocking to foil, and an abundance of finishing touches such as trimmings, lamps and decorative objects all contribute to a feast for the senses. Create an environment that surprises and stands out from the crowd with (pictured from top): bespoke rug (The Breakers, Adam Tihany) for Sacco Carpet; ‘Grace’ sideboard buffet, Oficina Inglesa Furniture; ‘Quadrate’ lamp base with ‘Bongo’ shade, Porta Romana; and ‘Rio Madera’ wallcovering by Casamance, from Colony.
A nocturnal walk under the street lamps of Paris inspired the design of this ‘Parisienne S’ table light, designed by Régis Botta for Ozone. The French lighting brand is new to GMR Interiors; its minimalist designs, made in Paris, combine traditional craftsmanship with LED technology, and are notable for their chic simplicity and grand presentation. The table light has a partially sandblasted glass shade, sitting on an aluminium and brass base.
Lacquered and other high-gloss surfaces add lustre and incredible depth to interiors, often providing a powerful shot of colour, too: if any finish summed up bold and confident decorating, it would be this one. Traditional lacquerwork is time-consuming and undertaken by skilled artisans, but gives unmatched results: head to Nina Campbell to see the work of US brand Oomph, which specialises in this finish and whose range extends beyond furniture to mirrors and lighting, such as this ‘Saybrook’ lantern (pictured top). Put some gloss on the walls – without the assistance of a specialist paint finisher – with Nobilis’s ‘Raku’ wallpaper (pictured centre), which has a crackle texture that adds even more opulence. Or add a shot of colour with Porada’s ‘Jok’ side table (pictured bottom), which comes with a red lacquered top that’s as playful and inviting as a glossy lollipop.
Design Centre, Chelsea Habour is “a fantastic place for us to showcase our collection” says Porta Romana’s chairman and creative director, as the lighting company celebrates 30 years in business.
Old has never looked so right now, as we look to heritage and tradition to ground us and make sense of a fast-paced world. Just as the Burberry trenchcoat is subtly reinvented season after season, designers are showing their appreciation for what has gone before, but nearly always with a twist that makes the pieces right for today. The clean lines, symmetry and sophisticated palette of Art Deco are a big theme in everything from tiles to lighting, while the highly stylised flowers of Ottoman textiles – updated with non-traditional colour palettes – is another thread. In furniture, designers seek to reinvent a classic by upping the scale or adding a new finish.
Pictured (top to bottom) are a ‘Block’ rug from Birgit Israel; ‘Ritz Harlequin’ mosaic tiles from Artisans of Devizes; a ‘Scarsdale’ console from Davidson; ‘Bursa’ fabric by Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd; and a ‘Strauss’ pendant from Wired Custom Lighting.
Birgit Israel, Ground Floor, Design Centre East
Artisans of Devizes, Third Floor, Design Centre East
Davidson, First Floor, South Dome
Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd, Second Floor, South Dome
Wired Custom Lighting, Ground Floor, North Dome (pop up)