Design Centre Stories

Month: September 2019

Working in Synergy

Design collaborations are proof that originality flourishes when collective minds come together – and nobody does them better than the Italian design industry, which has decades of experience of working in synergy. Serial collaborations often take place over years, or even decades, meaning that products become ever more ambitious and refined as designers gain intimate knowledge of production techniques, and …

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Right Here, Right Now with Kerryn Harper-Cuss

"There's something new every single time you come; the showrooms are continually updated and there's always something exciting to see," says the editor in chief of The English Home about Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

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The Personal Touch

With more than international 600 brands across 120 showrooms to explore, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by choice at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Thankfully, a friendly personal shopping service is the ideal way to help narrow down what's in the showrooms, and pinpoint just what's required. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour's personal shopper Gabrielle Grubanovich (pictured above, holding fabric) led three special …

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Right Here, Right Now with Alexander Lamont

The founder of the Bangkok-based furniture company on the beauty of straw marquetry and how Focus/19 brings people together.

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In the Making

Focus/19's aim is to bring people closer than ever to the heart of a design story – and live demonstrations of artisan skills are the perfect way to deepen understanding and knowledge. The new Morris & Co showroom hosted block-printing sessions all week, with anyone invited to take part and create their own wallpaper (pictured top); decorative artists from …

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Right Here, Right Now with David Dolcini

The Italian designer on his love of wood and lighting, and his new work for Porada: "I put everything I have in it - my culture, my instinct, my vision."

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Right Here, Right now with Kathleen Butler

Fox Linton's designer on its new collections – "it's all about the yarn, the construction and the finish" – and why it's important to see them in person to really appreciate them.

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Born to Perform

Outdoor spaces are following indoor design cues, with furniture reaching new heights in performance, durability, comfort and elegance. Notable examples include US brand oomph, available at Nina Campbell, launching a debut collection of outdoor furniture (pictured top) that has the same playful look and gorgeous colours as its indoor lacquered pieces, but in powder-coated aluminium. Interior design and architecture studio …

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Right Here, Right Now with Geoff Collier

"We're very excited to be here" says the managing director of new showroom Collier Webb.

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Fringe Theatre

  The power of passementerie was in full effect at the FT How to Spend It Restaurant at Focus/19. Rising above the bright, airy space was a magnificent tiered tower of Houlès’ 'Ebony' cut fringe. Beneath this installation, distressed metallics and deeply textured fabrics brought a sense of urban glamour, with CTO Lighting’s alabaster and bronze ‘Lucid’ lights (from Fox Linton) …

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The Nature Cure

Direct access to a green space has been proven to soothe the body and boost the immune system – but it's even claimed that looking at an image of nature can help. The next best thing to the great outdoors might be this panoramic 'Amami' wallcovering, part of Villa Nova's Ostara collection at Romo. Bold brushstrokes have been scaled up …

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Right Here, Right Now with Adriel Lack

The design director of 1508 London on designing for prestigious branded hotels and how "we love coming down to the Design Centre...when we bring clients with us, it's nice to know they're in safe hands."

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Tour de Force

If you see groups of people strolling through Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour with glasses of champagne in hand, they’re probably taking part in one of Focus/19’s twice-daily Design Discovery tours. Setting off from different locations each day at 11am and 2pm, the tours take in half a dozen showrooms, offering key highlights such as the latest collections, design exclusives and …

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Right Here, Right Now with Neisha Crosland

"Putting pattern on the floor is really in at the moment" – the surface pattern designer on a dynamic new flooring collection for Tim Page Carpets.

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Delicate Details

Traditional passementerie may be firmly in the ascendant, but decorating brands want to evolve their offering, too. Colefax and Fowler's Theodore trimmings are described as "an updated take on a classic story," with delicate details and a refined palette that includes faded pink and blue and punchier tomato red. A range of hand-made tassel tie-backs complements the braid, rope and …

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Right Here, Right Now with Andrea Bonini

The head designer for Turri talks though his creative process for the new showroom in the South Dome.

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Strokes of Genius

Pierre Frey maintains its daring approach to design with an exciting collaboration with French artist Christian Astuguevieille. Known for his furniture and sculptures wrapped in rope and cord, he has brought his dynamic energy to the Coquecigrues collection of bold fabrics and wallpapers. Many designs feature Astuguevieille's free-flowing ink brushstrokes – his "imaginary writing" – augmenting archive designs. 'Fontaine at Animaux …

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Look to the Skies

Filling the Centre Dome with its creative use of the latest fabrics, Focus/19’s Sky Garden aerial installation asserts how important greenery and nature have become to interiors. ‘Biophilia’ – love of nature – is the buzzword, and these suspended lanterns in the freshest new-season fabrics, with trailing fronds emulating seedpods spinning to the ground, strived to encapsulate the trend The …

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Right Here, Right Now with Lisa Dawson

"Just being able to see and touch it means you can envisage it in your home much more easily" – the interiors writer and blogger on why it's better to experience products in person.

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Rock Solid

Geology, time and the elements inspired Alexander Lamont’s Peninsula range, which has an emphasis on finishes that require meticulous workmanship, including parchment and straw marquetry. This ‘Aurora’ cabinet’s black lacquer and intricate eggshell surface (pictured top) looks like fractured earth close-up, while at a distance it has a striking ombré effect. It’s available at Miles x Bookshop. Rocks and minerals are …

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Right Here, Right Now with Paolo Moschino

Paolo Moschino of Nicholas Haslam Ltd on hosting artisan demonstrations at Focus/19, and how "designers love to come here, and there's always a reason to come back".

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Wild Appreciation

Flora and fauna have long been ubiquitous in interiors, but it's nature's most spectacular and exotic creatures that are currently leaving the biggest footprint. Whether it's big cats prowling through lush jungle foliage, monkeys perched in trees or parrots in flight, these animal-themed designs are about pure escapism, transporting us to far-flung places. Classic animal prints such as cheetah and …

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Right Here, Right Now with Pip McCormac

"I love getting up close and personal with the fabrics... it's such a rich source of inspiration for us," says the executive editor of LivingEtc, Homes & Gardens and 25 Beautiful Homes about Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

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Refined Style

Otti, Vincent Van Duysen’s second outdoor collection for Sutherland Furniture, is typical of the Belgian architect’s artfully reserved aesthetic. It's named after Bauhaus textile designer Otti Berger, whose way with weaving is paid tribute to with the collection's rope detailing – the high-performance rope itself is from Sutherland's sister company Perennials. The 11 pieces include an aluminium sofa and lounge …

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Right Here, Right Now with Nicholas Ashley-Cooper

The 12th Earl of Shaftesbury on the revival of his ancestral home, St Giles House, and his ethos to respect its history while "putting our own personality in the building".

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A Tailored Approach

Davidson has launched a sister brand for built-in furniture, complementing the freestanding pieces that it has been designing and making for 30 years. From a single bookcase to an entire library, Davidson Fitted takes the company’s existing technical ability and design expertise and applies it to this new sector. The launch is symbolic of increased demand for bespoke, tailored elements …

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Right Here, Right Now with Karen Howes

The CEO of Taylor Howes on a new collaboration with SA Baxter, and how "we're in the Design Centre every week - it's really important to do your sourcing form somewhere as amazing as Chelsea Harbour."

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Whatever the Weather

Flexform is launching its first outdoor collection, which includes high-performance versions of enduring classics, such as the curvy ‘Thomas’ chair, first designed by Antonio Citterio in 2000. It is made from iroko, with water-repellent upholstery. Flexform, Ground Floor, South Dome

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Right Here, Right Now with Jessica Doyle

The Daily Telegraph's design and interiors editor on tile trends, and why people want to introduce more natural elements into their homes.

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Much More

Focus/19 guest pop-ups are proving fertile ground for discovering new products. Pictured top to bottom are: Blithfield's Brookfield collection, which includes 'Fern',  based on a design by early-20th-century artist and designer Peggy Angus; Alternative Flooring's Stair Art patterned runners, which harness the talents of designers including Ella Doran and Margo Selby; Riviere's collaboration with O&A London, …

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Right Here, Right Now with Luca Martorano and Mattia Albicini

The co-founders of Italian design office Draw Studio on new pieces designed for Ceccotti Collezioni, and some favourable first impressions of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

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Home Heritage

Renewed interest in heritage from a younger generation of decorators means that the past has never seemed so forward-looking. Inspired by a mix of innovation, tradition and British daring, interior designers are creating eclectic schemes that mix historical references with bold modernity – reflecting changing lifestyles but keeping one foot anchored in tradition. All this is helping to invigorate those brands …

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Right Here, Right Now with Giles Kime

The interiors editor of Country Life on Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour's events programme: "The most fantastic forum for people to come along and deepen their knowledge and understanding."

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A Landmark Project

SA Baxter Design Studio & Foundry and Taylor Howes have collaborated on the Churchill collection – a suite of hardware with a unique slice of history as its source of inspiration. Located in the heart of Whitehall, the Old War Office is a grade-II* listed Edwardian building where Winston Churchill and many other luminaries once plotted, now being transformed in …

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Right Here, Right Now with Anna Beeber

Anna Beeber, partner at Champalimaud Design, talks about how history and culture feeds into hotel design, and how her aim is to "capture some of the soul and magic of a destination" in a scheme.

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An Archive Reinvented

Cole & Son has returned to its roots with its Pearwood collection, a rich homage to 19th-century British design. The portfolio of 10 wallpaper designs draws on the company's block print archive, while incorporating contemporary design and bold colour palettes. The name is inspired by the fruit wood used by Cole & Son founder John Perry to make the original …

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Right Here, Right Now with Terry Clayton

Arteriors' senior vice president of sales on the brand's latest Designer Interpretations collaboration – the Medina Lounge, a curated space in the showroom created by Hill House Interiors.

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At Ease

Cossetting comfort is on the design agenda, and the ‘Gentleman’ armchair By Poliform is just right for creating a sense of ease. Its designer, Marcel Wanders, is known for introducing a little humour to his work, and in this case the chair’s exaggeratedly high back offers a new take on a more traditional style. Poliform, Ground Floor, South Dome

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Right Here, Right Now with Natalia Miyar

How childhood experiences shaped the architect and interior designer's creativity, and why Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour "feels like home".

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Perk of the Show

Ground Coffee Society is serving complimentary coffee throughout Focus/19. Launched in 2008 by former professional drummer Dave Dickinson, the roaster and distributor - which has a flagship cafe in Putney - has now launched a range of compostable coffee capsules as well as subscription packages for customers to brew their favourite coffee at home. Visitors to the show can enjoy …

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Right Here, Right Now with Vincent Van Duysen

The architect and designer on the "controlled curves and angles" of his new Otti collection for Sutherland Furniture, and how Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is "the ultimate destination for interior architects, decorators and architects like me".

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Creative Expression

Curated spaces with the showrooms are some of the highlights of Focus/19: they show off the new season's collections, seen through the eyes of leading interior designers. For example, Hill House Interiors has created a space within Arteriors' showroom (pictured top) as part of the US brand's ongoing Designer Interpretations series. Styled as a glamorous bar area with a tented …

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Right Here, Right Now with Paul Costelloe

The fashion designer moves in to furniture design thanks to a bespoke collection for Ventura, with a crossover in his use of materials and colours.

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Wild Success

A vision of refreshing greenery complements Focus/19's themes of growth and nature, courtesy of florist John Carter. Naturalistic woodland planting with various species of fern, cushioned by moss, line the steps up to the entrance, while the Centre Dome's concierge desk features oversized vases that effervesce with grasses such as setaria and fluffy wild clematis. The specially designed food and drink …

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Right Here, Right Now with Fredericke Winkler

Hodsall McKenzie's design director on why she only uses natural fabrics, and how Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is "a very important inspiration for me as a designer".

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Sculptural Showstoppers

  Italian artist Viola Lanari is one of the most exciting talents in her field, earning world acclaim for her sculptures in plaster. Her collaboration with Porta Romana captures the best of her work, marrying the simplicity of raw white plaster with organic and sculptural shapes. Recast in composite, and finished in plaster white, Lanari’s designs for Porta Romana’s Bohème collection …

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Right Here, Right Now with Hubert Zandberg

"They keep on improving it and making the experience more immersive. It's inspirational," says the founder of Hubert Zandberg Interiors about Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

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Nurturing Talent

Porada is supporting the next generation of designers with its own international award. The 2018 winner, Milan-based student Niccolò Devetag, has now seen his creation, this elegant ‘Ninfea’ writing desk in walnut and leather, go into production. Porada, First Floor, South Dome 

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Right Here, Right Now with Suzy Hoodless

The interior designer on her "masculine, yet empowered" curated space inside the GP&J Baker showroom, and how "when you come to Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, you know you're going to find what you need."

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Making Themselves at Home

Adding to the potent mix of brands at Focus/19, there are a raft of guest pop-ups augmenting the home-grown talent. Companies of international standing, many of which can't be seen anywhere else during the London Design Festival, are exhibiting a breadth of products, from lighting to furniture, fabrics and paint. Based in the North Dome, Christopher Farr (pictured top) teamed up …

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