Ah September, it’s that whirlwind month in the calendar when the design industry descends on London town for a fortnight-ish of product launches, glitzy parties, catch ups with old friends and new design discoveries – everyone runs around like their *** is on fire but it’s all actually really fantastic – and inspiring.
Kicking off my trail of discovery was trade show Top Drawer last week which plays host to some of the best brands in Home, Gift and Craft (image above from the Nkuku stand). Read on for my highlights from the show (image below the new swirl collection at Unique and Unity).
It’s hands-down the best feeling when you walk into a show and in the first few aisles find your first highlight – and the excitement of this find stayed with me for the whole show. Notremonde is a brand that have been around for a while but I have never seen them in person. Made in lndonesia the brand produces striking mirrored products with screen-printed, hand-painted and aged surfaces which can be found in the form of mirrors, tray tables, coffee tables and trays. A highlight is made even more so when you find a luxury brand has super affordable prices – (mirrored handmade trays start at £72 and I would actually just pop them on my own stand to make a table) you can shop most of the range over at Amara.
RAINE AND HUMBLE
I love the tropical trend but always a little hesitant to commit to the vibrancy and inherent kitschy-ness of the look. Raine and Humble a Melbourne based brand pulls this look off in a lovely handmade way with their tropical inspired textiles in subtle hues of grey, sage, mintand monochrome. Also check out their super cosy pom pom cushions.
I could have spent all day browsing the hundreds of beautiful products on the stand of On Interior a delicious collection of Swedish brands comprised of labels like By On, Vakinme and Village. The products spanning everything from cushions, glassware, furniture, lighting, kitchenware and textiles all fell into a trend i’m calling Nordic Gothic – minimal in line, rich in character, inky velvets and hothouse plants, glittering glass and industrial details with a touch of playful Victoriana. The minimal bar cart below made of black steel and mirrored shelves and styled with glittering vases is a perfect example of this trend.
Bungalow Denmark was an elegant explosion of artisan colour, specialising in a wide range of products that feature Indian inspired prints with a modern Danish aesthetic. Look at these gorgeous block-printed fabrics and marbled papers…
Nkuku is a fair-trade lifestyle brand that I have watched grow with fascination over the years, offering rustic homeware from all over the globe. It now has an unbelievable amount of unusual products for the home, from terracotta tableware, antique lassi cups from Rajasthan recycled glass cake domes and industrial furniture. I’m totally head over heels for this brand and considering a special trip to Devon to while away some days in their lifestyle cafe which i’ve only just discovered.
Illustrative lifestyle brand Magpie’s new Flora collection of camping style accessories in lovely autumnal hues were adorned with sweet wildflowers. At the top of my wish-list was the off-white bamboo tableware adorned with funghi, elderflowers, blackberries and rose-hips – the texture of the bamboo and the sweet subtle hues of the illustrations gave the whole set a sort of naturally dyed effect. Check out the espresso cups as well – because camping can be chic!
I’ve waxed lyrical about joyful Danish brand Rice DK on my Instagram feed in the past – i’m not usually a fan of bright plastic (melamine) homeware but their playful and patterned take on kids tableware and accessories is hard to to turn your nose up at. It’s the first time i’ve seen their unique raffia storage boxes and they are even more covetable in person than they are online. They come in gorgeous home-made style designs like circus troupes, aquarium scenes, town houses, theatres and shop scenes.
‘Gasp!’ I thought when I came across these glorious vintage wall-charts from Australian brand Erstwhile. Large reproductions of antique botanicals, maps and zoological prints are hand-mounted with aged timber batons and hemp rope. This is one trend that I am loving exploring from all across the globe – with archives and libraries bringing up treasures that speak of the history of the lands that inspire them.
ORWELL AND GOODE
Scottish printmakers Orwell and Goode exhibited a cute collection of monochrome and coral screen-prints on cushions, lampshades, purses and trays – it was also refreshing to see the prints used on upholstered stools – there’s not much on the market in the way of patterned poufs!
Another great Danish brand Au Maison had a stall packed full of on-trend goodies more dense than the eye could see. I loved their Bohemian fabric lampshades, coat hooks made of horn and oilcloths in pretty prints.
PLUM AND ASHBY
Finally British general store style brand Plum and Ashby‘s new charcoal spot collection of wash bags, napkins and Christmas stockings caught my eye. Oversized. Monochrome. Polka Dot. No hard sell needed!
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org