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7th March 2024

Claire German: A Tour of Design Centre Chelsea Harbour in 8 Objects

Claire German


Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is a worldclass example of placemaking, its famous glass domes synonymous with design and decoration. The international design destination in London helps people discover great design and supports those doing it best: from big name brands to emerging makers, as well as highlights the skills they use to make pieces of lasting value. The mission is to champion creativity, entrepreneurship and business, representing the very best that design can offer. Today, the mix of luxury flagships, independent companies and some 600 international brands can be found, all at one address. Now the next chapter of the story is being written and more global names are moving in. Change and growth are a vital part of what the Design Centre stands for – fostering talent, and continually building on its thriving community, are part of its heart and soul.

The Design Centre hosts two flagship events each year to celebrate the new collections from the showrooms. London Design Week takes place every March to showcase spring summer whilst Focus is held every September to unveil the autumn winter showstoppers from the Design Centre’s roster of international brands. Alongside the new collections, the industry and design enthusiasts alike also look to these shows to understand what the design directions for the seasons ahead will be. Following weeks of investigation and sneak peeks at the new fabric, wallpaper and furniture collections, the Design Centre’s creative director Arabella McNie and wider team identify common threads such as new textures in weaving, new patterns and motifs, and colour palettes, ultimately using these directions to form the creative shoot, the branding and the graphics for the next show.

The design directions give us a fantastic opportunity to showcase some truly standout collections and products and the stories behind them, which adds another layer of appreciation for the incredible talent and craftsmanship present at the Design Centre. Below, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour have outlined the directional styles for spring summer 2024, telling the story of each one through a specific wallcovering, fabric, product or objet that really epitomises the look and feel of that trend.

To see these pieces in person, visit London Design Week 2024 between Monday 11 – Friday 15 March where all interior design aficionados are welcome.


1.     The Palette of the Season



‘Mughal Painting’ rug at Wendy Morrison

This spring summer, design houses are showcasing decorative and dreamlike fabrics and wallcoverings that are curated for those with the sweetest palettes. From pistachio and sage to lemon to lavender and lilac, these colours set the backdrop to a whimsical season ahead.

A new launch that we must highlight in line with this pastel moment, is the new ‘Mughal’ Painting Rug from Wendy Morrison, whose brand features maximalist rugs, textiles and wall coverings. Wendy Morrison will be moving to a larger showroom at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour in the coming months.

The ‘Mughal’ rug is a wool and silk hand-knotted heritage rug, which celebrates Mughal art and the tradition and joy of visual storytelling.  Inspired by the Mughal miniature paintings of the 16th century, Wendy Morrison was drawn to the bright, pure colour, level of detail, links to the natural world, and storytelling, at the heart of this ancient art.

One of the most significant colours in the rug – lilac – is the shade associated with the Crown Chakra, the energy centre with a connection to spirituality and enlightenment. This lilac hue is certainly a dominant colour across spring summer 2024 collections and therefore inspired the Design Centre team in choosing the branding for London Design Week 2024 which features both lilac and aqua tones.


2.     ‘Bloomsbury’ design direction




‘Pheasant’ lamp by Bunny Williams x Paolo Moschino at Paolo Moschino


A key design direction to highlight for SS/24 is ‘Bloomsbury’ which pays homage to the Bloomsbury creatives who lived and worked during the early 20th century. The group believed in creativity, innovation and beauty but it is their sense of fun and freedom that Design Centre showrooms are really celebrating for spring summer 2024.

Lighthearted rather than studied, there is always a sense that there has been enjoyment in putting a Bloomsbury look together.

Much like the interior in Charleston Farmhouse itself or the inspiration behind Kit Kemp’s Charlotte Street hotel, this design direction is layered, eclectic and thoroughly charming. It’s about filling your home with beautiful things, seeing furniture as art and painting every available surface!

Perfectly epitomising this direction, we must mention the ‘Pheasant’ lamp from the new collaboration between Bunny Williams and Paolo Moschino which sees two design titans come together to celebrate their unparalleled expertise in design sophistication.

Known for balancing refined beauty, welcoming liveable appeal, and attention to detail in their interiors, the evolving collection from Paolo Moschino and Bunny Williams includes furniture, artwork, and accessories geared towards outdoor living and crafted from materials like wicker, teak, metal, and stone.

See Bunny Williams and Paolo Moschino in conversation with Hatta Byng, the editor of House & Garden, on the mainstage as part of the London Design Week 2024 talks programme.


3.     ‘Enchanted Isle’ design direction


‘Lodhi’ fabric, Byzance collection at Osborne + Little

It is no surprise that a connection with nature has been a recurring theme in interior design, however, this season, there is a charming twist.  The ‘Enchanted Isle’ design direction takes the eye on a journey to imaginary places.

Here, we must give special mention to the Byzance collection from Osborne & Little (the ‘Lodhi’ fabric from the collection is pictured above) which feels as if it is setting the scene for a fairytale. Printed and embroidered fabrics in this collection draw inspiration from the decorative cultural arts. Each fabric tells a distinctive story, from ornate patterns reminiscent of Indian artistry to playful motifs capturing the essence of nature.

A giant in the decorating world, Osborne + Little opened their Design Centre showroom doors at the in the summer of 2023 bringing their classic with a contemporary interpretation design philosophy to the Design Centre.


4.     ‘Abstraction’ design direction’



‘Ori Lake’ by The Rug Company


The ‘Abstraction’ Design Direction is all about taking the essence of something and really distilling it down to abstract forms. In many instances, with a painterly brush stroke effect.

A natural extension to the focus that has been on Bahaus design in recent seasons, this design direction celebrates mixing ovals, circles and abstract lines. Much of the furniture in this direction nods to angular edges whilst the wallcoverings and fabrics feature an arbituary arrangement of abstract shapes in a largely neutral and earthy palette, with joyous accents in warm shades – hot yellows, rust and moments of sage, petrol and pale blue.

The Rug Company’s ‘Ori Lake’ rug, pictured, embodies this design direction with its abstract shapes. Crafted entirely in silk, the ‘Ori Lake’ rug features fan-like forms that showcase traditional hand carving techniques.

Founded in 1997 with the belief that luxury is determined through respect for craftsmanship, community and innovative design, The Rug Company is one of several exciting new showroom openings at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour in 2024. With three stacks of rugs showcasing core collections, the new showroom will also be home to a new project studio dedicated to creating bespoke designs.

5.     ‘Palm Beach’ design direction



‘Greek Cane’ rug, mustard, by Salvesen Graham x Jennifer Manners at Jennifer Manners

Renowned US designer Mark D Sikes describes the Palm Beach aesthetic as ‘classic but with a bit of drama’ and looking ahead to spring summer 2024 and the offering from the Design Centre showrooms, there is an abundance of this style.

Perhaps best summed up as ‘Old World Charm with a Tropical feel’, think sumptuous interiors with an airy twist – the homes of Estée Lauder and Gloria Guinness spring to mind.

Playful and fresh, there’s lattice, fretwork, rattan and a sense of indoor/outdoor that suits the glamorous lifestyle of Palm Beach socialites as they entertain on their lawns. This is perfectly embodied in the upcoming Salvesen Graham x Jennifer Manners rug collection, the second collaboration between interior design duo Salvesen Graham and Design Centre showroom Jennifer Manners, following their hugely successful scalloped rug collection in 2018.

They say ‘great minds think alike’, and the Design Centre certainly has seen a flurry of collaborations in recent years – from fashion houses to interior design stalwarts working alongside established names to create new products. There are plenty of star-powered licensed collections making a splash, but there is also evidence of exciting micro collaborations and one-offs too. London Design Week 2024 will showcase an array of Design Centre showrooms partnering with international tastemakers such Paolo Moschino with Bunny Williams, Arteriors with Laura Kirar, GP & J Baker with Kit Kemp and Sanderson Design Group with Giles Deacon.


6.     ‘Tesselate’ Design Direction



‘Step’ fabric, Kirkby Design at Romo

This design direction is titled Tessellate and, as the name suggests, it is all about repeated patterns. There is a particular abundance of diamond and triangle shapes. From micromosaic designs to grand scales found in villas and cathedrals, this design direction plays with scale and takes inspiration from all forms of tile inspired motifs.

Pictured is the ‘Step’ fabric which is from the Kirkby Design brand at Romo which very much plays into geometric, repeating patterns of the direction.

Situated in one of the Design Centre’s largest showroom spaces, Romo is a British family-run business in its fifth generation. The company has grown to become an international market leader in designer fabrics, wallcoverings and accessories. The Romo Group now has six in-house brands – Romo, Black Edition, Kirkby Design, Mark Alexander, Villa Nova and Zinc Textile – and is renowned for the highest quality of product and design.


7.     ‘Spice Route’ Design Direction


The Design Centre have titled the next design direction ‘Spice Route’ as it creates the sense of journeying from east to west to some exciting vistas and far off lands. The palette for this direction ranges from caramel to nutmeg to olive shades.

‘Spice Route’ is for the well- travelled individual who has a home that is full of nomadic weaves and treasures they have collected along the way. The ‘Camel Table Lamp’ by Porta Romana is the perfect example of a London Design Week launch that is brimming with character.

Porta Romana recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and marked the occasion by reissuing some of its most loved designs. With a flagship showroom at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Porta Romana has collaborated with a roster of starry design names over the years, from Kit Kemp, to plaster artist Viola Lanari and Martin Brudnizk.


8.     Hot Tropics



‘Mar Centrepiece’ Arteriors x Laura Kirar at Arteriors

Much like a crackling fire, the Hot Tropics design direction is bursting with sizzling design and a warm palette. Elaborate and intricate, many of the designs within this direction are reminiscent of basket weaving techniques. This is perfectly embodied in the Laura Kirar x Arteriors collection which features a Mar chandelier, floor lamp, tray and the pictured centrepiece.


An internationally renowned interior & product designer as well as a sculptor, Kirar joined forces with Arteriors to create a collection that reflects late summers on the mediterranean coast. The collection will be launched at London Design Week 2024 where Kirar will be present to host a special event at Arteriors’ recently expanded and revamped showroom in Design Centre East.


Free to register, secure your place at London Design Week 2024 and see the new collections in-person alongside a packed calendar of workshops, masterclasses and talks:

LDW24 Registration

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