LIVE from THE FLOORING SHOW 2014 Trends Hub

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We’re back at The Flooring Show again today with a detailed look at the Trends Hub, which we’re thrilled to have designed and curated for a 2nd year.

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Designing an exhibition booth is about so much more than simply figuring out how to display all of your product in a specified space along with a big company logo.  It’s about:

  • Successfully designing ways to attract visitors onto your booth
  • Creating an experience
  • Driving desire, intrigue and interaction
  • Delivering information in innovative ways
  • Making a lasting impression

These are our key goals when we design exhibition booths and Trends Hubs for our clients, and answering these goals was the basis of our design work when we started on the 2014 Flooring Show Trends Hub.

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It all started with Phil’s innovative concept to have a design project being completed by Surface Pattern Design students live on the Trends Hub during the show as a way to create a space that exuded creative energy; showcased new Designer’s work; drove interaction between the Designers and visitors to the show; and was a reason for visitors to keep coming back to the Trends Hub to see the design work progressing. From here we began to pull together furniture, flooring, lighting and accessories that would create an informal urban-look studio space for the students to feel free to be creative in, and for visitors to feel free to explore.  We took inspiration from the HighLine in New York; the creative attitudes of the Millennial design students from The University of Huddersfield; as well as a recent business trip to the fantastic city of Melbourne – where the graffitied streets, cultural mix, and outdoor lifestyle (regardless of the weather) results in an open, relaxed, creative atmosphere.

js1600_js1600_inspiration_boardThe next step was for Laura to create a mood board (above) of our ‘first choice’ products and select the colour palette we wanted to focus on, in order to provide both the show organisers and sponsors with a visual of the overall look we were going for. Laura and Phil met with the product sponsors to discuss the Trends Hub design and we’re thrilled that this year’s Flooring Show Trends Hub features:

  • Wonderfully realistic concrete and pebble-look flooring via Skinny Planks carpet tiles from interface‘s ‘Human Nature’ collection
  • Seriously cool cushions from THRŌ
  • Fantastic contemporary commercial furniture from Connection UK including Dixie and Swoosh chairs, a Horizon seating configuration with Zeus tables, a brilliant Cubbi quad configuration (which I’m sitting in right now as I blog), and One chairs for the design students to sit comfortably whilst completing their design work at Is.Tables

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One of the features we were most keen to create in the Trends Hub was a graffitied section of wall and flooring depicting a wordle, which included words associated with the design project the students would be working on as well as sponsors names.  Laura dug out her little black book of brilliant Designers and struck gold in the form of Melanie Longbottom, who spent 2 days over at Joe Manby Ltd (the very accommodating show builders) creating 2 huge graffitied panels to our exact colour specification.

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ABOVE: Melanie Longbottom takes a break from her graffiti work.

And here is how the graffitied wall and floor sections look in place on the Trends Hub We are totally blown away by the final result:

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Although we’d introduced some grass green elements onto the Trends Hub via Interface’s Skinny Planks carpet tiles, we really wanted to have some actual moss incorporated in some way in order to acknowledge the growing yearning to connect with Nature (Biophilia), and the widespread integration of plants and trees into the structures of planned architectural projects around the world.  It’s this type of depth of understanding of future design trends (like Wild Urbanism) that enables the team at Scarlet Opus to incorporate subtle but significant trend elements into the design of exhibition booths that really resonate with visitors.  We began a search to find an innovative product that would enable us to introduce moss onto the Hub in some form, and discovered the striking panels, installations and signage being created by leading Italian design company Arpolitalia.

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Arpolitalia agreed to make the ‘Future Surfaces’ moss sign that hangs above the table crammed full of material samples:

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As a team we sourced an array of samples that visually relate to the design brief the students have been working on, but that also provide visitors with a focused snapshot of inspirational, innovative and on-trend products from around the world.  Samples in the ‘Future Surfaces’ area include: Aluminum Art Panels (a mix of beautiful photography and multimedia graphics coupled with hand processed materials) from Alex Turco based in Italy; Exquisite metal panels with natural inlays, such as shell and bamboo, by Campioni Artisans based in Germany; Bespoke hand-tufted rugs by Designer/Maker Adriana Tavares based in the UK; PERSPEX® cast acrylics; Hex and Unique porcelain graffiti tiles from BluePrint Ceramics; Laser cut tiles from Fameed Khalique; Tiles from British Ceramic Tile (who also very generously sponsored the Live Design Project.  We’ll announce the winner of the competition on twitter later today!).

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This is the 3rd day running that Surface Pattern Design students from The University of Huddersfield have been creating designs live on the Trends Hub based on a forecast we provided of 2 trends for Autumn/Winter 2015/16.

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This afternoon their work will be judged, and the winner and a runner-up announced, who will each receive a cash prize and trophy sponsored by British Ceramic Tile.

js1600_scarlet opus editTrend Forecasting knowledge can be used to create successful exhibition booth designs.

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Top 10 finds at THE FLOORING SHOW 2014

The-Flooring-Show-Logo-2014Today Laura & I are blogging live from The Flooring Show in the UK, and we’re going to share with you our pick of the Top 10 best finds and features from across the show.  We walked all of the halls this morning to spot the best exhibitor stands, most innovative marketing ideas, and interesting products.

1. Wool installation by Angela Wright

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ABOVE: Angela Wright’s stunning installation of wool hanks, supplied by Curtis Wool, are hung from loops of rope to create a huge waterfall of flowing, wriggling and overlapping yarn. The dark brown Shetland wool appears as a shadow of the lighter hank, which is made up of wool sourced from 40 different countries, and together they create a work that celebrates the raw beauty of a wonderfully versatile natural material.

2. Homes & Gardens ‘Wool Inspiration’ room-sets on the Wool Trends Centre

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ABOVE: Homes & Gardens magazine joined forces with the Campaign For Wool, and some of the most respected names in the carpet industry, to create a quad of roomsets showcasing their products together.  It’s so refreshing to see carpet exhibited in context in this way so the relationship between flooring, furniture and accessories is clear and inspiring.

3. The Plantation Rug Company

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ABOVE: The Plantation Rug Company have been designing and weaving rugs since the 1930’s, but even though they have this fantastic history in rug making, their eyes are firmly on the future.  They have a keen understanding of what’s now and what’s next in terms of fashion.  As they state on their website “Fashion is no longer just for our bodies, it’s our life. The clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the food we eat, the interiors we choose. It’s our life. Fashion. It’s not where we started: it’s where we are now. We mix the old with the new: traditional, rug making weaves with two, seasonal, ahead-of-the-trend rug collections. Fashion evolves. Our rugs evolve.”

4. British Ceramic Tile

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ABOVE: British Ceramic Tile are the first tile manufacturer to exhibit at The Flooring Show in its 50 year history, and so we want to extend a warm welcome to the team who are working on the companies eye-catching stand.  It’s always great to see exhibitors making a special effort with their stand design, and British Ceramic Tile have cleverly included an iconic British design in the form of a MINI painted up with a Union Jack roof. They also deserve praise for being forward-thinking and generous in their sponsorship of the Live Student Design Project which is currently taking place on the Trends Hub.

5. Barnscroft of Devon

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ABOVE: Sometimes small is beautiful, and that is certainly the case with the Barnscroft of Devon stand where we found a sumptuous array of sheepskins and cow hides. Luxurious, natural and beautifully finished – they offer a carefully selected range of very desirable, on-trend rugs.  They have taken an edited-down approach, displaying examples of their very best products, resulting in a treasure trove outcome.

6. Adam Carpets

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ABOVE: We love the sample boards displayed on easels on the Adam Carpets stand. They had purposely set out to find an alternative method of displaying their range to the usual lecterns, carousels and waterfalls that dominate most flooring exhibition stands.  By bringing product together on these boards, the colours, qualities and patterns from their collections can be easily compared and the products feel much more connected to current interior design trends.  We also loved the smart style of the classic men’s suiting fabric-inspired carpet designs laid in pattern blocks on their stand floor.

7. F&X Carpets

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ABOVE: At first glance the F&X Carpets stand appeared to be a traditional display of neutral shades of carpet … and then we spotted these fantastic handbags incorporating their carpeting.  This single display case was extremely powerful because it made a very strong visual connection between F&X Carpets products and Fashion.  This association led us to view their range from a fresh perspective.

8. EarthWerks

lvtThis vibrant display of ‘Cocktail’ LVT flooring on the floor of the EarthWerks stand stopped us in our tracks.  The wonderfully named ‘Mojito – Mint Leaf’, ‘Blue Lagoon – Malibu Blue’, and ‘Purple Rain – Violetta’ looked stunning and offered an unusual way to introduce colour into room schemes.

9. The British WoolCampaign For Wool & National Sheep Association enclosure

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ABOVE: Outside the entrance to The Flooring Show in the Harrogate International Centre visitors are greeted by an enclosure of Dalesbred and Roughfell sheep, which act as a very physical reminder to visitors of the source of the wool carpets and rugs being exhibited inside on exhibitor stands.

10. Biophilia seminar by Oliver Heath

js1600_GROUPIt was fantastic to see sustainable architectural & interior designer, TV presenter and writer Oliver Heath at the show today.  His seminar, about the emerging science and style of Biophilic Design, really inspired the students from The University of Huddersfield.  Oliver was kind enough to take time out to come over to the Trends Hub after his seminar to chat to the students who talked him through the project they’ve been working on during the show.  It’s wonderful that The Flooring Show has such a strong seminar program and offers access to experts such as Oliver Heath.

I know you’ll be thinking “What about the Trends Hub?”.  Well, check back again tomorrow because we’ll be dedicating a full post to giving you a tour of the Trends Hub and all of its features.

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Decor + Design – The Highlights

It’s our last day in Melbourne at the Decor + Design show and if you’ve been following us on twitter then you’ll have seen the photos of our sell out seminar. It’s been a great trip but before we leave Australia I wanted to leave you with my pick of the best products in the best area of the show, and for me that was VIVID:

VIVID (Vibrant Visions in Design) is Australia’s longest running design competition for new and emerging designers.  This year at Decor + Design it showcased the work of over 80 innovative lighting & furniture designers (including students from the excellent Central Institute of Technology in Western Australia)  competing for a prize pool of $10,000.  In no particular order here are my favourites:

1. CLING LAMP by Megan Devenish-Krauth

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, WA – meg@megmeg.com.au

Inspired by origami this beautifully executed wall light, made from the Australian tree species Spotted Gum, can be installed in groups but looked equally striking as a single wall light feature.  It genuinely did appear to be clinging to the wall, having paused for a moment before it continued to creep further towards the ceiling:

1 cling2. HEKSY PENDANT LIGHT by Daniel Giffin

These aluminium alloy lights had a stripped-back elegance that appealed to me.  They were designed to be hung in clusters and would most certainly make a stylish statement if hung en masse:

2 heksy3. CRACKED LOG PENDANT LIGHT by Duncan Meerding

Because a chunk of my trend seminar was dedicated to biophilia, our relationship with nature and natural materials, I was naturally drawn to these lights made from reclaimed timber.  They emitted a pleasing warm glow through the cracks of the logs and, although I resisted, I had an almost irresistable urge to touch the bark and physically connect with these simple but stunning lights.  Also check out Duncan’s STUMP cracked log table/stool design available in his shop:

3 cracked4. UNDERGROWTH PENDANT LIGHT by Jackson Turner

Student at RMIT – jacksonturner8@gmail.com

This was a really stunning light on quite a large scale – I loved the contrast between the smooth gentle curve of the blackened aluminium dome and the carefully criss-crossed reclaimed Eucalyptus branches which were tucked underneath.  This light would look so good over a dining table:

4 UNDERGROWTH5. DIAGRID PENDANT LIGHT by Rowan Page, Marinos Drake & Ilya Fridman of Studio Batch

This talented trio were the winners of the Beacon Lighting Award (prize money of $5000). The ‘on demand’ design was 3D printed in nylon and then hand-dyed. The lights are created through computerised code which generates a unique form each time it’s printed. Their printed lights will be available to purchase via their online store soon … but in the meantime why not buy yourself a piece of their very affordable and unique 3D printed jewellery (I’m LOVING the ‘Diamond Cage Ring‘).

5 diagrid6. THE TREEHOUSE by Ali Sattarpanah

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, VIC – ali.sattarpanah@gmail.com

I LOVED this free standing piece!  It presented a bonsai plant, lighting and a small storage shelf on bamboo legs.  It takes inspiration from childhood treehouses – personal, secretive spaces. I liked that it combined a whimsical concept with an honest construction:

6 treehouse7. REYKJAVIK CABINET by Amy Perejuan-Capone

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, WA

Made from American Rock Maple, MDF, copper, brass and steel, this compact cabinet inspired by the capital of Iceland was full of character and getting lots of attention at the show.  Amy describes it as a place to “tuck away or display all your special little keepsakes.”  Perfect.

7 cabinet7. LUSTRE COFFEE TABLE by Alexandra Tyquin

Student at Swinburne University, VIC – al.tyquin@hotmail.com

This laser cut and manually folded coffee table in American oak, steel and sapphire glass successfully showcased the beautiful grain of the timber on a faceted platform of futuristic gloss white steel:

8 lustreCongratulations to all of the finalists and winners of VIVID 2014.

I’m closing this post with my 5 takeaway memories of Melbourne:

  1. Cool city vibe – edgy, vibrant, accepting & welcoming.
  2. Queues around the block at H&M!
  3. The best/most unusual hotel room service delivery ever = hi-vis jackets, bottle of wine & taxi fare (thanks Annette!)
  4. Animal print.  Leopard.  Lots of.  No but really, what’s with all the leopard print ladies?
  5. The enthusiastic audience at our sell out seminar at Decor + Design.

Thanks for coming everyone!

seminar finalOur special thanks to the Decor + Design show team who looked after us so well and put on an excellent show; The Langham hotel in Melbourne; Natalie; Alex&Elle for the fab graffiti wall art; Lisa Green from Australian House & Garden; Harry the Greek!

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The Best of The Best Millennial Designers 2014

Last month I visited the Huddersfield University Textile Degree Show preview night; I still find it hard to believe that I was in the same position last year and now, one year on, I’ve returned to check out the new designers as part of the Scarlet Opus team!

There is always a diverse range of Surface Design, Textile Design and Textile Craft work on display that shows a variety of material manipulation, colour and pattern design.

The atmosphere was amazing as usual, all the students had worked extremely hard to display their work and create a fantastic space for the viewers to walk round. I want to congratulate all the students on receiving their results and I hope we see a lot more of these amazing designers in the future (some are exhibiting at New Designers).

Here are some of my faves…

Chloe Fisher

Such an interesting and delicate use of materials. I love the unusual shapes created, the intensity of colour and the detailed patterns.

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Beautiful innovative illusional digitally printed fabrics inspired by the art of paper weaving and London architecture. I would also like to congratulate Daniel on his success in the SDC International Design Competition.

js1600_Daniel_MatthewsHeidi Beesley

Woven fabric designed around the photography of everyday moments. I love the sophisticated colour palette and simplicity of the presentation.

js1600_Heidi_BeesleyNichola Duce

Love the concept, it’s unique and wonderfully presented. The intricate embroidery adds detail and originality to the product.

js1600_Nichola_DuceAmy Leigh Green

The Eclectic Vibes collection reflects a relaxed, hippie, bohemian style (How very on trend). With inspiration gathered from gypsy cultures which for centuries have fashioned themselves based on floral elements, folkloric patterns and jewellery.

Fantastic use of colour and bold patterns!

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Fatima Hussain

I love the minimalistic architectural influence created within the structured weave. Simple but very effective.

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Amy Price

Amazing presentation of printed fashion fabrics with beautiful photography.

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Adriana Tavares

‘If you can draw it, you can tuft it’ is a collaborative community lead project. This project promotes the educational benefits of crafts. The project challenged the perception of rugs and revolutionised them by pushing the boundaries of shape, colour and aesthetic.

js1600_adriana_tavaresKimberley Harrington

This collection takes inspiration from the growing variations of street art throughout the colourful city of Berlin. A very bold use of bright colours, it’s exciting, energetic and the ‘organised chaos’ presentation makes it unique and inspirational.

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Melissa Oswald

Surface design at its best, the colour and material combination create inspiring designs!

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Intense use of colour, disorderly pattern and precise themes define this year’s final shows.

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Trend Seminar at Decor + Design 2014

If you’re one of our avid Australian blog readers or Twitter followers then we’ve got some exciting news for you!  We know attending one of our Trend Seminars would normally involve a lot of travelling for you, and that’s why we’re so thrilled to be able to announce that we’re coming to YOU … well, as far as Melbourne anyway.

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As part of the fantastic line-up of international speakers at Decor + Design 2014 our Lead Futurist, Victoria Redshaw, will be presenting a seminar entitled ‘Design & Colour Trends for Interiors 2015 & Beyond’ at 12 o’clock on Thursday 10th July.  During her 50 minute presentation she’ll explore the key design trends for Interiors for 2015 (and beyond) including a brief look at how we forecast design trends at Scarlet Opus.  Victoria will explain the factors driving each trend’s emergence and then discuss in detail their translation into the key colours, patterns, materials, shapes, and styles for interiors & interior products.  And then there’ll be the chance to ask Victoria questions.

This seminar will provide crucial content if you’re a Retailer of interior products, an Interior Designer, a Manufacturer of products for interiors, a Journalist / Blogger or simply passionate about all things decor + design!

We really hope you’ll come along and join us.  To find out more and book your seat click HERE.

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