London Design Week 2019 – Highlights

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, London


10 – 15 March 2019


For one week in March, London became the design capital of the world as interior designers, architects, taste makers and magpies from across the globe flock to the capital for London Design Week 2019. I registered myself as a customer, but I was only there for seeing the latest collection of wallpaper manufacturer and designers.  From discovering in Arte’s luxurious Extinct Animals wallcovering, designed in partnership with Moooi, to see how iconic motifs from the house of Fornasetti have been reimagined as a new collection of incredible wallcoverings at global brand  Cole & Son, and to find out how the designs of the past are being reinvented for the future at IKSEL designers. The design week sees showroom windows and showcases dressed in their finest, expressing all the sophisticated glamour of the prevailing mood in design in over 100 showrooms at the Chelsea harbour.

Cole & Son

Cole & Son was founded in 1873 by John Perry. The Cole & Son archive consists pf approximately 2,000 block print designs, 500 screen print patterns and original artworks and wallpapers

Cole & Son has been creating original and exceptional wall coverings since 1875. Innovative, intelligent and artistic design is founded upon a strong heritage of family craftsmanship.

Hearing from what its designers say about how does a design reach to its final destination of becoming a part of a wallpaper.

Everyone is free to interpret things

in their own way.’

Ideas come, predominantly from their own photography, taken on immersive trips to inspirational locations. “with Botanical ~ Botanica ~ collection we knew we wanted to look at flowers and foliage fore example: so among other places we visited the Hampton Court flower Show, she explains. “Similarly’ with the new Fornasetti Senza Tempo collection we traveled to Milan and Como, to really try to understand what we wanted to achieve.“. Hundreds of images are then pinned to the walls, after which they brainstorm and discuss, ` it’s then that we start our drawings and paintings’ says Clarley, ` and everyone is free to interpret things in their own way’. Further a key part of the process is translating the loose artwork in to visible wallpaper designs. “we create a beautiful illustration, but it is still hot to work as a repeat . only at this stage do they scan the drawings and paintings in to a computer, which is used purely an aid to experiment with layouts and sizing. Once that is fixed in perfect arrangements, the designs are all hand painted to scale. Then to the next level of printing wallpaper using whatever print techniques , methods required to achieve it while also maintaining  and retaining the integrity of the artwork.  


Piero Fornasetti is referred to as the “designer of dreams”, and his visual universe of surrealism-tinged illustrations is instantly recognisable. He was also a purveyor of furniture and other objects that blurred the boundaries between art and design, long before such an idea took flight elsewhere. Cole & Son’s Senza Tempo collection is the fourth time that the two brands have collaborated, keeping Fornasetti’s legacy current with some patterns adapted from existing designs (but never available before as wallcoverings), and others re-coloured, given a change of scale or otherwise reimagined. The results include ‘Arance’ (pictured) with its motif of repeated citrus fruits originally seen on a 1950s design for a tray; ‘Cocktails’ a trompe-l’oeil depiction of endless bar-shelves of glasses, spirit-bottles and shakers (originally a design for an ice bucket); and ‘Nuvolette’ a scaled-down version of the iconic ‘Nuvole’ mural of scudding black-and-white clouds.




Moooi pays tributeto extinct animals with a range of wallpapers.

Archive drawings of bygone creatures feature in The Museum of Extinct Animals, a new range of wall coverings and textiles from Dutch brand Moooi.

The collection includes carpets, leathers and fabrics. But the highlight is the series of wallpapers, created in collaboration with Belgian brand Arte.


The designs take inspiration from 10 extinct creatures, including the dodo, umbrella squid, blushing sloth and bearded leopard.

Moooi found images of these animals by exploring the collections of various museums.

"We searched museums around the world and found the most incredible drawings of bygone animals, documented by explorers on their travels," said Marcel Wanders, co-founder at Moooi. "So much of what has lived is lost and can only live in our memories and imagination."

The range includes one wallpaper that features all 10 of the selected creatures, which also include the dwarf rhino, armoured boar, caligraphy bird, flying coral fish, aristo quagga and blooming seadragon.

Iksel – Decorative Arts














Iksel – Decorative Arts offers sophisticated

scenic and architectural wallcoverings. Established in 1988, its vast collection of hand-painted originals can be converted to digital format, either as a bespoke design or standard printed.




















Other brands I looked at:


Abbott & Boyd

Zimmer + Rohde