The London Design Festival encompasses many events and 100% Design at Olympia is one of the largest. This year, as many as 27,000 architects, designers and visitors attended the UK’s largest design trade show. Homedit was there to see what more than 400 global exhibitors had to show, including new products launched at the venue. From emerging brands to global mainstays, exhibits focused on creativity and craftsmanship. See what we found that was exciting and new for your home:
Unlike the massive sectionals of a decade or two ago, today’s modular sofas are more versatile and stylish, as is this Longueville Landscape from Jori. A retooling of their popular Longeville Sofa, this has an angular silhouette but the edges are softened by the slightly rounded upholstery. Slanted joints between the seat and arms add a feeling of being folded up, while the spare metal legs have a mid-century modern look. It’s a casual sofa that is enticing for lounging but still has a great deal of sophistication.
Today’s sleekest kitchens are missing something most other kitchens have — knobs and handles. This Arredo3 kitchen island is a model of how clean and minimal the handle-less kitchen looks. From the Linea Plana collection, it has groove handle systems that are invisible, making the space seem less cluttered. The beige offset countertop slab provides a seating area and a slightly elevated sink. Mixing colors on the island surfaces adds dimension against the streak pattern in the floor. Arredo3 — one of the largest kitchens manufacturers in Italy — creates its kitchens, furniture and accessories in a factory near Venice.
The Arredo3 Aria collection is also modern, but features handles. Some of the options for this angular design include open shelves and pull-out bin drawers in a contrasting color. This set up is an ideal washing stations with plenty of counter space and flexible storage units on the grooved backsplash. This is a fresh take on this trend, creating a wall that can be as decorative as it is functional.
Architectural and futuristic, Fikissimo’s chairs are somehow high-tech and handcrafted at the same time. The company — whose name means “very cool” — represents four generations of artisan production and fabrication. The Check Armchair has a square shape and whimsical details, such as the cross-stitch on the cement armrests and the wine glass holder. The overall look is light and airy but it’s a remarkably sturdy and comfortable seat that is upholstered in leather for interior use and plastic for exterior.
A similar design with a softer aesthetic, the Grid armchair is also appropriate for indoors or out. The metal frame is more vertical and linear, arranged in a curved chair. The seat is a contrast to the metal, made from grayish white cement that is age-treated three times. A final process produces a special vintage look. This chair also has a spot for a magazine or book. The Grid is an elegant conversation chair that also works very well in a corner. Just like the Check chair, the metal frame helps a room maintain a light and open feel.
Concrete geometries of different colors are literally stitched together in this remarkable coffee table. The concrete is stained and the rope is synthetic, while the table is reinforced with rebar for stability. The unique look of the table makes the fact that it is made of concrete very surprising. The design is elegant yet sport and provides extra durability for indoors and out. The base is made of coated iron and its grid style is very complementary to the table top.
In the realm of bathrooms, we found some remarkable washbasins, like this bluish-gray pedestal from Antonio Lupi Design. The Ago85 is made from Flumood®, an innovative material, that is non-porous, uniform, non-toxic has an easy-to-clean surface. A slender cylinder forms the base of the free-standing pedestal, culminating in a perfectly round base that sports thin edges. It is modern and elegant — perfect for a powder room.
Also a pedestal basin, but with a very different look, Introverso from Antonio Lupi was inspired by marble sculptures. Designer Paolo Ulian created the three-dimensional shape with a computer-controlled cutting machine. Thin strips are sliced into a block of Carrara marble and the negative space between reveals a sculpture concealed inside when viewed from the side. The design turns a block of stone into a light and shadowy sculpture. The special features and pedestal shape would be extra special in a powder room where guests will glimpse the secret inside.
Details make the difference and that is especially true in the bathroom. Antonio Lupi presented fixtures that have high style and elegant function. Two new shower heads combine the highly desirable rainfall head with colorful neon lights. On the right, the Iride is a bright cylinder lantern that hides the integrated jet. The opal acrylic diffuser is combined with an LED spotlight. Using one or several provides ample waterfall and an opportunity to use several colors of light at once, which is great for creating a stylish and relaxing atmosphere.
On the left, the inset rainfall shower head surrounded by a neon light is the Meteo_Out, which provides a soothing shower along with color therapy. The flush-mount fixture has a remote control for the light colors and can be programmed into a sequence that is beneficial to health. It’s a way to elevate a shower from just a soothing experience to a healthy one.
This matte metallic beauty is from Rocky Mountain Hardware, a company known for its bronze basins and hardware. Each piece is hand crafted and touched by no less than 30 hands, according to the company. Old World techniques like sand and wax casting are used to create the designs. This basin has a satin finished that lends it a sophisticated, understated look compared to shinier metallics. Paired with a dark textured wall and minimalist towel hangers, it is perfect for a masculine bathroom.
Rustic and rough hewn, a table and chairs from Thors Design are meant for indoor or outdoor use. The Thors Cube — like other pieces from Thors — is made from up Azobé wood the comes from decommissioned Danish wharves. The company’s craftspeople transform the wood into custom hand-made furniture that has a Nordic feel. Natural grooves and crevices add character and ensure that no two pieces are exactly alike. The tabletop is made from rustic planks that are mounted to a taller cube that serves as the pedestal base. Extra-sturdy, the furniture’s raw look can set the mood for a family room or an outdoor area.
Ipse Ipsa Ipsum presented the Nathan Yong Collection, which includes accessories and furniture, such as this one-piece wonder. Designer Nathan Yong, a graduate of Temasek Polytechnic in Industrial Design, has created a full line of these elegant modern forms that are intriguingly spare. The construction encompasses a sofa, light, mirror and assortment of tables. The combination fuses the typical pieces found in any living space into an artful assembly that brings any setting to a new level. Even better, buyers can customize the collection to fit their specific needs.
In the realm of contemporary chairs, VZOR’s collection includes this shimmery seat called the RM58 Classic. The Polish company is producing this balloonish design, which is actually a take in the original groundbreaking armchair designed by Roman Modzelewski. The interdisciplinary artist, known as an avant-garde creator, made this in 1958 when it was one of the early examples of polyester-glass laminate furniture. In fact, the fully-closed sheet shape was the first of its kind. Thanks to today’s new technologies and materials, VZOR can now produce these amazing contemporary chairs in a variety of colors and finishes.
A console table may be one of a home’s unsung heroes because they are versatile and usually serve as the focal point in a space. The Arpa console by Tonin Casa certainly catches the eye thanks to the uncommon shape of its walnut base. Reminiscent of hairpin legs — but taken to a new design level — the base is definitely attention-getting. Tonin’s products are known for the classic Canaletto walnut that is used. Here, Arpa is topped with a white Carrara marble, but it is also available with a black Marquinia marble slab. there’s something about the elegant curvatures of wood combined with the hard rigidity of marble that coalesce into a very appealing piece.
Similarly, the dining table version of Arpa is equally stylish and can be purchased in walnut or heat-treated dark oak. The smooth lines of the wood give the base a supple look that belies the strength of the material. This version has a white Carrara marble top, but other options include other shades of marble as well as ceramics and porcelain stoneware.
When space is at a premium, a tall and narrow bookcase like this one are a godsend. Tonin Casa’s Castle bookcase is designed to resemble a house of cards. The design of the open structure is composed of triangles that make it light and airy — perfect for a tighter space. This fresh design can also be placed horizontally to store books at an angle, which yields a more cutting-edge look.
Since the advent of video games, low, armless chairs were often unattractive rocking pieces relegated to the kids’ area. In a total 360-degree turnaround, Tonin Casa has created these sophisticated armless lounge chairs that are refined enough for the most gracious living rooms. Upholstered in leather, Orchidea elastic fabric or synthetic materials that look like leather, the Riocciolo features a patented folding mechanism that allows for its easy transformation from comfortable chair to luxurious lounge.
When it’s time to chill, you need a comfortable chair and these from Portugal’s Stabord are made for relaxing. Both the Sam Armchair, and the Sam Stool are made with a wood veneer or marquetry from that surrounds the upholstery, which can be done in fabric or a synthetic that looks like leather. The base of the chairs — done here in black — is available in other colors as well as metallics. Originally designed for the hospitality market, this comfortable set is natural for a home bar area — or even a kitchen counter setting area.
Of course, you need dining chairs in your home and a classic wooden chair is always a good choice. The CC2 Chair from Binocular studio is a mid-century modern design that features the curving forms typical of that era. The warmth of the natural wood grain is a contrast to the character of the silhouette and makes it a very versatile piece. The dining chair is available in solid oak or walnut and has a standard natural matte finish as standard. Custom order can swap in other materials such as veneered, painted or even leather seat and back elements.
With so many people working for small companies and in flexible spaces, 100% Design also featured some innovative office furniture. A modular set like this one called Bebop is a natural as it is multifunctional and appropriate for reception areas, meeting areas and the like. The tall back gives a feeling of privacy and can be mixed with low-back sections for a modern work environment. Created by David Fox for Knightsbridge, the collection focuses on adding organic and soft forms to a typical hard-edged business environment.
Designer Michael Young is clearly a fan of Sting and the Police, since he named this quirky armchair Roxanne. Produced by Gufram of Italy, it is said to have been inspired by disco decor by radical designers in the 1970s. Based on a computer-aided design, the seat is formed from extruded polyurethane and then upholstered in lively colors. The ergonomic chairs — which can be ordered with a rotting base — have an unusual channel that runs around the entire inside of the seat.
Equally bright and cheery, the Beatnik Sound Station Chair from Donar is a highly desirable technological addition whether to a small office or a public space. The tall, rounded back provides a sound cushion for the person inside, as well as those in the surrounding area. Equipped with a Bose 2.1 system that connects to your phone, laptop or tablet, the chair becomes useful communication chamber. A plywood frame and foam cushioning of three different densities make the Beatnik a comfortable place to make conference calls hands-free using the built-in iPad mount.
In a modern take on the old-fashioned telephone booth, Donar’s Chat Loop can connect to your phone, allowing you to use the handset, and also charges a mobile phone or tablet. Made of 100% renewable materials, it adds another communications point to the space and a user-friendly place to make phone calls and jot a few notes.
Injecting some natural elements into any space — be it an office or a home — can bring warmth and primal feeling to decor. Of course, real wood stubs and branches are not always practical in a space, so MeroWings of Germany uses photorealistic prints to create cushions, stools, pillows and more that look just like real wood and bark. Made from durable textiles that make the pieces versatile, they are also extra comfortable. You can’t help but want to touch, squeeze or sit on these nature-inspired pieces!
Lighting is one of Homedit’s favorite sections of any design show and 100% Design did not disappoint. Fans of anthropomorphic designs, the Trisaurus Desk Lamp from Sussex-based Binocular studio caught our attention right away. Stylish table lamps are a necessity in any home and this one would be a great addition. Crafted from pickled and gun-blued steel, English oak or American walnut and oak tanned leather, this is a fetching desk lamp that is old-fashioned but still has a futuristic feel. It would be at home in a modern setting as well as a more industrial space. The height of the light is adjustable and the LED light is touch-controlled.
In a stunning design that serves as lighting and a colorful wall divider, Designheure presented the Mozaik. Designed by Davide Oppizzi, it is modular light and architectural element that can stylishly divide larger spaces. Oppizzi’s inspiration is said to come from geometric shapes in the concept of mosaics and intended to evoke the feeling of a meteor shower. A wide range of finishes is available for the Mosaik, which can be ordered in two sizes. A dramatic installation, it is definitely more than just a lighting element and will be the feature element of any room, whether used as a divider or a backdrop.
Working under the old adage that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Graypants transforms scrap cardboard into stunning pendant lighting fixtures that exude a warm and captivating light. The organic shapes evoke a variety of images — wasp hives, pods and natural orbs of all kinds. And, while they are exceptionally attractive alone, when grouped into a dangling cluster, they become simply arresting. The cut cardboard construction has a tactile vibe to which few other light fixtures can lay claim.
Another organic style of lamps comes from Migaloo, with these Cabinet Luminaires, available as table lamps as well as floor lamps. The natural oak tower of the Bullet FL floor lamp — and smaller table version — highlight the natural wood in a fashion that exudes Scandinavian style. The metal cage at the top is more than a protective piece over the bulb: It casts the shadow of a star on the ceiling, which creates a special ambiance in the room where it is placed.
London Design Week may encompass hundreds of events but 100% design is a prime source of inspiration for interior decor, furnishings and lighting of all kinds. Fresh takes on classics, new innovations and artful renditions of functional staples for the home are musts for any great show and this one certainly had them all.