Meet Our House Guests

Supplementing all that’s on offer in the showrooms, London Design Week 2021 is also playing host to a dozen House Guests in the Design Avenue. From finely crafted furniture to paint, surface design and lighting, these brands all stand out for their commitment to individual, expressive design.

Young London-based furniture designer Christian Watson’s collection (above left) is a celebration of contemporary craftsmanship: elegant, slim steel frames are a recurring signature, paired with supple leather on his ‘Allingham’ chair, or bronze- or sepia-toned mirror on his ‘Summers’ coffee table. Loom, based just outside Bristol, is showcasing a new collection of bedside tables (above right) in eight designs that come in a variety of sizes, timber stains and metal finishes; while Shepel Furniture’s new launch is the Vivid collection – with its vibrant red stand (top right) living up to the collection’s name.

Need a colour hit? Head to Mylands (above left) where more than 200 shades of paint await you. The brand recently reported on its latest bestsellers, which demonstrate how tastes are changing in favour of bolder choices – from ‘Brompton Road 205’, a green that’s especially popular for kitchens, to ‘Threadneedle’, a refined pale pink.

Bold choices are not confined to paint colour, either: Sterling Studios is showing an incredible array of finishes, including lacquer derived from the traditional japanning techniques, creating surfaces of great depth, transparency and lustre (above right), as well as opulent glass and tactile embossed leather.

Colour and pattern have become intrinsic elements of kitchens and bathrooms, too. Victoria + Albert Baths is showing its new compact 1500mm ‘Amiata’ bath (above left)  in a dark blue (one of 199 RAL colours available), while on Perrin & Rowe’s stand, see sister brand Shaws of Darwen’s new patterned fireclay sinks (above right)  alongside a new instant-hot-water version of the ‘Armstrong’ tap.

Design Nation offers a fast-track to some of the UK’s best independent makers, with exciting materials and techniques a particular highlight. Its members include Blott Works, aka Dan Morrison, whose engineering background shows in his mechanical lighting; and Porter + Trundle, which makes glossy furniture in loops of multicoloured timber (above left) that’s truly joyful. Fine Cell Work is another example of British making with a compelling story behind it: the charity works with prisoners to hone their needlework skills, and for London Design Week 2021 it is showing its ‘Pineapple’ cushion in three new colours (above right).

Specialists in sculptural lighting installations, Haberdashery is showing ‘Bloom’, a suspended array of delicate porcelain ‘buds’, each one lit from within. It’s the perfect metaphor not just for spring but for the new growth, and new connections made, at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour during London Design Week 2021.