‘An interior is the natural projection of the soul.’ Coco Chanel
The World of Interiors magazine is considered by many to be the definitive guide to the most innovative trends and traditional designs for both professional interior designers and creative entrepreneurs alike. Every reader becomes a design pilgrim, seeking the next piece of antiquity or source of inspiration for their home or project. The October edition of the magazine is the main issue of the year as well as the biggest issue, not just in physical weight but also in its scope of interior spaces, fabrics, decor, furniture and art, all being showcased city wide as part of the prestigious London Design Festival.
Now in its 15th year, The London Design Festival gathers the most innovative and dynamic designers, artists , architects and retailers from across the capital to exhibit their creative talent in many pop up London venues throughout 16-24 September 2017. Each exhibiting company will be launching their latest designs for the autumn season and into 2018, alongside classic, timeless pieces. There is a plethora of events to choose from during the London Design Festival and throughout the autumn and winter season, including the French Design Trail, 100% Design at Olympia, The V&A design programme, Design Junction, The London Design Fair at the Old Truman Brewery, Focus /17 at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour and Decorex. Incidentally, luxury interiors online platform, Treniq, will have a stand at The London Design Fair and Decorex, exhibiting a selection of contemporary designs; my paintings are displayed on their online gallery, here.
I personally love finding pieces of art and design inspiration in the magazine and on my travels in general, but I also find that the people that populate the pages of WOI are just as interesting as the aesthetic principles they adhere to. There is a fascinating interview with People of the Sun charity founder and previous architect, Maria Haralambidou, who has helped bring the designs of talented local Malawi artisans to a global audience and whose latest collaboration with Dutch designer Ineke Hans will be launched at LDF. Art director and stylist Sue Skeen has also given an insight into the New Craftsmen gallery- a quirky collaboration between a rush weaver, leatherworker, mosaicist, cabinet maker and painter. Then there is the home of architect Duncan McLeod and Lyndsay Milne McLeod, founders of Studio McLeod, whose seemingly ordinary West London Victorian terrace house belies an extraordinary inner labyrinth for their children to play, imagine and grow in, deservedly earning them an RIBA architectural award. For those who want to take a closer look at their designs, Studio McLeod will be participating in Open House London on 16 September. Other feature interviews include French designer Jacques Garcia and his incredible Mogul-style ‘pavilion of dreams’ in northern France, the Chateau du Champ de Bataille, with gardens echoing the Taj Mahal.
There are more cases of the unexpected at Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire: we are offered a glimpse into the sumptuous William Kent interiors and former home of Nancy Lancaster, and the recent collaboration with charity ‘Fine Cell Work,’ where skilled embroiderers in prison have helped recreate one of the former chatelaine’s rooms. The front cover of WOI is also an homage to the eclectic London home of wallpaper designer Georgie Hopton and her husband, artist Gary Hume (part of the YBA and made famous after the 1988 ‘Freeze’ show). The wallpaper design featured on the cover is typical of the floral designs that Georgie favours. The couple’s summer retreat in upstate New York is a refuge for both artists to freely experiment and paint, with its vegetable garden serving as a daily source of inspiration for Georgie’s latest designs, some of which can now be seen at the Baby Forest gallery. There is an undeniable underlying theme pervading the pages of the magazine, of designers, architects and homeowners restoring and enlivening beloved spaces to their former glory, reaping the rewards after much perseverance and unquestionably a huge amount of love.
Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s home is another highlight of the magazine, not least because he painted one of my family’s enduringly favourite paintings, The Coign of Vantage: as a previous student and ardent admirer of classical literature, this painting particularly reminds me of Homer’s The Odyssey. Tadema’s paintings have been used as a guide for many films, including Gladiator, where the clothes served as inspiration for the films costume designer. His ‘fastidiously researched images of antiquity’ in his paintings translated into his home, where each room immerses you in a ‘different aesthetic reality’, from ancient Rome to the C17th Netherlands. You can visit his exhibition, ‘Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity’ at Leighton House Museum until 29 October.
The magazine also showcases a selection of the best fabrics, furniture, books and decor that have recently been launched, including ‘Highland Retreats: The Architecture and Interiors of Scotland’s Romantic North’ by Mary Miers, Max Eggers’ favourite wallpaper designs at Decorex and Focus, and Cecile Daladier’s ceramics in Provence, influenced by her love of music, botany and art history.
With such a colourful magazine brimming with trinkets of inspiration, I thought it would be appropriate to embody the spirit of the autumnal season and London Design Festival with my oil painting, ‘Autumn Colour,’ measuring 100cm x 50cm and painted on linen.
Why not look for your next piece of home inspiration in the World of Interiors magazine or at one of the many London Design Festival events!
*Information sourced from The World of Interiors magazine, October edition 2017.