Bursting with imaginative British designers with the confidence and determination to do their own thing, I spent most of my time in the Launchpad section of this large trade fair.
Here are ten (well eleven actually) of the designers I discovered who create extraordinary pieces to help you make a lovely individual home:
1. Marie Rodgers of Lushdesigns (www.lushlampshades.co.uk)
Marie is based at Cockpit Arts, and is half of the designer duo who produce these fabulous quirky designs. The range includes lush lampshades, cushions, tableware, aprons, bedding and napkins.
2. Fenella Smith (www.fenellasmith.com)
Fenella makes tableware, but if you look at her website you will see that she is also capturing dreams and memories of an idyllic childhood full of giggles, cuddles and wellies. Very appealing, the animal designs illustrated by her brother Greg are utterly irresistible featuring, Lexi, Alfie, and Redman – at least that is who they look like to me…associations and memories – Fenella’s magic is working already!
3. Heather Alstead (www.heatheralsteaddesign.com)
Heather is a charming product designer full of clever ideas. Her top hat mirror, Goldilocks and the three bears coat hooks and Once Upon a Time book ends are simple but delightful – and she is only just getting started…
4. Lorna Syson (www.lornasyson.co.uk)
Lorna is another reason to go to Cockpit Arts. Her inspiration comes from the British Countryside and the bird fabric was inspired by the Great Tits she saw nesting outside her home. Lovely to bring a little of that inside.
5. Linda Bloomfield (www.lindabloomfield.co.uk)
Linda makes beautiful hand-thrown porcelain tableware in simple shapes with tactile satin matt glazes and subtly coloured interiors. As she is based in Hammersmith, I am very much hoping that I will get to know her a little more and that maybe she will come and join us at one of our decor clubs or events.
6. Richard Yorke (www.flower-shade.com)
Simple but utterly brilliant, Richard’s Snow & Lily flower lampshades are designed to cover energy-saving lightbulbs and are made from recycled material in the UK. They are also inexpensive and easily shipped.
7. Jorja Wilkinson (www.jorjawilkinsondesign.co.uk)
8. Ilsa Parry of REthinkthings (www.rethinkthings.co.uk)
Ilsa founded REthinkthings in 2009 to push the boundaries of product design, supporting innovative designers to make useful objects which capture the imagination and feel great to use. The artist palette plate is perfect for parties – feels special, looks great and functions better. Superb.
9. Jen Rowland (www.jenrowland.co.uk)
I enjoyed meeting Ellie (Jen was talking to a customer) and discovering how much she appreciates the great environment that Jen creates at Cockpit Arts (again!). Jen and her team have produced this beautiful range of quintessentially British hand printed interior products – striking tress, flying ducks, acacias and daisies.
10. Janie Withers (www.janiewithers.co.uk)
Jane works with Michael Hanmer to develop contemporary hand-made knitted fabrics using traditional knitting techniques. Inspired by natural landscapes, their range is deliciously luxurious, using a beautiful palette of fine merino and lambswool yarns from UK suppliers.
and Katie Treggiden, Pulse official blogger and design geek (www.confessionsofadesigngeek.com)
It was an unexpected but great delight to meet Katie, the official Pulse 2012 blogger at Mary-Land. She is a passionate about design and writes a brilliant blog and has published her first e-book of interviews, recommended by Louisa of WestEgg (who runs our painted furniture workshops).
And last, but definitely not least, a peak at some of the personalised products that Mary makes… beautiful papercut letters (another easy way to personalise your home and perfect for birthdays and Christenings).