Friday, 7 October 2011

London Design Festival: Viva Portugal!

These last few weeks have been a nonstop round of exciting days and evenings with great shows, designers, bloggers and many other amazing people that I am thrilled to have met and spent time with. So much has happened, where to begin? 

First I was invited to a breakfast at Poggenpohl to kick off Blogtour2011. For those who missed it, the tour was set up by Modenus, the online design resource. They and the producers of the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and are organizing a series of Blogtours, this and Blogtour2012. The tours bring bloggers from US and UK together, first at LDF in September of 2011 and then at NYDF in March of 2012. Do check them out!

I got to put faces to names and more importantly ground my virtual world, a reason why bloggers events are always so successful; we need/want human contact. 
After seeing Poggenpohl’s stunning showroom (they never seem to disappoint me with their amazing collections), we made our way to Tent and Origin. I really loved those two events, it allowed me to actually meet some of the designers I already knew online; to be able to see their stylish creations was so inspiring. 


I love what I do, being surrounded by amazing designs just doesn’t get any better than this. 

Some of my favourites were:

·         Melanie Porter (love her work, my favourite is Edward the Union Jack chair), 
·         Mini moderns (the colours make me smile and I am looking forward to doing a project with their amazing wallpaper), 
·         Curiousa & Curiousa (I love lighting and when you pair it with beautiful colour you get stunning designs), 
·         Abigail Borg ( this is one designer that is not afraid to be bold and the end result; gorgeous patterns), 
·         Esther Coombs ( love her up-cycled vintage ceramics with illustrations drawn by hand), 
·         Charlotte Sale ( her handcraft glass pieces are just so irresistible),
·         Lillys Lightbox Company (stunning light boxes, what a great idea and so original - I so want one). 

Decorex International 2011 was next. I was disappointed. I didn’t see many new exciting ideas from the big names, were they resting on their laurels?

I was pleasantly surprised though with how much great design is coming out of Portugal; yes I know you think I am biased because I am Portuguese but believe me it's not. I was beaming with pride and as a result I made sure to introduce most of them to a selection of my designer friends and they absolutely loved their work - in fact they told me they will incorporate their products in their present projects. Here are a sample:

If you want to check them out see: 

·         Ana Barreto (not only an amazing interior designer but now she also has made her furniture available and the collection is to die for), 

·         Munna (their furniture is all about emotions; take a look at it and you will understand why, beware you will fall in love with them), 

·         Boca do Lobo ( they design and think outside the box in order to give you outstanding quality together with stunning statement pieces) , 

·         Delightfull ( their lighting design is just superb while catering for most tastes including mine since I took a fancy to one), 

·         Tapetes Beiriz (their rugs are just gorgeous, not only the designs are fresh but the quality shines through) amongst others.

I also thought that And So To Bed stand was very original; with their daily giveaway ice cream they won my heart (yes I think I tried nearly every flavour, oopsy daisy was I being greedy?). Since sleeping is so important you must check them out if you are about to buy a new bed.

Then there were the ones who inspired me with colour i.e. Aram, Little Greene and Roobarb to name just a few. 

I then made my way to Focus and was shocked. In 2010 nearly everyone had gone to town decorating the shop windows and the creative juices had flowed around with superb results, this year maybe it’s the recession and window budgets were much lower. Don’t get me wrong they were decorated with lovely fabrics from their collections but the imagination and creativity had gone out of the metaphorical window.

Saying that I saw some amazing collections and to name only a few check out GP&JBaker, Romo, Mulberry, Harlequin, etc.

I would also like to thank my fellow UK bloggers/designers the ones I met for the first time and the ones I already knew, I really enjoyed the time we spent together these last few days;  Carole, Arianna, Kate, Daniel, Heather, Jacqui, Pippa, Will, Hamish, Jonathan, Emily, Jo, Ellie, Vanessa, Gemma, Hannah, Tim, Mary, Karen, Katie, Jenny, Sophie, Andrew and Joanna

Thanks also to Stacey, Paul, Bob, Carmen, Leslie, Amy, Andie, Michelle C, Mae & Elise, Meredith, Michelle, Jonathan, Mollie, Veronika, Tamara and Susan. These good folk from across the pond made it a week to remember.

And finally Modenus, My Deco, Poggenpohl, Achica Living, Blanco, Samuel Heath, Victoria+Albert, Wallunica and Spirit of Sports, thanks for making this possible; for understanding the power of social media and being at the forefront of it.
That was my LDF2011, I hope you enjoyed it, keep looking I will have a few surprises coming up so stay tuned!