Interiors and design your thing? Are you a pinner and a ‘grammer but always ready for more where interiors are concerned? Phew, then this blog is for you. My go-to guide will help you discover the most exciting live fairs and events you can attend, keeping you ahead of the homewares trends and in conversation with designers, makers and suppliers.
My obsession with all things aesthetic started as a small child and shows no signs of abating now. Imagine then my delight, when I realised it was entirely possible to access design fairs and trade shows and have an early peek at forthcoming collections, most-wanted products and inspiring installations #interiorsgeekheaven. My suggestions below are the really worthwhile events to put in your diary, now.
Certain days may be trade-only (though that can include bloggers and online press) and some are specific to certain areas of the industry, so check websites for details. Most events are public and some are free so go with a group of like-minded friends for some exceptional design inspiration, Instagram opportunities aplenty and maybe a purchase or two…
WHAT: Top Drawer
WHEN: 11th – 13th September 2016
WHO: Black & Blum, Bliss Home, Garden Trading, Skandium, Bombay Duck, Caroline Gardener and plenty of big names and rising stars in gift, home, craft and fashion.
WHERE: Olympia, London
One of the UK’s leading trade shows, Top Drawer is known for its vast range of top quality and innovative new products and one of my absolute favourites. Really accessible, Top Drawer has designated sections for Home, Craft, Fashion Accessories and Gifting so something for everyone.
Buyers and suppliers from across the country and beyond are brought together in London twice a year. Top Drawer’s autumn edition will take place in on 11-13 September 2016. This is a trade show so if you have an online store or are thinking about starting a business, this is a great one. Press passes are available so if you wanted to cover the event for a blog or on behalf of an exhibitor, don’t miss this.
WHAT: London Design Festival
WHEN: 17th – 25th September 2016
WHO: Too many to name but I’ll chuck in Tom Dixon for starters….
WHERE: London (various locations)
Over nine days, the London Design Festival is a HUGE collection of events that celebrates London’s thriving design sphere, staged at different venues across the city. An annual event, it is held to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world and as the gateway to the international creative community. Major features of the event are the ambitious projects and installations that are commissioned throughout the city at its best-loved and inspiring locations. World-leading architects and designers have worked on installations at London’s Southbank, Tate Modern and Trafalgar Square in previous years. If you have any interest in design, architecture, interiors or creative then you will find something to inspire you during the festival.
The Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum is a good place to start as the festival’s main hub though as the scale suggests (expect 400 events and exhibitions) you’ll need to plan and travel to catch your favourites. Definitely check the website for details.
WHAT: DECOREX INTERNATIONAL
WHEN: 18th -21st September 2016
WHO: Cole & Son, Bluebell Grey, Timorous Beasties, Nicky Haslam, Crucial Trading, Margo Selby and many more.
WHERE: Syon Park, London
Decorex International opens the 2016 London Design Festival and will be held over the course of four days in the historic grounds of Syon Park – a bonafide highlight of the week. Decorex is a platform for interior designers, architects, property developers and hoteliers to source the latest products from the design world. No ‘pop-up’ here, Decorex’s long standing reputation has proven the test of time. It boasts a rich heritage (39 years) with the aim of ‘growing and evolving to remain exciting and innovative’. Firmly recognised among the international design community as a trusted resource, and an opportunity to see new work.
There are over 120 new exhibitors for 2016 who will be launching new products and collections at the Decorex event with this year’s theme being ‘the roots of design’. Synonymous with luxury, Decorex International is renowned for being one of the premier events to discover the most coveted products from an unrivalled collection of 400 hand-selected exhibitors. Unsurprisingly, it has become a key event within London’s Design Festival. The only one of its kind for the luxury UK interiors market, it showcases a diverse collection of products from fields across the interior design world (design, craftsmanship, new technology) from both emerging and established brands alike. Don’t miss!
WHAT: 100% Design
WHEN: 21st – 24th September 2016
WHO: Ray Munn, Adventures in Furniture, Bedrock Tiles, BESSA Design, MINT Furniture, Design Pad Home
WHERE: Olympia, London
100% Design represents the commercial cornerstone of the London Design Festival taking place in the same week. The award-winning show is divided into five key industry sectors; Interiors, Workplace, Kitchen & Bathroom and Design & Build and Emerging brands.
100% Design is the largest and longest running contemporary design event for industry professionals in the UK and boasts the most well attended and comprehensive seminar programme in UK design, seeing more industry names and issues discussed than any other design event. If you’re serious about design, a student or in interested in the industry, this is for you.
WHAT: Luxury Made
WHEN: 21st-24th September
WHO: Margham Jones, Poliform UK, Bazaar Velvet, Duistt, Crook & Jones, Jacaranda Carpets and many more !
WHERE: Olympia, London
London’s new contemporary decorative interiors show heralds a new, highly selective approach to luxury design events. It will be staged in Olympia’s Pillar Halls (a unique setting, some of which has been hidden from public view for over 20 years) and feature 50 manufacturers showcasing contemporary decorative and luxury furnishings, furniture, fabrics, lighting and accessories.
Luxury Made is set to be a new focus for exceptional design, quality and inspiration, with a selection of the very best manufacturers exhibiting. Why not give it a try and be one of the first?
WHAT: Tent London
WHEN: 22nd – 25th September
WHO: Over 450 brands incl: Breaking the Mould, Glassworks, Sue Pryke, The Cold Press, Dana Finnigan
WHERE: Old Truman Brewery, London
Another integral part of the London Design Festival, Tent London is a popular trade show open to both trade visitors and members of the public. Along with its sister show Super Brands London, it hosts over 450 diverse and inspiring independent designers and brands. The Super Brands section of the show remains exclusively for established global brands.
Constantly evolving, always thought provoking; trade shows Tent London & Super Brands London have carved out an impressive reputation as an anchor of LDF, a be must -visit for anyone looking to discover the best contemporary design. The 11-acre East London hub is well known for presenting extraordinary interiors products from established global brands, independents and undiscovered talents; as well as gallery showcases. The four-day event also includes a roster of inspiring talks, graduate show Brink, and engaging installations – Project Spaces and the Super Design Gallery. A firm festival favourite.
WHEN: 22-23rd September
WHO: Mulberry Home, Harlequin, Original BTC, Cole &Son, Colefax & Fowler, Decorus…
WHERE: Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour
Aiming to ‘shape the way we live today’ Focus 16 offers an opportunity to see designs that are beautifully made and tell a story of authenticity and integrity. The event positions itself as redefining luxury in interiors and hosts over 120 international exhibitors. Attracting designers, architects and style seekers, the busy six-day show will create an exciting dialogue between visitors providing the ultimate platform for established brands and new names to showcase their talent.c
Visitors can engage with the industry’s top creatives, influencers and big thinkers, access specialist expertise, view craftsmanship at demonstrations, exchange ideas at workshops, join curated tours and trails and get privileged insights from an all-star line-up at the Conversations in Designs sessions.
A new pop-up restaurant will be specially commissioned while an informal bar will allow visitors to enjoy a relaxed environment from within the show.
Focus/16 is a designated Design Destination at the London Design Festival and is an unmissable show for design-loving folk and if you want to drill-down further into the industry and interact with professionals. Courtesy transport will ensure that getting there is easy. Entry is free. Yup, free.
WHAT: The Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair
WHEN: 14-16 October 2016.
WHO: Heaps! Incl: 20th Century Glamour Candice Hawley, Acanthus, Violet Grey, Factory Somerset, Gallery Morris
WHERE: Haynes International Motor Museum, Nr Bruton, Somerset.
Bruton has become a go-to destination and something of a celebrity and media hotspot (following the opening of the Hauser Wirth Gallery in 2014 ). The area has been noted by the national press as “The Somerset town that celebrities just can’t keep away from..” (Daily Telegraph) Fitting then that it is hosting its own industry event. The Decorative Antiques Fair has gained a well deserved reputation for featuring varied exhibitors of a very high quality spanning many eras and styles. Fans of mid-century modern, art deco, gothic, retro, vintage and classic antique pieces will all find something hard to resist.
Finding the right venue in the right location was very important for this new event and the superb new Haynes International Motor Museum which is just a few minutes from Bruton and very accessible from London is perfect ( book in at the seriously cool At The Chapel in Bruton if you want to make a day of it or do a bit of celeb spotting). There are sister events in Bath and Cotswolds so check the website for dates and deets.
Further afield…. (well a weekend away can’t hurt in the name of research, right?) I would have to recommend Paris Design Week September 3rd – 10th at venues throughout Paris. Scheduled to overlap with the Maison et Objet (September 2nd-6th), Paris Design Week invigorates the city as industry professionals and members of the public come together to discover the best of Parisian design. A definitive cultural event, PDW unites the French and an increasingly international design community, as the city becomes immersed in promenades, cocktails, exhibitions, late-night openings, high-profile debates and installations. Did someone mention cocktails in Paris ? *books Eurostar ticket immediately*
Held annually now, the world-renowned French trade fair for interior design has been described as ‘among the 3 most important European events for interior design’ and it delivers a huge collection of innovation and talent all in one place. The MAISON section is inspired by decoration, furniture and small accent pieces, lighting and fabrics, familiar and foreign styles all intermingling elegantly – would you expect anything else?
OBJET proffers delicious pieces in all shapes and sizes; from smart gadgets to kitchen utensils, from perfume to fashion accessories. Little and distinctive additions that enrich our interiors, making them unique and welcoming. An autumn interiors jaunt anyone? Bonne Idee, non?
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