Decorum Explores: Decorex International 2014

It’s September and that means only one thing in the interiors world – the London Design Festival! We are really looking forward to getting out and about and seeing what all the exciting companies in our sector have to offer at this year’s events. And the jewel in the crown of these events for us is always Decorex. We might be a bit biased – having worked in-house on the show – but it truly is the highlight of our LDF season.
This year, Decorex is moving to brand new venue, the stunning Syon Park, with even more space and exciting treats on offer. Here are a few of our mustn’t-miss picks for this year’s show…
First of all, we’re delighted that our client April Russell will be taking part in an exclusive panel discussion, as part of this year’s seminar programme. Hosted by Lucinda Bredin, Arts Editor of The Week, the talk takes place on Tuesday 23 September at 2pm, and April will be joining a group of experts to discuss the challenge of designing interiors around treasured pieces of art (above). With plenty of top tips and advice on offer on this challenging subject, it promises to be one of the most interesting discussions at the event.
Next up, we can’t wait to visit Harlequin London‘s stand! The winner of last year’s ‘Best Stand’ accolade, Harlequin London has a lot to live up to this year, and is also in the unique position of being the only tableware specialists exhibiting this year. We’re really looking forward to seeing how they follow up on last year’s success!
We’re also excited about Tom Faulkner, who have two stands this year.  Renowned for their bespoke metal furniture and excellent use of natural materials, they are launching several new designs at the show, which we are looking forward to seeing in the flesh.
From a feature point of view, this year the Champagne Bar will be designed by Les Trois Garcons. In fact, the catering at this show promises to be pretty spectacular – with an on-site restaurant by one of our favourite London restaurants Bocca di Lupo offering food and wine from across Italy’s 20 different regions.
And of course, it wouldn’t be Decorex without a spectacular entrance! This year, not one, but 20 designers are coming together to create something inspired by the show’s theme this year, the Georgian era. Apparently, the designers will be working alongside one another to recreate eight of 18th century English artists William Hogarth’s series of paintings, called A Rake’s Progress. How this will be interpreted is shrouded in secrecy… we will see you there!

Take it or Leave it: Faux Flowers

I’ll admit it upfront: the very thought of fake flowers has always brought me out in a bit of a rash, conjuring up images of lurid, plasticky pound-shop displays or dusty, frayed polyester lilies in the corner of dentists’ waiting rooms.

But like it or not, faux blooms are having a bit of a moment. The new breed of silk flowers is more convincing than ever, not to mention low maintenance (and God knows, I’d be happy if I never had to change another vase of stinky flower water). OK, you don’t get the fragrance of the real thing, nor the tiny variations and transience that make real flowers so special, but then you’ll never waste another hour trying to get pollen stains out of your favourite top either.

So is it time to start faking it or should we keep it real?


Gaudy colours? Check. Crumpled petals? Check. These are the bogus blooms I know and hate, and they aren’t fooling anyone.

Wedding chicks

A bridal bouquet that looks as good on your ruby anniversary as it did on your wedding day is an idea I can get behind. Although once you’ve forked out for decent silk flowers, there’s no way you’d want to lob them into a gaggle of your single girlfriends.


Bloom tulips

Bloom is a good place to find impressively realistic arrangements. I can’t help thinking it might get a bit boring having the same flowers on display the whole time, but when they look as good as these, would you really mind?

Abigail ahern

You can always trust Abigail Ahern to come up with the goods – her website is full of gorgeous displays that could definitely pass for the real deal. Plus Ms Ahern has supplied flowers for Robbie Williams, Emma Thompson and the Vatican, and if they’re good enough for the Pope…

What do you think? Are faux flowers blooming lovely or a shabby substitute for the real thing?

- Susie

August 29, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Suzzy - I think faux flowers can look amazing – if you’re willing to spend the money and get decent-quality ones!

It always brings me memories of sitting at family friends’ houses and seeing plastic-y so-called plants. Same as you’d get in a takeaway shop, really.

Thankfully technology has moved on since then!

Decorum Loves: Beautility

We’ve already written a post on Beautility, the design ethos adopted by Sebastian Conran, but we thought it might be a good idea to share some more information about the background to the campaign, as well as giving you some ideas of products that deserve the beautility label!

What you might not already know is that Beautility was originally a furniture brand in the 1930s, creating functional yet attractive midcentury designs. This is where Sebastian first came across the term. A trawl through vintage sites and Pinterest reveal that the majority of the designs that have survived are dining furniture pieces, especially sideboards and cocktail cabinets.

These beautiful pieces combine the best of aesthetics and practicality and really live up to their name…


Beautility in the modern day is not limited to furniture. It can be applied to everything that’s ‘designed’, from architecture to fashion to transport. We’ve compiled a few of our favourite items for you, that we really believe deserve the Beautility label…some may be surprising!







The main purpose of the Universal Expert‘s Beautility campaign is to start ensuring that we design things that work well as well as look good – it’s a mission to prove that the two are not mutually exclusive.

We’re gearing up for a Twitter chat on 4 September with Sebastian himself, where we hope the design community, and design enthusiasts, will come together to discuss why it’s so important that products are designed to last, and manufactured using the most appropriate materials for the job. It’s also a chance to hear Sebastian’s passionate thoughts on this matter, so don’t miss out!


If you haven’t already, the best way to ensure you are included in the chat is to support it on Thunderclap.

Supporting is easy, costs nothing and takes only two seconds – simply click on the button of the social media network you’d like to support with, and follow the instructions!

We’re nearly at 100 supporters, so don’t miss your chance to be part of this design movement!


Decorum Explores: Disused metro stations

As you can imagine, working in the design industry comes with its perks. We have early access to the ‘next big fashions,’ meaning we are always on trend (we knew pineapples were going to be a thing before they were a thing,) we have the opportunity to meet many wonderful, creative people and, of course, we are exposed to quirky new ideas. disused metro station plans. daily decorum decorum media

These concept designs, by OXO architects and Laisné Architecte, are the latest thing to capture our attention. Proposed by Parisian mayoral candidate, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the images depict a plan to convert ghost stations along the metro into something of use, and of beauty.

disused metro station plans. daily decorum decorum media

According to Morizet’s campaign website: “Paris has 11 underground ghost stations. Some of them have never been opened, others have been closed since 1940 and the occupation of Paris. These stations contain authentic places of history, which have remained in tact since their closure. Today, these stations are sleeping under our feet.”

disused metro station plans.daily decorum
Morizet goes on to promise to“restore these special places for Parisians, opening them to the public and redeveloping them to give birth to alternative uses: sporting, cultural and festive” and “allow Parisians to choose the use they want to give these abandoned places, while enhancing the historic heritage of the Paris metro.”

The proposed uses include swimming pools, bars, nightclubs and even an underground garden centre.

disused metro station plans paris. daily decorum decorum media
Personally, we love the idea of transforming one of the vacant spaces into a theatre. A ballet staged underneath Paris would be an unforgettable experience – and is an idea we can’t help but think London should be paying attention to. (Come on Boris, where are your plans to recreate our disused stations?)

disused metro station plans.daily decorum decorum media
Manal Rachdi, one of the architects working on the project, said: “This project aims to bring back to life these ghost stations by giving them a new purpose. To swim in the metro seems like a crazy dream, but it could soon come true!

“Why can’t Paris take advantage of its underground potential and invent new functions for these abandoned places?”

Would you visit a converted metro? Can we join you?

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