A guest post by interiors journalist and stylist Linda Clayton
Encompassing new districts and events across the capital, this year's London Design Festival was bigger and better than ever. The truly awe-inspiring exhibitions, installations and conceptual shows were great for feeding design-hungry imaginations but when it comes to trend spotting (for products you can actually buy now), Decorex, 100% Design and Focus delivered in spades. Here's three top trend highlights from LDF 2015…
THE LOOK: The Crittal-effect
Invented in the 1880s, and synonymous with the Art Deco era, Crittall metal-framed windows and doors are enjoying a massive style-revival right now, as evidenced by the crowds surrounding Architectural Bronze Casements' stand at Decorex. Architecturally, their monochrome steel frames feel contemporary, yet work equally well on historic properties. There's a hint of industrial edginess at play and, such is its popularity, the Crittall look is now being translated on a smaller scale inside the home.
German enamel bath specialists Bette got in on the act at 100% Design with its utterly covetable BetteLux Shape range, which has already won three major design awards. Featuring baths and basins framed in open steel – that can be powder-coated in all sorts of bright and breezy colours but, in all honesty, looks best in black – the range is seriously sexy. Something that can rarely be said about sanitaryware! On an even smaller scale, Crittal-inspired lighting is another hot option for those seeking a steel-box hit without major structural work, or expense. Davey Lighting has worked the look well with its Hex Box range, while Best & Lloyd's Lantern collection sings with strong silhouettes, just ripe for enjoying a Manhattan-loft moment.
THE PATTERN: Birds & Bees
Nature-themed décor isn't a new trend but, judging by the gamut of fresh flora and fauna-inspired fabrics and papers being launched, it's still got legs. Literally. The allure of adorning our walls and soft furnishings with miniature birds and beasties is hard to deny for anyone in touch with their more whimsical side, especially country-home dwellers (or even urbanites with their hearts in the shires).
While exotic prints featuring everything from Koi Carp and Flamingos, to Peacocks and Parrots are enjoying the limelight, with Spring trends around the corner, expect to see more native critters take centre-stage. For a traditional approach, check out Topps Tiles Minton Hollins White Crackle Engraving Butterfly tiles which features intricate butterflies, or take a look at Juliet Travers' new Albion collection, featuring birdlife from the British Isles. Shoreditch hipsters may prefer Timorous Beastie's Ex Libris bee cushions, with their eye-popping Ikat-meets-kaleidoscope base. And for something in between, try Barnaby Gates' Honey Bees print, which combines modern geographic pattern with traditionally illustrated bees.
THE COLOUR: Blue
In its darkest, deepest form, blue is the undisputed colour of the moment within interiors. It's everywhere and it's fabulous. Easy to mix with neutrals or used as a bold statement alone, it is easy to see why so many designers are falling for dark blue's luxe drama. At Decorex, Little Greene unveiled its new 21-strong capsule range of blue paints and papers, designed to encourage people to embrace their blue side. Spanning pale denims to seaside hues, there's a blue for everyone but it's the really intense, almost-black blues like Royal Navy and Ultra Blue that offer the kind of depth you can happily get lost in.
The high street offers some attention-grabbing inky-inspired blue products that will add excitement and create a stir in any home. Topps Tiles Botella Titanium Glow mosaic tile, which can be used on walls or floors, will add a touch of iridescent drama reminiscent of the night sky.
Converts to this striking blue shade should also take Abigail Ahern's brave lead by painting their ceilings and walls in the same dramatic blue hue. In a talk hosted by Homes & Gardens' Giles Kime during Decorex, she explained how this holistic approach helps push furniture and fittings into the spotlight. Sounds a bit gothic but the examples shown in her own home were surprisingly compelling.
Timorous Beasties Cushion - Houseology.com
Kitchen tiles - MH White Crackle Engraving Butterflies
Blue dining room - Little Greene Blue Mazarine
Barnaby Gates Honeybee fabric - Rocket St George
Juliet Travers Nakuru wallpaper - JulietTravers.com