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Design Week 2017 at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

“My team spend a lot of time here, working up ideas that will be in the pages of the magazine in a few months’ time,” says the editor of Homes & Gardens, Deborah Barker. She is talking about Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour (DCCH) of course, the ultimate interior design destination for trade and public. DCCH is home to a number of well established and new brands in fabrics, paint, lighting, furniture as well as for interior design studios like TH2Designs that are set to dominate the world of interiors with their new approach to design (more about this in a different post!).

Like every year, DCCH runs a week of exhibitions and talks during its "Design Week" which is open both to the trade (12-14 March) and the public (15-17 March). With workshops, panel talks, and artisan demonstrations, Design Week at DCCH raises the bar for interiors shows and brings together over120 exhibitors and 100+ events.

Scroll down for the show highlights and the showrooms that you simply MUST visit.

Photos: Seasons in Colour

Wednesday 15 March


Head to Savoir Beds, on the first floor of the South Dome (11am) to discover the world’s most luxurious bed and its maker. Savoir Beds has joined forces with noble yarn specialist, Tengri, to create a bespoke edition of one of the world’s most coveted beds. A Savoir craftsman will demonstrate the technique used to create its globally renowned sleeping system.

Photo Credit: Savoir Beds

Following that, make your way to ZIMMER + ROHDE to join official florist for London Design Week 2017 Larry Walshe at a special workshop on flower arrangements to take your dining table from bleak to chic when entertaining at home.

Also top of my list for the day is a Workshop hosted by KLC School of Design Tai Ping where Adrienne Chinn recaps the key principles of colour theory and discusses their relationship with the structure of the eye, providing you with tips on how to manipulate and play with the human experience of colour. Perfect for design students and professionals alike. The talk is repeated same time on Thursday in case you miss it.

If however you want a quick overview of all highlights, take the Discovery tour which starts at 2.30pm - rendez-vous at the Café, Second Floor, Design Centre East. All accompanied by a glass of fizz.

Also on the day (Design Club, Third Floor, South Dome, 3-4pm), you can hear first hand from acclaimed artist and business consultant Rod Judkins as he reveals how to inspire great ideas, and how to future-proof yourself in the knowledge economy. A popular Central St Martins lecturer, Rod Judkins' lecture is based on his recently published book "Ideas are your only currency" (publ. 26 Jan 2017).

Thursday 16 March


If you have a sweet tooth, like I do, be sure to pop by David Seyfried Ltd, First Floor, Centre Dome (10am-6pm), where Cake designer Sophie Cabot will impress with her fabric designs on cake. Yes, on cake.

Photo: Seasons in Colour

Follow this with a stop at Victoria & Albert Baths, Third Floor, North Dome (11am-12pm) and see their collaboration with renowned print designer Vicki Murdoch of Silken Favours. The uniquely themed installation will be styled using Silken Favours’ newest collections, in homage to the luxury bathroom brand’s South African heritage.

Perhaps the most anticipated panel discussion is on this day, with Suzanne Imre, editor of LivingEtc chairing a panel with renowned interior designers Tara Bernerd, Tom Bartlett of Waldo Works and Alistair Hughes of Savoir Beds as they discuss the secrets of good design. Revealing fascinating insights about their ever-evolving creative process, find out whether it is an exact science or something more intuitive (Understanding Design's DNA, 3-4pm, Third Floor, South Dome, Tickets £10, book here).

Based on this theme - the Design of DNA - I reached out to Claire Vallis, Design Director Harlequin Group, and Joanna Bibby, founder and designer of lighting specialists OCHRE, for their views.

SIC: "What is the creative process that your designers follow when preparing a new collection Is this an evolving process or a set of steps that are followed methodically and repeatedly season after season?"

Claire Vallis, Harlequin: "The design process is always organic and tailored to the collection that is being created, but it always starts with getting out of the studio and exploring the world around us."

"Influences from architecture, exhibitions, the urban and natural landscape and even reactions to political happenings all feed into the designer’s eye. Some of these images, motifs and patterns arrive via osmosis, and others are actively sought out and collected. From this point on, the collection almost takes on a life of its own and collected ideas infuse and direct the designer’s journey.

"Sometimes patterns and concepts begin life as happy accidents –something from the cutting room floor might catch our attention, for instance - and other designs need more ‘careful’ planning."

"Always keeping an eye on trends helps, but reminding ourselves that we are ourselves trendsetters is a liberating feeling, allowing us to push boundaries and not be limited by what has gone before. Playing with scale and colours can transform the norm into the dramatic, and sometimes an idea you neglected at the beginning of the process now fits; I never throw anything away! I spend time away from the designs, then look at them fresh on Monday morning – or, the opposite – and I take them home with me and ‘live’ with them a while."

Above: Beach Pebble by Ochre

Joanna Bibby, Ochre: "Our designs evolve. We work together in an intuitive way, guided by a fascination with materials, a deep appreciation of craftsmanship and a desire to create understated yet luxurious furniture and lighting with a timeless, appeal."

"The graceful silhouettes, visceral textures and gentle patinas are all achieved through detailed research and an exploratory creative process. Each product might take over a year in development. The drive is a fascination with re-interpreting age-old crafts – gilding, lacquer, metal casting, and glass blowing – with a contemporary sensibility to create multi-functional pieces that enhance our lives."

"We design what we love rather than pander to market trends. We introduce a few new products each year as well as adding design members to existing lines. New Designs are the Surya pendant light, Belisama floor lamp, wisp leather tables and the walnut mat. The Beach Pebble has evolved from the Celestial Pebble but the metal cap is replaced by a carved oak cap and the natural textile flex gives this new version a more natural raw feel."

SIC: "What are the elements of good design to you?

Claire Vallis, Harlequin: "That’s like asking ‘What is good taste?’ ! Good design for me is something that ‘works’, and by that I mean fabrics and wallpapers that enhance homes. They might simplify an interior, astonish visitors, create drama at dinner parties, luxury in bedrooms, creative inspiration in offices, a sense of space in small rooms, comfort in large areas – even admiring glances from neighbours!

Good fabric and wallpaper design creates the atmosphere in a house, and speaks volumes about the personalities who live within its walls. So, good design? Something that works for you, your home and the way you live."

Joanna Bibby, Ochre: "Great design has to stand the test of time and be enjoyed for years to come. Harmonious proportions, original use of materials, matchless production, beautiful functionality are all key ingredients."

Also on the day: Learn the secrets of rugs that are handmade from JACARANDA, 12.30pm – 1.30pm, Second Floor, South Dome. Loving that they have embraced Pantone's Greenery so boldly in the window dressing below! They definitely get my vote!

Photo: Seasons in Colour

Friday 17 March


If you have left it till Friday, fear not. Get in at 12pm for another DISCOVERY Trail Tour, this time hosted by Elle Decoration's deputy editor Ben Spriggs. Starts at the Café, Second Floor, Design Centre East. Don't be late. Book your ticket (£10) here.



Christopher Peacock's showroom is just out of this world. You'll be swooning about his kitchens until you see that drop-dead gorgeous walk in wardrobe/boudoir chic. You will want to move in. Promise.

Photo: Seasons in Colour, Christopher Peacock Showroom

Photo: Seasons in Colour, Christopher Peacock Showroom

The Original BTC showroom (Second Floor, Centre Dome) is very atmospheric and will give you so much inspiration as their lights are suitable for a variety of rooms and pockets.

For bathrooms and other rooms where tiling is needed, head to Ann Sacks (Second Floor, Design Centre East) and have a first look at the Kelly Wearstler x Ann Sacks products. Also included are Kallista bathroom products.

Photo: Seasons in Colour

Opposite Ann Sacks you will also find ARTE who specialise in wallcoverings.

Photo: Seasons in Colour, ARTE wallcoverings

Photo: Seasons in Colour, the studio at ARTE

This week I posted about Ardmore's latest collection, the ZAMBEZI. See it up close at COLONY.

You can find the complete list of exhibitors/showrooms here. For a copy of the Design Week program click here.

Get social with me here and with DCCH here using the hashtag: #LDW17


Have you visited already? Recommend your favourite showrooms and "Must Sees" below.

Are you exhibiting? Add a link to your brand in a comment below.



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