Last week, Clerkenwell Design Week celebrated its 10-year anniversary. On the 21st – 23rd May, the streets of the vibrant Clerkenwell district were filled with temporary installations developed by specialist architectural, design and engineering brands. Clerkenwell is an award-winning design festival that attracts design communities from all over the world, where this year over 100 showrooms and pop-up showrooms took part and transformed their spaces. But don’t worry if you missed it – our team at Little Red Rooster has picked out the latest trends and coolest brands to share with you.
First up, hot on the heels of London Design Week in March, we saw metallic accents injected throughout a range of brands. These shiny finishes work well through both small accessories and large pieces of furniture in a wide range of rooms throughout the home. From dainty handles and doorknobs to bold showers and radiators, we saw an increasingly varied selection of bronze, copper and chrome. The Watermark Collection stand featured an array of stunning brassware which really caught our eye, while Samuel Heath showcased a variety of striking traditional and contemporary designs to suit all styles. We also saw a selection of snazzy handles and knobs by Swarf Hardware, on its extremely eye-catching stand, while Designer Doorware, pictured below, featured an array of stunning door ware styles and finishes.
Next up, our very own Bisque Radiators showcased a variety of incredible radiator designs, tapping into a number of trends, including metallics, bright colours and this year’s hottest topic, Bauhaus. Our favourite is the Archibald towel rail in bold shades of red and yellow – always a crowd pleaser! This design was the winter of the international Designboom competition in 2006, and created for Bisque by designer Leo Sazedo. In fact, Bisque was previewing something very exciting on its stand – more details to come in the next few weeks!
Another beautifully bright stand we came across was Knightsbridge Furniture. This British brand has been designing and manufacturing quality furniture for over 80 years. With its bold and colourful furniture, the brand also tapped into the botanical trend with a number of plant wall coverings adding character to the display.
As always, Clerkenwell brought us a range of brand-new collaborations between up-and-coming designers and established brands. We particularly liked the pairing of Austrian trio EOOS with Carl Hansen and Son. The Embrace collection comprises a series of sculptural, circular-topped dining and lounge tables, designed to encourage communication between people thanks to the spherical shape (as opposed to harsh, linear edges). The Bouroullec brothers – previously responsible for Samsung’s Serif TV – also turned their hand to furniture at this year’s show, for British brand Established & Sons. Its modular seating system, pictured below, has been designed for both commercial and domestic interiors, and can be customised in several ways – either encased in a metal cage, wooden panels or soundproof upholstery. Finally, there was a three-way collaboration between Australian designer Tom Fereday with department store Lane Crawford and Stellar Works as a result of the store’s Creative Call Out last year. The winning prize was an elegantly simple collection comprising lounge chair, table range, dining chair and bed.
Perhaps one of the most talked about installations, however, was held – rather surprisingly – at Fabric. Light, an exhibition dedicated to international lighting brands, stood within the brick vaults of the iconic London nightclub. Brands on display included Ebb & Flow, Bert Frank, Coolicon, Lumm and Curiousa & Curiosa, amongst many others.
For now, the design industry can enjoy a bit of a summer holiday, as we eagerly await September’s influx of design shows – Maison & Objet and London Design Festival. If you missed these last year, catch up on our previous blogs – here and here.