London Design Week: Chelsea gets set to become the world's interior design hub

“Artisanal” is the buzzword for this year's London Design Week (March 8-13) as Chelsea becomes the world’s interior design hub.
READER OFFER: Conversations in design 
Thursday, March 12, 11.30am to 12.30pm, Conversations in Design, hosted by Homes & Property
Design Club, Third Floor, South Dome, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, SW10. Meet three leading interior designers and find out why London is the capital of cool design. With Staffan Tollgård, Nicky Dobree and Scott Maddux. Tickets £7.50 (usually £10). Call 020 7352 1900 and quote Homes & Property.
 

From Sunday for six days (March 8-13), Chelsea will be the world’s interior design hub, as the capital swings into London Design Week (the public can visit free from Wednesday, March 11).
 
This is the must-see event and it all happens under the multi-floored glass domes of the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, home to 500 global brands.

There are so many ways to create this exquisite style, bringing luxury and craftsmanship together.

“Artisanal” is the buzzword. We’ve seen it in cheese, bread and even coffee, but now it’s in interiors. This is sophisticated upmarket craft. Indeed, a new collection at Royal Warrant holder GP & J Baker uses the simple name Artisan for its beautiful hand-block-printed linens and cottons.
 
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Green appeal: fresh, leafy foliage is a strong trend – Sanderson have Muguet, a new cotton print, £47 a metre, www.sanderson-uk.com

BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAIL
William Lack, founder and director of Altfield wallpaper studio, offers about 30 rare hand-made wall coverings, including a new flexible “paper” with a thin layer of real plaster painstakingly decorated by a US artist to create an instant painted wall.
 
Elsewhere, find hand-made trimmings, for example pearls and chains, at Nada Designs. At Tissus d’Helene, Helen Cormack can show you hand-screened/blocked fabrics from more than 50 companies in Europe and America.
 
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Glass act: it takes a huge amount of skill to create these mouthblown Sasso lamp bases, £1,050, www.bella-figura.com
 
Also find mouthblown glass (for example, lamp bases at Bella Figura), hand-applied lacquers and gilding (Porta Romana), hand-tufted rugs (Esti Barnes with exquisite calligraphy), leather painting (Edelman) and hand-made tiles (Ann Sacks).
 
The Harbour shows off not just fabrics and papers, but the finest furniture, lighting and flooring, too.
 
Archives are the secret weapon of many top brands. Arts and Crafts aficionados should head straight for an updated William Morris collection.
 
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Labour of love: artwork for The Brook velvet took two months to hand-paint by head designer Alison Gee at Morris & Co, £110 a metre, www.william-morris.co.uk
 
Madeleine Castaing (1894–1992) was a wildly chic French antiques dealer and interior designer, whose wallcoverings and fabrics — bang on trend with rampant skins and verdant palms — are now at Turnell & Gigon. Straight from the artist’s mouth come the splashy fantasies of American Hunt Slonem and he has even made rabbits chic at Lee Jofa.
 
As for colours, well, take your pick. Find leafy greens with ivy and trailing strawberries at Sanderson, strong blues and pinks by maestro Manuel Canovas, and a sweet dusky pink at Lelievre.
 
CONTRASTING STYLES
Luxe means elegant and svelte in a palette that’s warm and rich, but mainly neutral, maybe with flashes of mica, gold, copper and/or bronze. Surfaces are smooth and luminescent.
 
Satin cloth, matt lacquer and polished metals contrast with the texture of natural materials such as ebonised woods and leathers.
 
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Feature walls: wallpaper from Anthology by Harlequin, £114 a roll, www.harlequin.uk.com
 
Witness Zoffany’s new Constantina collection updating damask weaves and wallpaper. Or browse Anthology at Harlequin, inspired by the industrial finishes of a fashionable loft.
 
Also check out Mark Alexander at Romo, a family-run firm since 1902. Indeed, so many décor brands from here and abroad play longevity as a trump card. Rubelli, with silks and exquisite weaves, is a Venetian company dating back to 1889 and is now in its fifth generation. Pierre Frey celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, while Zimmer + Rohde is now in its fifth generation.
 
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Eastern inspiration: Tulipan cotton print from the new Turkish-inspired Pasha collection at Osborne & Little, £60 a metre, www.osborneandlittle.com
 
In Kings Road, the big brands have been travelling, with chic Turkish geometry at Osborne & Little. Across the road, Tricia Guild has grown her very own Shanghai garden on papers and fabrics, where bamboo, willow trees, temples and blossom are exquisitely hand-painted in the style of Chinese landscape artists.
 
All week, London’s leading editors will host chats on stage, with big names on the interiors scene. Décor doyenne Nina Campbell will discuss 30 years’ worth of domestic design secrets drawing on her five homes.
 
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In full bloom: Tricia Guild used many inks to perfect artwork for her Shanghai Garden collection; linen fabric, £75 a metre, www.designersguild.com
 
Also on the platform are A-list decorator Paolo Moschino and Joanna Wood, and they will be joined by wallpaper and furniture designers and a leading florist.
 
Check out the programme for times and tickets — it’s called Conversations in Design. Call 020 7225 9166, or email enquiries@dcch.co.uk.
 
Dip into the running blog on www.dcch.co.uk for regular updates, and follow the news feed @Designcentrech using hashtag #LDW15.
 
READER OFFER
Thursday, March 12, 11.30am to 12.30pm, Conversations in Design, hosted by Homes & Property at Design Club, Third Floor, South Dome, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, SW10.

Meet three leading interior designers and find out why London is the capital of cool design. With Staffan Tollgård, Nicky Dobree and Scott Maddux. Tickets £7.50 (usually £10). Call 020 7352 1900 and quote Homes & Property.

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