Forests, antiques and circles: All of the traits from the London Design Competition 2022 – The Impartial

Forests, antiques and circles: All of the traits from the London Design Competition 2022 – The Impartial

It is now September and the chances are you’re feeling the change of seasons. There’s a seemingly perpetual percussion of rain, leaves are starting to crunch underfoot, and as we spend more time curled up indoors, our thoughts naturally turn to our homes.

In pertinent and exciting news, the LondonDesign Festival (LDF) is back. Between 17-25 September, the festival celebrates the city as a design capital, promoting creativity and “drawing in the country’s greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers, and educators to deliver an unmissable celebration of design”. It’s like fashion week for interior design, inspiration abounds from the exhibitions, installations, and showrooms found around every corner of the city.

After scouring this year’s London design scene, I’ve rounded up the emerging trends that designers and creatives from across the globe just can’t seem to get enough of.

First up, textiles are paying homage to the glorious outdoors. Equal parts grandeur and ease, the appeal of the English country house is enduring. And no country estate or rural cottage is complete without a vibrant, blooming garden. The Garden Path collection by leading textile and furniture designer Andrew Martin is inspired by this nostalgic British charm. In timeless floral motifs with classic petal shapes, herringbone patterns, and ticking stripes, the textiles in shades of leafy green, petal pink, and honey yellow subtly capture the essence of an English garden in bloom.

For a more moody take on the trend, eco-friendly, British paint and wallpaper company Little Greene has revisited its extensive archive to present its Forest collection. All about the allure and versatility of green, this collection responds to the human need for connection to nature. Implementing foliage-based wallpaper and painting a space in hues like Jewel Beetle, Puck, and Windmill Lane are just a few ways you can blur that line between outdoors and in.

Bring the outdoors in with foliage wallpaper

Lighting should no longer feel like an afterthought. Sculptural fixtures are having a moment, reminding us that the right light can act as a beautiful piece of art. Designer Elif Erguvan creates objects that do just this – “encourage the dialogue between functionality and artistic form”. Elif’s debut collection of made-to-order sculptural furniture was on display at LDF. The range includes the minimalist yet eye-catching Trapeze Sconce and Dripp Lamp. In both fixtures, the bulbs are shaped like glowing droplets, effortlessly dripping from a solid material that mimics a scarf draped over a bobbin.

Italian decorative lighting design brand, Slamp, is also pushing beyond traditional illumination. Notable fixtures include the Nuvem lighting system– a modular honeycomb suspension that takes up any possible shape, floating above a room like a cloud and the Tulip Suspension– a lyrical succession of floating, glowing tulip blossoms. The brand opened its first flagship store in the United Kingdom, Slamp London Knightsbridge, during LDF.

Light relief: the right piece can look like art

Textural lighting is also on-trend. Lampshades in natural fibres such as seagrass and water hyacinth provide a sense of approachable elegance within a room whilst also filtering harsh light to create a cosy, soft glow. “Every room deserves the warmth of nature brought within. Like the perfect cashmere sweater, natural woven [lampshades] evoke that sense of comfort,” says Suzanne Duin, founder of Maison Maison, a global destination for woven lampshades. Just in time for autumn, “these materials add comfort and interest to a space, lending it a sense of reassuring, warm tactility.”

The allure of antique and vintage furnishings prevails. But, incorporating pre-loved items into design doesn’t mean recreating a room from that era. Rather, by mixing old and new, your home becomes a current space you love that’s filled with storied things that are personally meaningful. This thoughtful marriage between vintage and contemporary design was everywhere at LDF. For instance, the MAH Gallery launched The House – a new concept store offering a range of vintage collectables alongside the work of contemporary and emerging designers and artists. And vintage furniture gallery Béton Brut was “in residence” at the Paul Smith London flagship shop in Mayfair with a selection of furnishings hand-picked with the Mayfair shop space in mind.

Woven lampshades will add warmth to any room

Lastly, graceful curves and soft edges are back. Decades after the iconic serpentine sofa (which debuted in 1950) we’re still loving modern interpretations of this sweeping seating silhouette. Perhaps this is because, according to psychologist John N Bassili, humans are naturally drawn to circular forms for the comfort and safety they provide. Meridiani’s latest product which was featured at LDF– the RENÉ modular sofa – is a bold take on this welcoming, familiar flow. They also offer the RENÉ armchair which is designed to envelop the sitter like a welcoming nest. As the nights get dark earlier and the weather turns chilly, I can’t imagine any better place to curl up with a warm cup of tea.