London’s Decorex Focuses on Luxury Designs for the Home
Some of the world’s best high-end design was on display at Decorex 2017, the opening event of London Design Festival from 17 – 20 September. More than 400 specially curated exhibits showed the finest brands, exclusive installations and inventive collaborations all dedicated to fresh and luxurious design. The long-standing show celebrates everything that makes design luxurious: the best materials, meticulous craftsmanship and exquisite design. Homedit was excited to be there and has edited down our amazing finds to these highlights. We’re sure you’ll find plenty of inspiration here!
Let’s start with this most elegant chair from designer Tom Faulkner. Named the Vienna Carver Chair, the modern piece includes curves that were inspired by Art Nouveau design. The lines are dynamic and the plush upholstered seat and arms make it remarkably comfortable. Faulkner has been designing furniture since 1993, creating wooden tables with complex and intricate painted graphic patterns, before moving on to other materials. The UK-based designer now works with metal, marble, timber, glass and leather to form a group of sophisticated collections, Tom Faulkner produces design-led, high-end statement furniture for both traditional and contemporary settings.
Amy Somerville of the UK creates gorgeous made-to-order pieces like this table and plush bench. The table features a sunburst style veneer inlay and spectacular pedestal base that alternates colors and grains of wood for added style. The hefty table is accompanied by a sumptuous bench upholstered in an amazing shade of teal that is bold yet sophisticated. The mid-century modern legs are finished with a metallic cap, which is just the right amount of shine to prevent it from being too formal for the wooden table. Both pieces are amazingly versatile, which follows from the company’s aim to create furniture that is “a balance of precisionist lines and natural curves, quiet classicism and a touch of whimsy.”
Bright and cheery, this armchair from Sinclair Matthews takes a rather standard shape and makes it special with unexpected upholstery fabric. The company, led by Ray Sinclair Matthews, specializes soft furnishings and furniture made in Britain. The workshop team includes 15 craftspeople who use traditional upholstery and carpentry techniques to create the high quality pieces.
Contemporary with a stately twist, this bedroom set from Robert Langford centers around the tall headboard. While the company, started in 2005 by Robert Knapp, produces all manner of furnishings, it got its start with an original collection of eight headboard designs. This upholstered Parker headboard is more traditional in shape but still pairs well with all of the other furnishings, which are generally contemporary. The untufted bedroom bench called the Olympic that anchors the bed is upholstered in a modern textured textile, but the legs hark back to an earlier design era.
It’s easy to lose the feeling of luxury if you have to set up card tables for extra dining or work space in your home. This is why we love Gautier’s extendable console table. This stylish gray console sits up against the wall on two legs as a modern piece until you need the extra table space. Simply pull out the front of the console and add a leaf or two and voila — plenty of space for dining or working. These space-maximizing tables are great even for larger living areas because the furniture is not always taking up space that could be used for other purposes.
For those who live in smaller apartments, pull down beds can be a godsend when it comes to maximizing the space. Even homeowners with plenty of room might want to have maximum versatility when designing a spare room. Incorporating a wall bed like this one from Gautier — which is a stand-alone unit that includes the expanding console — it is like expanding the square footage of the room. The Nocturne bed unfolds quickly and stashes away just as easily. Simply close the doors and you’ve hidden your bed and opened up valuable floor space. The console on the side pairs well with this modern version of the Murphy bed concept.
Space-saving can be especially useful for kids’ rooms because they need space for play. Gautier’s High Bed Trio Desk and Slide Out Bed can accommodate two kids and still have a large drawer on rollers underneath for plenty of storage. Built-in steps, shelving and a pull-out desk complete the set, making the loft bed useful for older children as well. It’s a compact arrangement for a smaller home or apartment, but can also be good for households with many children or homeowners who just want the extra floor space. Besides, it’s also just a very cool bunk bed design.
Marquetry has been around since the baroque era, and it is still widely used in luxury furniture today. Zelouf + Bell Furniture Makers have created this artful contemporary Jungle Cabinet to highlight any living or dining space. The base wood is stunning vertically laid Makassar Ebony, with its dramatic grain lines. The cabinet includes glamorous details like leather-lined drawers, an aged brass base and legs, and a daring green marble top. The jungle leaf pattern dramatically stands out from the highly polished ebony wood.
Of course, we can’t leave out bathrooms when speaking about luxury for the home and here’s a splendid washbasin for a high-end bath or powder room. The Ramada Lux washbasin from Glass Design is a stunning piece of artisan crystal work that features several carved patterns and a luxe golden look. The coordinating crystal knobs and gold faucet enhance the look. This piece has enough drama so that even if placed on a sedate vanity, it still commands attention. Countertop washbasins like these are very well suited for powder rooms and guest baths, where you want to make a good impression.
At the other end of the design spectrum is this natural looking bench from Pinch Design. Formed from coppiced hazel wood, the Twig Bench could also be used as a table, making it a very versatile piece. While at first it appears rather rustic, it is still a special bench, designed for those who find luxury in nature and artisanship more than in metallics and velvet. The natural style works well in many styles of decor. Pinch aims to produce pieces that celebrate “simplicity of form, the purity of a good shape and our emotional connection with the materials around us.” To that end, the company focuses on creating uncluttered, quality pieces that feature simple details and exacting finishes.
Back on the opulent end of things the Bert Frank Decca Furniture Collaboration sports mid-century modern lines, plush velvet upholstery and modern metals in its first furniture collection. The British luxury lighting company teamed up with Decca to creative a five-piece collection that is highly detailed and grand. Upholstered in Millennial pink velvet, the fabric creates a high-end contrast with the dark wood and muted metal finish. Founded in 2013 by designer Robbie Llewellyn and metalwork factory owner Adam Yeats, the award-winning duo pulls from industrial era design, adding their own modern sensibilities. While they have had great succession lighting, it looks like this furniture collaboration is a sign of more great things to come.
The brands belonging to Covet House are a perennial favorite and their display at Decorex did not disappoint. Classy muted chartreuse velvet Chiclet chairs by Koket take center stage. The vintage design of the chairs has a mid-century attitude, modernized with the plush channel tufted velvet upholstery. Flanked by the chairs, Boca do Lobo’s Pixel Cabinet is comprised of 1088 triangles that make up the exterior design. The modern top sits atop a geometric metal base that allow the pixelated surface to be the focal point.
Unlike any jewelry safe we have ever seen Boca do Lobo’s Bohème is the ultimate in luxury. What appears to be a stack of gilded vintage travel trunks is actually a jewelry safe. Created with exacting craftsmanship, the piece fits into what is being called the trend for hyperluxury — items that are exceptional and unapologetically expensive. While Bohème is billed as a jewelry safe, the compartments are large enough to secret away precious liquors, humidors for cigars, along with anything else rare enough to deserve luxurious storage. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the safe is its nod to a golden age of luxurious travel.
Boca do Lobo, in fact, is recognized for a certain level of luxury furniture, which is a prominent characteristic in most of its pieces, such this Lapiaz Sideboard. The highly polished stainless steel surface is like a mirror, organically bisected by golden crevices. Actually the Lapiaz Sideboard is two pieces displayed together. Inside, the cabinets feature a veneer of poplar root wood. Despite being so highly polished, the piece has a natural feel because of the vein-like gold cracks across the front. Above, the Glance Mirror is a perfect pairing thanks to its intended feeling of disorder and the way it mimics the veins in the sideboard.
Decorex had plenty of new lighting designs too, from the earthy to the opulent. In the realm of the natural, the Treoran Wall Light from Faolchu. The Glasgow studio makes use of Scotland’s mills, tanneries and foundries to create artisan pieces with high quality materials. This wall light has a turned shade made from Sweet Chestnut wood that hangs from an adjustable brass spinner, turned bulb holder and cast brass rose. This might, like all the studio’s pieces, are hand finished. The light has an industrial vibe but its primitive appearance is tempered by the warm wood shade and artistic design that make it a natural, luxe piece.
Faolchu’s Copan Table Lamp is another example of a natural and minimalist piece that still has a special vibe. The hardwood lamp has a turned base with a brass switch. While it is available in a number of hardwoods, this one is made from American black walnut, a highly desirable wood for its grain pattern and durability. The simple shape is topped with a bob that has a decorative filament and a brass socket. This lamp is truly beautiful through its simplicity.
A little more exotic but also handcrafted is this Tiger Lily chandelier by Curiousa. Called a melding of Asian influences with British culture, the handblown lamps are adorned with ombre fringe and interspersed with plain glass shades and a gilded accent shade. It is a cohesive and heady conglomerate of colors, textures and elements. Buyers can choose among 22 colors of glass and eight different cord colors. Designer and founder Esther Patterson is inspired but the jewel-like qualities of blown glass, which led her to create these fixtures. While this would look great n a any living space, we would love to see it in a boudoir-style bedroom to add luxury and opulence.
Lighting designer Claudio Marco’s Villaverde displayed this luxurious and leafy Lily installation. Made of metal leaves arranged in a burst pattern, the light source glows from within, casting fascinating shadows from between the leaves. The Lily is available in a variety of finishes and can be had a smaller wall sconce constructions as well. Marco’s Italian company uses traditional techniques to work with including Murano glass, metal, leather, crystal and wood to create grand designs for all rooms of the home.
The use of marble in lighting fixtures has been on the rise and Ginger and Jagger’s eclipse light features not only the natural beauty of the surface, but also the captivating look of an unpolished edge. The Eclipse Wall Lamp is a play between light and shadow, art and function. The light sources behind the marble and within the metal frame, which casts a glow not only from behind the stone but also like an aura around the entire fixture. The Eclipse is a perfect fixture for using light to create a feature wall above a sofa, as is done here.
Luxury lamps from Isabelle de Béru-Bizard, a French native, feature one-of-a-kind natural materials that are transformed into eclectic lamps, celebrating a natural approach to opulence. Her Coral Collection includes, from left to right, the Tinos Lamp with “Birdnest” coral on a polished antique brass frame; the Santorin Lamp with “Tubipora” red coral and a coral wall sconce. All the lamps feature silk lampshades.
Here, the Grand Coral Lamp is flanked by two from the Seashell Collection. On the left is the Amalfi Lamp with five “Cypréa Tigris” shells and on the right, the Amalfi-6 Table lamp featuring 6 small conus shells. Both lamps are on antique polished brass bases and can have shades of silk or cotton fabric. All her collections add a touch of nature to a room whether or not you live near the seaside.
As you can see, luxury mean lots of different things — it doesn’t all have to be glamorous glitz and over-the-top detail. Often the simplicity of a piece and the beauty of the materials used are what make it opulent. Either way, designers have created all sorts of pieces that can add a touch of luxury to any room.