Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WHAM-BAM IT'S HYPER R-GLAM; Barbara Chandler Says London's Biggest Interior-Design Festival Will This Year Excite an International Audience

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WHAM-BAM IT'S HYPER R-GLAM; Barbara Chandler Says London's Biggest Interior-Design Festival Will This Year Excite an International Audience

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Chandler

STARTING Sunday, for just a few days, Chelsea is the magnet for interior designers from all over the world who will flock to Focus and Decorex for these two must-see whambam hyper-glam spectacular design shows. These events are part of London's biggest ever design festival (londondesignfestival.com), launching the very latest trends and fashions over the capital with 240 events that started rolling out at the weekend -- catch up on homesandproperty.co.uk.

Two of the biggest -- 100% Design at Earls Court and Tent in East London -- start tomorrow and close on Sunday (details below). Then Focus and Decorex open in Chelsea, running at the same time. Focus is really the destination for new wallpapers and fabrics, the nearest the world of interiors gets to a catwalk, when colours, patterns and textures unite under the glass domes of Europe's biggest design complex at Chelsea Harbour.

Meanwhile, Decorex -- in its shaded great marquee in Royal Hospital Road -- has an eclectic mix of furniture, lighting, rugs, accessories and more. This, the 33rd Decorex, has a markedly more modern feel. There's an influx of new exhibitors. The show's been fully booked for months, with a waiting list, and decorator Nina Campbell has decorated the place with an amusing Alice in Wonderland theme.

London can justly be proud of these two shows. Here is home design to die for, with new products that ooze with confident exuberance. But at the same time tradition holds its own, calling on wonderful archive material (for example Cole & Son, Zoffany, Sanderson, and Colefax & Fowler at Focus), and use of traditional materials such as wood, leather, metal, stone and glass.

British goods predominate but there are sophisticated imports. Carpets, furniture, tiles and textiles from America, Italian Murano glass chandeliers and furniture at the cutting edge, Turkish textiles and lots of French chic.

Business is buoyant in the upper echelons of interior design. "Chelsea Harbour is where global interior design comes together," says Claire German, the new managing director. It has happily weathered recession and all 80-plus showrooms are now fully let. "There's even a waiting list, and the whole place is buzzing," adds German.

Among the new arrivals are French Pierre Frey and the Surrey interior impresarios Evitavonni (that's "Innovative" written backwards).

Tent London Tomorow until Sunday, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1 (tentlondon.co. uk). Tickets [pounds sterling]10/[pounds sterling]8 (adult), [pounds sterling]5 (children aged five to 16).

100% Design London Tomorrow until Sunday, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, SW5; (0844 588 8087; 100percentdesign.co.

uk). Trade only but public day is Sunday. Tickets [pounds sterling]20 on the door.

Decorex International 2010 From Sunday until September 29, Royal Hospital, SW3; enter from Royal Hospital Road or from Chelsea Embankment. …

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