Lon­don De­sign Week

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Front Page - By Bar­bara Chan­dler

AF­TER its trade pre­view, Lon­don De­sign Week — big­ger than ever — is open from today to all, of­fer­ing a bo­nanza of up­mar­ket home de­sign in the 80 gal­leried showrooms in Chelsea Har­bour’s domes, 37 more in its bur­geon­ing an­nexe of De­sign Cen­tre East and other showrooms are nearby on King’s Road. That’s 650 brands (many showrooms fea­ture sev­eral brands) and it runs un­til Fri­day.

This year’s buzz­word is “prove­nance”: the back his­tory of a prod­uct and what makes it spe­cial — whether it’s the in­spi­ra­tion, the de­signer’s pro­file, how some­thing is made or what it’s made from or a lit­tle of ev­ery­thing. This spring, the sto­ries are en­thralling.

CAT­WALK KINGS

Fash­ion segues seam­lessly into fur­nish­ing, with a swelling band of cat­walk kings do­ing fab­rics, wall­pa­pers and home­ware. Jean-Paul Gaultier’s wall­pa­pers for Lelièvre of Paris. This ro­man­tic wild child lives in a per­sonal le­gend of toile de jouy, swoop­ing swallows and shim­mer­ing bou­quets with beat-up bikes, graf­fiti, tat­toos and Bre­ton stripes of his trade­mark marinière jer­seys. Mean­while, Chris­tian Lacroix Mai­son trip the boards for theatre-in­spired prints and em­broi­deries at De­sign­ers Guild. Bri­tish Zinc Tex­tiles chose Chanel as their muse and weaves evoke bouclé jack­ets and snappy colour com­bos.

AN­I­MAL MAGIC

Parisi­enne dec­o­ra­tor Sarah Lavoine is an uber- glam decor dar­ling with her own brand ( Mai­son Sarah Lavoine) and three shops and an In­sta­gram fol­low­ing of 70,800. Now come strong new wall­pa­pers, blocked out like ab­stract art, at No­bilis, founded in Paris in 1928, show­ing on the Har­bour ground floor.

Africa’s blind­ing sun, craft, tribal art and wild an­i­mals is a trend pushed to the limit at Cole & Son, where desert blooms and wildlife adorn folk prints and bas­ket weaves for our favourite Ard­more edit. By con­trast, An­tho­zoa from Har­lequin is won­der­fully wa­tery.

MU­RALS BY THE ME­TRE

Zof­fany’s Stu­dio have messed around with nat­u­ral plant dyes and steeped them­selves in stones and min­er­als. Look out for wall­pa­per pan­els sold on a roll, so you can whack up a floor-to­ceil­ing mu­ral that looks cus­tom-painted — some del­i­cate Chi­nois­erie, for ex­am­ple, or a vast moody seascape.

New to the Har­bour is Bernie de Le Cuona, who seeks weavers world­wide for tex­tured “plains” in sub­tle blends of nat­u­ral fi­bres. New is a her­ring­bone in twisted wool, a linen/wool sheer and a tac­tile linen pot- dyed by hand in Morocco and fin­ished with a bash of pu­mice stones. Also in­vet­er­ate trav­ellers are new Lon­don de­sign duo who call them­selves A Rum Fel­low, bring­ing ar­ti­san fab­rics in eth­nic weaves from far­away places and these are the ba­sis for vi­brant in­door/ out­door fab­rics at US brand Pol­lack at Alt­field on the sec­ond floor.

We Lon­don­ers cher­ish our gar­dens, even if it’s only a bal­cony or a bank of in­door palms. Palm pat­terns are still partout and San­der­son shows Art of the Gar­den and Os­borne & Lit­tle chuck out the chintz in favour of huge blooms and hip hues.

Daz­zling: Robert Allen’s Ja­vanese Denim fab­ric, right

In­sta­gram dar­ling: Sarah Lavoine, inset left, has cre­ated a new range of wall­pa­pers for No­bilis

Deep blue sea: Porta Ro­mana, at Chelsea Har­bour Drive, have this Blue­bell Dumpling light with Top Hat Marine Shade: Por­taro­mana. com, 01420 23005

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