LDF15: At Home in London

Home London kicked off the design festivities early, sneaking in just before the London Design Festival officially opened its doors. The biannual show at Kensington Olympia is part of a wider gift show, and benefits from its focus on British-made homewares.


Surface pattern designer Lorna Syson was exhibiting there for the first time. Inspired by her own childhood memories, such as blackberry picking amongst hedgerows, Lorna creates cushions, wallpaper, and stationery that references the beauty of the British outdoors. Her new collection, Bloom, includes small wildlife she has photographed in local parks and gardens.


Linda Bloomfield created her newest collection by making the pots depicted in Giorgio Morandi’s still life paintings. The mid-century color palette and textured surfaces mark an exciting departure from her previous work.


I particularly like the way glazes have bled into one another – a process the designer can’t really control – making every pot unique. The collection currently includes bottles and jugs – coffee cups and saucers are in development.


Work by fellow ceramics designer Alicja Patanowska and surface pattern designer Fanny Shorter were on show as part of the confessions of a design geek bursary stand, to launch the 2016 bursary, in which one new designer stands to benefit from a bursary worth over £10K (about $15K).


Hop & Peck’s clever little hooks are designed to look as beautiful in use as not, and as well as being able to hang things on them, you can also slot pictures into a little groove in the top, enabling them to double up as display shelves.


I also loved their two-tone cushions in red and grey.


In The Mountains, the new collection by self-described “smiley duo of designer print-makers” Orwell & Goode was inspired by the team’s surroundings in the Scottish Borders.


I absolutely loved Margo Selby’s new bed linen and throws in an incredible neon colorway. The picture doesn’t quite do it justice.


Exhibiting for the first time was Australian-born Sami Couper. She hand dyes all the linen for her ombré-inspired collection of cushions and fabric, and yet her day job as a visual merchandiser for IKEA has instilled in her a sense of democracy and accessibility, so they are all very affordable.


Finally, business card maestros MOO were on hand offering exhibitors and visitors alike the chance to print their own thank-you card for someone who had helped them get their business to where it is today – a lovely idea to engage people with their new offerings.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.