The Cutting Edge of Glass
Glassmaking in the Czech Republic goes back to the Middle Ages, and it is still a centre of excellence and innovation. Gladee Lighting's Diversity collection, the work of renowned glassmaker Jaroslav Bejvl, pushes the boundaries.
Ahead of the Curve
With its sweeping curved facade overlooking Regent’s Park, Regent’s Crescent makes one of London’s grandest architectural statements. Although the 200-year-old John Nash facade may be original, the spaces behind them have been completely remodelled for modern living, with a new residence by Millier recently unveiled.
Leather in Detail
Although Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has showrooms that are entirely dedicated to the supply of leather – which ends up upholstering the banquettes of the world's best restaurants and the headboards of the finest hotels and homes – this most versatile of materials also has a strong presence when it comes to the design of stand-alone products too.
Revived & Restored
Porta Romana has launched The Upcycling Club, a refurbishment service that allows people to have their existing lighting restored to its original condition, or part-exchange old products for new.
Vaughan has joined forces with some of the industry's most highly regarded names, including Susie Atkinson, pictured, for the return of its Made in the Shade campaign, which benefits solar lighting non-profit Watts of Love.
Interior designer Laura Hammett has created a lighting collection in collaboration with Bella Figura. Facet consists of five pieces – a round chandelier, rectangular chandelier, lantern, wall light and table lamp – which feature brushed bronze, gold or nickel frames, and 'dry ice' glass that produces a warm, calming glow.
The Go-Anywhere Light
Collier Webb's latest launch is a collection of portable, battery-powered lights made with the hospitality market in mind. Showcasing a variety of manufacturing techniques, from hand-spun shades to leather wrapping, casting and machining, the lights have a battery life of ten hours, and can be made in custom sizes and finishes.
Glint & Glow
There's a certain lustre permeating autumn's new launches. Subtly reflective surfaces create dynamic design schemes, glinting when the perspective changes, or taking on entirely different qualities when lit with daylight or electric light.
Still in Service
David Hunt Lighting’s ‘Station’ pendant is celebrating 40 years in production. To mark the landmark, the light has been released in four new colours as well as bespoke shades and finishes.
Under the Surface
This bronze and eggshell ‘Cupola’ pendant takes centre stage in the Alexander Lamont + Miles showroom, a new space is dedicated to the work of Alexander Lamont as well as a wider stable of brands brought together by Miles de Lange.
Danish lighting company Louis Poulsen, available from Interdesign UK, is best-known for its classic mid-century designs – but the 'Keglen' pendant is a new addition to its canon of thoughtful, simple products.
The Design the Rainbow installation is currently brightening the Design Avenue with its pop-up spaces for all seven colours of the rainbow. Reflecting the rule-breaking, expressive interiors of the seventies, the orange scheme also conveys the sense of escapism that many of us are craving, with orange's exotic associations with tropical fruit and spices from far-flung lands.
As we hit high summer, the wide plains, sun-bleached colours and wild beauty of the savannah are being channelled in interiors. And while the palette may be neutral, an abundance of texture stimulates both the eye and the hand, with intricate details that demand to be touched.
Blue Skies Ahead
The Design the Rainbow installation has transformed the Design Avenue into an uplifting spectrum of colour. Delve into the detail of the blue scheme, from artisan ceramics to chinoiserie wallcoverings and a perfect chaise longue.
Head to the Tollgård showroom to see the latest creation from British lighting design studio Nulty Bespoke. The mottled glass shades of 'Perla' were inspired by oyster shells – with the light source the pearl at its centre.
Only the Essentials
Arteriors has curated a collection called Essential Lighting. Like the interiors equivalent of fashion's little black dress, the intention is to pinpoint the products from its extensive catalogue that possess a combination of versatility and timelessness.
Open by Appointment
As restrictions ease, many showrooms are now operating on an appointment-only basis. The picture is changing all the time, but here are the showrooms that have stated they will be open by appointment for the week commencing 1 June.
Nicky Dobree is best known as the influential interior designer who gave the luxury ski chalet market a much-needed pivot away from a rather dated design rut. Although she has also worked on many prestigious private homes she had never worked on a commercial project before – until Plaza 18, a boutique hotel in Andalucia, came along.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Maestro’s Next Move
Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd has moved to a new location in the Centre Dome. As an A-list decorator, Moschino has turned his talent for creating stunning interiors to his own showroom space, which features a sumptuous four-posted bed at its heart.
Keep in Touch
With daily digital overload, enhanced tactility has never been more important. From textured wallcoverings to woven leathers, thick bouclé carpets and incredible embroidery, it’s all so much more interesting than swiping a screen.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
CTO Lighting’s poised ‘Trevi 3’ is named after the Piazza di Trevi, ancient Rome’s junction of three roads – better known for its Baroque fountain. It demonstrates a feat of balance, with its trio of slender arms, each one a different length, terminating in an opal glass globe. Find it at Fox Linton. Fox Linton, Second Floor, North Dome