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The Top 10 from Decorex, London 2012

Christopher Guy's Beacon of Craftsmanship

The interior design world’s trendsetters, household names and boutique brands gathered in the grounds of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea for Decorex International last week.

Now in its 35th year, the annual show saw over 250 exhibitors showcase a wealth of high-end products from fabrics and wallpapers, to furniture and flooring. This year also saw Christopher Guy’s eight-meter high Beacon of Craftsmanship creation take centre-stage.  Specially made for Decorex, the styrofoam sculpture comprises 270 hand carved pieces mounted together, visible from every corner of the show. Quite the spectacle.

Here’s my pick of the top 10 companies at Decorex 2012 based on individuality, creativity and having that little something special…

1. Andrew Martin

Bacall Chair, Andrew Martin Berkswell Fabric, Andrew Martin

You couldn’t have failed to spot the futuristic Andrew Martin display, complete with spaceship cockpit and alien-like pods. In stark contrast to many of the more austere and reserved stands, Andrew Martin instantly captured the imagination and made you want find out more. Sticking to its ethos of ‘fusion interiors’ the brand mixes cultural influences in its latest collection.

2. Barneby Gates

Fresco Birds, Barneby Gates Honey Bees, Gold on Charcoal, Barneby Gates

If any two people know what it is modern, stylish homes of today want, it’s this duo. Vanessa Barneby, former Vogue Living Editor, teamed up with artist/illustrator Alice Gates in 2009, and together they’ve produced 23 impressive collections. Decorex saw them add to their desirable portfolio, with the launch of the seriously chic Birds & Bees wallpaper prints.

3. Branch Interiors

Trinket, Branch InteriorsBurton Lamp, Branch InteriorsDisolo, Branch Interiors

Staring wide-eyed at Branch’s expansive treasure-trove of a stand I want to touch, play and own the cool collection of vintage looking pieces on display. In collaboration with Lune Bella Décor, a high-end custom manufacturer, Branch’s latest collection is really quite evocative of fairytales and days gone by with just a hint of the industrial age about it.

4. Christopher Guy

The Bowfront Iced Vanity, Christopher GuyChristopher Guy

As well as his Styrofoam masterpiece, Christopher Guy displayed a fine collection of furniture at Decorex. British born, European raised and now calling Singapore home, Christopher Guy prides himself on his particular attention to detail, ensuring that every piece is expertly crafted and elegantly finished. I love the suggestive Art Deco influence that runs through some of his pieces.

5. Graham and Green

Shell Chair, Graham and Green

Born out of a love of travel and exotic finds, the eclectic range from Graham and Green is ideal for tastes old and new. While most pieces have a modern twist to them, many would fit quite naturally in a grand stately home as well. Particular favourites were the resin cast animal heads and the shell chair (pictured).

6. Kandola

Moonstone, Kandola Jeweled Damask, Kandola

This textile company caught my eye for one striking reason: it’s bejewelled, yet subtle, wall coverings. Experts in designing and manufacturing opulent cushion covers, curtains and fabrics, Kandola first teamed up with Swarovski in 2008 and has continued to produce luxury wallpaper collections ever since.

7. Terzani

Argent Cluster, Terzani Angel Falls, Terzani

A sucker for beautiful bright shiny things, Terzani had a gawp-inducing display of lighting at Decorex. The luxury Italian company artfully blends modern materials with both traditional and alternative designs. Each item is a piece of art, a sculpture of admirable form as well as illuminating functionality.

8. Wilkinson

Small 6 light Perry, Wilkinson

Enveloped in the Royal Warrant of Appointment stand, Wilkinson stood out for its ornate and classical chandeliers. What began as a highly successful glass repairs and restoration business in the late 1940s evolved into a company not only steeped in history, but one which is now known for designing and making its own fine lanterns, wall lights and chandeliers.

9. William Holland

Rotundus Tub, William Holland

I stopped in my tracks at this one owing to the sheer size of the gorgeous bathtubs it had on show. Available in copper, brass and plated gold to name a few, every tub is handcrafted, sinkably deep and hugely desirable. William Holland’s website details the process of how they make they tubs and showcases just why they are sold internationally to five star hotels, luxury developments and private properties alike.

10. Venetia Studium

Ottomano, Venetia Studium 

Mesmerised by the heavy curtains, lush wall hangings and full-bodied cushions on show, I felt drawn to touch everything in sight. The Venetian company takes its inspiration from the city’s diverse history, and many of the designs have a distinct eastern flavour, such as the Istanbul and Ottomano fabric prints used on the cushions pictured.


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