Interiors UK 2012 combined the best of classic and contemporary British design under one roof. There was inspiration for everyone looking for a fresh look from reputable English and European brands such as John Sankey, Halo, Ercol, Calligaris, Brunstad and newcomers on the design scene such as Pitfield London and The New English.
Many British designers admitted they have taken little inspiration from current trends and have gone a step further by bringing a more personal touch to their collections. Shawn Clarkson, owner and founder of lifestyle store Pitfield London, says, "We are making the trends up. We are a lot more daring with our interior concept. It's fun and extraordinary."
Pitfield's current collection combines vibrancy with classic lines and several furniture pieces that have been re-upholstered with bold retro colours like orange and green. There is also an abundance of geometric shapes across the soft furniture, fabric and wallpaper collections. "We have lots of new and vintage enamel wear, modern-style rugs, fabrics and cushions as well as a beautiful range of vintage furniture, which has been re-upholstered with our own fabric designs," says Shawn.
The upcoming collection will have a California vibe and a tropical theme. When the online store launches next month, these items will be available internationally.
Suzanne O' Flynn, product designer for John Sankey and Henderson Russell, says she opted for soft palettes for the latest handmade furniture at John Sankey. "It's a gentle, beautiful collection with luxury fabrics inspired by jewels. We've sourced fabrics from Italy, Belgium and India to complement our classic folklore furniture designs. The Henderson Russell range is fresh, young and genuinely different in design, very minimal but stylish. There are lots of clean, contemporary shapes and earthy colour tones."
Design guru Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen was tasked with decorating and styling a living room and bedroom space with the theme of a British stately home. 'My Lady's Chamber' had a retro-boudoir theme while ‘His Lordship's Lair' was inspired by gentlemen's clubs with additional military references. His concept highlighted British heritage, craftsmanship and quality manufacturing.
The show's Design Village was the perfect place to view products from both recent graduates and established designers. The Workshop retail store, which started off as a social project in 2006 to help students enter the market, was there to promote its latest home gadgets and furniture.
Dezeen showcased its quirky home-ware range, including the distinctive Diamond Lights by Eric Therner for Frama, the Copenhagen design brand. Its website was included in Time magazine's Design 100 list of the most influential forces in global design and in Design Week's Hot 50 list of key figures in design. Definitely one to watch.
The New English had a great collection of its ceramic products on display including the Love London series of plates, which captures the city's essence with photographs taken by design correspondent for The Evening Standard, Barbara Chandler.
Paul Bishop, co-founder, says, "London captures the imagination like no other city in the world and these bone china pieces celebrate it in its full glory. The city is now at the centre of so much global interest due to the Olympics and many designers are incorporating the theme in their designs." This show certainly proved that British design is alive and well and the best news is, it's available to keen web shoppers everywhere.