Thursday, 26 September 2013

Decorex London 2013 highlights

I must say that this week is full of Interior Design themed festivals in London so this is another post heavy on the theme.  
Apologies to those with no interest in the subject at all!

The Decorex event which was directly competing with the 
Focus Design fair at Chelsea Design Center was held at the more glamorous Orangery at Kensington Palace.

 The event was quite large so there were marquees pitched all around the central point being the Orangery.

The lobby of the main exhibit was so glamorous!
Look at the de Gournay wallpaper.
 They even had matching sheer blinds to complement the wall.

It was so funny because I was going to buy the tickets and the guide saw me taking pictures of the wall and asked if I was trade or press.  I hesitated answering because I thought I had come on the wrong day as with these festivals there are days reserved purely for trade and press and they have a separate days for the public. 

She asked, "So you were taking pictures for an article right?"

"Well, not really it's just for my itty bitty blog."

She persisted, "So then, it is press nevertheless."

"Um, ok but it's just a blog I do for fun. 
Press is a little strong for it."

"But you are going to publish it to the public right?"

"Well, yes but not many people read it." 

"I am giving you a press pass so you get in free." 
And so she ended the discussion 
otherwise I would still be there hesitating.

And so I saved £30!! 
Who says blogging doesn't pay?

The first room as you entered was de Gournay
the mother ship of luxury wallpaper and draperie.

Below shows part of the new designs of their range.

Below was a room that Kit Kemp who is not only an interior designer but also hotelier designed.

Their hotel was one of the first ones in London to have an honesty bar.  An area where in house guests could pour drinks in a communal lounge but use their civics to pay the correct amount.

Harlequin had a nice simple stand but 
they wallpapered the floor if you look carefully. 

I liked these mosaic walls that could be used anywhere in the house but also in the bathroomsby Elitis at Abbot and Boyd.

Not everything was modern and new, there were many stands that just demonstrated classic and simple designs.
I can't remember who this was but I liked everything about this stand and thought it would make a fun room.
I love a gallery wall and orange so this drew my eye.
I wish I needed cornicing but I don't so I just admired all the options.
Loved this blue and white sofa.
I took a picture of this light fixture that was from Richard Taylor.
But Richard Taylor himself questioned why I was taking a picture of the light.  I told him I simply liked it but then someone else he was speaking to said that they had to be careful as there were a lot of spies and copiers. I offered to erase it but then told him that I just have a little blog and I am not going to copy and sell it on ebay.
Once again, the blogging saved the day.

One day, I will do this whole busy print that matches the sofa or 
as I refer to it as camouflage decorating.
I adore mother of pearl pieces and think they suit any sort of decor from modern to chintzy.
While I liked it I would never feel safe in a hammock bathtub.
But if you are interested, here is their website called Splinterworks.

I loved this sailboat sofa draped in gorgeous fabrics. 

Missoni had a predictably impressive stand.
Love how homey and surprisingly easy 
their fabrics were on the eye.
Being a design fair, 
even the coffee stands were decorated to a high standard. 

They also had talks and seminars by various designers and design figures. The lecture room had Zoffany wallpaper with 
Venice as the background.
I went to a talk about design in hotels.
The speaker on the left was the editor of Living Etc magazine and the man on the right was the CEO of the Mr and Mrs Smith travel guide group aka Mr Smith.
The talk was what you expect of a marketing collaborative spiel.
I used to work in marketing so I think it might be just me having overdosed on these sort of conversations.
Mr Smith says that his favorite hotel in the world (this is from someone who has stayed in about 1000 of them) 
said it was Blakes Hotel in London.  Plus he said that he is considering opening a hotel of his own.

But what really got me excited was that I got to meet a designer I have huge respect for - Alidad!
With the money I saved on the entrance fee, 
I bought his new book and I got him to sign a bookplate to go in it!
He is not necessarily to everyone's taste but he has honed his style and knows how to manage all the elements so well.

I found a new brand at the fair based in Scotland that 
I am absolutely crazy for right now!
It is Timorous Beasties.
They are a small wallpaper and fabric company that has a modern spin on classic designs like toile.
Look at this London wallpaper.
 If that is a little too edgy then 
there is also a classically beautiful range.
You can also have some fun recreating 
your own room of choice on their site - click here.

There was just so much to see but for those of you interested in seeing some more, please have a look at this blog I found called 
A-Gent of style who also went to the fair.  He has some great pictures and is an expert in interior design.

PS Sorry some of the pictures are smaller than I normally present them but it is causing havoc with the email subscriptions. Please bear with  me while I try and sort out some technical issues.


  1. Replies
    1. Me too but I am worried that if I got into it it might fall, break and then flood the house!

  2. You lucky cow! That's your first official 'fee' as a blogger! Congrats! It's just amazing to see wonderful designs in one room. I love that hammock bath also, I can't even begin to imagine how I'm gonna get out of it. I'm practicing it in my mind. The really busy print (is that bamboo?) is really busy, I feel like dressing in a camouflage to blend in. By the way, I didn't think you were updated on bloglovin....

    PS. Just realised, even Blogger seems to have a new look for the comment box...

    1. Just lucked out - I gather there were loads of other bloggers who say they are press. Yes that camouflage sofa might be a foil for health and safety regs!! Blogger is going a little funny - I think mercury retrograde is coming or something...xx

  3. You know about those "Ferrari" beds? Seeing this post makes me want a sailboat bed, king size of course. And you got in for free and avoided being lynched by Mr. Taylor thanks to blogging?? Thumbs up for blogging, huh?! But I agree with the guide: you're putting your pictures and impressions online - anyone can see this so they better be nice to you.:) Next time you should ask for samples and get a free pillow or a roll of wallpaper!

    I want to and have to thank you for your last comment, dear. I was literally speechless. I made my boyfriend read it and stare at the screen with me in awe for a minute or so. THANK YOU.

    1. Yes thumbs up for blogging! But I was only stating my opinion - nothing to thank sweetie! xx

  4. love this Naomi! Lisa over at A Bloomsbury Life is a huge fan of Timorous Beasts, as I believe is our gal Tabs! It is such neat wallpaper!

    1. I missed this post going through her archives! I just searched it and you're right - I am way behind and Tabs is way ahead as usual...But I loved it so much and they were so popular that eventhe editor of Living Magazine had to wait to speak to them!

  5. Hey, I think Tabitha (Bourbon & Pearls) wrote a post about Timorous Beasties a while back! Their designs are very witty.

    Thanks for all the photos! Love the deGournay wallpaper, so serene looking. For some reason, the hammock bathtub looks like an accident waiting to happen. Also, very glad to hear you got in for free and you got a signed book with the money saved!! There are some benefits to blogging ;-) !!!

    1. Yes I just saw her post. Yes while the bath is cool - how the heck do you get in and out?? Who knew I would finally benefit from this blog? I did break my ban on book buying especially as it was an excuse to say hello to Alidad :)

  6. Thank you for sharing this experience. I would have loved to be there!!!! That doesn't mean that I don't love your posts about museums and other topics.... I have had a similar experience with blogging. I promised a post (that I didn't write :-((( to a firm that was exposing tapestry textiles) just to have some bags they offered for free to the visitors. BYeeeee

    1. There is another event next week! I think they are just trying to keep all the interior designers while they are in town. You would have loved all the variety of everything!!

  7. love this post and well done with blogging saving the day twice!

    I went to high tea at Blakes when I was in Londy in May and loved it. So dark and glam and chic.

    One day I'd like some de Gournay but the odds are very very slim.xx

  8. Blames has a rear exit so celebs can leave without getting lapped! But I reckon all you need to do is talk to de Gournay and let them paper a wall and with your blogging stature you could get it gratis! Even I saved thirty quid! :) xx

  9. Swooning over the De Gournay. I dream of having a room full of it one day. Living with Art.
    Love your recap, love that you got a press pass too.I went to Decorex once, and so enjoyed it. There was another one.. think it was in the grounds of Syon? On in the same week (maybe it was Focus?) between the two I was in decorating heaven (having only just left Adelaide...) I think you need to switch careers with your love of Interiors xx

  10. I was too...yes I do love it but am wondering if I'm too old for an internship as such plus I do worry if it might tarnish my love for it. I was a major foodie and then had a cafe and now I am not as much as a aficionado so...but I would love to knw the pros and cons of the job, do you do post requests?? Xx

  11. Good for you for getting in for free! Like many other people, I love the bathtub but I think over time problems would occur because there doesn't seem to be very much holding it up and the damp & water would erode the plaster etc weakening whatever is actually keeping it up. Oh god, I'm such a nerd!

    1. Oh you are not a nerd - you're thinking ahead!! :) That bath really was "functional sculpture".

  12. What fun to get free entry!!!! And why not; you have given a wonderful account of the Decorex event. Loved the link to Alidad; his oriental rooms are gorgeous.

    1. I love a freebie as well :) Alidad was so nice and wanted to rewrite the bookplate to make it neater - how lovely is that?

  13. Love the de Gournay wallpaper, and tho Timourous beasts designs! I swear my knowledge of wallpaper/ interior design is growing exponentially due to you and Heidi. Of course, I'm still a total pleb, but even a few months ago I'd never heard of de Gournay or even given much thought to wallpaper (apart from the magazine!)
    That hammock bath tub is crazy - not sure I could cope with it.
    Very cool that you got in free!

    1. Too funny :) Yes but I don't have the detail for clothing like you do. Mind you I wear a lot of stretchy clothes!!!

  14. This place is amazing! The wallpaper is so pretty!

    1. Yes it is - but I found out that de Gournay is actually British and not French like I though!

  15. Gee, You not only make buying magazines useless, you also make visiting London, Vienna.. so pleasant and affordable for us all ; ).
    Very much colors used, decorative stands and corners, nothing what we have over here.
    Personally Missioni is not turning me on much, but then I only have small towels by them used at our stable. Colorful.
    I also visited the Gent´s blog. He takes good pictures.
    You could be our interior design Sartorialist. You go girl, go!

    1. But I was surprised how mellow Missoni was but not so in your face. It was very easy to "live" with if that makes sense. The towels do work in a nice simple bathroom for sure. I like Gent's blog as he is an up and coming designer. Thanks Mette! :)

  16. Love the hammock bath! My kids would die for this! How nice you got in as press and well you should have! They were lucky you took snaps. Thanks for sharing. Love to have gone. Too bad I'm over here in Calif!

    Have a good weekend!

    1. The hammock bath is truly as they refer to it - sculptural furniture! But I think I could never relax in the bath and would be holding onto the sides!!! You would have enjoyed it but you get the good weather :)

  17. I love the hammock bath but would hate cleaning in and under it - nightmare! Congrats on getting in for free as press...your dialogue made me giggle! x

    1. Yes I think the water falls down to another plug hole in the floor - so you would have water going everywhere I think! I love a freebie too :) x

  18. Firstly, the Orangery - what a fabulous venue and you managed free entry as 'press' - brilliant! I would love to vistit this show sometime although I would come away wanting to redecorate no doubt. I'm admiring those light fittings in the Kit Kemp room and those mother of pearl pieces. Great post!

    1. Albeit unintentional it was great to save the money though I didn't clip on the press badge...Kit Kemp is a wonder and I am looking for some affordable mother of pearl - thanks miss b.

  19. I love going to interior design shows, but haven't been to one for a long time, you don't tend to find many in Birmingham. That is hilarious what happened at the door with the tickets - well done and why not!

    The hammock bathtub - OMG I love it, right up my street! Did they say how much it would retail for?

    Honey, please make your photos a bit bigger, you take some fab shots, but some of them are a little small to see the all the great detail you have captured.

    Enjoy your weekend hun x

    1. I could see you have a bathtub like that at home! I would make the pics bigger but it is affecting my email subscriptions and people are having a hard time downloading the pics...So sorry I will try and sort something out but in the meantime you can click on the pics to make them bigger if you want a better look - stiill working on it...Have a lovely weekend x

  20. Hi yet another brilliant & informational blog... keep up the great work that you've been doing...ciao xx MM

    1. Thanks MM - glad you came alone for a visit xx

  21. oh how glorious.

    we felt as if we got to walk around with you and listen to your commentary live.

    lovely pictures and words and ideas (and yes, we've overdosed on Marketing Conversations too - bring back real words)

    and you're definitely part of Our Press Corps.

    love reading you.


    _tg xx

    1. Press corps for the select few :) Sometimes I wonder why I bothered to go but there is always one morsel of fact one goes away with so I must be patient. Thanks for visiting xx

  22. Always enjoy looking at design though my home interior is pretty low brow, we're decorated as a sports bar and it was my idea. Camo decorating? That could get confusing when the eyes go.

    You've got your press credentials now! Register as press, they almost always get in for free. ;)

    1. It is true that the press gets loads of freebies but I can assure you that my opinions are genuine! :)

  23. How wonderful you got to go to Decorex... A little green here!! There can be design overload at these shows and for me the highlight is definitely that Timorous Beasties "birdie" wallpaper... the Toile is divine too! As for the hammock bath... I don't think so... imagine the mess of the splashing water beneath that would need continual mopping up!! xxx

    1. It was fashion week for interiors in London!! This week is all about antiques and furniture for the followup so will go to a show and give you a peak. here to serve Jenny :) but you should have seen the bath IRL - one would need a stool to get in. Definitely not one for the old people's home! xx

  24. I had some hazy recollection of seeing this post from you in the list has been one of those weeks! So I am very glad that I didn't miss it as there was SO much here to appreciate. N, you did a finer job than a lot of the design blogs do for this type of fair because as always, you say what you think and voila.
    PS. When asked if you are with the press, always say yes. ;)

    1. There were a few design fairs in town this week and I went to two of them! It's not you it's me :)


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