Musings From London Design Week

16 Mar 2024

As an interior designer, I am so lucky to have colleagues and associates with an abundance of talent from whom I continuously draw inspiration.

Each year, I take the time to venture away from my Yorkshire roots to meet and reacquaint myself with my industry delving into what is going on in the wider world of interior design.

Recently, I made the exciting trip to the London for London Design Week, the epitome of interior design excellence, where the great and good gather to discuss our industry, new trends and what exciting things are to come over the next 12 months.

Whilst at the event, I attended a series of fascinating talks, led by some of our industry’s greatest voices and here are some of the things I’ve taken away from what they had to say:

Bathroom planning – always be ahead of the curve

Bathrooms are the forgotten gem of the interior world, and often become an afterthought. But with great planning, comes a great bathroom. As Studio Milne said during their talk, think about the important things like logistics at an early stage. For example, carrying a bath in through the window while the scaffold is still up is much more efficient than persuading your trades to carry it up 4 flights of stairs, or working around an existing soil pipe because re-siting it is out of budget, or considering whether re-plumbing a bathroom is in your budget.

Once you’ve thought about the logistics, it’s time to think about how you’ll use your bathroom, from where to set down your toiletries, or even your book when you’re having a bath. Make sure your surfaces are durable so they can easily withstand the heavy toll family life will take on them.

Only once you’ve got logistics and storage nailed can you turn your attention to the beautiful tiles and fittings you’ve been daydreaming about. Some items may have a short lead time, but always plan for a long lead time. Better to be safe than sorry, because you don’t want your plumber or tiler kicking their heels while you wait for the crucial delivery that is holding everything up. The key takeaway was to plan, plan, plan in advance.

The use of heritage styles in a contemporary setting

Whilst a lot of our gorgeous Yorkshire projects are within heritage buildings, we love a modern project, and designers Jennifer Manners and Salvesen Graham agreed.

Using heritage styles is a great tool in a contemporary setting to both modernise and ground an interior scheme, without it being too scary. A client many want a bold or brave look but is conscious that the space needs to suit their lifestyle, be that country life with muddy dogs or a modern, sleek and efficient life.

A quick and easy way to achieve this bold look is colour, so don’t be afraid to experiment. The use of a heritage colour such as Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball or Pea Green by Little Greene could bring a little piece of flare to your modern home, grounding it in its surroundings.

Is it a good idea to embrace the classic English style?

Where would we be without our classic English home style – think a comfy sofa for the dogs in the kitchen, an eclectic mix of prints, textures and tones, and of course, a collection of trinkets that has evolved over time. Our homes should be easy to live in and be a reflection of our daily lives. So, we say embrace the mismatched bedside tables and the artisan lamps, look to recycle and upcycle products to make them more luxurious and make your English home a real reflection of you. Jennifer Manners has launched a wonderful collection of repurposed rugs, breathing new life into old fabrics, and we love it!

Be bold, be brave

I have always been a fan of beautiful and bold wallpapers, and this year’s display at London Design Week did not disappoint. Whilst touring the different brands and showrooms I caught up with the wonderful American designer, Laura Kirar. Her new collection with Arteriors revisits memories of social family holidays by the sea, with the entire look representing a strong nautical theme. British designer Fiona Howard also had some beautifully British papers, which were both pretty and quintessentially English in style. One to consider for a true country home. So, keep an eye out this year, because there are exciting designs to come.

2024 is set to be an exciting year for interiors, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

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