London Design Festival & FOCUS/17 Debrief

With this year’s London Design Festival now behind us and all the excitement that came with it, we thought it would be great to take a look back and revisit the highlights from the festival. A major highlight for us was the launch of our new collaboration with Wools of New Zealand.

Kicking things off, as part of FOCUS/17 we had the pleasure of hosting social media expert, Grant Pierrus from Interior Style Hunter. Grant runs a marketing agency for luxury interior brands, interior designers and architects where social media and digital marketing are at the core of the business.

Grant spoke to a showroom full of eager listeners and FOCUS/17 visitors about how social media can enhance your business, the fundamentals of social media marketing and the importance of engaging with your fans, creating online networks and how these channels are changing from one to many conversations to more direct, one to one conversations.

Topfloor by Esti Showroom

Topfloor by Esti Showroom

A talk with Grant Pierrus at Topfloor By Esti's showroom

A talk with Grant Pierrus at Topfloor By Esti’s showroom

Tom's Kitchen at the Tatler Restaurant during Focus/17

Tom’s Kitchen at the Tatler Restaurant during Focus/17

At Syon Park, Decorex held their annual event. Decorex as always, is about connecting designers to new trends and brands. One particular highlight was the elegant Shalini Misra designed Champagne Bar. Since it was a special anniversary for the show, all the stops were pulled out to make this an extraordinary edition. According to Shalini, the design was inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851. Set in Crystal Palace, the exhibition celebrate everything new and burgeoning in the world at the time. In Shalini’s 21st century version, delicate gold and red features evoked an almost oriental theme; muddled in with creatively designed motifs, lush velvet fabrics, ironwork and delightful Victorian finishes all working to bring plush old world luxury to a modern exhibit.

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Shalini Misra’s champagne bar at Decorex

For this year’s VIP visitors, Turner Pocock’s ‘Bahamas style’ lounge offered up a relaxed and whimsical space to meet and greet, affectionately called the ‘Syon Surf Shack’. The design duo teamed up with de Gournay for their ‘Bahamian-beach’ hand painted wallpaper. Filled with natural materials, palm trees, beach baskets, Slim Aaron’s photography and holiday inspired hues it’s no surprise that it was a hugely talked about element of the exhibition.

Turner Pocock's 'Bahama's style' VIP lounge at Decorex

Turner Pocock’s ‘Bahama’s style’ VIP lounge at Decorex

Turner Pocock's 'Bahama's style' VIP lounge at Decorex

Turner Pocock’s ‘Bahama’s style’ VIP lounge at Decorex

A particular mention must also go to Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, part of the chosen few by Future Heritage showcasing the names to commission and collect in British contemporary craft. Zachary is an artist with studios in Glasgow and London whose practice explores the duality of human progress through sculpture, drawing, sound and video. According to Decorex, his fascination lies within the profit and loss of human development through technology and in the notion that through progress there is also cost. At the show, Zachary exploited the potential of computer technology to create arresting marble tables that look as if they are being consumed, offering up a completely new design idea that evokes a striking visual nature. The table also shares a synergy with Topfloor’s ESQUIRE rug, with its textural change part way through. One can imagine the two would look particularly excellent together.

Topfloor By Esti's ESQUIRE rug

Topfloor By Esti’s ESQUIRE rug

Zachary Eastwood-Bloom 'Information Ate My Table'

Zachary Eastwood – Bloom’s Information Ate My Table

Over at the V&A, Flynn Talbot’s Reflection room provided an immersive visual experience of an intensely vibrant nature. According to the V&A, Flynn used 56 custom-made stretch membrane Barrisol panels in gloss black, with Tryka LED’s woven within the panels that emitted vivid orange and blue hues, creating an eye catchingly futuristic look.

Flynn Talbot's 'Reflection Room'

Flynn Talbot’s ‘Reflection Room’

Flynn wasn’t the only one to put on a colourful show. Camille Walala erected an inflatable installation outside Liverpool Street Station, which she said was “to give the city workers something to help them de-stress.” The instillation was reminiscent of a bouncy castle and offered passers by the chance to take a quick wander through a kaleidoscope of colourful shapes, with the hope of taking the edge off the day in the process. Adam Nathaniel Furman also served up a slice of colour with his ‘Gateways’ installation at Design Junction’s Granary Square. In collaboration with Turkishceramics, the installation consisted of four 4m high colourful ceramic-tiled gateways that, according to London Design Festival, “drew people to wander through and experience the rich history of ceramics in Turkey.”

Adam Nathaniel Furman's 'Gateways'

Adam Nathaniel Furman’s ‘Gateways’

Camille Walala inflatable installation

Camille Walala inflatable installation

To sum up what was an inspiring week in London, we’re extremely excited to share with you our new rugs- CANCAN and FANFAN from the OPPOSITES ATTRACT Collection, which we officially launched in our showroom during FOCUS/17. We had been selected by WOOLS OF NEW ZEALAND as their first design partner to create a rug using their brand new Glacial XT™ wool, the whitest yet developed. Esti Barnes, said this on the new rug – “Wool is a mainstay of our production. It ticks all the boxes for look, feel, sustainability and wearability. Of course, we use other materials but wool is our natural all-rounder. This new development from WOOLS OF NEW ZEALAND is great news because carpets and rugs can now be made pure white. The new yarn also allows for more vivid and loyal colour-matching.” says Esti.

Topfloor By Esti's 'CANCAN'

Topfloor By Esti’s ‘CANCAN’

Topfloor By Esti's 'FANFAN'

Topfloor By Esti’s ‘FANFAN’

“We’re proud to have been selected by Wools of New Zealand to debut their bright white wool with our hand-tufted and hand-sculpted CANCAN rug which is an unashamedly feminine design, evoking a wedding gown with its layers of lacy white fabric. We like the wedding dress symbolism because it underscores the whiteness, purity and novelty aspects of the Wools of New Zealand announcement.”

With its swirling lacy tiers and carved border detail, the frothy petticoats of the Moulin Rouge dancers provided inspiration for the rug. As a somewhat Zen-influenced designer, Esti felt the rug required a counterpart. Due to CANCAN’s inherent femininity, a masculine other half was created. With its angular shapes and steely grey bamboo silk, FANFAN filled the void and completed the duo.

At Topfloor, we’re always aiming to push the boundaries, using new materials, production methods and design styles. With this new rug from WOOLS OF NEW ZEALAND using their Glacial XT™ yarn , we feel that we’re staying true to that aim.

There is no doubt there was lots to see and do over the course of the festival and every year the festival seems to grow and expand across the city.  What were your highlights?

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Image References:

1 – Photo of Topfloor showroom by Jack Simpson

2 – Photo from talk with Grant Pierrus at Topfloor showroom by Jack Simpson

3 – Photo of Tom’s Kitchen pop up by Jack Simpson

5 – Photo of Decorex VIP room from Turner Pocock’s Instagram

6 – Photo of Decorex VIP room from Turner Pocock’s Instagram

7 – Shalini Misra champagne bar from Shalini Misra.

9 – Zachary Eastwood-Bloom – Information Ate My Table

10 – Photo of Flynn Talbot’s Reflection room, taken from V&A website.

11 – Photo of Camille Walala’s inflatable installation, taken from Dezeen.

12 – Photo of Adam Nathaniel Furman’s Gateways, taken from his website.

13 – Cancan rug by Topfloor

14 – Cancan rug by Topfloor