By Kostas Koutoupis and Dieneke Ferguson
24 January 2014
Coming back from the Christmas break, it is nice to have a bit of time before the year really starts. One of the first events I always look forward to is Home which took place at Earl’s Court from 12-14 January for the third consecutive year. In 2015 though, Home will be moving to its new…home, Olympia.
This is the second year I visited the show and it was great to see how it is coming of age and developing. With the addition of Craft the trio is now offering a good portfolio to the trade. The combination of Home, TopDrawer and Craft is making a great contribution to the annual cycle of Trade Fairs. Home and Craft, the brainchild of Ian Rudge together with Top Drawer, are developing into a Trade Fair that is starting to rival Maison et Objet which will be opening its doors in Paris from 24-28 January. Although Maison et Objet is considered a definitive trend-setter by many, I find it too big. But retailers love it and knowing which hall to go to, they can do their buying all in one place. Home and the other shows are still smaller of course but they are starting to offer the Trade a diverse selection of products to choose from.
Kostas and myself paid a visit not only to catch up with the designers that are already on our e-shop and see their new work but also to look for lovely new products we’d like to help promote through Hidden Art. It was also a great place to spot emerging new trends.
There were quite a few dominant trends one could easily spot at this year’s Home Show. Touches of copper and gold were applied to living room accessories and produced impressive results especially when combined with minimal designs in the lighting section. Many designers went for patterns, imprinted on cushions and blankets and we must admit that playing with shapes and geometry never fails to produce interesting results with a loyal customer base. Hinting at a modernist-80’s era, brightly coloured kitchen and home accessories seemed almost ubiquitous and their vibrancy attracted many a customer’s attention. Last but not least, animal figures. From animal-shaped cushions to coat hangers in the shape of animal heads, wildlife ambassadors were definitely a source of inspiration for many of this year’s exhibitors.
It was great to catch up with Rebecca at her stand. It is never easy to speak to her as she is mostly besieged by potential customers. We loved her artist prints and bespoke home accessories as well as the many variations in which her prints are available. At Home she launched new ones which were enthusiastically received.
Products from RawXclusive
The Trophy bike holder by Outline Works has a special place in my heart for two reasons. First of all, I happen to be Dutch so anything bike-related always catches my attention. Second, I love the way it combines bright colours, imaginative design and practical use. Unfortunately, I don’t need one myself as my garden shed offers storage to my old, trustworthy two-wheeler. Needles to say, if I didn’t have a shed a Trophy bike holder would already be decorating one of my walls!
Outline Works’ latest addition is the Trophy ‘Elephant’ Bike Rack. It is designed to hold two bicycles at once and its name is a hint to its sturdy design!
Products from Outline Works
Nitin Goyal London
Nitin Goyal’s cushions are so delicate and a delight to have them in the house. They also irradiate pure luxury and elegance. His signature look is handcrafted detail such as intricate smocking, pleating and stitching along with an interesting mix of timeless prints and fine embroidery. This is something to look out for if you want to pamper yourself.
Products from Nitin Goyal London
It was great to catch up with Linda Bloomfield and see her beautiful new designs on display. A member of our e-shop for many years her kitchen ware collection has always been loved by customers for its delicate lines and pastel colours. The successful saga continues with a brand new series of Café stoneware range consisting of the Espresso mug sugar bowl, tiny bowl, jug and cup and saucer.
Products from Linda Bloomfield
Over at Aarevalo’s stand we had a chat with Antonio next to his Kakkoii wireless speakers. I’m the proud owner of one of them and I often use it to listen to music on my Ipad. We were pretty excited to hear about new developments and plans for 2014 that include a new series of stereo speakers among others.
Check out the huge wireless speaker in the photo. It was the definitive show-stopper but unfortunately it was made for ‘demonstration’ purposes only i.e. non-functional. We can only hope that one day it will become available to the consuming masses.
Products from Aarevalo
Green & Blue
Green & Blue were members of Hidden Art Cornwall and continue to produce some amazing work. The first product I got to know from them is the ‘Birdball Bird House’. Since then many more have been developed.
The Bee Blocks are the latest addition to their product line. Inspired by the solitary bees’ habit of using holes in old walls to lay their eggs, the ‘Bee Blocks’ are made from polished cast concrete. They provide a safe, year-round nesting site that can be positioned anywhere in the garden or built into new buildings and walls.
Green & Blue are based in the North Cornish Coast and create unique, simple and beautiful products for the home and garden.
International Design Studio
Our now office neighbours set up an impressive installation at Home. We first came across International Design Studio at DesignJunction last year.
Their Apollo lighting, a modular system of light shades designed to be arranged in layered combination is particularly elegant and functional and it is no surprise to find them at Home.
I have known Ella Doran for a long time now. I love her work and she still amazes me with the new projects she is developing each time I see her. This includes the Bicycle Rugs as well as the great upholstered chairs.
We love Bare Conductive products and it was great to see a good variety of their collection at the stand. Most products are based around the Electrically Conductive Paint for makers of all ages. Bare Conductive is growing quickly and have a good following.
Last year they ran a successful Kickstarter fundraiser for their Touch Board, a fascinating project that aims to transform touch into sound via a high-tech, interactive board!
Aline Johnson was at the Craft Show and had produced some interesting new work. Her trade mark are the Beach Stripes, which are inspired by a vibrant palette of beach paraphernalia, stripes on windbreaks and seaside rock that translate with ease into bright designs in fused glass.
She mostly designs and produces bespoke statement chandeliers and lighting to commission.
Well done everyone and well done Ian Rudge!
We are looking forward to the September Show.