September is a month of new beginnings and fresh starts! And, for the world of interiors and all things Home, the month during which the exhibition calendar fills up with wonderful trade fairs and shows, full of new collections, fresh products and inspiring trends.
Probably the main fair on the buying calendar for this season for anyone in interiors has to be Maison & Objet in Paris. It simply doesn’t get better than this wonderful, huge, exhausting exhibition with its enormous halls and masses and masses of products! But, unfortunately, I couldn’t make it across to Paris this time… :-(
Luckily, September is also the month of the London Design Festival, so there was plenty to see right here in bright and sunny London. In this post, I’m outlining my finds from one of the London trade fairs I attended this month.
Top Drawer takes place twice a year at London’s Olympia and features interiors brands, gifts, crafts, stationery, wellness and fashion & jewellery sections. It’s a pretty good fair, and there’s always something new to find and old friends to catch up with.
So what brands and collections stood our for me this time around at Top Drawer?? Let's take a look...
Alice Peto is a new brand which was exhibiting for the first time at Top Drawer. I was immediately struck by the clean, fresh look of this collection and was keen to find out more.
I had a lovely long chat with Alice, whose brand this is, and who designs and draws each pattern by hand before having it produced in fine bone china in fine bone china in England’s pottery heartland, Stoke-on-Trent.
Alice explained that she really wanted her collection to be bold and striking but also practical, so it could easily be used every day. And I think she's done just that.
With themes like Camel, Flamingo, Palm Tree and Pineapple, the collection is refreshing, decorative, bold, striking and cheerful (also mostly dishwasher and microwave safe!). I loved the Alice Peto tableware collection.
I loved the story of Camilla Thomas! She’s a textile designer and weaver based in Anglesey in North Wales who takes inspiration from the gorgeous seaside and beach landscape of this area. She was featuring her ‘Tidal Sands’ collection, which I thought was just beautiful!
First, Camilla takes plenty of pictures and draws lots of sketches that she sees on the coastal landscape. Then, she turns these sketches into patterns and weaves samples on her small hand-operated loom. Once she’s happy with the design, she then works with an old family-owned mill in Lancashire to turn her designs in to the most gorgeous throws and cushion, made from the softest merino wool and beautifully finished.
The designs for Tidal Sands depict patterns left in the sand by the sea and by tractors pulling boats in and out of the harbour in small towns along the coast. I thought this collection was inspired, delicate and gorgeous!
Sara Miller London Home Fragrance by Canova
Have you come across the fabulous and talented Sara Miller yet? Sara set up her business relatively recently, in 2016, and has quickly developed a really wonderful and colourful brand, full of whimsical charm and colour.
Inspired by her love of travel and penchant for colour and pattern, the Sara Miller candle collection is eye-catching and delightful. Flamingos, peacocks, flowers and birds, depicted in jewel-like colours such as emerald green and fuchsia make up the gorgeous packaging for these candles, which are equally stunning in either black or white glass jars with gold designs and highlights.
When choosing a candle, particularly if you’re offering it as a gift, I always think it’s so important that the jar or container itself is beautifully designed and decorative, and not just the outer packaging. After all, eventually the box will get thrown out and all that’ll be left of the gift is the container and candle – why not make that gorgeous too?? Sara Miller certainly has!
Canova hand-pour their candles in their factory in Hertfordshire and have a number of other collections which they produce for other brands as well, but the one that stood out the most for me was Sara Miller’s.
Trade shows can be really tiring and you do an endless amount of walking and talking. Sometimes, it’s tempting to just not bother with that last aisle at all, or maybe only take a little peek but not walk all the way down to the end.
Having attended dozens and dozens of fairs over the years, one of the lessons I’ve learnt is to keep going until I’ve seen every last aisle. Because you just never know…
In one of the last couple of aisles at Top Drawer, I came across a really interesting kitchenware brand called Stuff Design. It doesn’t sound it, but it’s a Danish brand that produces a wide selection of wooden platters, cutting boards, serving spoons, knives, bowls and other accessories for the table and kitchen.
I was immediately attracted by the shapes and sizes of the platters and cutting boards, which are all handmade in India from Acacia or Indian Rosewood and cut to all sorts of designs and of course polished and finished off beautifully. I thought it was a really lovely collection and was glad not to have missed it! I love a serving platter don’t you?
Well, there you have it. My roundup from Top Drawer Autumn 2018. Do you like what I’ve highlighted here? I’d love to hear your thoughts and to know if you’d like to find any of these brands or products at Pomegranate Living!
‘till next time…
All photos by brands. Top image of the entrance to Top Drawer by Nicole Antar.