Posted in Events on 12 September, 2017

Guest writer Manpreet Bora reports on this exciting event focusing on contract interiors that took place in June at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour…

Home to London Design Week and Focus, renowned design hub Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour was filled with designers, architects, specifiers and style-seekers In June when they gathered to get inspirational insights into the world of contract interiors.

Fostering creativity and connections, the show featured bespoke installations by international interior designers who showcased their work using luxury products selected from the showrooms. One of them was created by Martin Hulbert Designs. With more than 25 years of experience, Martin has completed many award-winning hospitality projects around the globe. He said: “Inspiration is subliminal. I travel a lot and I visit as many galleries and museums as I can, it’s where I get my inspiration from.” The installation received a great response. “It feels great to be part of this show and it’s truly an honour,” he said.

At the heart of a highly globalised design community, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour boasts 120 showrooms and over 600 international brands (with 40 of them based in the newly-expanded Design Centre East). Catering not only for the design conscious who have a passion for creating their own projects, it is the first port of call for professionals working on the interiors of famous hotels, bars, restaurants and boutiques worldwide. With a reputation for providing imaginative solutions to any design challenge, it is pretty matchless when it comes down to choice and expertise. Starting off in a tiny London workshop, leading global brand Porta Romana has flourished since it began 29 years ago, offering unique lighting and furniture designs notable for their artisanal craftsmanship. Sales Director at Porta Romana, Jackie Peacock, said: “The company liaises with their artists, craftsmen and glassblowers to provide a bespoke service. This allows clients to have a personal experience.”

A technical and trustworthy company, Crestron was also included in the spotlight as a contract interior specialist. Through decades of innovation, there is now invisible and personalised control on offer. EMEA showroom manager at Crestron, Kate Fauset, said: “Crestron works on high-end residential properties and contracts properties too. We have had a lot of positive reactions to some of the tech we include.”

What you see in the showrooms is just the starting point. Companies such as Altfield have worked on prestigious projects such as Dubai Airport, the Corinthia Hotel and The Ivy Chelsea Garden, while Wired Custom Lighting, Tai Ping and Dedar are further proof of the design diversity on offer at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. In an increasingly fast-paced world, the best way to experience these high-performance products is in person: details like proportion, material and finish are at their most vibrant, and guests were able to join a design discovery tour to get the inside track and see quality up close.

The variety of showcases that were included in the show was impeccable. Karen Howes, Founder and Chief Executive of London-based luxury design practice Taylor Howes, explained the thinking behind her pop-up roomset. She said: “For me, this stand reminds me of a tropical rainforest with a little bit of the foliage coming through and an element of gold. We love this because it’s a luxury add-on.”

Howes is very excited to start working on more contract projects in the future. “We do a lot of residential interiors but we’re also involved in commercial projects with private family offices and hotels – the team have a wealth of experience so you will be reading more about that!” she added.

Winch Design also designed a roomset specially for the show, and Kate Maclaren, the company’s senior interior designer and decorator, said: “We use Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour regularly, on all our projects, so the relationships we develop with the suppliers are key.” She continued to explain the inspiration behind their pop-up.

“We focused on a yacht-inspired interior, as this is where we started, but collaborated with our aviation and architecture teams to give the Winch look tone and feel. A fresh palette with warm blues create a relaxed scene, enhanced by soft lighting – we wanted this environment to feel comfortable.”

If it is safe to say that London is the powerhouse of interior design and Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is its ‘design compass’. It’s evident that a single visit is rarely enough as visitors come back again and again.

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