DECOREX INTERNATIONAL 2018

London goes a bit design crazy for a few weeks in September and this year marks the 16th London Design Festival with events spread over ten design districts and five exhibitions across the City. It’s a two week design fest of exciting events and I normally try to get as involved as I can in the proceedings!

First stop for me on Monday was Decorex International over in Syon Park in Richmond and I’m not going to lie, there are easier places to get to ….. walk to station, bus, overground, courtesy bus from tube… but I got there in the end and it was well worth the hike over and I got to spend the day with some of the gang from the IDC which is always a bonus.

 Daniel Hopwood at Decorex International 2018

Daniel Hopwood at Decorex International 2018

I’ve found over the years that one of the best things about these design shows is they do put on some pretty inspiring leadership sessions and the panel discussions are always quite relaxed which is good. I whizzed into one as soon as I arrived which was being hosted by Daniel Hopwood - you probably know him best as one of the TV presenters of The Great Interior Design Challenge (a show which sees amateur designers put under enormous amount of pressure over a period of 2-3 days and somehow they survive and come up with some marvellous creations on an extremely tight budget #respect #ithinkiwouldcrumble) Anyway, Daniel runs his own Interior Design Studio and he shared a few of his designer insights into how to create a design concept for the blank canvass that is ‘the new build’ as lets face it, not everyone is blessed with a characterful double fronted Georgian manor. His client budgets were shall we say, ‘generous’ but he gave some interesting insight into how he manages the design process.

 Alternative Flooring X Zoffany

Alternative Flooring X Zoffany

 V Interior

V Interior

With over 400 international exhibitors at Decorex it’s a great opportunity for designers to see the new collections, meet the makers behind them and seek out new products as they showcase the finest displays of furniture, lighting, textiles, craft and accessories from emerging and some of the most distinguished names in interior design.

I was delighted to meet up with Alternative Flooring Carpets and see their amazing new collaboration with Zoffany. I popped over to say ‘hi’ to the ladies at V Interior who were displaying several gorgeous items from their wonderful selection of vintage designer pieces and to the team at sofa.com and timorous beasties.

 sofa.com

sofa.com

 Timorous Beasties

Timorous Beasties

It was hard not to have your head turned by the beautiful collections at Bert Frank and Bethan Gray and also by brands that I was less familiar with such as Knots Rugs and Wewood a beautiful Portuguese joinery brand.

 Bethan Gray

Bethan Gray

 Bert Frank

Bert Frank

 Knots Rugs

Knots Rugs

 Wewood

Wewood

One the highlights of the show for me this year was meeting Sophie Robinson, Interior Designer and TV Presenter. You never know how these TV folk are going to be when you meet them but I can honestly say she was absolutely wonderful and it was really interesting hearing all about her DIY SOS TV presenting. I would have happily hung out with her all day but she may have thought that a bit odd as we’d only just met……. maybe next time!

 from left to right - IDC members Justine Hodgson-Barker of  Barker   Design , Emma Gurner of  Folds Inside , Fiona Duke of Fiona Duke Interiors (Me!!) ,  Sophie Robinson  and Pia Pelkonen of  Pia Design Consulting

from left to right - IDC members Justine Hodgson-Barker of Barker Design, Emma Gurner of Folds Inside, Fiona Duke of Fiona Duke Interiors (Me!!) , Sophie Robinson and Pia Pelkonen of Pia Design Consulting

Travel-inspired interior design

'Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind' - Seneca
 Brownstone beauties in New York City

Brownstone beauties in New York City

New York travel inspiration

We all operate and function in a different way and how we find inspiration will vary from person to person - reading, social media, music, nature, people, buildings, food......

Finding inspiration on the world wide web is a 'major' part of my day to day job and social media networks are a fantastic way to get inspired - swiping through instagram, perusing over millions of pinterest boards, reading blogs ... is an amazing resource, one that allows us to view the world and what it has to offer without even getting out of your chair.

 Rustic bar vibe in Dallas, Texas

Rustic bar vibe in Dallas, Texas

However, from time to time being able to 'disconnect' from this intense 'electronic world' can be enormously beneficial to reignite and reenergise the mind.

'Travel' - to make a journey, to go from one place to another..... (dictionary)

To 'travel' allows us to view the world in a different way. Travelling gives us the opportunity to clear away the distractions of 'normal' life and help us reconnect to the outside world.

 pretty cool way to 'hang' out at the bar 

pretty cool way to 'hang' out at the bar 

 a little humour with the bar stools in Texas!

a little humour with the bar stools in Texas!

I've recently just returned from a bit of a 'road trip' in America - starting out in Texas, moving onto the hip Californian West Coast and then Eastward to the delight that is New York City. Submerging yourself into new surroundings really does allow you to 'explore' and 'feel' what's actually out there around you.

 Street art in San Fransisco

Street art in San Fransisco

My trip lasted 2 weeks and I shot nearly 700 images in this time but every time I go away I love to come back with a new 'travel portfolio' of that destination visited - wonderful visuals that you can draw upon for future projects adding an element of 'travel-inspired interior design' can really inject a little 'international' flavour to your own ideas.

To share all the images with you may be a little too much so here's a few of my favourites.......

 Condo apartment in downtown Dallas

Condo apartment in downtown Dallas

 Texan wall art!

Texan wall art!

 Restaurant in Dallas

Restaurant in Dallas

Interior Designer Chelmsford
 New York Deli in Chinatown

New York Deli in Chinatown

 New York bistro in Little Italy

New York bistro in Little Italy

Interior Designer Chelmsford
Interior Designer Essex

Traditional features from the 1900's in Yosemite, California

 Industrial interiors at 50 Bowrey in New York

Industrial interiors at 50 Bowrey in New York

Interior Designer Essex
 The Bowrey Hotel, New York

The Bowrey Hotel, New York

Interior Designer Essex
Interior Designer Essex
 Commercial Foyer area in Financial District Dallas

Commercial Foyer area in Financial District Dallas

 Brooklyn Tin Tiled ceiling

Brooklyn Tin Tiled ceiling

 Pattern perfect in New York hotel

Pattern perfect in New York hotel

 Rice & Gold New York

Rice & Gold New York

 Outdoor garden in Monterey, California

Outdoor garden in Monterey, California

'As seen on TV'

I've wanted to be able to say that for ages! And now I can **whoop whoop** as one of my designs was actually featured on TV last weekend.

A few months ago I was contacted by Tern TV, saying that they were in the process of filming a new show for Channel 4 called Best Laid Plans and wanted to know if I would get involved.

Each week architectural designer Charlie Luxton and property developer Sophie Morgan follow two families renovating their homes and together, they do their best to help these homeowners resolve their crucial design dilemmas. I know there are quite a few of these 'type' of shows on now but this is a good one and I'm really hoping they do a second series as it's a fab format.

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