Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Tag Archives: Trade fair

Last weekend, I attended Grand Designs Live at London’s Excel.

It was the first time I’ve visited. I was excited to go, as I’ve caught the renovating bug, and wanted to explore what else I could do to my home. If you follow me on instagram, then you would be aware that I have been re-doing my bathroom.

The refurbishment has slowed down a bit, as I’m waiting for a few bespoke pieces to be made. However, I think we will be making progress in the next 2 weeks, and I should be able to show you soon.

Anyway, right now I have another dilemma. Do I redo my kitchen?

My current kitchen was put in around 10 years ago. It is contemporary and very white.

White kitchens may currently be out of fashion, but I must say, white kitchens do sell a house.

I would love a colourful kitchen, and when I saw this beautiful kitchen by Uncommon Projects, it made my heart flutter. Absolutely loving the clean lines, open ply wood shelving for display and those ridged glass doors.

I would go for my usual colour palette of pastel tones.

However, I have asked myself, is this a necessary expense?

I would probably say yes, because you only live once right? Might as well go for something that makes your heart flutter.

I could of course also sell my white kitchen, so there is no wastage.

Anyway, the more I browse Uncommon Projects’ site, the more I want a new kitchen. grand designs live The show was full of inspiration. They commissioned 8 interior designers to come up with ideas for the “under the stairs”  space.

There were so many cool and innovative ideas.

This playhouse is by Chloe Gets Creative, and was the overall winner. Isn’t it just so cute? If you like I, have a teen son who loves Fortnite, then you can probably see the appeal of this under the stairs space created by Fleur Ward Interior Design.

To be honest, I wouldn’t mind moving all that computer gear out of his bedroom.

I can see this stylish space appealing to an adult male too. A den for football viewing with beers in the fridge. What do you think? How about this for a household with pets?

I don’t have pets, but I know talking to those who do, they really do become an integral part of the family.

So, I think they deserve a home indoors too. A little space that is not human space. Agree?

This was created by Kristyna Mc Darby. Lynsey Hoskin from Asheville Interiors Design has created this cool dark room inspired by her love of photography.

That weathered effect wall is just perfect for the industrial vibe that the space exuded. From inspiring spaces, to inspired crafting. Grand Designs had an area this year called “Upcycling Hub” which showcased DIY demos.

This leopard print idea on furniture or ceramics was a winner. I think I need to go get some Sharpie pens this weekend pronto! I already have this thing with concrete basins, but this rounded one with ridges from Kast concrete basins was just perfection.

It looked amazing set against that cute glass backsplash designed by Muck N Brass. Grand Designs Live Last, but not least, I have to tell you about my encounter with Kevin Mc Cloud.

He was as lovely and inspirational on screen as off screen.

I got to ask Kevin a few questions over coffee.

He was truly passionate about sustainable design and the environment. I learned a lot from our short chat together.

I asked him if most new self builds nowadays are embracing the sustainability agenda.

Here’s what he said: ” I can only gauge the mood from the people that I meet. Many people building start off by saying ‘ I want to save money, and don’t want an expensive build, so will super insulate it and because there is a grant for this, will put in some solar panels’. However, they discover in this process that there are other serious issues around this that is to do with climate change and resource management. Usually by the time they finish building they become in their own way, eco warriors. I find it heartening that the design and build process is a route to understanding these issues. ”

He also touched on how he admired the recent movement from the younger generations, such as Greta Thunberg on raising awareness on climate change and campaigning on ways to protect our environment. He said ” I have enormous respect for young people who are talking about this, because it is going to be their lifetimes that is going to be profoundly impacted by our inability to deal with these issues.”

It’s wonderful to hear how Grand Designs Live is doing its part to help the environment. Kevin said “Grand Designs Live take the issue seriously. From the word go, we didn’t tolerate companies who didn’t use FSC timber, who were rip off businesses making copies in factories where conditions for workers could not be verified. We place great emphasis over the years on craftsmanship and the relationship between consumer and the maker. Within the Grand Designs Live fair, is this special zone curated by Kevin Mc Cloud, called ‘Kevin’s Green Heroes’.

Here’s what he told me: ” It’s a personal selection of diverse products that address the sustainability agenda, resource use and recyclability.”

I have a selected a few of his curates below to show you. This is called ‘ Eoacoustic material’ and is a noise cancelling interior material  based on Spruce needles.

These panels are a natural porous material that absorbs sound reflections, regulates humidity and temperature, creating a comfortable and healthy atmosphere. These Hemp Fibre Corrugated sheeting from Margent Farm. It’s a hemp based alternative to plastic, metal and cement board.

The natural high cellulose content of the plant makes it a serious, sustainable plastic alternative.

They can be fixed with traditional 60mm screws and used for a wide variety of construction purposes. Finally, this is called Mapuguaquen, the world’s first active sound system made of clay. The speakers fuse the state-of-the-art in electronics and amplification with ancestral craft techniques.

Such interesting and diverse products for eco-living don’t you think?

Anyway, that wraps up my short report of Grand Designs Live. It’s still not too late if you want to go see for yourself.

It is running till May 12th 2019 at London’s Excel, and then will be in Birmingham’s NEC from 9th till 13th October 2019.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the round up. There is so much more than I could share here. I would recommend going if you are thinking of renovating or building a home.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a paid partnership post with Grand Designs Live, but all opinions are my own).

Top 10 Interior trends 2019 from imm Cologne.

If you have been following me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I was in Cologne earlier this week.

I was attending imm Cologne, one of Europe’s largest interiors and furniture fair.

Whilst there, I decided to explore the the fair using the concept of #zuhausesein, looking for the pieces that would make being at home meaningful for me.

Here are some of my favourite finds and interior trends for the upcoming seasons.

1. PASTEL HUES

Since Spring and Summer are now round the corner, we will be thinking of brightening up our homes with candy coloured hues, such as dusky pinks, light blues and lots of sunshine yellow.

Don’t you love that lemon yellow wall? In fact, yellow is a trend of its own this year.

This is one of the ‘Trend atmosphere’ spaces called New Nordic, designed by Floor Knaapen and Dick Spierenburg.

For those of you who know my aesthetic well, will surely agree that everything in this New Nordic room would fit perfectly in my home.

Here is a list of where everything is from.

Seam 1 table light designed by Mark Holmes for E15.

Grace trolley designed by Sebastian Herkner for Schonbuch.

Ceramic dolls on trolley by Normann Copenhagen.

Line coat hanger from Schonbuch.

Cabinet by Kettnaker.

Chair 562 by Rolf Benz.

Blue FortyForty side table by E15.

Pastel porcelain by 1616 Arita Japan.

Textiles Tonga and Romano by Jab Anstoetz

Font table in mint by Sebastian Herkner for Pulpo

Dita and Olivia mirrors by Davide Monopoli for Pulpo

2. BRIGHT CONTRASTING COLOURS From pastel hues to bolder solid colours. This is Schoenbuch’s booth at the fair.

This is giving me that 1980s Memphis vibe.

I love the interplay of colours, with boldly contrasting hues accentuating furniture pieces or similar tones camouflaging them into the walls.

Have you noticed yellow playing a huge role here?

3. PINK FURNITURE

I know I keep going on about yellow being big, but I would never abandon my favourite colour pink.

For the new season, I have noticed that pink has moved from soft furnishings to solid pieces of furniture.

This Bureau and Mala bench by Earnest studio for Schoenbuch definitely caught my eye.

In fact, I would love to have this as a small dining table in my kitchen, part of my aim of bringing pops of colour into that very white space. interior trends Here’s another beauty, the AHM chair from PLEASE WAIT to be SEATED.

Did you notice the YELLOW floor? Everywhere I look seem to exude this happy hue.

4. WOVEN CANE IN FURNITURE I think woven cane is going to be big in the upcoming seasons.

Thonet has been using it for years, and I absolutely adore their special edition Two tone Coffee House Chair 214 here.  Showing you the AHM chair again to illustrate CANE’s popularity.

I don’t think cane will be confined to just chair, I think we will start to see it used on larger pieces of furniture too. So I would like the Thonet and AHM chairs for my dining room. Maybe I should go eclectic with one of each and maybe add a Zanotta Noli chair as seen above too ?

5. CURVES – ARCHES, CIRCLES, OVALS and PLEATS / RIDGES. Curved or three dimensional shapes on furniture and decor were prominent at the show.

Arched shapes, ovals, circles and pleats / ridges are big news this season.

The Arc tray by De Intuitiefabriek and Olifant the elephant by Andreas Kowalewski are by Caussa.

The deep blue pleated wooden sideboard is by RSW These Palais Royal series tables designed by Anya Sebton and Eva Lilja Löwenhielm for Asplund feature lacquered oak panels and oak veneered tops.

Again we see ovals, circles and pleats. These coffee tables are called Echino. Their cylindrical legs are made of hand blown glass and the table tops are mirror or steel.

They were designed by Sebastian Herkner for Zanotta. Again, as you can see, circles and pleat like patterns feature here. This adorable Podia table is by Ferm Living. No surprise! Oval and ridges again. This Poise oval mirror is also by Ferm Living.

Last year, there was an explosion of round mirrors on Instagram. Everyone seem to have one.

Although, circular ones will still popular, I think oval mirrors will be overtaking them in the upcoming seasons. I’m certainly on the look out for some oval mirrors for my bathroom refurbishment. These are Pli side tables by Victoria Wilmotte for ClassiCon. Aren’t they so pretty?

The kinks and folds on its stainless steel foot makes it look like a gemstone.

6. MODULAR SOFAS. There were modular sofas everywhere I turned. I love this set at Rolf Benz, styled with circular elements. Here’s another modular sofa at Rolf Benz, styled with oval shapes.

7. SPICED HONEY and 8. LIVING CORAL. Pantone and Dulux are particularly influential when it comes to their Colour of The Year, which often influence interior trends.

Here String have gone for shelving with a tone between those two popular colours, and I’m loving it. interior trends Here’s how some of those pinky brown colours can be used in a space, as spotted in the interior trends display at imm Cologne.

9. CAN’T FORGET YELLOW As if I haven’t emphasised the power of yellow enough, it is a huge trend contender to the Spiced Honey and Living Coral camps.

This yellow kitchen space is part of a simulated house ‘Das Haus’ by Studio Truly Truly.  Check out Walter Knoll’s yellow Onsa chair. Even Fritz Hansen has gone for yellow as one of their new colours for their Drop chair in 2019. This yellow sofa is by and tradition

10. BAUHAUS imm Cologne was celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus at the fair this year. I don’t think Bauhaus, such a design and style icon would ever grow out of fashion, hence I’ve added it as one of my interior trends.

Here you can see some of the classic pieces revived by Tecta, the German manufacturer of authentic Bauhaus furniture. I totally adore this Marcel Brauer Wassily chair using Japanese patchwork technique and recycled material. Here’s more Bauhaus elegance. I wouldn’t mind having this dining set. I’m currently on the look out for a new dining set, and this is pretty similar to the one I’m currently considering for my home.

Hope you have enjoyed my interior trends from the fair. I would certainly be happy to be at home( #zuhausesein) with my selections.

Wishing you a wonderful week.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. I was a guest of imm Cologne, but all words and opinions are my own).

Tendence I’m so excited because I’m off to Frankfurt during the Summer, to cover Tendence, a forward thinking International trade fair for consumer goods.

As it is one of the first fairs in the second half of the year, it means that buyers will get to see first hand the latest Winter and Christmas trends. They will also be able to place early orders for the 2019 Spring Summer collections.

Here’s a little floor plan of the Tendence Fair.

As you can see, there is such a huge product portfolio to explore, from Homewares, to Seasonal decor and more.

Tendence is much more than a trade fair.

Recently, I was at a press lunch, where Tendence director Bettina Bär, told us about the amazing programmes that will be running.

There will be a Concept Store Inspirations product presentation in Hall 9.0, showing visitors how to turn their own shop into an experiential venue, a place that will encourage customers to spend.

Also new at Tendence 2018, is the Paper & Friends special area curated by Angelika Niestrath, aimed at book shop owners and stationer’s. This will be a beautifully curated space with wall calendars, cards and gift books. Tendence trade fair According to Group Show Director, Philipp Ferger, there will be a new Pioneers of Lifestyle Congress. Here, participants will gain an insight into the lifestyle scene, from experts and innovative newcomers.

Last but not least, there will also be a Tendence Academy, showing retailers how to start up their online businesses.

They will learn how to predict trends, and will get to participate in mood board workshops.

Isn’t this fair amazing? There is so much giving. Don’t you think it’s so worth going even for just the amazing programmes on offer? I am also looking forward to visiting the Outdoor Living area, where garden plants will be displayed with lifestyle products.

Here’s a little peek at what the Outdoor Living area looked like in 2017. I hear that 2018 will be bigger and better. A little heads up for crafters and jewellery designers, there will be a Talents’ competition organised by the German Arts and Crafts Association and Messe Frankfurt. Applications for both those areas are still possible until 19th March 2018.

So what do you think of Tendence, taking place from 30 June to 3rd July 2018? Doesn’t it sound like a great fair?

It’s not all about buying, but there is so much more on offer for buyers and designers.

I can’t wait to cover this on social media.

If you are interested in Tendence, you can register here. 

( All photography and graphics are provided by Messe Frankfurt, organisers of Tendence fair. I have written this as a sponsored collaboration with Tendence, but all views are my own).

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