Top Drawer is one of the UKs leading international design exhibitions held twice a year at Kensington Olympia. It brings together brands from all over the world and covers everything from gifts and stationary to home accessories and soft furnishings! It’s an event I always look forward to as it’s a fantastic opportunity to source new products for our UK and Barbados showrooms but it also gives me the chance to get a feel for the latest trends that are going to appeal to our customers during the months to come. Today I would like to share with you a few things which caught my eye during my time at the show!
With thoughts now turning towards the warmer months to come, there is a fresh interest in all things floral! Artificial flowers in particular have become very sophisticated in recent years and some of those on display at Top Drawer looked deceptively like the real thing! One of my favourite companies combined individual stems to create dramatic, downwards sweeping arrangements tumbling out of urns and vases which have been cited as the next big thing by industry trend spotters! Artificial flowers can be very useful particularly at this time of year in the UK when spring is still a long way off. We currently have some fantastic artificial arrangements in both our UK and Barbados showrooms which not only provide an eye catching centrepiece but will save a fortune on buying fresh cut flowers every week! The trick is to combine them with a mixture of real flowers and foliage to create beautiful, long lasting arrangements.
Another trend which caught my eye were the fabulous tropical prints which popped up on everything from stationary to purses, trays and even lampshades! Tropical prints are a really fun way to introduce a dash of vibrant colour into your home this Spring but tropical doesn’t have to mean bright – as the gold embossed pineapple note cards pictured below demonstrate!
If you would like to dip your toe into the water with this trend then a palm leaf print is the perfect place to start – these vibrant green leaves are instantly recognisable and feel natural and fresh whilst giving a nod to the tropical theme. Whether in the UK or abroad, the palm print invitations, cocktail napkins and dinner plates would set the scene for a summer garden party perfectly.
One very broad trend which I noticed throughout the show was a renewed appreciation for natural forms. Whether it’s a beautiful piece of coral or a gilded clam shell like the one pictured below, everywhere I turned I saw raw materials which were designed to be displayed and admired for their natural beauty alone. Coral objets and shells have always been popular in our Barbados showroom but this trend isn’t limited to the tropics. Wood, horn and minerals such as agate slices adorned everything from place mats to jewellery boxes at the show and make wonderful objet in their own right.
I hope all this talk of spring flowers and tropical colour hasn’t made you too desperate for summer as (in the UK at least) we’ve still got plenty of cold weather to come but I hope I have provided some inspiration for what the rest of the year might hold. We’re currently planning our Spring window and I look forward to sharing that with you later in the year!