Decorex Inspiration 2016 - The Open College of the Arts
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Decorex Inspiration 2016

Amidst the serene surroundings of Syon Park, the exhibition was, as always, full of inspiration for the interiors market. The show keeps a tight reign on quality and the exhibitors provide the finest supplies for contemporary and historic interior decoration.
Here are a few companies which are good examples of rethinking design development and relevant to OCA students for whom this blog is intended:
commonroom won my unofficial (and purely self-indulgent) prize for the most original stand design largely due to the effort they had put into dressing to match the stand and their collection. This originality carries through in the companies philosophy which is to collaborate with artists and re-imagine or invent wallpapers. They say that wallpaper should not be a background but should challenge and excite. The carefully considered designs range from traditional pattern to abstract and question the way we approach interior design. At the moment the collection is small but the team have an infectious enthusiasm and I am sure this is one to watch!
Another fresh company with big ideas. Design Archives exhibited furnishing and interior fabrics full of colour, imagery and pattern and all manufactured to the highest standards. It was the refined use of colour which drew me to this exhibit and in conversation it got more and more interesting; the designs are the result of reworking traditional archive fabrics, papers and paintings (as seen in the background of this image). I cannot offer a web link yet as it is still under construction but keep an eye out for when it eventually goes live. Using colour with this level of boldness while keeping a sense of harmony and sensitivity is not easy and yet these fabrics are so refined that they would sit comfortably in almost any interior.
Again, focussing on those with a less conventional approach, is a French design company recycling fabrics and other materials into interior accessories with lighting and furnishing featuring strongly at Decorex. Much of the fabric is sourced from markets and is reused on bespoke furnishing and cushions. The juxtaposition of the hand craft, almost kitsch, designs and contemporary application is notable and works very effectively. There is also a cheeky nod to the use of tapestry as decoration in grand historic houses.
Design Nation is a well established resource for design buyers and a powerful marketing opportunity for a lot of new designers (including myself, many years ago!) The web site says that “Design-Nation is the Great British portfolio for Craft, Design and Product and offers a one stop destination for retailers, manufacturers and press together with industry professionals who want to commission, invest and source great British design.”
Selected membership is open to all practicers of Craft, Product and Design from across the United Kingdom and it is always worth checking in with their web site to keep with trends and innovative use of materials. It is always good to see opportunities for smaller companies and individuals to exhibit at major trade shows like Decorex.

Posted by author: Neil Musson
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One thought on “Decorex Inspiration 2016

  • Thank you for sharing some interesting examples of design from the exhibition. The use of recycled fabrics is interesting, and the resulting products look fun – I can imagine living with those in my home.

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