Thursday, 17 January 2013

Home and Top Drawer

At the weekend I paid a visit to Trade shows Home and Top Drawer. It is always interesting to meet other designers and manufacturers and to see what is new in the market. The two shows are very different in feel.

Home caters to interiors and homewares with a focus on quality products.  Marimekko, Vallila, 95% Danish, and Sagaform were among many of  the Scandinavian companies showing. So the feel of the show was colourful, clean and design led.

Ferm Living from Denmark. Always choose colours impeccably, and I love the hand produced feel of these pillows, a twist on their normal graphic style.

Finnish company Kauniste were also showing for the first time.They produce joyous patterns for cushions, aprons and tea towels using the work of young Scandinavian designers. I love their energy and unrestrictive style.

Of course there was a strong British contingent too with Hemingway design and Mini Moderns both popular exhibits.

There was plenty to see and I was really drawn to Sarah Heaton's ceramics. Designed by Sarah, and produced in the UK, her ceramics have a really beautiful, gentle mid century vibe. It at once seems familiar, yet fresh. If Midwinter were still being designed and made it couldn't look any better than this.

Woven Oak also caught my eye. The company are based in Sussex, but use traditional Indian block printing techniques that give their fabrics such an unusual and tactile quality in this age of digital printing. There is nothing fleeting and trendy in what they produce, these are textiles that you could live with forever. Lizzie Hillier, one half of Woven Oak trained with Anokhi and I think the respect for heritage and technique shines through their work.

Top Drawer has a much larger market appeal, with a focus on stationery and gifts. Great items from Rosehip cards and Lagom. The spotted section had the most interesting items. 

Showing here for the first time was Virginia Armstrong of  Roddy & Ginger.  I am a huge fan. The imagery she employs are always witty and fresh, modern and folky. If you don't yet know the brand have a look at the site/blog now.

Lastly, because of my interest in design for kids I have to mention Corby Tindersticks. I really admire design that appeals to both kids and adults. These quirky illustrated products can't fail to make you smile. There really is nothing else out there like them. In a really competitive market they stand out for their unique style.

Did you go? What did you see that you liked?


  1. Thank you Esther for this juicy post and beautiful fabrics :-)

  2. Thanks for sharing Esther, love Roddy & Ginger!