March events diary

Our March diary will put a spring in your step this month, with a packed program of events throughout the capital.

London Design Week

13-15 March: trade only; 16-18 March: all welcome
Launching their latest designs for spring are the 80-plus showrooms that fill the three glassy domes of Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. Expect to see fabrics, wallpapers, furniture, lighting, carpets and more. This event also includes two showrooms on the Kings Road for the major decorating brands of Designers Guild and Osborne & Little.

The first three days of London Design Week are “trade only”, but from 16-18 March the public are welcome, and it’s free to enter. There is even free transport in regular mini-buses from Sloane Square; the stopping-off point is outside the Sloane Square hotel, on the right-hand side of the Square as you come out of the tube.

“Design lectures” take place throughout the week. For example, subjects on Wednesday 16 March include “the art of collecting”, “mastering display techniques” and “styling your space.”

On Thursday, 17 March, the director of the Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic, talks about “William Morris and his impact” and a lecture hosted by the magazine Elle Decorations discusses “Britain - island of ideas”.

And on Wednesday 16 March, KLC School of Design is offering an all day interior design Masterclass to readers at a bargain price of £20. For details, times and bookings call 020 7352 1900.
Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Lots Road, SW10;
Designers Guild, 267-277 Kings Road,SW3; 020 7351 5775;
Osborne & Little, 304 King's Road; SW3; 020 7352 1456;

Ideal Home Show
This year, the celebrity team will make appearances throughout the show, including Diarmuid Gavin, Linda Barker, Gregg Wallace, Fiona Phillips, Suzi Perry and George Clarke

Ideal Home Show

11-27 March
This is the 103rd edition of Britain’s biggest home show, which was revitalised last year by its new owners Media 10. This year, the fun continues, with over 600 exhibitors filling sections for interiors, home improvements and DIY, gadgets, gardens, food, fashion, cosmetics and much more.

The Show celebrates the 50th anniversary of Britain’s longest-running TV soap with a revamp for Ken and Deidre Barlow’s house on Coronation Street, by architect and TV personality George Clarke (and B&Q). The result is a modern eco-home full of energy-saving features.

Suzi Perry hosts the Home of the Future, presenting the cleverest domestic appliances and gadgets on the market today. These include the latest hob, dishwasher, washing machine and fridge, and a hydroponics water garden that grows plants with no soil. There’s even a shower controlled by a mobile phone, a pen that records what you write, and a scale that tweets your weight (though that seems a questionable advantage).

Adult tickets cost £16 on the door on weekdays, and £18 at weekends. Tickets in advance cost £11 and £13. Prices for concessions start at £10. Tickets on Thursday, when the show is open until 9pm, cost £5 after 5pm. Children under 15 are free, but require a ticket.
Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, SW5; 0844 415 4144;

John Makepeace
Zebra cabinets in black oak and holly at John Makepeace

John Makepeace - Enriching the Language of Furniture

16 March to 15 April
John Makepeace is Britain’s finest designer/maker of furniture, and at this show of 25 of his most beautiful pieces, you can see why. Wood is carved, curved, shaped and coloured until it becomes as much sculpture as timber, yet these pieces are still very much to be used.

Now over 70, Britain’s premier craftsman spent his early career keeping craft alive amidst growing post-war mass-production. Then he helped to found the Crafts Council, and in 1976, set up Parnham College, his own woodworking school. This nurtured many of the big names in furniture today, including David Linley, Sean Sutcliffe of Benchmark, and Konstantin Grcic.
Somerset House, Strand, WC2; 020 7845 4600;
And then at: Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, Surrey; 01252 891450;; from 26 April to 16 July.

Desire Jewellery & Silversmithing Fair

4-6 March
Shopping for that very special ring? Or wanting to commission an unusual piece of silver for a gift, or for your home? This show, in a new venue near Richmond Park, presents a huge variety of stylish and original design from over 70 carefully- selected jewellers and silversmiths. Prices range from a modest few pounds to many thousands.
Bank of England Sports Centre, Priory Lane, off Bank Lane, Roehampton, London SW15; 01622 747 325;

Affordable Art Fair
Trio, by Louisa Burnett-Hall (£1,500) at Carina Haslam Art

The Affordable Art fair

10-13 March
Every work on sale from the 120 dealers at this popular fair is under £4,000, and very many are much less, ensuring that it lives up to its title. Join in artist-led workshops for “creative recycling” at 3pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday or try the printmaking sessions. Children are welcome and those between four and 10 are offered activity packs; and there is a free crèche for children aged two to ten.
Battersea Park, SW11; 0870 777 2255;

Joy of Living

15-21 March
Over 100 London designers have created artworks from a simple sheet of A4 graph paper and each is offered for £250 - but you won’t know until the end who did what because the signatures are on the backs. All proceeds will support the charity of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, which now number seven in England and Scotland. Max Fraser, author of the London Design Guide, who has organized the show in memory of his mother, says that “works include everything from drawings and paintings through to 3D models.” Once the show is open, you can also see/buy all works on line.
Entrance is free.
Somerset House, Strand, WC2;; 020 7845 4600;

Prague vila
The Villa Muller in Prague (1928-30)

Learning to Dwell: Adolf Loos in the Czech Lands

Open now until 3 May
The celebrated modernist architect Adolf Loos was born in what is now the Czech Republic and this exhibition concentrates on his house designs in Prague, Pilsen and Brno, with drawings, models, original furniture and glass.
Exhibition Lectures/talks are on 29 March, and 5 April
Entrance is free.
RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1; 020 7307 3888;

Midcentury Modern

Sunday 20 March
Meet some of Britain’s top dealers in 50s Scandinavian, European and American furniture, plus ceramics, fabrics, art and glass, at this popular event. You‘ll also find a host of innovative modern design companies, all selling direct to the public. Tickets cost £7 on the door, or £6 booked in advance.
Dulwich College, SE21;

Shapiros Bell
A superb set of wrought-iron bells in original condition, made by Liberty & Co (circa 1900; £1,250)

The Chelsea Antiques Fair

23-27 March
Find 35 dealers offering traditional town and country furniture, Art Nouveau and Art Deco furniture, fine silver and jewellery and early English pottery, along with British, European and Oriental ceramics and fine glass from Georgian to the 20th century. Plus enamels, rare scent bottles, tortoiseshell boxes, fine bronze statuary, and vintage collectables.

Also on sale are early tapestries and textiles, oil and watercolour paintings, and decorative prints. Prices range from less than £100 to more than £20,000. Admission: £5.
Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, London SW3; 01825 744074;

The Then-Now Show

11 March to 24 April
The “then” of the title are the years between 1988 and 1992, when London’s leading furniture entrepreneur Zeev Aram showed the work of new furniture graduates in the gallery of his huge furniture store in a five-storey converted warehouse in Covent Garden.

The “now” spotlights what 15 of these students are doing 20 or so years on. The star-studded list includes Thomas Heatherwick, winner of last year’s London Design Medal and designer of the new Routemaster double decker bus. His “metal thrones” are “then” and the UK Pavilion for last year’s Shanghai Expo is “now”. More London designers include Sebastian Bergne, Tom Lloyd and Luke Pearson (now Pearson Lloyd).
Entrance is free.
The Aram Gallery, 110 Drury Lane, WC2; 020 7 557 7526;

Branca chair
The Branca chair by Sam Hecht

Turn, Twist & Branch Off

11 March to 18 April
This show launches Branca Furniture by Sam Hecht, and also shows more products designed by his studio Industrial Facility since it was set up in 2002. The studio have also chosen “objects, designs, drawings and photographs” that inspire their work, giving an insight into one of London’s most successful industrial design practices.
Aram Store, 110 Drury Lane,WC2; 020 7557 7557; and


1-3 March
Ecobuild - the name says it all. Here is everything you need to know about construction a green home, all under one roof. The show, which started as a small fringe event in 2004, is now so popular it’s moved to Excel. And it’s free to enter, though registering in advance will save time.

More than 1300 exhibitors are showcasing thousands of new products, all geared towards sustainable construction. There are over 100 seminars, with practical guidance on low energy buildings. Plus 100s of live demos and interactive installations throughout the show, including a complete guide to photovoltaics at the “solar hub” Go online to plot your visit.
ExCeL, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16;

Country Living Fair
More than 400 independent shops will exhibit at this year's Country Living Fair

Country Living Spring Fair

23-27 March
Here is a charming chance to meet over 400 independent retailers, designers, makers and small producers from across the UK, showcasing ideas for your home and garden, along with delicious food, stylish clothing and jewellery. Now in its 20th, the emphasis at this show is on the British and the hand-made. You won’t find most of its exhibitors on the High Street, and that is the secret of its appeal.

Enjoy free workshops on seasonal subjects such as arranging spring flowers and decorating Easter eggs, plus a wide range of craft demos.
Tickets for adults cost £12.50 in advance and £16 on the door; children from five to 16 are £7 in advance and £12.50 on the door; concessions are £12.50 on the door; children under five are free.
Business Design Centre, Upper Street, N1; 0844 8480160;

Highlights of a Lifetime

25 March to 3 April
Here’s a chance to buy a piece of glass from the personal collection of Peter Layton, one of London’s – indeed Europe’s - leading glassblowers. The sale is in Layton’s own studio-cum- gallery, and many items cost under £100
The London Glassblowing Studio and Gallery, 62-66 Bermondsey Street, London SE1; 020 7403 2800;

BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair

23 - 29 March
BADA stands for British Antique Dealers Association, and over 100 of their members are selling top quality furniture, paintings, silver, jewellery, ceramics, glass, clocks, modern design pieces and carpets. Tickets cost £10 single, or £15 for two, and include a BADA handbook
The Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London SW3; 020 7589 6108;

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