Ah, moquette. The hard-wearing, patterned, furry fabric that the London Underground train seats are upholstered in. (I once went to a great lecture about the history of moquette and the various designs, but there were some rather gruesome details about the bed bug problem on various tube lines and I haven’t sat down since without a quick inspection first…) The London Transport Museum design team has already covered various objects with this practical retro stuff – pouffes, headboards, cushions, even handbags – and now, they’ve joined forces with those clever upholsterers at Shoreditch studio Squint to create  a collection of limited-edition moquette patchwork sofas, which will be unveiled during the London Design Festival at Tent London:

If you visit Tent, you could win a stylish moquette armchair…and the rest of the collection will be available from the London Transport Museum’s online shop from the end of September and their bricks-and-mortar Covent Garden museum shop. – Ellie

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100% Design HIGHLIGHTS

September 23, 2010

Stuck to the usually grubby and miserable windows of Earls Court tube station are wallpaper panels – pink roses, trailing silver leaves and blooms in shades of plum and charcoal. 100% Design is here:

This is the pretty Countess wallpaper, from Graham and Brown‘s new Elixir collection, and very nice it is too. Another paper in the range worth checking out is the stunning Mirage design, featuring silhouetted trees and a sort of misty early-morning-valley effect – very beautiful. Especially in the mustard and grey colourway, which is practically EDIBLE:

Having accidentally eclipsed Barbara Hulanicki while a poor photographer was attempting to capture her, I moved swiftly on to the Korea Design Pavilion, where I got chatting to the 15 young, innovative designers there. I was particularly taken with 601Bisang, a stationery company, and I PRAY that their stunning letterpress notebooks, numbered post-it notes and rolls of colourful ‘glass tape’ are snapped up by British buyers – I’m sure they will be…

These little leaf notebooks have leaves printed on all the pages and are inspired by old-fashioned flower presses. SO nice. I also liked the fun ‘RELATION-SHEEP’ stool from the charming designArtist Soh – designed for two friends to sit on, it looks like two sheep kissing. (You might recognise his book tree shelving unit in one of these photos, which he showed last year).

I also loved the wonderful ‘Ta-Rae‘ lighting (made from spools of thread in traditional Korean colours with thimbles for light-pulls) from Design Virus

Next, I spoke to the lovely people at Print, Tuft and Fold who had been charged with designing some very cool seating cubes for the exhibition’s entrance hall. Covered in gorgeous geometric patterns as well as city skylines and icons, they were proving popular for perching. Zoe Beck’s new London and New York wallpapers were stunning, Claire Alderdice’s new rugs were beautiful, and Kim Bassett’s latest origami-inspired cushions a delight. Woah, so many adjectives. But I can’t help getting as bit over-excited about these things…

I had a nice natter with Joshua Ritchie, husband of textile designer Caroline Ritchie of Corita Rose. I’ve been a fan of Caroline’s eye-wateringly bright fabrics, furnishings and accessories since I spotted them at Tent last year. Channelling Mexican art, circus fonts, Medieval poetry and tattoo symbols, her work is unique and VERY eye-catching! Joshua showed me her new curtain design, with the John Dryden quotation: JOY RULED THE DAY AND LOVE THE NIGHT…

I paid a little visit to the Roca stall to see the incredible light wave installation there and to hear all about the new Roca flagship showroom due to open in Chelsea soon, then headed to Camilla Meijer‘s stand to see her new wallpaper designs. The two new collections, called Victoria and Summer Garden, are every bit as stunning as her previous ranges…

I love this show, but after a while, my energy evaporated as per. My arm started to ache from the weight of press releases, my hair went all frizzy from heat/rain, I felt dehydrated, and I got a bit freaked out by the disgusting new ‘Utter Pots’ from Thelermont Hupton (of Handjob Hooks fame) which are basically little vases with lips, teeth and gaping orifices. Disturbing…

Time to trek back to SE1 and cover my desk with tape from 601Bisang. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. – Ellie

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I do like Donna Wilson‘s cheerful designs. And I do like a bit of Ercol (as demonstrated by my recent epic seven-hour journey – three trains, one bus and a taxi – to the deepest darkest depths of Spalding to collect a magical Ercol coffee table bought for £9.99 on eBay because the seller didn’t use the word ‘Ercol‘ in the listing durrrrrr). Therefore, I am excited and delighted to hear that as part of TENT London, at the London Design Festival, Ercol and Donna Wilson have got together to create The Best Studio Couch In The Whole World Ever. Here’s what it’ll look like:

If you’re in London, you can see it at The Truman Brewery from next Wednesday 22 until Sunday 26 September. And the Ercol fun doesn’t stop there – oh, no. Textile designer Sarah-Jayne Guest will also be there, showing Ercol Originals pieces re-upholstered in her stunning, vibrant fabrics (you might have spotted these already at the One Year On, New Designers exhibition earlier this summer)…

As if all this isn’t enough, Ercol’s new Messina furniture collection, designed by Dmitri Warner, will also be on display upholstered in some gorgeous Designers Guild fabrics. Sounds good to me. – Ellie

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Meanwhile, on Watership Down hill, Fiver and his bunny buddies had escaped the vicious Owsla. But nothing could prepare them for the RUG…

Glaswegian design duo Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons (AKA Timorous Beasties) has teamed up with Brintons carpets to create a collection of stunning hand-tufted rugs, which will be on display at 146-148 Clerkenwell Road during London Design Festival. I’ve been a fan of the controversial Toile fabrics and wallpaper collection which features Glasgow, London, ‘urban images’ and, rather randomly, ‘pineapples’ for ages, so I’m thrilled to hear about this new collaboration from the “William Morris on acid” designers. I’ll pop along to the launch party later this month to find out more and report back. As well as their fabulous designs, I love the Burns-inspired company name, which is impossible to say without using a thick, Scottish accent. OCH AYE! – Ellie