It’s hard to pinpoint the exact design capital of the world, especially since each city boasts varying design influences. Is it Taipei, home to some of the coolest skyscrapers on the planet? Or could it be Mexico City, which boasts culturally-important attractions such as the Frida Kahlo museum and home studio of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Luis Barragán.
Yet, one city that continuously puts itself at the forefront of design is London, which attracts some of the best designers in the world. Every September, the city is host to London Design Festival — a trade event which brings a blockbuster schedule of over 400 events and installations across the city.
This year’s edition, which took place from 15 to 23 September, marked the festival’s sixteenth year. And if that’s one thing that is a given, it’s that the festival provides a preview to the trends that will dominate the design industry the following months.
With the festival done and dusted, we’ve curated a list of trends from London Design Festival 2018 that will set the tone in interior design for the rest of the year — with some tips that you can hopefully use for your home.
Jump To / Table of Contents
While it’s been an ongoing trend in interior design, botanicals are bolder and bigger at this year’s London Design Week. From wallpapers with giant fronds to palms and jungle leaves that are offset by smaller flowers; all signs point to the fact that this is only just the beginning.
British wallpaper creators Cole & Son presented their Botanical ~Botanica~ collection, a selection of 15 original hand-crafted wallpapers with larger-than-life prints that aim to bring nature into the home.
Colours reigned at this year’s design festival, whether it comes in the form of Pierre Frey’s multicoloured Double Jeux embossed vinyl wallpapers or Jean Monro’s Lustmore fabric, where the brand experimented with vibrant shades.
Additionally, the London Design Biennale, a satellite event which took place at the Somerset House, featured some of the most visually striking exhibitions, in which it called for entries from 40 countries and territories to respond to the theme ‘Emotional States’. Australia’s space was created by lighting designer Flynn Talbot, and made up of 150 strands of coloured fibre-optic lights which formed a rainbow. Called Full Spectrum, the installation aimed to celebrate Australia’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage the end of 2017.
This year, eco-friendly furniture took the front row. High-end furniture store Skandium Townhouse, for instance, was transformed and decked out with sustainable Scandinavian products from Danish brands Montana and Skagerak.
The project was part of the Brompton Design District, which featured the theme ‘Material Consequences’. It showcased design products that rethink attitudes to materials and waste, and the shift to a circular economy, taking over a block of vacated shops and offices from 197 to 205 Brompton Road.
Many designers showcased the versatility of glass at the festival this year. Take London-based Studio Sahil’s collection of tabletop objects made using different methods of combining blown glass with sand, which was showcased at the Form & Seek exhibition. The collection draws inspiration from natural phenomena, with patterns and formations, and materials and processes used in the making of the Sand to Glass collection — resulting in different visual and textural qualities.
British lighting brand Cameron Design House (CDH) also teamed up with Los Angeles-based balloon artist Jihan Zencirli (or Geronimo) to create an immersive light installation where CDH’s Helmi chandelier is transformed into a balloon sculpture. The Helmi light, inspired by a fisherman’s net, comprises a series of hand-blown glass pearls, each illuminated by a single LED filament bulb and suspended in the air by a gold chain net.
There is more to terrazzo than just kitchen and bathroom surfaces, at least that was the message Joyce Wang Studio aimed to relay. For London Design Festival 2018, the design studio created a range of limited-edition furniture and homeware called Flint. The collection featured nine terrazzo objects — including three tables, a vase, two bowls, a small dish, an hourglass and an ornamental sphere — that showcase the diverse potential of the material. These are available in three colours: charcoal, rose or sage.
The studio brought out the more precious qualities of terrazzo by accentuating its multi-faceted character, which includes refining the material to include bevelled edging and tapered elements. These features are then further accentuated by solid brass detailing with stroke, cross and ring motifs.