Tent London and Superbrands

Saturday seemed to have snuck up on us on Blogtour. How did the time pass so fast?  With the morning free to do as we pleased, Corey Klassen and I hopped on the Tube and headed to Westminster Abbey. After waiting in the que for a while we had jus enough time to make a quick run through before we needed to meet up with the group. Too bad photos aren’t allowed to be taken inside.

Westminster Abbey is a treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artifacts, Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation’s history are buried or commemorated.

My visit to Westminster Abbey | KitchAnn Style

We made our way to the Old Truman Brewery at 91 Brick Lane, Spitafields, where we were confidant we would be able to find good food for lunch. I selected Pad Thai and it was just what I needed after my breakfast on the go. Along the way we collected some photos of great graffiti work.

Graffiti Collage | KitchAnn Style

The Old Truman Brewery houses more than 200 small, creative businesses and a bar. It encompasses 19 buildings, linked by a series of alleyways and courtyards, but the main area – the Boiler House – is easily identified by its 160 foot chimney with ‘Truman’ written up the side.

We met our BlogTour group at Tent London and sister show Super Brands, part of the London Design Festival, in its seventh year at the Old Truman Brewery.

Tent London and Super Brands are often described as one of the most creative parts of the London Design Festival. It’s a place where you can see smaller one-off designers who are creators showing their best in contemporary design next to temporary showrooms for big names like Jacuzzi and Ligne Roset.

Super Design Gallery | KitchAnn Style

Tent London also contained smaller shows within the show itself such as 100% Norway, Super Design Gallery, Brink, Vernacular by The Crafts Council of Ireland and The Craft Market.

This is another show where I gravitated toward lighting  – especially the hand-made fixtures. A few show stand-outs included Welsh weave designer Louise Tucker‘s hand-woven lighting collection from sustainable veneer, Eco artist Sarah Turner who makes incredible lighting from recycled plastic bottles and Glass artist Péter Borkovics.

Tent London Lighting | KichAnn Style

Our design filled day was capped off with a quick walk to a Electra House, famed designer Lee Broom‘s first dedicated retail space. We were graciously welcomed to the showroom by Broom who shared his adjacent design studio with us. The design boards were incredible – especially the one for Christian Louboutin’s posh new boutique at Harrods.

Lee Broom | KitchAnn Style

During last year’s London Design Festival Lee Broom launched his Crystal Bulb Shop – a general store complete with a sawdust floor. This year the Crystal Bulb Collection includes a frosted version, a table lamp, and a cluster chandelier that features varying bulbs suspended at different heights. A new wooden pendant and table lamp are slated to launch soon.

“The shop is actually in my own studio and it’s become a tradition now to totally transform the space each year. The building’s called Electra House and it used to be an electro-plating factory where they used to do a lot of the Corbusier pieces.”

Lee Broom Crystal Bulb | KitchAnn Style

Getting to Know Gessi

Gessi, the Italian firm that has been creating and manufacturing exclusive bathroom fittings for more than 20 years,  has adopted sustainability as the cornerstone of its design and production system. It is an integral part of the values​​, the culture, the creativity, the technology and the entrepreneurship of the company, and is fundamental to all of its planning, production and control decisions.

Their products are not just “Made in Italy,” they are “Made in Gessi.”

The entire production process is carried out in an integral fashion within the Gessi Industrial Park itself, including the design, engineering and manufacturing of the products and their components (even the plastic parts), as well as all of the graphic art and videography.

Gessi is succeeding at reducing its ecological and social footprint upon the Earth through the environmental and social performance of its products, both during production and during the lifetime if their use though advanced solutions for water and energy saving.



Primary Shapes

“Gessi’s mission is to create products with an enduring style that can be truly appreciated every day for years to come. To help achieve this, Gessi has evolved its own refined design language, based on elementary primary shapes, such as the rectangle and the oval.”

Larry Allen, CEO, managing director of Gessi USA has observed an increasing interest in simple, yet sophisticated high-quality bathroom environments.

Rettangolo and Ovale, two Gessi classics, along with Goccia which was inspired by a water droplet; all contain the same essential shapes, clean forms and harmonic proportions sought after by today’s homeowner.

Gessi Rettangolo Blogtour| KitchAnn Style

Goccia facuet | KitchAnn Style

Gessi Ovale Kitchen | KichAnn Style

Gessi Rettangolo Ceiling Mount | KitchAnn Style

Gessi Goccia Shower Head | KitchAnn Syle

Gessi Ovale Lavatory | KitchAnn Style

Gessi Rettangolo Shower Head | KitchAnn Style

Gessi Ovale Tub Filler | KitchAnn Style

Gessi Goccia Hanging Towel bar via Darren Genner

Gessi Rettangolo Counter Mount | KitchAnn Style

Gessi Goccia Water Closet | KitchAnn Style

I seriously love the ceiling mounted towel bar with the ceiling mounted towel bar in the dark finish! I’ve only shown examples from three collections. Gessi has so many exquisite luxury bath fixtures I suggest you check out their website.

Gessi was a BlogTour London 2013 Sponsor but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. Unlike BlogTour LA that went to the Westedge Design Fair , Gessi  was not exhibiting in London so I did  not get to see their beautiful products in person. I hear the Platinum covered vessel sink was amazing.

London Design Festival – Day 2 Continued

From the V&A Museum we headed to the nearby Brompton Design District. The Brompton Design District is a collaboration between leading design shops, exhibition spaces and institutions on and around the Brompton Road, London. Together with the major institutions of the V&A and the Royal College of Art & Design, the area has long been known for its contribution to art, design and education.

andrew_martin_elephantFirst stop: Andrew Martin

Interior design company Andrew Martin specializes in creating and supplying travel-inspired fabrics, wallpapers and designs using ideas sourced from cultures around the world.

Its ideology is to surprise, stimulate and entertain; its aim, to bring its multilayered, multicultural, easy living style to everybody who likes it.

Andrew Martin Collage | KitchAnn Style

A trip to the Walton Street showroom in London has been described as “like stepping in
to Aladdin’s Cave, with an almost bonkers mix of beautiful and enormous objects that
shouldn’t go together, yet somehow do.”

Andrew Martin Wallpapers | KitchAnn Style

The whole showroom seemed never-ending and the fabrics and wallpapers were most incredible. The staff was also super friendly and very knowledgeable. My favorite part was a fun little interactive art installation called Dandelion. It was created by YOKE, an interactive design company from Denmark, in collaboration with London-based design agency Sennep and was part of the exhibition Decode: Digital Design Sensations at the V&A in 2009.  I made a Vine but the sound is horrible so I’ve decided to share this video by Sennep.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/10904524]

de Le Cuona Logo | KitchAnn Style2nd Stop: de Le Cuona

After Andrew Martin we marched over to de Le Cuona to get an unveiling of the new fabrics by owner and creator Bernie de Le Cuona.

Hailing originally from South Africa, Bernie’s textile collections pair understated English elegance with sub Saharan accents. de Le Cuona works with European craftsmen to create exquisitely understated woven linens with beautiful textural finishes, soft wool paisleys , liquid velvets, and cashmere sheers.

de Le Cuona collage | KitchAnn Style

de Le Cuona is available worldwide via showrooms in London, New York and Moscow as well as online.

Fellow Blogtour companion and designer/blogger extraordinaire, Marilyn Russell, wrote a beautiful post on Bernie de Le Cuona back in May. It’s definitely worth a peek.  {Read it Here}

3rd Stop: 100% Design
Continuing on we next stopped at 100% Design held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in West London.

100% Design is still one of the largest and most comprehensive design destinations open during London Design Festival. This year the show focused on four industry sectors, each arranged around a central “hub” by different designers: Interiors by Talenthouse; Office by TILT; Kitchen & Bath by Aberrant Architecture; Eco Design & Build by Material Lab

At the center of the Kitchen and Bath hub, U.K. design studio Mette, in sponsorship with Gaggenau, set up the show’s restaurant and an inspiring Farm Kitchen exhibit which explored the integration of micro-agriculture within the kitchen experience.  For the exhibit, Mette brought together a variety of designers and manufacturers, including Bulbo, Back to the Roots, Flip and Tumble, Modern Sprout, ConcreteWall and Auxano,

farm kitchen exhibit 100% design | KitchAnn Style

I wandered the kitchen and bath hub – happy to be in my element – exploring products from Dornbracht, Porcelanosa, Corian, Interior iD, Amberth, deVOL, Pando and Rotpunkt. Brass was definitely trending in the kitchen displays and as expected the bathroom displays were very streamlined and minimal. After my feet and shoulders gave out, I joined my BlogTour in the Bloggers Lounge for a beer.

kitchen & bath hub 100% design | KitchAnn Style

4th Stop: Casa Brindisa

A short cab ride later we came to our final destination – dinner at Casa Brindisa. Casa Brindisa is a stylish Spanish Tapas restaurant located in South Kensington. This seemingly never-ending tapas dinner (I think we had 7 courses) was hosted by BlogTour sponsor Du Verre Hardware. I really enjoyed having co-founder Gina Lubin at my table and getting the opportunity to talk with her. I also have to note that the Rise pull made a really cute napkin ring.

Casa Brindisa Dinner | KitchAnn Style

We rolled ourselves into cabs at the conclusion of dinner and headed back to the citizenM Hotel where many of us gathered in the bar to discuss the events of the day. It was a long but fabulous day. Keep checking back for my next post on day 3.

London Design Festival 2013

The London Design Festival celebrated its eleventh birthday September 14-22nd with over 300 different shows and events over nine days. It was impossible for BlogTour London to cover it all but we managed to cover a fair amount of ground.

DAY 1: designJunction

This year designjunction returned to the 1960s Postal Sorting Office in Central London where a cutting-edge line-up of renowned international brands and emerging design talent were presented across three floors of the impressive 120,000 sq ft venue. New for 2013 was lightjunction, London’s first trade fair dedicated to very best in decorative lighting.

designjunction via designjunction | KitchAnn Style

We began the show with an introduction to the much anticipated UK debut of Kartell by Laufen. I may have to give them their own post later just to discuss their revolutionary SaphirKeramik.

Kartell by Laufen at design junction | KitchAnn Style

 I think this quote from the award-winning designers Ludovica+Roberto Palomba sums up the collection best.

“An architectural project, which speaks a new language. Innovative, rich in emotion,
transparency and colour. The Kartell by Laufen bathroom is the synthesis of the work
we have done in recent years in the world of the bathroom and represents an important
step forward in this sector”

After exploring the show we met up again for Dinner hosted by Laufen at Jamie Oliver’s pop-up restaurant Barbecoa in partnership with Modus furniture.  Barbecoa is renowned for its flame inspired cooking and widely praised for their original and smoked flavored dishes. I found out the menu was specifically created for the show – their first-ever pop-up venture. We dined on signature favorites of pit-smoked pulled pork sandwiches, smoked short ribs with chipotle tomato salsa, loaded BLT sandwiches with home smoked porchetta and a delicious chicken cobb salad. There were also the most incredible desserts shared around the table.

During our dinner we met some of the members from the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection, designjunction’s main sponsor. The Visa Luxury Hotel Collection is a premium travel program enabling Visa Premium cardholders to find, book and enjoy exclusive benefits at more than 900 prestigious properties around the world — from boutique to celebrated designer hotels.

Little did I realize at the time, but designjunction established a lighting theme for me during the Festival.

More Highlights

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