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Decorex Day 1

September 25, 2011

As the recent winner of the #decorexblogger competition I have now started my ‘task’ for winning – I have to produce 3 blogs a day about the show for the Decorex website!  Over the next 4 days we will also post these blog posts here.


Finally, after months of anticipation, Decorex 2011 is now officially open and ready to welcome visitors.  The show was opened this morning by Nicky Haslam of NH Design, who gave the press a tour with Colette van den Thillart, the Creative Director of NH Design.  As every interior designer knows the devil is in the detail, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the tents at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea.  The stands of over
300 exhibitors are built to the finest specification with every finish polished to perfection.  The acres of carpet are spotless, every inch of fabric steam pressed – and just as importantly, the Champagne bar is fully stocked!  The crowds have already started to flock into the site and it looks like it will be a busy day.

As you arrive at Decorex today you will pass through the Decorex Foyer, this year designed by NH Design.  Nicky and Colette have created a stunning entrance to the show.  Collette explained that the inspiration for the feature came from some of the images of grottoes that she has on her office wall.  NH Design promised they were going to ‘go crazy’ with this feature and it really looks stunning!  Combining interiors with fashion it is the perfect entrance to the show.  A small part of the display is shown below, I didn’t want to spoil the spectacle too much!

This year’s theme is Cherished Places, and how the role of design can help to achieve these special places.  From my walk around the show early this morning it is obvious there are many great suppliers here, both old favourites and new discoveries, who can help you design and create  Cherished Places.

Today’s programme of seminars has just started.   First up in an extensive programme is Dan Hopwood talking about the Confessions of an  Interior Designer. This is sure to be very entertaining – we must all have some interesting stories to share about life in the Interiors Industry!  Nicky Haslam will be in conversation at 12:15 with Sue Crew, the editor of House and Garden – this should be highly insightful given Nicky’s vast industry experience.

Later this afternoon Rene Decker will be discussing what the word ‘Sanctuary’ really means in today’s luxury homes.  Gyms, spas and saunas are now commonplace in many prime residential homes, so what are people asking for now?

The quality of the stands at Decorex 2011 is very impressive.  Stands that caught my eye this morning include Fromental, the Rug Company, Little Green Paint Company and Harlequin – shown below.  We will be featuring some of the 300 exhibitors in another post later in the day.

Enjoy your time at Decorex 2011, come and find inspiration for making your own Cherished Places.


Every year Decorex asks well-known designers to cast their magic over different areas of the show to create special features.  Each of the  hospitality features has been designed by a different designer and we will showcase the design of these tomorrow.   Other areas of the show where the designers touch can be seen include the Sloane Square entrance and the Decorex Foyer.

The Sloane Square entrance this year features a wonderful living wall, bringing some exterior elements into the show’s interior.  Over 3m in height it gives a wonderful entrance to the show before you have even reached the registration area.

After registration you pass through the Decorex Foyer designed by NH Design.  Featured in the blog earlier today you can see another sneak peak below.  Colette van den Thillart, the Creative Director of NH explained during the press tour that the exquisite velvet seen here was made bespoke by Fromental.   NH often work with Fromental as they can handle ‘anything we throw at them’!  The inspiration of the Foyer is of an
underwater grotto, the main features are huge shell shaped beds and there is a Surreal theme running through the display.  The rough plasterwork shown (it is designed to be like this!) is by Solomon and Wu Ltd – a company that continues to push the boundaries on the use of
plasterwork in interiors.  You can see more of their work on the Fromental stand – remember to look up at the amazing cornicing.

These features both embrace the theme of this year’s show, Cherished Places.  We all need to have places we can retreat for some rest and relaxation and the use of good design can enhance these space.  It may be a fabulous hotel where you have stayed or something closer to home.  Martin Hulbert, the designer of this year’s Champagne Bar, says his Cherished Place would be “The view from my kitchen window – sometimes cows, sometimes golden evening sunlight, always a landscape of oak trees under a big sky.”

The next blog later today will feature some of the interesting exhibitors I have discovered at the show.  I just need to decide who to feature – there is such a great selection at Decorex 2011!


We all love to see the design features of Decorex, the wonderful restaurant, tea shop and the Champagne Bar but the reality is we all come here to see the stands.

After walking around the show probably four or five times today (if not more!) I have selected a few stands to feature in this post that really stood out as some of the most interesting stands.  This is either due to the design of the stand or the wonderful products.

The amazing colours on the Whistler Leather stand just drew me in.  The company has a product range that includes over 400 luxurious, top quality leathers and hides.  From a traditional tan brown colour through to Sydney Pear via Petrol Blue and Anthracite if you want any colour of leather you will find it here!  They even had an iPhone app to allow you to browse when with a client.

Dominic Schuster is a leading manufacturer of specialist finishes for furniture and interiors.  The company has just launched a collection of antique mirror glass panels. The finish is available in varying degrees and colours to suit the look you are trying to create.

If you are in the market for some colour in your interior head to Elitis at Abbott & Boyd.  Since their formation over 20 years ago Elitis has earned the reputation for producing modern contemporary wallpapers and fabrics.  Their designs often include animal skin, silk, line and stone effects and are available in a wide variety of exciting colours.  Check out the purple animal skin on display!

For pure fun you can’t beat the display on the Little Green stand.  Highlighting their new collection Retrospectives, the stand features large objects in some of the 32 colours of the range.  The collection is inspired by the colours of the 1960s and 1970s, a perfect choice to add some retro colour into an interior.

If you are a lover of contemporary design another must visit stand is Pinch Design.  Very modern in design but built to last, their furniture is very graceful, and suitable for any environment – either contract or domestic.  They also offer a bespoke service and their range also includes lighting.

One of the standout stands of the show has to be the And So to Bed display.  Using a theme of ‘And So to Beach’ it features a beach hut with four signature beds displayed around the exterior.  This is the launch of their new collection of 1930’s inspired Charleston Collection designed by Nina
Campbell.  They also have an ice cream cart giving away tubs of ice cream!

These are just a few of my favourite stands.  With over 300 exhibitors it is hard to decide who to feature – and there are still many stands to discover!

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