Design Centre Stories

A Cleaner Future

Post Covid-19, one design development we're likely to see in commercial projects is the increased use of textiles that can be disinfected. Jane Kennedy, director of StudioTex, says that she expects to see a much greater uptake of these fabrics, not just in healthcare environments but in places such as hotel rooms, too.

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Colours of the World

This 'Dutch Tulip' paint is one of the shades launched as part of Andrew Martin's first paint collection, available online. A continuation of the brand's signature globe-trotting style, the range has been influenced by the colours of destinations near and far.

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Royally Appointed

Oficina Inglesa Furniture has made furniture for 11 newly refurbished rooms at Claridge's, including the Prince Alexander Suite, which has been designed to reflect both the hotel's Victorian heritage and the elegance of 1940s Europe.

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Budding Designer?

Pierre Frey has launched a competition for children aged 3-12 years to create their very own wallpaper – and 25 winning designs will go into production. Open to the children of the company’s customers, employees and distributors, it will benefit the Fondation de France, which supports children in danger of dropping out of school.

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An Adventure in Art

Interior designer Kelly Wearstler's spaces are effortlessly glamorous yet retain a laid-back Californian cool. Her latest collection of fabrics and wallpapers for Lee Jofa, available from GP & J Baker, has just been released, and includes reinterpretations of existing creations as well as brand-new designs, many of which were inspired by artistic movements.

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Manufacturing Reawakens

Cautious easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK and across Europe means that factories and workshops are coming back to life, while adapting to new safety measures.

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Scene Stealers

Fabrics and wallcoverings featuring highly detailed landscapes and courtly scenes are having a moment. Here are a few of recent offerings that will induce a sweet sense of escapism.

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The Power of Now

Spending more time at home, many people's thoughts have turned to redecorating, whether a complete overhaul or a smaller rejuvenation with a few well-judged accessories. Several brands to be found at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour operate online shopfronts, so there's no need to wait a moment longer: getting products delivered to the door is only a few clicks away.

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Crowning Glory

Passementerie is sometimes described as the jewellery of an interior – the essential last detail that sets everything off. Looking at spring's latest launches, however, it seems that trimmings are taking over as the star of the show, with glittering embellishment, bright colour and bold pattern.

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Meaningful Moments

Dedar has found a nostalgic way to stay in touch with the sociable moments of everyday life, via the power of illustration. It has commissioned Icinori – aka illustrators Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller – to create a Minutes, a series that captures those moments in time that we might have formerly taken for granted,

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Regency Revival

Design practice Albion Nord has brought a John Nash-designed London terraced house up to date, reinstating grand period features but keeping a more eclectic approach with the interiors – with input from Kvadrat at Home, Vaughan and Samuel & Sons, among others.

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The Geometry of Nature

Woven wine branches were the stylistic starting point for Turri's Vine collection; the metaphor also works for the overall design concept, which branches off into different territories within a home, yet retains a comprehensive overall look.

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Designed to Heal

Showrooms from Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour are contributing to a charity scheme that aims to create room makeover “havens” for accredited NHS key workers who have been on the front line during the coronavirus pandemic. Interior designer Francesca Rowan Plowden initiated Design Havens for Heroes in a bid to thank NHS staff for their selfless fight against Covid-19,

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Island Escape

While we are at home, a little design escapism is a welcome distraction, so it's no wonder that lush vegetation continues to be a dominant theme for decorating. New to Colony, Casamance's 'Balata' fabric is an evocative interpretation of Martinique's Jardin de Balata, a tropical garden known for its palm trees and other exotic species.

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The Heritage of Home

Home comforts are coming to the fore in a time of disruption. There's a soothing, cocooning sense of satisfaction to be found in the familiar, but schemes that mix innovation and tradition manage to keep up with changing lifestyles while staying rooted in the past.

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Desert Beauty

The canyons and plateaus of Spain’s Bardenas Reales desert inspired the latest Larsen collection, available from Colefax and Fowler; the region’s sculptural rock formations and arid beauty have been translated into highly tactile fabrics, irregular weaves and embellished sheers. 

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Make it Personal

One of the advantages of working from home is the way that it allows for a much more personalised approach to the design of our surroundings. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is conversing with its creative community to find out how they're making it work, as a way to to stay inspired and stimulated, and celebrate great design.

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Seventies Luxe

Channelling the era of Halston, Yves Saint Laurent and Warhol, Baker's new Baker Luxe collection was inspired by the daring art, fashion and design of the seventies. The 90 new designs – Baker's largest-ever collection – are described as "art pieces for the home".

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A Chair With Charisma

Ventura has collaborated with Trinny Woodall on a chair that reflects Woodall's personal style and the branding of her beauty company, Trinny London.

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Writing Home

Elevate those humdrum spreadsheets and emails to a higher plane with Oficina Inglesa Furniture's 'Gagne' secretaire, one of several new pieces added to its collection of more than 600 furniture designs.

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Journey into Craftsmanship

Gainsborough has collaborated with Bentley on a concept car to celebrate the luxury automotive company's centenary – and while it has a futuristic outlook, it is also firmly rooted in the hand-made.

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Keep Dreaming, and Creating

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour checks in with its design community of industry leaders as they adjust to the 'new normal' while striving to stay connected and creative. Get some professional tips and ideas on working from home from Timothy Corrigan, Tim Gosling, Henriette von Stockhausen, and Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen.

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Good Works

Interior designer Laura Hammett is supporting NHS Charities Together by giving away a bespoke, furnished and styled bedroom with a total value of over £35,000, created with donations from the design community including Phillip Jeffries, de Le Cuona, Chase Erwin, Dedar and Baker.

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Matter of Taste

Easy on the eye and pleasant to the touch, a matt white finish has a softness that feels just right for a troubled world. Several new launches at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour are exploring this theme, from sculptural lighting to silky-smooth baths and tactile fabrics.

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A Love Letter to Venice

Rubelli's collaboration with architect Peter Marino reflects a dual passion for Venice, using textures and shimmering colours to recreate the city’s unique watery location and quality of light.

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Printed on the Memory

Lewis & Wood has delved into the Victoria & Albert Museum's peerless archive of textiles to create its latest collection, Stitch Prints, inspired by Greek 19th-century embroideries.

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Ancient & Modern

US decorator Michael Aiduss has created a collection for Houlès inspired by the decor of the early-20th-century Villa Kerylos – the Ancient Greek-style home on the Côte d’Azur that's a bucket-list destination for design enthusiasts.

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The Joy of Home

Joy and comfort are just as important as productivity in these uncertain times – so how do the experts create the optimum working environment? Design Centre Chelsea Harbour asked leading interior designers to share not only their own home workspace set-ups, but also their top tips for curating stimulating settings from which to work.

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Paper & Stone

These glazed stoneware 'Corrispondenza' tiles are the work of hotly in-demand Milanese designers Dimore Studio. Abstract to the eye at first, a closer look reveals a more three-dimensional pattern that recalls paper planes and origami-like folds.

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Better Together

As London Design Week 2020, the industry's spirit of togetherness was never on better form. That sense of community ensures, despite physical distancing, so Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour asked some leading figures from the design world what they remember most about the show, as a way of keeping in touch with those memories, and one another.

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Period Piece

Frank & Faber's Number One Bruton, a boutique bolthole in Somerset that designer Sarah Ellison says "feels like the home of an eccentric but very stylish relative who had impeccable taste, and had collected possessions from all over the world."

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A Show of Appreciation

Design has the power to bring people together, and London Design Week 2020 was when the community came together to share ideas. Looking back to happy times, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour asked designers for their outstanding memories of the show – and here are some of their responses, with more to follow.

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Staying Home in Style

Curious to discover how the creative community was adapting to a life of remote working, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour asked designers to reveal their new set-ups at home. The results reveal not only some enviable interiors but insights in to how to make home-working more of a pleasure.

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A Rosy Glow

Everything's heating up, as colours from the warmer end of the spectrum are dominating: think soft peach, blush and coral; earthy terracotta and Etruscan red; and punchy watermelon and tangerine.

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Right Here, Right Now with Martin Hulbert

"The Design Centre is like a big library that we come to for all sorts of inspiration – and to be amongst our friends," says the founder of Martin Hulbert Design. 

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Help at Hand

How US textile company Kravet is using its resources to fight the coronavirus crisis, donating fabrics and making masks in its South Carolina factory.

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A Mutual Appreciation

Pierre Frey’s fabrics are a key ingredient in the eclectic décor of Soho House’s global stable of members’ clubs, from Barcelona to Hong Kong. Now, the two brands have made it official, with a capsule collection of furniture and accessories that incorporate textiles from the French design house.

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Beyond Wallpaper

Paper may be the standard material for covering the wall, but why be standard? The relentless ingenuity and imagination of design brands have led to the development of some incredible alternatives, with a particular focus on natural materials, from cork to shells.

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Maintaining the Momentum

With remote working now the norm, showrooms are doing all they can to smooth the transition and help their clients continue their design projects as seamlessly as possible. Digital platforms have become essential, allowing their audiences to have virtual access to the sorts of services previously found in bricks-and-mortar spaces.

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Making its Mark on Mayfair

Jouin Manku has devised a scheme of "deep, graceful calm" at MayFair Park Residences, incorporating textiles from Design Centre brands Holland & Sherry, Nobilis and Dedar.

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A Fresh Eye on Heritage

The Dome Cafe at looks at heritage designs with a fresh eye, reinventing traditional chinoiserie for modern interiors.

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Cabinet of Curiosities

Nobilis' new panoramic wallcoverings celebrate pure escapism, observing trompe l'oeil effects with a playful eye.

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Guest Appearance

More than 20 house guests took up residence in the Design Avenue for London Design Week 2020. Only in situ for the duration of the show, their presence brought an extra layer of inspiration, creativity and artisanship, with a broad offering of products, from the opulent surface design of Sterling Studios to African-made woven lighting by Ilala.

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Right Here, Right Now with Selina McCabe

"We have embraced the Design Centre – it is our starting point for every single project," says the head of interiors at Winch Design. "We're lucky to have it on our doorstep, and to have friends who work here that really go over and above for us."

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Best Foot Forward

Taking in the best that the showrooms have to offer – all accompanied by a glass of fizz – London Design Week 2020's Design Discovery Tours were the fast-track to the show's highlights.

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An Evergreen Scheme

Interior designer Emma Sims-Hilditch has reimagined an area of GP & J Baker's showroom as a sumptuous and comfortable bedroom. It's the latest in a series of 'curated spaces' in which stellar names in decorating create room sets to inspire.

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Right Here, Right Now with James Lohan

The founder of Mr & Mrs Smith on the design crossover between houses and hotels; he describes Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour as "a one-off – I can't think of anywhere else quite like it."

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Tailored Tours

London Design Week 2020 presented an opportunity to take a deeper dive into what happens in the showrooms, thanks to a series of tours helmed by Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour's personal shopper Gabrielle Grubanovich.

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Right Here, Right Now with Rita Konig

The interior designer on a new personal project in rural surroundings – "you don't have to have country furniture in a country house" – and how she uses Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour as a resource: "when I come with clients it's always terrific. Our life is much easier being able to nip down here and find new things."

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A Tailored Approach

Celebrating its dual heritage in the worlds of both tailoring fabrics and interiors, Holland & Sherry’s 9-10 Savile Row collection is named after the esteemed address where the company still operates its apparel atelier.

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