100%Design – ones to watch

September 25, 2009

A breath of fresh air – I came back from the 100%Design show at Earls Court yesterday buzzing with positivity. It was a better show than last year in my opinion, largely due to the fact that the 100%Futures area was packed full of graduate designers, fresh from college, exhibiting for the first time and bursting with new ideas and enthusiasm. Their energy is highly contagious – just talking to them for a whole day made me feel creative! It’s impossible to mention everything I saw, but here are some people who stood out, and who are definitely going to become big names over the next few years.

transformer-collection1Firstly, I spoke to Chun Wei Liao, who grew up surrounded by his family’s cardboard packaging business and today uses paper and cardboard to create stunning lampshades. They come flat-packed and are very easy to construct – you can move the prisms to create any effect you fancy, and you can even spray or decorate the shades for a bespoke look. They looked so beautiful hanging up – and of course they’re eco-friendly as well as lovely.


Another young designer well worth a mention is John Green, a cheerful product designer from York, whose work really impressed me. Having graduated from York St John University, he’s now working on products in collaboration with Snow Home. His elegant plywood coffee table caught my eye – it’s basically two tables that slot together, so they can be used separately, or together for a storage shelf. Simple, stylish and clever.

john greenJohn Green also designs and makes funky flat plywood stag heads, which he screen-prints on to by hand. The graphic, pixelated deer faces look weirdly 3D from a distance and since antlers are all the rage at the moment, these quirky heads are bound to be popular.

john green antler

Textiles trio Print, Tuft and Fold was another highlight. Zoe Beck, Claire Alderdice and Kim Bassett are all graduates of Chelsea College of Art and Design and although their work is varied, it sits so nicely together that it looked great on a shared stall.

print tuft fold

Zoe Beck designs and makes brightly-coloured cushions and lampshades with urban prints and was showing her new London cab design, which I really liked. Claire Alderdice’s bold rugs and carpets were gorgeous, too, and Kim Bassett’s folded fabrics that are based on Origami techniques, equally beautiful.

print tuft and foldYoung furniture designer Charlie Davidson gave his metal mesh chair a very catchy name. It’s called: ‘Is this the coolest chair ever made?’ Check out the picture below and see what you think!

charlie davidsonAmidst all the inspiring graduate work, there were several names we know and love show-casing fresh designs. Selina Rose, who’s enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in the interiors world over the past few years for her delicate cut felt items, had her own stand for the first time and showed her new ‘Cut and Fold’ felt wall-covering, which was really effective. You can create your own patterns in the felt by folding as many flaps as you want, so it’s a kind of interactive wall fabric.

Picture 4Elsewhere, Rachel Dormor was exhibiting her beautiful rippled ceramics – they’re so tactile and simple, they look as if they’re natural objects. I particularly like her elegant colanders.

inthekilnWhile I was in the mood for ceramics, I popped over for a chat with Kaoru Parry and to admire her pretty china teacups. Since launching Welovekaoru last year, her cups have been featured in a host of design magazines and are now stocked in Liberty. I think they’re gorgeous!

welovekaoruI also popped to the Paperboy Wallpaper stand to see some lovely new wallpapers designed especially for boys. I love the ‘Dya-think-e-saurus’ design, and the ‘Animal Magic’ one with skeletons on animals, but my favourite is the new design, ‘Hand Made’ with funky hand shadow shapes.

paperboy2paperboy wallpaperAll-in-all it was a very exciting and energising show with so many interesting designs to check out. And then, to top off a great day, I spent the evening chatting to Sir Terence Conran – oooooh, there’s nothing like a good name-drop for a Friday afternoon! More about that on Monday… have a lovely weekend. – Ellie


What do you get when you mix fashion with interiors? Spooky wooden mannekins dressed in beautiful clothes made of wallpaper, of course. Vivienne Westwood has teamed up with Cole & Son to design her own collection of papers, all based on her signature fashion designs.

INSECT_ROSES_4Keep your eyes peeled for her iconic ‘Squiggle’ print – as seen in autumn-winter 1981/82, (her Pirate collection, dahling,) as well as a pretty ‘Cut-Out Lace’ design inspired by her spring/summer 2007 collection, and ‘Insects’, which is based on Elizabeth I’s wardrobe.

vivienne westwood cole sonThis new collection’s due to be launched on 27 September at Focus, so it should be available later this autumn. I quite like the new designs, but I’m more intrigued by the way they’ve shot them – who knew that paper clothes could look so good? Now we can finally make use of the thousands of rolls stacked high in the Ideal Home office… – Ellie

It’s not a hard job…and nobody had to do it…but we did it anyway.

The Ideal Home team has been testing Easter eggs today from all the top brands, and believe me, it’s been one of our most challenging assignments to date. HO HO. (Or should that be CLUCK CLUCK?) Anyway…check out our top ten so you’re in-the-know when you hit the shops:


Tesco Finest Triple Belgian Chocolate Egg

1: Gorgeous packaging, and top quality chocolate, we think Tesco’s egg looks posh but it’s great value for money at just £8.99.


Green & Black's organic thick shelled milk chocolate egg

2: Organic is the way forward – and this delicious, ethical egg is a sure winner. It’s rich and luxurious – and we love the dragonfly gift tag. It’s £4.99 at Fresh & Wild.


'Le Caneton' chocolate duckling and eggs, Galler

3: Not strictly an Easter egg, but this is the cutest Easter gift we’ve seen in years. Somehow it’s impossible to resist biting the duckling’s head off  though (!) It’s £8.95, from Galler.


No.1 Milk Easter Egg, Godiva

4: Gorgeously presented in a lime and aqua box, this chocolate egg is top notch. Hardly credit-crunch fodder at £25, but it’s great if you’re looking for an extra-special treat. It’s available at Godiva.


Dr. Oetker Easter Egg Moulding Kit

5: Do It Yourself with this fun egg kit, £1.99,  Supercook. Kids will love this creative kit, and we had a lot of fun with it, too!


Dark chocolate egg filled with crystallized ginger, Prestat

6: Everything about this egg oozes sophistication, and we think it’s eggs-cellent (sorry). With ginger and dark chocolate, it’s not too sweet – perfect for a dinner party, but not one for the kids or those with a sweet tooth. Find it at Prestat for £22.


Chocolate tiles, House of Dorchester

7: Again, not really eggs as such, but we couldn’t resist these chocolate ’tiles’, £4.95 each, from House of Dorchester. Not the kind of tiles we normally feature in Ideal Home, but tastier!


Valrhone Grand Cru and Single Origin eggs, Rococo

8: This pretty pink vintage-look box caused a sensation in the office, and the little ganache-filled mini eggs inside went down a treat, too. An 80g box is £9.25, Rococo.


Extra Special Easter eggs, ASDA

9: Bargainous and glamorous – these massive eggs look like designer gifts, but they’re just £6.85 each, from ASDA. The white chocolate and berry one is our personal favourite in the range!


Easter nests, Morrison's

10: Last but not least, these chocolate cornflake nests and mini eggs, just £1 for a pack of two from Morrison’s. We think these are great value for money, and handy if you’ve no time to make your own.

We’re all feeling a little sick now, so it’s probably best to wish you all a very Happy Easter and sign off! We’ll be back on Tuesday with more news and stories…  – Emily and Ellie