One of the most exciting events in the interiors industry has returned to London – Clerkenwell Design Week 2023. With more than 130 resident showrooms and 10 exhibitions, there was plenty to explore.
Luckily, this year we were blessed with glorious sunshine at Clerkenwell Design Week 2023 – unlike last year, when we had to put up with a hail storm while dashing from showroom to showroom.
With comfy shoes on, camera at the ready, and the ever-present cup of coffee in my hand, off I went exploring the exhibitions and creative hubs. Picture colourful sanitaryware, textured brassware, and bold lights – here’s what I spotted…
Clerkenwell Design Week 2023: Kitchen innovations
First up in my Clerkenwell Design Week 2023 roundup, I had to include the latest kitchen technologies. And Italian manufacturer Elica‘s new LHOV appliance takes cooking to the next level. This multi-functional solution includes an integrated hob, hood, and extractor oven.
Fabrizio Crisà, the designer, talked me through all the functions. The hob features a sleek, smartphone-like display which allows you to fully control the system. I was very impressed by the fact that you can cook large portions side-by-side in the spacious oven. And if you love hosting, you know cooking and baking multiple dishes on different racks is always a struggle.
What’s more, the extraction system eliminates odours not only from the hob, but also from the oven. So, as Fabrizio pointed out, your next door neighbour won’t get hungry (or hangry) from all the cooking smells lingering in your home anymore.
Do you hate having clutter or – let’s take it one step further – even appliances on your worktop? Well, ceramics brand Rak Ceramics has released CookingRak, a hidden induction cooking system. Yes, you read that correctly – it’s hidden and completely integrated into the worktop. How does it work? The system operates through a magnetic field which only heats up the cookware placed over the hob.
Most of the stands and showrooms at Clerkenwell Design Week 2023 were decked out in colourful solutions. Daring hues are a big focus in interiors this year – from eye-catching furnishings and bold sanitaryware to finishing touches such as light switches and handles.
At the Elements exhibition, I stopped for a chat with Dowsing & Reynolds‘ product specialist Connor Prestwood, where the brand displayed some stunning colourways. “There’s a lot more bravery at the minute,” says Connor. “Ever since lockdown, everyone is willing to be more experimental and do more with their houses because that’s where they’re spending a lot of their time now.”
If you are colour confident, this is your chance to go all out in your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. Picture sleek and modern kitchen tapware, electric paint, patterned tiles, and bright WCs and basins.
However, if you prefer a softer look, there are plenty of pastel shades to help ease you into this trend as well. “The background can be more neutral but you can add pops of colour through switches, hardware, and lighting,” advises Connor.
It’s no secret I am obsessed with fluted finishes – can you blame me? Fluting elevates any design and looks oh-so-stylish in lots of schemes. The bathroom showrooms at Clerkenwell Design Week 2023 have fully embraced this tactile trend and put on display the latest brassware collections embellished with textures.
So, if you’re looking to upgrade your space, why not swap your old basin tap with a knurled or reeded design?
Forget plain and simple designs and say hello to more striking solutions. Houseof has collaborated with interior designer Emma Gurner to create the Colour Contrasts collection (available end of May) of retro lights with a modern twist. Picture colourful pleated lampshades, perfect for adding interest to your bedside table, and ribbed glass pendants, which would look fabulous above a kitchen island.
I also loved Lladró‘s Firefly collection – just imagine these porcelain lamps on a quirky bedside table! Scroll down to see for yourself…
Planet at heart
There were lots of talks about sustainability at Clerkenwell Design Week 2023, with many brands doing their bit to become carbon neutral, use recycled materials, and minimise waste. Tatie Lou is launching a new collection, called La Vie Fleurie, in a new eco velvet fabric – which is incredibly soft to touch.
Moving onto bathrooms, Ideal Standard is planning to release the Alu+ showering range, which is made from recyclable aluminium and will be available later this year. The new range is 100% free from chrome, lead, and nickel, and will also include storage shelves and beauty bars. Sounds good to me!