What happens when a design student attends Decorex for the very first time?! Inspiration overload that’s what. I was on a mission and I had just 6 hours to hit the inspiration areas, see as many booths as possible, hear a few educational talks and meet as many people as possible. What did I learn from the experience & what are my big takeaways? See below.
First, let me rewind a bit. For the past many many many years, I’ve been drooling over design weeks in Paris (aka Maison et Objet), Milan (aka Salone Del Mobile), New York (aka ICFF) and London (aka Decorex, Focus/18, 100% Design, and Design Junction). If there is a design week, chances are I’m stalking it on Instagram and doing a “daily recap from Edinburgh”. I think that probably classifies me as “geek status”. One of my fave events during my NYC years was the Architectural Digest Design Show which is a luxe showcase of brands, designers, and new trends. It also included a spectacular over the top & full on sensory overload called the DIFFA Dining Design showcase.
Now that I’m officially studying Interior Design, I felt it was important to get myself down to London to soak up Design Week. (Note, my attempts to convince hubby that I needed to go to Paris & Milan were met with laughs). So, surely I could get myself from Edinburgh down to London. Well, hubby on the other hand thought it was the ideal week to potty train the wee fella. So, you can see my dilemma – escape to London to be inspired by design everywhere vs battle with a toddler. Hmmm. Thankfully I had some BA miles that were ready to be cashed in and I jumped down to London for 30 hours of inspiration overload. Mission accomplished.
Enough chat, here are my big takeaways from walking the aisles and attempting to take in hundreds if not thousands of designs from makers, crafters, artists, designers, and manufacturers of all things interiors.
Oh la la lush velvets. Soft, cosy, lush velvet. It adds an instant va va voom luxurious glam and sophisticated vibe to any space when done right. Who else is happy that velvet is here to STAY for the foreseeable future? Me. Me. Me. From chairs to sofas to barstools to pouffs to headboards to cushions – velvet could be found on every aisle at Decorex – including all (yes, all) of the inspiration areas. My faves included: (details below)
- Ochre House luxe neutrals with simply elegant straight lines (note: pieces can be made to order in any size)
- Munna design’s fun unexpected angles with pops of colourful loveliness are sure to make a statement
- Big glamour in this Duistt Dawn bench where they mix brushed brass & velvet to perfection
- Major bling bling in Brabbu’s teal studded bar stools with sexy curves
- A lovely soothing pink in Sweetpea & Willow’s velvet headboard set in a boho vibe
Get ready to geek out over GREEN. While walking the aisles, green seemed to be popping up everywhere – from deep dark backgrounds, to velvety sofas in every shade, to jungle wallpaper, to textured linen lampshades, geometric rugs, dotted cushions and conservative florals. It varied from simple touches of green found in trim and piping to full on green overload. It was green. green. green. Now, I will admit that there is chance I had green on the mind as I knew my fave Little Greene Paint Company was launching their new 30 heritage greens at the show. Yay. It did not disappoint. I will say, from Decorex, it appears that green seems to be pushing yellow out of the spotlight. Some of my green faves:
- Little Greene Paint Company exciting new launch of Greens after work with the National Heritage Trust
- Thibaut’s keeps the vibe light & bright with floral Paramount wallpaper + pale linen lampshade
- Sweetpea & Willow deep dark moody green walls and lush velvety sofa is all about moody glamour
- A perfect pairing – pink & green – with Tyson London banana leaf lamp + Bianca Smith abstract art
- Plant Collection sets an eclectic vibe by layering textures against a deep emerald wall
- A classic & traditional vibe is set by using different shades of green + varying prints, patterns and piping
- Plant Collection’s bright emerald green chair pops against the deepest darkest green wall, while the gallery wall links it all together
- Bethan Gray Shamisan bar unit is a statement piece with sweeping brass inlays that depict boat sails
- The Botanical Bar’s colour palate of neutrals, pops of green + deep red – all inspired by the wallpaper
- Sometimes the accents, like green piping in the Boca do lobo lampshade make the biggest statement
Curves. Curves. Curves and other Art Deco vibes. Art Deco is all about the details, curves, brass, fringe, stitching, lush fabrics, textures, and inlays. From Bethan Gray’s new line for Anthropologie that is inspired by feathers to 2LG studio new line for LoveYourHome and JohnLewisofHungerford. The curve is making a bold statement at the moment yet in a new modern contemporary way. At Decorex, it was being paired up with other styles such as boho, minimalist and even midcentury to create an interesting new take on Art Deco. Here are some of my faves:
- Bethan Gray for Anthropologie (these weren’t at the show, but I just received the Anthro catalog & couldn’t resist sharing)
- Brass curves & etched glass columns in this stunning light by Giopato & Coombes Cirque Chandelier, strikes the right balance of contemporary Art Deco
- Munna design’s delicate lilac chair with detailed stitching and soft curves is the accent chair that every room deserves
- Perhaps a more traditional Art Deco vibe is this square-ish Lacaze utopia chair
- Bert Frank shines bright with their table lamp of brass paired with a curved milky glass shade
- Munna design fabulously fringe statement armchair is downright drool worthy
The new neutral, spiced honey. I’ll admit I wasn’t too crazy about Dulux’s new colour of the year being spiced honey. I’m a full on colour lover and my neutral tends to be greys BUT it has totally won me over with the interpretation at Decorex. It pops when paired with white, it soothes when paired with blush and it is oh la la luxe when finished with high gloss. My faves:
- Paolo Moschino for Nicolas Haslam launched a collection of fabrics & wallpapers that pairs spiced honey with white to creates a classic yet modern vibe. The Riviere design and Palmyrain design. A real head turner.
- Pinch London is another masterclass in neutrals with this linen headboard and pale oval mirror
- In complete constrast is the high gloss, rose gold, and velvet combo that is over the top glam (update: Hyde House UK)
Jungle vibes keep on giving. The last big theme or takeaway is that the jungalow vibe continues to be strong – palm leaf, banana leaf, monstera leaf, rubber fig leaf, bird of paradise leaf, fern leaf, fan leaf and aralia leaf were all at Decorex. It could be jungalow is popular because it reminds us of tropical holidays, escaping to warm sultry weather and being carefree. What was new & refreshing was some of the warm autumn colours found in some of the designs. My faves:
- Curiousa studio show off their playful pendant lamps that are light, bright, and airy
- An inspiring gathering place during Decorex, the Botanic Bar palms and peacocks
- Charlotte Jade design is doubly good with deep dark palm wallpaper x toucan palm cushion
- Inspiration area by Brian Woulfe was jungle-tactic in warm yellows & golds
- Setting a colourful vibrant vibe, the backdrop in the Decorex seminar area is moody & lush
- Lincrusta jungle leaf panel adds texture and dimension any space (and I bet you can’t resist touching it)
- Misia is ready for autumn with their fresh take on jungle with warm navy, ochre, soft browns, and dark greens
- More beautiful vibrant pink & green jungalow fabrics on display (brand unknown)
- Pipet Design shows off a “new take on jungalow” with golden yellows, punchy reds and olive green cushion
Those were the big takeaways & themes that I picked up on as I immersed myself in all things Decorex for a whopping 6 hours. Hope you’ve enjoyed my rantings and ravings. It flew by in a blink of an eye & I will admit I was sad to head back up to Edinburgh. Of course there is so much more than what I’ve shared here and a few “standout” brands that deserve a serious shout out. Can we agree that should be a separate blog post?
If you were at Decorex — tell me, what were your faves?
If not, what’s inspired you the most among the pics I’ve shared?
Otherwise, it’s a wrap. Maybe just maybe I’ve introduced you to a couple new brands too. It’s always great seeing brand that you know & love, but discovering new brands is part of the fun of going to big trade shows. Start sending the good mojo now as next year (fingers crossed), I hope to get to Paris and Milan. Eeeek.