London Design Week – March 2011 – Part deux

G P & J Baker has been producing beautiful prints and weaves for over 100 years. The G P & J Baker umbrella also includes Mulberry, Lee Jofa, Threads, Parkertex and Baker Lifestyle. The showroom at DCCH was vibrant in their new Baker Lifestyle collection, which seems to take a fresher less formal approach to its fabrics, but no less interesting and certainly very appropriate for family rooms – many items are washable. Taking centre stage was a wonderful indigo ikat style print.  Two trends in one hit – IKAT and INDIGO – and great for the wallet too.

Mulberry home was resplendent in their wonderful collection of opulent upholstery velvets from the heirloom collection. Renowned for its craftsmanship and quality these velvets made me want to sink down and take the weight off my feet.

They also had a really playful wall of flying ducks wallpaper from their new collection.  It was a fun tongue-in-cheek take on Hilda Ogden’s flying duck ornaments from Coronation street. For me forever to be associated with living rooms and hallways across Britain in the 1960’s and 70’s. BUT it would actually be possible to use this wallpaper in a scheme without the kitsch factor and a very nice repetitive pattern it makes.

US tile specialist Ann Sacks recently opened showroom at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre was a first time visit for me.  With lots of bathroom mockup’s showcasing their design it was easy to visualize how to incorporate some of their unique products. New designs by internationally recognised designers like Barbara Barry were on show. I was interested in the Frame collection with its striking architectural pattern.

I also attended the French Design Forum during Design Week to showcase French Craftmanship. The day kicked off with Rabih Hage giving a talk, which unfortunately I missed. I was really disappointed as I thoroughly enjoy his aesthetic and this round table discussion was hosted by the lovely Max Fraser.  Of the crafts(wo)men exhibiting products I was particularly taken with Ateliers Bataillard and Novidis.

Ateliers Bataillard specialises in crafting fine decorative ironwork – banisters, railings, doors, light fittings, furniture and also assists with the restoration of listed items. This 110 year old company produces a wide range of bespoke pieces, as well as original Ateliers Bataillard design pieces. They showed truly exquisite examples of banisters for sweeping staircases.

image from Ateliers Bataillard

Novidis custom-makes ornamental mouldings. They recently collaborated with artist Michèle Létang on a large fresco for the Four Seasons hotel in London, which was designed by the interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon – its spectacular looking and I want to see it in the flesh soon.

image from Four Seasons

Back at DCCH the Zoffany windows were strong on bold colour showing the embroidered Frangipani collection and the wonderful Richmond Park wallpaper. I have already selected Richmond Park for a project and the client was an enthused as I was. It’s a full of fantastic green hues and makes me smile broadly every time I see it. The other wallpapers in the Intaglio collections with their inference of ancient Rome and maps also got rave reviews from my colleagues and I. I’ll post pictures of Richmond Park once ordered and hung at the clients property.

My take on all the bright colour seen at London Design Week – at the end of the day, you have to be able to live with it. And boy do I WANT to live with it.


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