london design festival fun

September 30, 2011  in handmade goodness, my london

London Design Festival – a pleasure every year, so many shows, exhibitions and events to go to. I love to catch up with people I’ve worked with before, design companies and designer/makers that I know from previous shows or whose products I have used in photo shoots. With my book deadline to meet followed by a photo shoot for a client I didn’t make it to as many shows as I would like to this year, but what I did see was great. There is always so much to see and do all over London.

First stop was the Tent London show at the Truman Brewery to wander round with lovely Elisa Rathje. It was really good this year, lots of interesting products and creative thinking from smaller design companies. In the afternoon we headed to Origin – the contemporary craft fair and met up with my friends Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring who were over from Germany and Canada to enjoy the shows for the first time. I only took a few photos (with the exhibitor’s permission) of things that caught my eye but thought I’d share them. I would have taken a lot more but I was too busy chatting, having fun and enjoying all the work!

I loved the colours and simplicity of the ceramics above, they’re by Belfast-based Derek Wilson.

It was great to catch up with textile artist Debbie Smyth whose thread drawings I love (above). I first met Debbie in 2008 when I bought some of her work from her at the New Designers graduate show. It’s great to see her doing so well.

Loved these handmade, wool knitted textiles by Stephanie Wooster.

This silver jewellery by Amy Keeper caught my attention too. It has a vintage feel and is etched with antique photos and text and looked great displayed in old printers’ trays.

The next day we headed to the much larger commercial interiors and design show 100% Design at Earls Court, where the big international names have their stands. An interesting contrast against Tent and Origin and it’s always good to see the bigger interiors picture.

Girls having fun
Girls having design fun: Little Hope, Emma, Me, Leslie and Holly taken by Emma’s husband Bertrand

On Sunday we popped in to see jewellery designer/maker Emma Cassi to stock up on lovely goodies then headed to Chelsea and one of my favourite stores Anthropologie where Holly and Leslie were hosting a talk on creating mood boards as part of Holly’s Decorate book tour, along with fab interior designer Abigail Ahern.

And finally a quick whizz around the Saatchi Gallery with the family afterwards for a contemporary art fix just to round things off!


It was a very busy few days in London. So much great work and such fun enjoying it all with good friends. I can’t wait until next year!


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  1. elisa says:

    sania it was ever so much fun. great images – i would love to wear stephanie woosters’ sculptural work and keepers’ little etchings, gorgeous. x

  2. bicocacolors says:

    I just found a treasure,
    thanks for sharing!!!

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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