Kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, we all need them but where to go to find the best suppliers, gadgets and pink sinks? KBB is where.
First let's look at the kitchens (bathrooms to follow). Half expecting the show to consist of endless stands of hinges, extractor systems and shiny suits, although I did see plenty of these, I was happy to be proved wrong as I discovered cutting edge kitchen design and looks and learnt a lot about the forthcoming trends, which I'm going to share with you here.
Wanting to ensure that I do know what the next big thing in kitchens will be for my lovely clients, I also attended a very informative talk on Future Materials and Colour Trends by Formica which correlated with the items I selected on my visit.
Every two years, Formica Group researches and collaborates with global designers and architects to define the upcoming trends that will have a direct impact on design. Called 'Future Vision', it predicted the future materials and colours that will shape the sector and how they fit with broader consumer and societal themes. The key themes for the coming years
Honest and robust materials such as metal, wood, glass and porcelain in industrially inspired spaces. Think warehouse but with softer edges and steely greys anchoring pops of utilitarian colours. A definite move away from the hi-gloss cupboard.
Or bringing the outside in. The latest swathe of Instagram interiors featuring lots of greenery in the home and the use of natural wood along with open spaces and inhabited views through vast panes of glass is where your kitchen will be at. Think blurring the boundaries of inside and outside with herbs growing in mini counter-top glasshouses and soft earthy colours such as Khakis, pale browns and off-whites forming the colour schemes.
Summarised best as minimalist, sensory and tactile. Kitchens will become a lot calmer with tech hidden in appliances (see Samsung fridge above) and transparent and reflective surfaces with lighter hues, simple lines and all small appliances put-away. Only the most beautiful form meets function items will survive the countertop cull.
So, I'd go for the solid pine kitchen, with white tops, hanging baskets, polished plaster walls and chunky handles to encompass al the above.
Please let us know which is your favourite product in the comments below...
Not surprisingly, I didn't spend much time here. Sorry hinge guys.
Back in August 2016 I let you in on my favourite kitchen companies so a year later I thought I'd update the list and show you the new editions that are making me happy in the kitchen right now.
Gone are the gloss cupboards and black granite and in comes natural wood, subtle colour palettes and simplicity. Along with this come more affordable upstarts such as Naked Doors who will upgrade your IKEA kitchen cupboards with expensive looking doors and The Used Kitchen Company who are doing good for the environment and your pocket by selling on pre-loved kitchens.
For contemporary kitchens it has to be Pluck with their adventurous colour palettes and cork fronted cupboards and Day True who've taken the tired "Industrial" and given it a sophisticated spin.
For a fuller update on what's hot in kitchens now make sure you read our earlier post on kitchen trends
CHUCK OUT THAT PAPER LAMPSHADE!
We've been looking at lighting - a lot of lighting. Not being the easiest part of the room to get right, as it should never be just the big light on (as Peter Kaye would say). Lighting should be layered, there can be more than one light source in a room and know that dim-able and even subtle coloured light can transform the ambience without it being seedy and it needn't be extortionate.
Use groups of lights together, light through coloured glass, show off your vintage bulb, chic up your desktop. Stick them on the floor in the corner of your living room for a classy uplight, add lamps to tables, fireplaces and walls and play with the combinations of light (including the big light but on a dimmer please). Treat yourself; buy an investment and conversation piece or buy two or three budget pieces which together will give a more considered and expensive look to your scheme.
Movable, delicate, glowing, sit down on-able, childlike and classic, here are our top shops which you might not have heard of before, for relevant and stylish pieces many of which you can plug in today.
And if you now need an extension lead this company will build one for you. Here's one I made earlier
Last week we visited Clerkenwell Design Week (which is technically only three days - go figure). An indoor/outdoor festival as venues spread out from Angel all the way to Old Street and Smithfields in venues as diverse as a nightclub, Victorian underground prison and churches and boasting it's own street party on Great Sutton Street. It's also open to the public so you can go and discover at the same time as the Pros. Here are our favourite sights and finds from a very fun, boozy final day.
Japan, the coolest place on Earth? Well their architecture and interiors are super-cool. After watching the fantastic documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix and always being asked by clients for clever small space solutions, I knew that The Japanese House punches above it's weight on both of these topics. So here's a little on what we saw at the current Barbican show. We thoroughly recommend that you get yourself down there. You will literally get lost in this fantastic exhibition. Open until 25th June.
..... then head to Bonfire BBQ for a Coke Float
One of London's Best Interiors Bloggers (Ideal Home magazine), The Open Plan Interior Design, London produces contemporary interiors for homes and business' and this very useful home interiors blog