A Day at Decorex

Once I’d worked my way through the expected London rush hour traffic, parked the car and made my way inside the fabulous Decorex tent, there was a feast for the senses.


First up - the Carousel; so different and eye-catching. With its movement, it forced us all to stop and take in what we were seeing and not just reach for the smartphones and take pictures… okay, maybe for a moment, then I reached for my phone and pictured it all.

Based on the art of dining, it played host to four designers and their unique interpretations of this glorious art. The worlds of fashion, floristry and interior design came together and created a truly colourful dining experience. The designers included Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little, Larry Walshe, Beata Heuman with Fromental and EligoStudio. It was simply stunning.

Row upon glorious row of fabulous furniture, sumptuous fabrics, beautiful lights and wonderful accessories.

I am always amazed by Decorex; at how each year it just gets bigger and better. This year felt like all the stops had been well and truly pulled out. Of course they have - it’s Decorex’s 40th anniversary! Row upon glorious row of fabulous furniture, sumptuous fabrics, beautiful lights and wonderful accessories.

Before I became fully immersed in the candy shop of interiors, there was a seminar that I was keen to attend. The Future of Design. Chaired by Emilio Pimentel-Reid, he was talking to Francis Sultana, Chris Gardner, Head of Home and Garden Business Development at Ebay, Kirstie Carey, MD at Cole & Son and Letitia Taylor, Head of Interiors, Harrods.

The next hour turned out to be really inspiring and informative. They talked about how we are editing ourselves in a new way through technology. It is faster; there are no rules, we are not tied to a particular era or discipline, as Kirstie said, it is all about what brings you joy. Chris Gardner explained how Ebay’s technology is making design more democratic. There are 22 million shoppers on Ebay, with over 80% of shoppers purchasing a new product. It is a place where consumers are looking for trends and in particular, entry points to the market.

Craftsmanship is a very big trend (my ears pricked up at this because this is core to what Sarah Beech Ottomans is about). Consumers are looking for unique pieces. They like products that tell a story and really resonate with what they want to achieve in their homes. They are much more educated about and interested in the buying process during which they are becoming more confident, armed with this newly-acquired knowledge. Something the panel agreed on is that we mustn’t allow technology to make us lose our romance with design. In the UK, we have a long history of producing wonderfully creative designers and using beautiful materials crafted really well.

Decorex Highlights

On that concluding note, I set off to see the fair. There were many wonderful, inspiring displays at this year’s Decorex so I thought I would highlight a few of those that stood out for me.

@ottoline has launched some gorgeous new wallpapers and fabrics, in particular the tulip inspired cottons. I also love that at @newtonpaisley, for every metre of cloth and every roll of wallpaper purchased, 100sqm of critical wild habitat are preserved through their collaboration with World Land Trust.

I had a great conversation with the wonderful Fiona @anniesloanhome who, in her fabulously frilled red shoes, took me through their new fabric collection. Each colourway highlighting different elements of pattern.

There were the sculptural lights both large and small by @naomipaullight.

This desk by @sebastiancoxltd, which looked even more incredible in the flesh. Alongside a pair of beautiful side tables, such wonderfully skilled craftsmanship.

If you haven’t seen @huntandhope then please take a look at their beautiful needlepoint. The detail is glorious and as a material is one of the most hardwearing fabrics to use.

Be brave, be bold, be wild, be free and be inspired
— Beth Travers

If you are searching for something unexpected, then take a look at the eye-catching illustrations by @angelagroundwater. I have recently discovered her hand-drawn narrative-based wallpapers and they are magical. I am really hoping that we can collaborate on some fabric for a Sarah Beech Ottoman.

@marchmaystudio has launched this year with some lovely soft fabrics in muted colours which are hand-printed here in Great Britain.

Spot the rich, velvet multi-coloured coy carp fabric @arletteess.

In Beth Travers words, Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Wild, Be Free and Be Inspired by her wonderful collection @bobo1325.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Decorex, past, present or future. Please email me at sarah@sarahbeechottomans.com.