Forests, antiques and circles: all the trends from the London Design Festival 2022
It is now September and chances are you will feel the change of seasons. There’s a seemingly perpetual pounding of rain, the leaves begin to crunch underfoot, and as we spend more time curled up inside, our thoughts naturally turn to our homes.
In relevant and exciting news, the LondonDesign Festival (LDF) is back. From September 17 to 25, the festival celebrates the city as a capital of design, promoting creativity and “attracting the nation’s foremost thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to deliver an unmissable celebration of design”. It’s like fashion week for interior design, inspiration abounds in the exhibits, installations and showrooms found in every corner of the city.
After scouring the London design scene this year, I’ve rounded up emerging trends that designers and creatives everywhere just can’t seem to get enough of.
First, the textiles pay homage to the glorious exterior. Equal parts grandeur and affluence, the appeal of the English country house lives on. And no country estate or cottage is complete without a flowery, vibrant garden. The Garden Path collection by the greatest textile and furniture designer Andre Martin is inspired by that nostalgic British charm. In timeless floral designs with classic petal shapes, herringbone patterns and ticking stripes, textiles in shades of leafy green, petal pink and honey yellow subtly capture the essence of an English garden in bloom.
For a more moody take on the trend, a UK eco-friendly paint and wallpaper company Little Green has revisited its vast archives to present its Forest collection. All about the appeal and versatility of green, this collection addresses the human need to connect with nature. Implementing foliage-based wallpaper and painting a space in hues like Jewel Beetle, Puck, and Windmill Lane are just a few ways to blur that line between outdoors and indoors.
Lighting should no longer be considered an afterthought. Sculptural light fixtures have a moment, reminding us that the right light can act as a beautiful work of art. Designate Elif Ergouvan creates objects that do just that – “encourage the dialogue between functionality and artistic form”. Elif’s first collection of sculptural furniture made to order was on display at the LDF. The range includes the minimalist yet eye-catching trapeze wall lamp and the drip lamp. In both fixtures, the bulbs are shaped like glowing droplets, dripping effortlessly from a solid material that mimics a scarf draped over a spool.
Italian brand of decorative lighting design, Slamp, also goes beyond traditional lighting. Notable fixtures include the Nuvem lighting system – a modular honeycomb pendant that takes any shape possible, floating above a room like a cloud and the Tulip pendant – a lyrical succession of flowers of fluttering and glowing tulips. The brand opened its first UK flagship store, Slamp London Knightsbridge, during LDF.
Textured lighting is also trending. Natural fiber shades such as seagrass and water hyacinth lend a sense of approachable elegance to a room while filtering out harsh light to create a soft, cozy glow. “Every piece deserves the warmth of nature brought inside. Like the perfect cashmere sweater, natural weave [lampshades] evoke that feeling of comfort,” says Suzanne Duin, founder of house house, a global destination for woven lampshades. Just in time for fall, “these materials add comfort and interest to a space, giving it a reassuringly warm and tactful feel.”
The appeal of antique and vintage furniture prevails. But, incorporating pre-loved elements into the design doesn’t mean recreating a piece from that era. Instead, by blending the old with the new, your home becomes a current space that you love and that is filled with stories that have personal meaning. This thoughtful marriage between vintage design and contemporary design was omnipresent at LDF. For example, the MAH Gallery launched The House – a new concept store offering a range of vintage collectibles alongside the work of contemporary and emerging designers and artists. And vintage furniture gallery Gross cement was “in residence” at Paul Smith London’s flagship boutique in Mayfair with a handpicked selection of furniture with the Mayfair boutique space in mind.
Finally, graceful curves and soft edges are back. Decades after the iconic serpentine sofa (which debuted in 1950), we still love modern interpretations of this stunning seat silhouette. This may be because, according to psychologist John N Bassili, humans are naturally drawn to circular shapes for the comfort and security they provide. at Meridiani latest product that was presented at LDF – the REIN modular sofa – is a bold interpretation of this welcoming and familiar flow. They also offer the REIN armchair that is designed to envelop the seated person like a welcoming nest. As the nights darken earlier and the weather turns chilly, I can’t think of a better place to curl up with a hot cup of tea.